Promoting Evidence-based Development Management through the Cambodia ODA Database


Background

The National Strategic Development Plan (NSDP) provides the overarching framework for implementing development activities and for programming domestic and external resources in Cambodia. In this context, and noting the obligations of both Government and development partners to the 2005 Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, the Royal Government has developed its own ODA Database to promote effective aid management.

The Cambodia ODA Database has the following main objectives:

  • To record all development finance to Cambodia from all sources

  • To promote the effective planning, budgeting and management of external resources

  • To provide public access to information on aid provided to Cambodia

  • To support empirical analysis and the provision of practical policy-relevant advice (see the Aid Effectiveness Report).

How does the ODA Database support the Aid Effectiveness Agenda?

In addition to being signatories to the Paris Declaration, the Royal Government and its development partners have signed a local Declaration that commits all parties to the implementation of the Harmonisation, Alignment and Results (H-A-R) Action Plan. For Government and development partners, the ODA Database provides a strategic management tool to support the implementation of good practices in aid management with regard to coordination, planning, implementation and reporting.

  • Aid Coordination: Harmonisation and alignment supported through universal on-line access to information on activities, sorted by development partner, sector, modality or province;

  • Planning: Ex post and forward-looking alignment is monitored and supported by comparing resources flows with resource requirements identified in the NSDP;

  • Results: Support to NSDP implementation, tracking of financial resources contributes to an assessment of development impact as well as to improved budgeting.

  • Mutual accountability: National ownership and partnership-based dialogue become more credible as a result of enhanced information sharing.

What are the main features of the ODA Database?

The ODA Database is developed and maintained on behalf of the Royal Government by the Cambodian Rehabilitation and Development Board (CRDB) of the Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC). The ODA Database is an on-line Microsoft Access-based system that has been developed and improved over a number of years by the staff of CRDB/CDC. The ODA Database includes the following features:

  • Details of project and programme details (objectives, aggregate commitments and disbursements, sector and location details).

  • Report and query functions that enable the production of customised reports (exportable to Excel for further analysis).

  • Sector profiles providing customised analysis of aid to all sectors (showing the largest donors, the biggest projects, sub-sector breakdowns, historical disbursements and future projections, Paris Declaration sectoral indicators).

  • Paris Declaration monitoring is enabled and automated through the production of project-level indicators to monitor progress by donor and by sector.

  • On-line and off-line data entry is supported.

How is data provided and validated?

While the ODA Database is Government owned and managed, the responsibility for entering data lies with development partners. This decentralises responsibility to those who often have the fullest information regarding planned and ongoing aid-financed activities. Training is provided to development partners and a Manual has been developed to provide additional reference. The Database Administrator then provides on-demand help desk support (via email, telephone or specially arranged meetings).

Data entry is required at the time of agreeing a new project. Additional data entry is then required to provide disbursement projections (to support the planning and Budget exercises) and to confirm disbursements (to support reporting, and monitoring and evaluation work). Entering a new project record takes about 20 minutes while up-dating project financial information takes less than 5 minutes per record. Data is then validated by CDC staff who are assigned portfolio responsibilities and who work closely with nominated development partner focal points.

What is the data used for?

It is critically important that the ODA Database demonstrates its ability to add value to aid management work. The ODA Database customization process has therefore ensured that the following outputs are enabled:

  • Tailored reports can be produced, including data on development partner, sector, province.

  • Real-time sector profiles can be produced automatically to provide snapshot overviews.

  • Macro and sector-level financial projects can be produced for planning and budgeting.

  • The Aid Effectiveness Report monitors the implementation of the H-A-R Action Plan and provides empirically-derived policy-relevant recommendations to both Government and development partners.

What are the criteria for success?

The Cambodia ODA Database is an information management tool. Like all similar systems, it can only be an effective tool if is integrated into an institutional and organizational structure that promotes a comprehensive approach to the management and coordination of both domestic and external resources. Specifically this means:

  • The Strategic Framework for Development Cooperation Management provides the overall framework for managing development partnerships and establishes the role of CRDB/CDC as the national aid coordination focal point;

  • Leadership from senior Government officials and support from development partners is required to ensure that the ODA Database is integrated into macro-level and sectoral management structures;

  • Developing technical and IT-related capacity in CDC, across Government, and in development offices to ensure that the system is well-maintained, is user-friendly, fully-functional and populated with accurate and up-to-date information;

  • Data must be collected in as efficient a manner as possible and, to maintain interest and support, concrete outputs, including policy-relevant reports, must be produced to demonstrate the practical relevance of the system;

  • The system is responsive to nationally-identified needs and the risk of over-engineering an excessively elaborate system has been reduced. The system has been developed incrementally based on a consideration of both needs and available capacity.

The Cambodia ODA Database can be viewed on-line at http://cdc.khmer.biz and further information can be obtained from the Administrator (email: cdc-cmb@camnet.com.kh).

 

Home | 1st CDCF Meeting | 8th CG Meeting | Partnership and Harmonization TWG | GDCC | Policy Documents Guidelines | Donor Dev. Coop. Pgm. | NGO