08.02.2002 / 14:54
Cycle of Development Cooperation Programme Management
Organisation of the aid programme is based on generally accepted international methodology using a logical sequence of instruments:
from this concept, which is the main document providing a framework for the Czech Development Cooperation programme;
to long-term programs for cooperation with selected prioritised countries in selected sectors;
to specific projects summarised in the annual plan of development projects;
to allocation of funds and actual implementation of development projects and, subsequently;
to monitoring of implementation of development projects which, together with their evaluation, provides a feedback for further planning of the aid programme.
Long-term (optimally three-year) programmes of cooperation are based on territorial as well as sectoral priorities defined in this Concept. These long-term programs of cooperation will consist of specific foreign aid projects. At the same time even the projects not included in wider ranging programs can be implemented as part of the Czech foreign aid program; however, these projects should not become the most prevalent projects in the bilateral foreign aid program. More importantly, proposals for the development programmes and projects should be based on the national strategies and needs of the individual aid-receiving partner countries. These strategies and needs should be continuously monitored and evaluated by the Development Centre (in Stage 2 by the Development Agency) in cooperation with particular implementation centres. The Czech Government at the proposal of the MFA will approve suitable long-term programs (together with estimate for necessary funding). Their later implementation will be then funded according to foreign aid annual plans (in Stage 1) and, subsequently, the funds for their implementation will be allocated according the multi-year funding system, which will be introduced in Stage 2.
Proposals for long-term programmes and specific projects might also be presented by other departments and State administration agencies, NGOs, Czech Embassies abroad, relevant institutions in aid-receiving countries and other Czech, foreign or international bodies. Specific projects, either those implemented independently or as part of the long-term programs, will be in Stage 1 assessed by the Development Centre and, following their assessment during the inter-departmental meetings, in the form of an annual foreign aid plan submitted by the Minister of Foreign Affairs to the Czech Government for approval. The submitted plan should also include evaluation of the projects implemented in the previous year. In Stage 2 the project proposals will be evaluated by the Development Agency, approved by the Agency's Steering Committee. While the compatibility of the proposed projects with the territorial and sectoral priorities of the Czech foreign aid programme is basically essential precondition for their assessment, the main criteria for their approval are quality, relevance, effectiveness and sustainability.
Project Funding and Implementation
Implementation of projects in Stage 1 will be a responsibility of a particular implementation centre appointed in accordance with current legislation. Implementation centres will be appointed subject to tendering procedures. After the approval of the annual foreign aid plan by the Czech Government, the funds for the project will be transferred from the State budget via the appropriate funds administration channels to the particular department and from there to the relevant implementation centre. In Stage 2 it will be essential to transform the system of funding into a new multi-year funding system, with the funds for individual projects to be directly allocated by the Development Agency. This new system of funding will allow transfer of funds not only to the individual project developing departments but also directly to the implementation centres. Under the new system which will start operating in Stage 2, the Development Agency will start using the system for accreditation of selected implementation centres, especially those run by NGOs. The accreditation process itself, which will have to be transparent and conducted according to approved criteria, will not only allow to conduct tendering procedures separately for each project but will also provide opportunity for a long-term cooperation with approved selected institutions in the area of foreign and also humanitarian aid.
Monitoring and Evaluation
Apart from the actual project developers and implementers, Development Centre (in Stage 1) and Development Agency (in Stage 2) will continuously carry out the process of monitoring and evaluating implementation of projects. Evaluation will help to improve the Czech foreign aid concept and provide feedback for preparation of new programs and projects, also providing basis for informing the general public about the Czech foreign aid program. This evaluation will be carried out using appropriate evaluation and statistical methods and in cooperation with the aid-receiving party. It is essential to ensure that evaluation process will be completely transparent and that will be open to a separate evaluation carried out independently by international institutions and NGOs. The subjects of evaluation process will be specific foreign aid projects, long-term programs of cooperation, relevant territories and sectors and the entire concept of the Czech foreign aid programme; this evaluation will be particularly important before commencing implementation of the Stage 2. The general criteria for evaluation, basically the same as the criteria for evaluating proposals for foreign aid projects, include the following:
relevance - comparing result achieved with the set targets and principles of the Czech foreign aid programs and the actual needs of an aid-receiving country;
effectiveness - comparing project inputs with project outputs (including the funding);
sustainability - assessing the levels of contribution made by a specific project during and after its implementation.