We would like to take this opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to the joint monitoring indicators – the JMIs – as essential tools to achieve the delivery of the National Strategic Development Plan objectives including the Cambodian Millennium Development Goals. The Accra Agenda for Action says that we – Government and development partners – will be judged by the impacts that our collective efforts have on the lives of poor people. Greater transparency and accountability for the use of development resources are powerful drivers of our progress in these efforts. The JMIs play an important role in this because, as highlighted by Cambodia’s 2008 Aid Effectiveness Report, they are the most important mechanism we have for incorporating the principles of results-based monitoring and mutual accountability into our development partnership.
We are pleased to endorse the JMIs for 2009 that have been established by the Technical Working Groups. They give us targets for monitoring progress over the next 18 months that are based on the Royal Government of Cambodia’s priorities as outlined in the National Strategic Development Plan formulated to implement the Rectangular Strategy.
It is the role of the GDCC to agree and track progress on the JMIs. The CDCF should take stock of Cambodia's overall progress and challenges, and evaluate these in a broader context. Therefore we would like to take a step back from the individual 2009 JMIs, take a look at the overall experience of designing and agreeing the JMIs, and identify what lessons we can learn for the future. This reflection is framed by the JMI Principles.
An important principle is that JMIs should be SMART, that is: specific measurable, achievable, realistic and timebound.
Some of the 2009 indicators are exemplary in that they are focused, measurable, and appropriate to where the particular sectors are today. They are ambitious but achievable in the proposed timeframe between the 2nd and 3rd CDCFs. Good examples are the education, health and mine action JMIs. However we note that not all of the 2009 JMIs are of this standard. We highlight this because Government and development partners need JMIs that work well for us, by focusing our attention on targets that are realistic, relevant and results-oriented. If they are not, the JMIs will not help Government and development partners to progress together in the delivery of the NSDP objectives.
Our JMIs are the outcome of our partnership in Technical Working Groups. Since the first CDCF, we appreciate the considerable investment by Government in the operations of the TWGs, through the work of the CRDB/CDC to improve management and performance of the TWGs. At the same time there appears to be some barriers from both development partners and Government in collectively doing better on the production of SMART JMIs for all the TWGs. We note that the 2009 JMIs are only the second set of JMIs since the launch of the NSDP in 2006,1 and that the design and agreement of the JMIs is a continuous learning process.
Another principle is that the TWG participants should be capable of achieving and monitoring the JMIs
The 2006 review of the GDCC and TWGs identified that while TWGs have tended to be theme or sector based, the involvement of more than one ministry, or multiple departments of ministries has led to a lack of clarity regarding respective responsibilities. Another challenge arises when sectors or themes are broad enough to cut across two or more TWGs. These findings are still relevant today, as some of the current critical development issues, in particular economic land concessions and extractive industries, are not being effectively covered by the current TWG architecture.
In addition we support the 2008 Aid Effectiveness Report recommendation that participants in TWGs must be at a level that is sufficiently senior and competent in the issues to ensure that dialogue is effective, and that Government decision-making can be facilitated. The Report points out that this applies in particular to participation in cross-sectoral TWGs in which effective participation from agencies other than those represented by the chair is required.
This year our timeline for agreeing the new JMIs has been compressed, in part due to the elections calendar, with the result that there are concerns that there may have been some detrimental effects on the overall quality and ownership of the JMIs. In particular the 2009 JMIs would benefit from an overall strategic review, focusing on whether the key issues for NSDP implementation are being monitored effectively. This would be of particular benefit now given the priority to respond to the changed developmental context that includes the effects of inflation and the global credit crisis.
Finally, GDCC should be the forum for analysis and dialogue about the progress, or lack of progress, in the JMIs. This should be based on an analysis of the indicators and result in recommendations on measures to be taken both by Government and by Development Partners.
We would like to call attention to the NGO Statement to the 2008 Cambodia Development Cooperation Forum and the 25 position papers that are available. We value this contribution and look forward to discussing the sectoral issues raised in the relevant individual Technical Working Groups, while the more strategic issues should inform the strategic review of JMIs at the next GDCC.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen.
Thank you for your attention, and I would like to end with thanking H.E. Chhieng Yanara for his presentation and affirming our formal endorsement of the 2009 JMIs. I look forward to the dialogue and thoughts on the general principles guiding the design and monitoring of our JMIs in the year to come.