Development Cooperation Policy Programme of the Republic of Latvia 2006 - 2010

19.06.2015. 11:04

 

Development Cooperation Policy Programme of the Republic of Latvia

2006 - 2010

(Word document format)

 

Table of contents

Summary

Abbreviations and terminology used

1. Introduction

2. Compliance with government and Ministry-supported policy documents

3. Programme objectives, sub-objectives, directions for action, results and performance indicators

4. Main tasks and associated results

5. Planning of timescales to implement tasks

6. Planning of allocated and additional financing in compliance with tasks

7. Institutions responsible for task implementation

8. Procedure for submission and assessment of reports

Summary

The Development Cooperation Policy Programme of the Republic of Latvia 2006-2010 (hereinafter – Programme) has been prepared taking into account Latvia's growing role in the resolution of global problems, and is in accordance with the foreign policy guidelines of the Republic of Latvia (hereinafter – LR) as of the year 2005 forward and "The Basic Principles for the Development Cooperation Policy of the Republic of Latvia".

The need for this Programme and its goals have been pre-determined, firstly, by the international obligations binding upon LR following its accession to the European Union (EU) and secondly, by the opportunities for strengthening Latvia's international role as a new donor country, through fostering a more active foreign policy in terms of both bilateral activities and multilateral relations.

Special emphasis in the Programme has been laid on activities involving society, by increasing public knowledge of development cooperation, and by ensuring public involvement in defining the priority areas and directions for action.

The Programme defines the objectives, policy and performance results, main focus task areas, timescales for implementation of set tasks, institutions responsible for implementing set tasks, and reporting procedures.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is responsible for forming the development cooperation policy and for coordination of the Programme. Individual tasks require the involvement of other governmental institutions as well.

Essential to the implementation of the Policy document is regular and gradually increasing state-budgeted funding for those activities falling outside the category of Latvia's membership fees in international organizations and payments into the EU budget/European Development Fund. Fund-increasing models for development cooperation have been defined in the draft document, "Conception for Increasing State Budget Financing for Implementation of the Development Cooperation Policy of the Republic of Latvia 2006-2010 (adopted by the Cabinet of Ministers, Order No.76 of 09.02.2006). Based on this document, the most appropriate model for increasing financing for development cooperation is to be approved by a LR Cabinet of Ministers Order.

Abbreviations and terminology used

CIS – Commonwealth of Independent States

NATO – North Atlantic Treaty Organization

UN – United Nations Organization

EDF – European Development Fund

EU – European Union

LR – Republic of Latvia

CM – Cabinet of Ministers

NGO – Non-governmental organization

GNP – Gross National Product

OECD DAC – Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Development Assistance Committee

Development cooperation (cooperation in the development area) – provision of various types of assistance to poor and less-developed countries to foster their long-term social and economic development.

Development (cooperation) assistance and its recipient countries – as defined in OECD DAC statistical reports.

Official assistance and its recipient countries – as defined in OECD DAC statistical reports.

Consultative Council in Development Cooperation – A Council established following the Minister of Foreign Affairs Order No. 418 of 24 November 2005 "On the Membership of the Consultative Council on Development Cooperation Policy Issues".

Bilateral assistance – A development cooperation project in a development cooperation recipient country, either fully or partially financed by the Republic of Latvia.

Trilateral assistance – A development cooperation project in a development cooperation recipient country, that, in addition to being financed by the Latvian government, is also financed by another donor country or international organization, or where the Latvian government is participating by way of co-financing.

Grant programme – planned state support to NGOs, businessmen and public persons abroad. The grant programme is implemented by means of regular project tenders during which the compliance of the proposed projects, and their impact on the defined development cooperation policy targets, is assessed, and a decision made to either approve or refuse the grant.

Grant – a non-commercial type of direct payment to the recipient of the grant ("Project Executor") to ensure implementation of the project allowing for achievement of the set development cooperation policy targets.

Technical assistance – according to the OECD DAC definition – the transfer of knowledge (expertise) by way of staff, training, research work and associated costs.

Project – any type of non-commercial activity undertaken in a development cooperation recipient country, usually having strict time limitations, clearly defined executors, recipients, responsible persons, and predictable results.

Programme – a broader range of activities than a project, often comprising several individual projects with common objectives.

1. Introduction

Having achieved its hitherto most important foreign policy objectives, Latvia is now defining further foreign policy directions arising from its new role and obligations under both domestic policy and in relation to international society.

Fostering of economic welfare and strengthening of national security will remain among the leading priorities of Latvia's foreign policy. Facilitation of democratic reforms and economic development in neighboring countries, poverty reduction, as well as world development in general, particularly in its poorest regions, are significant in terms of strengthening economic welfare and national security in this century of globalization. Such processes taking place in nearby regions directly impact the situation in Latvia, which is why they have been set as a priority in Cabinet of Ministers Order No. 107 of 19 February 2003 on "The Basic Principles for the Development Cooperation Policy of the Republic of Latvia" (hereinafter – Development Cooperation Principles).

