Development Cooperation Policy Plan for 2006

18.06.2015. 15:55

Development Cooperation Policy Plan for 2006 

Pursuant to Order No. 107 of the Cabinet of Ministers (hereafter – CM) "On Basic Principles for the Development Cooperation Policy of the Republic of Latvia" of 19.02.2003, as well as subsequent amendments, the following areas of activity have been identified to achieve the objectives of the Development Cooperation Policy:

  • bilateral cooperation with developing countries as well as with countries in the transition period from a planned economy to a free market economy;
  • cooperation with third countries – active implementers of the  development policies;
  • public information campaigns and informative events focusing on the objectives and priorities of the Development Cooperation Policy;
  • participation in projects, programmes and policies of international organisations as well as cooperation in implementing humanitarian aid programmes;
  • Latvia's participation in the EU development policy.

The Development Cooperation Policy Plan for 2005 (hereafter – Plan 2005), which was approved by CM Order No. 594 of 31.08.2004, was the first step in implementing Latvia's Development Cooperation Policy. It set out the objectives and projects in the areas of activity mentioned above, except for Latvia's participation in the EU development policy[1] and implementation of humanitarian aid programmes, and prioritised bilateral cooperation with recipient countries and public information campaigns and informative projects focusing on the objectives and priorities of the Development Cooperation Policy.

Continuing the work started in 2005, the Development Cooperation Policy Plan for 2006 (hereafter – Plan 2006) sets out as the priority implementation of bilateral and trilateral cooperation projects as well as implementation of public information activities focusing on the objectives, priorities and Latvia's activities in order to form public awareness and support for a successful development and implementation of the Development Cooperation Policy. 

Public support is of utmost importance in formulating and implementing the Development Cooperation Policy. It is therefore necessary to continue the work on informing the public, and much attention will be devoted to it also in 2006. Similarly, research projects on the potential recipient countries of Latvian assistance, development study initiatives and development of the legal basis and enhancement of the administrative capacity will be supported.

In order to reach the identified bilateral and trilateral cooperation objectives, Latvian experts will be funded at the request of other countries to share the Latvian experience of the transition period and provide consultations in reform process. Similarly, seminars and study visits will be carried out for representatives of recipient countries in Latvia and support will be extended to State, local government, private sector and non-governmental organisations (hereafter – NGOs) projects in the priority areas set out in the Plan 2006.

In the area of research projects, development studies and communications, support will be extended for research projects, and studies will be funded on issues of development cooperation and the New Neighbourhood Initiative. Public informative activities, public opinion polls and participation in public informative activities organised by other institutions and NGOs, targeted to forming public opinion on development cooperation, will be supported. Similarly, support will be given to development studies initiatives, cooperating with Latvian schools, universities and public organisations.

In addition, the legal basis of Latvian Development Cooperation will be developed and the administrative capacity of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be enhanced.

The Plan 2006 continues the activities started in 2005, in terms of implementing the bilateral development cooperation programme in order to ensure in the foreseeable future the performance of Latvia's commitments as an EU member state, which were decided upon in the Council of European Union's External Relations Council conclusions of 24.05.2005, "Accelerating Progress towards Achieving the Millennium Development Goals". For 2006 Latvia sets as priorities two of the areas outlined in the conclusions of the Council:

  • Gradually increase funding for objectives of development cooperation[2];
  • Improve the quality and effectiveness of the assistance provided, promoting the good practice of donors, coordinating and harmonizing their activities and improving the economic sustainability of the increased funding for the objectives of development cooperation to the recipient countries.

Both in 2005 and 2006 the identification of priority countries takes place in accordance with the Basic Principles for the Development Cooperation Policy approved by CM Order No. 107 of 19.02.2003, which identified the priority region – CIS and Balkan States. The Plan 2005 identified five priority countries, namely, Georgia, Moldova, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Belarus. Considering the limited financial means and in order to increase the effect of the assistance provided by Latvia, in 2006 it is essential for the Latvian Development Cooperation Policy to concentrate on a smaller number of cooperation countries. Therefore, Moldova and Georgia are identified as priorities, in view of the previously established contacts, the direction of foreign policy of these countries, the wish expressed by these countries to cooperate with Latvia, the territorial proportions, the status of these countries as developing countries, and other aspects. It is in the interests of Latvia to promote cooperation also with Belarus, however such cooperation can occur at present only in specific areas, for example, promotion of a democratic and civil society, cargo transport, environmental protection, and others. An important element in drawing up the plan is the EU New Neighbourhood Policy, which partly covers the region of Latvia's priorities – Moldova, Georgia and Belarus.

