In the Cambodia context, development effectiveness can be thought of as comprising three important components that make it conceptually distinct from aid effectiveness:
- There is an emphasis on an 'end state' of successful development, as defined by the targets of the Rectangular Strategy and CMDGs;
- Capacity to implement activities effectively and to adapt and sustain these results over time must have been developed for any externally-supported initiative to be considered successful;
- There must be scope for articulating a set of goals and principles that are shared by a broader range of actors and encompassing a broader pool of resources.
Development effectiveness therefore relates to the partnership between, as well as the roles of, Government, development partners, private sector and non-state actors in achieving lasting results. With this in mind, this 2011 Development Effectiveness Report provides an empirical assessment of our development cooperation partnership and the results that can be attributed to our joint efforts to implement the Rectangular Strategy – Phase II. As such, it serves as a valuable resource to inform dialogue concerning the future role of our development partnership in Cambodia. The Report also represents the perspectives and position of the Royal Government that provides an input to the forthcoming High-level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, which will be held in Busan, Republic of Korea in November 2011.
The report emphasises learning and adaptation. Much of the national implementation effort of aid effectiveness initiatives was initially focused on process and the 'mechanics of aid' related to partnering arrangements, harmonising processes and identifying means to align and coordinate efforts around national development priorities. Beginning 2008, a results focus acquired greater emphasis that prioritised application of results-based actions at sector level, less process-related activity, and longer-term capacity development related to the Royal Government's reform programmes. A focus was then placed on qualitative aspects of the development partnership and identification of fewer, more sector-relevant interventions, including through a more rigorous Joint Monitoring Indicator (JMI) process and the establishment of PBAs.
The Development Partnership in 2010/11
To understand how our partnerships can be more effective it is necessary to identify the transmission mechanism between aid effectiveness actions and development results. By situating our partnerships in the broader development context, the main drivers of effective development in Cambodia are thought to include:
- Effective leadership of national development
- Policy coherency with planning, implementation, monitoring and resource management
- Momentum around the core reform programmes
- Collaborative approaches to developing implementation capacity
- Promoting efforts to strengthen partnership dynamics
Partnering experience highlights the difficulty in establishing and maintaining effective development partnerships. Relationship issues often outweigh technical considerations in determining the success of aid-financed programmes. For this reason the Royal Government, under the coordination of CRDB/CDC, led a "Making Partnerships Effective in Cambodia" exercise between June 2009 and early 2011. While precise impacts are hard to measure, subsequent review concluded that there is now a deeper understanding of the nature of a partnering relationship and what it takes to create systems, build skills and develop an enabling environment through which partnerships can flourish and be mutually beneficial.
The complexity of partnering efforts cannot be overstated but the sustainability of these efforts will depend on progress in using country systems. In emphasising the capacity development role of external assistance, the Royal Government and its development partners commissioned analysis and then held a national workshop in May 2011. The meeting highlighted the need to coordinate the core reform programmes so as not to overwhelm line ministry capacity as well as the need to more effectively disseminate information and support the implementation of the major reforms. To accelerate these efforts, both Government and development partners need to be willing to make changes to their capacity development approaches, to ensure policy coherence and coordination between project interventions and the core reforms, and to take some shared risk to see that country systems are both strengthened and used.
To examine the empirical relationship between aid effectiveness work and development results, Cambodia participated in the global evaluation of the Paris Declaration in 2010. This work concluded that progress towards the CMDGs was positively associated with the implementation of the Paris Declaration, however there is undoubtedly more to be done regarding changes in working practices and culture. Beyond the need to maintain the level of effort to improve aid management, new challenges, opportunities and actors are also important considerations. The evaluation highlighted important new opportunities for South-South Cooperation and partnerships, especially with regard to regional integration, managing climate change, and promoting private sector development and trade.
Trends in Development Cooperation
Total disbursements in 2010 were USD 1,075 million, an annual increase of 7.8% and equivalent to 9.4% of GDP and USD 78 per capita. Grant support accounted for approximately 75% of total disbursements. In 2010, Japan remained the largest single source of development assistance, disbursing USD 146 million followed by China, who disbursed USD 138 million, a contribution that is expected to rise to USD 211 million in 2011. There was significant growth in support received from regional partners including Japan, China, Australia and the Republic of Korea.