The Introduction chapter to this report notes that aid effectiveness is about more than improved aid management approaches to planning and budgeting, implementation and performance, or the need for additional research. It is about accountability to each other and to the wider community for achieving development results. With this in mind, the 2008 Aid Effectiveness Report brings together evidence from a broad range of national sources to review progress in implementing the commitments to improved partnership arrangements. These commitments, which have been institutionalised in the 2006 Cambodia Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, have been formally articulated as a set of priority activities in the Harmonisation, Alignment and Results (H-A-R) Action Plan.
he 2008 Aid Effectiveness Report also draws on global analysis that informed the recent mid-point reflection on the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness that took place at the High-Level Forum in Accra in September 2008 and makes particular reference to the Accra Agenda for Action. The evidence, of both a qualitative and quantitative nature, is then used to support a number of policy recommendations for discussion at the Second Cambodia Development Cooperation Forum (CDCF) that will take place in December 2008. These recommendations are based on five main messages that derive from the analysis contained in this Report:
- Evidence of fatigue and a stalling process requires a political intervention.
- Focus needs to be placed on simplifying, prioritising and grounding aid effectiveness initiatives.
- Efforts to improve implementation will be dependent on more effective partnership dynamics.
- Broader engagement is necessary but requires competency and relevant skills to be effective.
- The rationale for development cooperation is increasingly premised on capacity development.
These messages result in a number of recommendations for Government and development partners, both individually and jointly. They relate chiefly to the need to identify a narrower and more realisable set of priorities from within the existing H-A-R Action Plan framework, to more effectively integrate and link our aid effectiveness efforts with central and sector reform processes, and to develop our competencies to engage in a partnership-based approach to development cooperation. The Report's final recommendation is that Government and development partners initiate a process of reflection and review so that priority actions, grounded in the reality of each sector, Ministry and partner, can be identified, implemented and jointly monitored through the establishment of a Joint Monitoring Indicator:
Taking note of: a) the Rectangular Strategy (Phase II); b) the NSDP MTR; c) the H-A-R Action Plan and the Cambodia Declaration on Enhanced Aid Effectiveness; d) the Evaluation of Aid Effectiveness (self-assessments and Independent Review); e) the recommendations made in the 2008 Aid Effectiveness Report; f) the dialogue at CDCF; and g) the Accra Agenda for Action, the Royal Government and its development partners agree to:
- For the Royal Government, to consult internally and at a high level to identify a number of realistic, achievable and verifiable actions at central level and associated with identified sectors to ensure progress in advancing national aid effectiveness priorities and in meeting their international commitments;
- or development partners, to consult internally and with their capitals/headquarters at a high level (in light of the HLF on Aid Effectiveness), and with one another, to identify a number of realistic, achievable and verifiable actions that will ensure progress in advancing national aid effectiveness priorities and in meeting their international commitments; and
- For both the Royal Government and development partners, to come together in the first uarter of 2009 to negotiate a limited number of practical and verifiable actions that are based on the H-A-R Action Plan and represent a consensus for joint action.
CRDB/CDC, as the national aid coordination focal point, will facilitate this process in collaboration with the Partnership and Harmonisation TWG. The agreed actions will be presented at a meeting of the GDCC and shall then be incorporated retrospectively into the 2009-2010 JMI matrix as a mutual commitment to the implementation of the H-A-R Action Plan and commitments made in the Cambodia Declaration on Enhanced Aid Effectiveness.
A number of activities that are central to the effort to promote and accelerate aid effectiveness objectives were implemented in the period since the first CDCF meeting in June 2007. Chief amongst them was the second round survey of Paris Declaration monitoring. The survey process demonstrated significantly enhanced Government and development partner capacity to collate and analyse information on aid delivery, primarily through the Cambodia ODA Database. The results suggested that significant progress had been made in making aid delivery more predictable and in recording support in national systems to support the planning and budgeting process. More limited progress was recorded in using a wider range of national systems, in moving towards programme-based support, and establishing plan-budget linkages with results-based monitoring systems. The survey emphasised the need for increased effort and accelerated progress.
Additional analytical work included a reflection on the use of technical cooperation, a sub-regional perspective on mutual accountability and an Evaluation of Aid Effectiveness. All of these studies emphasised the need to establish partnerships that are based on mutual understanding and a common agenda for action if the impact of development cooperation is to be maximised. Associated training initiatives, including in aid effectiveness techniques for Government and in national institutional arrangements for development partners, attempted to contribute to the development of capacity, stronger ownership and more effective partnership dynamics.
Overall aid delivery continued to increase with disbursements of USD 790 million reported in the Cambodia ODA Database by development partners and NGOs in 2007. This represented an 11% increase on the USD 713 million recorded in 2006, and a further increase in 2008 appears likely (a projected figure of USD 888 million has been provided by development partners), although the depreciation of the US Dollar against most other currencies in 2007 and 2008 accounts for part of this increase. As support from a broader range of development partners becomes available, e.g. from Kuwait, Qatar, China and from the rising number of global funds and vertical financing instruments, there will be an opportunity to bolster financing of priority objectives but these will also bring associated challenges as the imperative for enhanced coordination grows.