The total funding allocated for implementation of the Development Cooperation Policy Plan for 2006 is LVL 150,000. The prospective source of funding is the national budget of the Republic of Latvia.

INFORMATIVE SECTION

  1. Objectives of development cooperation policy 

1.1  Priority objectives:

1.1.1 the following priority areas are identified for development cooperation projects of bilateral and trilateral cooperation:

  • support for state administration, local government and defence system reform process;
  • support for the European and transatlantic integration process;
  • promotion of the development of democratic and civil society;
  • education, culture, social development, health, environmental protection;

1.1.2 funding of research projects, development studies and communication activities;

1.1.3 Latvian experience and legal basis for formulating Development Cooperation Policy and project administration is at the initial stages of development. Therefore, development of legal basis, strengthening of the administrative capacity of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and developing a consolidated system in the Development Cooperation Policy area should be included in the priority objectives.

  1. Areas of activity for reaching objectives 

2.1  Bilateral and trilateral cooperation:

2.1.1 funding of Latvian experts at the request of other countries to share the Latvian experience of the transition period and provide consultations for implementing reforms;

2.1.2 seminars and study visits for representatives of recipient countries in Latvia;

2.1.3 support for state, local government, private sector and NGO projects in priority areas listed in Paragraphs 1.1.1 and 1.1.2.

2.2  Research projects, development studies and communication activities:

2.2.1 support for research projects and funding of studies on issues of development cooperation and the New Neighbourhood Initiative;

2.2.2 public information activities, public opinion polls;

2.2.3 participation in public information activities organised by other institutions and NGOs for forming public opinion on development cooperation;

2.2.4 support for initiatives in the area of development studies, cooperating with Latvian schools, universities and public organisations.

2.3  Development of the legal basis of Latvian Development Cooperation and strengthening of the administrative capacity of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

  1. Expected results

3.1  Expected results:

3.1.1 In implementing bilateral and trilateral cooperation with developing countries in the area of providing assistance, Latvia will ensure a more successful representation of its interests in these countries, developing beneficial cooperation in economy, science and culture, and will promote strengthening of regional security. At the same time, preconditions will be created to present Latvia as a successful reform country and provider of assistance to other countries;

3.1.2  funding of research projects and communication activities, support for development studies:

  • funding research projects on issues of Development Cooperation and the New Neighbourhood Initiative will promote a deeper understanding of the needs and problems of potential recipient countries, which will be used in programming development cooperation;
  • communication activities will promote a broader public knowledge of the principles of development cooperation and Latvia's activities, will promote the knowledge of Latvian NGOs and their involvement in issues of the Latvian Development Cooperation Policy, including participation of NGOs in formulating Latvia's Development Cooperation Policy;
  • will promote participation of Latvian NGOs in international projects, and ensure consultative assistance for participation of Latvian NGOs in international projects;
  • development studies will increase understanding of the problems of development cooperation and will contribute on a long term basis to the development of public opinion.

3.1.3 The enhancement of the legal basis and administrative capacity and establishment of a consolidated system will provide preconditions for a more result-giving organisation of the work and more effective provision of assistance – for reaching the objectives of the Latvian foreign policy. 

  1. Steps for reaching the identified objectives, completion dates and result indicators for their assessment

4.1  The Regulations of the Development Cooperation Council (hereafter – the Council) are approved by a separate CM Regulation.

For bilateral and trilateral cooperation:

4.1.1 Funding of Latvian experts in projects of technical assistance:

  • the Ministry of Foreign Affairs regularly consults with the governments of the listed priority countries concerning their interest in receiving Latvian experience and assistance and the areas where assistance is needed;
  • after receiving a request from the recipient country, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs organises and funds a feasibility study in order to draw up terms of reference for the technical assistance project;
  • after the feasibility study/ drawing up terms of reference and selecting the experts, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs funds the technical assistance project, on which assessment is then made after its completion;
  • the decision to allocate funding is made by the Council.

4.1.2  The Ministry of Foreign Affairs may start a grant programme for the support of state, local government, private sector and NGO projects:

  • the Ministry of Foreign Affairs draws up amendments and drafts new legislative acts for the effective functioning of the development cooperation programmes as required;
  • the Ministry of Foreign Affairs prepares tender regulations for grant projects, which are then approved by the Cabinet of Ministers by a separate Regulation. After the tender regulations are approved, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announces the tender for grant projects;
  • the Ministry of Foreign Affairs appoints an Assessment Commission for the evaluation of the project applications, performs project monitoring and regularly prepares grant programme monitoring reports;

4.2  For research projects, development studies and communication activities:

4.2.1 Research projects:

  • By March 1, 2006 the Council passes a decision to support research projects and on funding studies on issues of development cooperation and the New Neighbourhood Initiative;
  • In 2006 drafting of a strategy for development cooperation for a specific partner country, or supplementing of existing strategy documents, or additional research may be funded;
  • By March 1, 2006 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs draws up a plan for communication activities on issues of development cooperation based on the results of the public opinion poll (the poll is scheduled for the end of 2005);
  • By December 1, 2006 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs funds a public opinion poll on the Development Cooperation Policy implemented by the Republic of Latvia.

4.2.2 Based on the results of the public opinion poll due at the end of 2005, the Communication Strategy and current issues of the Development Cooperation Policy, the Council decides on activities of public information (communication) and their topics:

No.

Activities for achieving identified objectives

Performance deadlines

Result indicators

1

Involving the media to inform the public of development cooperation

December 31, 2006

  • Four publications a year in the largest Latvian media
  • Visits by reporters at project locations

2

Organisation of informative events (seminars, discussions) to inform of implementation of development cooperation policy and/or opportunities for involvement in its implementation

December 31, 2006

  • Two informative seminars
  • 3 – 4 discussions

Total of involved participants:

1) at seminars – 60 persons

2) at discussions – 45 persons

3

Ensuring accessibility of information (booklets, brochures, website)

December 31, 2006

  • Once every six months informative material is prepared on development cooperation (5,000 copies)
  • Improved development cooperation section on the Foreign Ministry's website
  • Information on development cooperation is updated on the Foreign Ministry's website

4.2.3 The Ministry of Foreign Affairs cooperates with Latvian universities supporting initiatives in the area of development studies:

No.

Projects for achieving identified objectives

Performance deadlines

Result indicators

1

Organising 10 presentations on the objectives and activities of Latvian Development Cooperation Policy

10 presentations during the Autumn semester of 2006

200 students are informed of the development cooperation

2

Support for lecturers at the University of Latvia

December 31, 2006

Twice a year lecturers of Latvian highest educational establishments are supported to take part in international educational events to raise the lecturers' capacity

3

Support for volunteer student activities

December 31, 2006

2 Latvian representatives take part in international development cooperation projects

4.3 Amendments will be made to existing legislative acts and new legislative acts regulating the implementation process of Development Cooperation Policy will be drafted in order to develop the legal basis of the Latvian development cooperation and strengthen the administrative capacity, as required. 

  1. Funding allocated for the implementation of Plan 2006 

The total funding allocated for implementation of the Development Cooperation Policy Plan for 2006 is LVL 150,000. In addition to the LVL 100,000 included in the basic expenses of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, LVL 50,000 has been allocated for 2006. The indicative division of the budget programme for the Development Cooperation and the New Neighbourhood Policy projects (budget division and any changes are decided by the Council) is indicated in priority succession:

A total of LVL 150,000 of which:

- bilateral and trilateral cooperation projects LVL 130,000 which includes:

  • Feasibility studies LVL 10,000
  • Continuation of projects started in 2005 LVL 30,000
  • New bilateral and trilateral cooperation projects LVL 90,000

- support for development studies and communication activities LVL 20,000, which include:

  • involving the media LVL 3,500
  • informative events LVL 3,000
  • informative material LVL 1,500
  • including NGOs in the international network LVL 880
  • presentations at schools LVL 2,120
  • support for lecturers' work and providing teaching aids LVL 5,000
  • support for volunteer student activities LVL 4,000 

6. Responsibility

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is responsible for implementation of the Plan 2006.

7. Reporting procedure

Pursuant to Paragraph 3.3 of the CM Order No. 107 of 19.02.2003 "On Basic Guidelines for the Development Cooperation Policy of the Republic of Latvia" the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is to submit to the CM by April 1, 2007 an informative report on the implementation of the Plan 2006.

 


[1] Latvia's participation in the EU development policy -  representation of Latvia's priorities and interests in the Council working groups and committees is presently being organised according to specific legislative documents.

[2] Council of European Union's External Relations Council conclusions of 24.05.2005 stipulate the objective  to increase funding for development cooperation, with the  collective EU target of 0.56% of GNI by 2010, ensuring that each EU member state reaches at least 0.51% of its GNI, taking into account that countries which have become member states after 2002, Latvia among them, reach at least 0.17% of their GNI.