Latvia's current status and its future objectives point to Latvia's growing role in the resolution of global problems. The Programme has been drawn up having regard to Latvia's growing role at the international level, and complies with the major foreign policies and the Development Cooperation Principles of the Republic of Latvia.

The basic principles for development cooperation are poverty reduction, effectiveness of the aid extended, needs of the recipient countries, co-liability of the recipient and donor countries in utilizing the aid, and coordination of development cooperation policy with other donor countries. The basic development cooperation principles are based on universal values, which have been defined in the United Nations (the UN) Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Millennium Declaration. With Latvia cooperating with other countries, the goals set by the UN Millennium Declaration are considered to be the basis of Latvia's Development Cooperation Policy.

During the implementation of the Programme, Latvia will strengthen its bilateral development cooperation activities according to the priority cooperation regions[1] and action policies defined by the Principles. As indicated in the statistical reports of the –(OECD DAC) there can also be recipient countries of Official Aid among Latvia's priority countries, so they have not been listed separately in the Programme but are also subject to the Development Cooperation action policies defined by the Programme. In its Annual Plans, the Cabinet of Ministers may give priority to specific countries and specific sectors based on the following criteria:

  • Latvia's national interests;
  • Active presence of Latvian NGOs and/or businessmen in the specific country;
  • The recipient country's cooperation with NATO and the European Union on defense matters;
  • Foreign policy focus, observation of universal democratic values and human rights by the specific country, and the rule of law there;
  • Situation regarding combating and prevention of corruption in the specific country;
  • Presence and areas of involvement of development cooperation programmes of other countries and organizations;
  • Need to strengthen local capacity and readiness to undertake obligations;
  • Sustainability of programmes;
  • Existing contacts, transparency as to utilization of aid by the recipient country;and other criteria.

In defining Latvia's priorities in the area of development cooperation, Latvia, like any other country, will follow the goals set by the UN Millennium Declaration. Latvia joined the UN Millennium Declaration in 2000 together with other countries, and in doing so has undertaken the relevant obligations. The UN Millennium Development Goals are: to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; achieve universal primary education; promote gender equality and empower women; reduce child mortality; improve maternal health; combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases; ensure environmental sustainability; and develop a global partnership for development.

Latvia's priority for participation in the EU policy will be the development of a coordinated EU Development Cooperation Policy in accordance with set international objectives (including EDF activities). Latvia as EU member state will ensure the coordination, complementarity and coherence[2] of its development cooperation policy with the development cooperation policies of the EU and other EU member states. Latvia will offer its experience in implementing reforms to help implement, through utilizing EU initiatives, political and economic reforms in regions where it is needed.

To achieve the defined targets, during the implementation of the Programme, Latvia will strengthen participation in multilateral development cooperation initiatives. One of the most important tasks in this respect is introduction of an appropriate coordination mechanism between the relevant institutions in Latvia. Equally important is establishment of a coordination mechanism between Latvia and international organizations and other cooperation partners.

To develop an efficient development cooperation system, during implementation of the Programme, Latvia will foster the involvement of NGOs and businessmen in defining Latvia's development cooperation policies and implementing associated activities. Likewise, Latvia will enhance the ability of the public authorities, NGOs and businessmen to fully participate in the development and implementation of the international development cooperation programmes and projects.

 

2. Compliance with government and Ministry-supported policy documents

The Programme has been developed in accordance with the LR foreign policy guidelines as of the year 2005 forward and the Development Cooperation Principles. Pursuant to the Development Cooperation Principles, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has the task of drawing up annual development cooperation policy plans. The first such plan (for the year 2005) was approved by Cabinet of Ministers Order No. 594 of 31 August 2004 "On the Development Cooperation Policy Plan 2005". On 30 November 2005, following the Cabinet of Ministers Order No. 771 "On the Development Cooperation Policy Plan 2006" the plan for the year 2006 was approved.

The Programme is intersectoral in issues related to the fulfillment of international obligations and fostering development cooperation related foreign policy activities, as it entrusts governmental institutions with the task of regularly report on state-budgeted development cooperation activities. It also embraces a wide range of issues related to Latvia's activities in international organizations, and issues that fall within the competence of various state administration institutions. In addition, during implementation of the Programme, considerable attention will be focused on increasing the financing for development cooperation.

The Programme complies with the Draft Guidelines and State Programme "Strengthening of Civil Society. 2005-2009" (approved by Cabinet of Ministers Order No. 141 of 4 March 2005) and the Government Communications Policy Guidelines (approved by Cabinet of Ministers Protocol No. 59, 17§ of 4 December 2001). The Programme refers to Articles 2.15, 2.19 and 2.32 of the Declaration on the Intended Activities of the Cabinet of Ministers.

3. Programme objectives, sub-objectives, directions for action, results and performance indicators

Programme Objective

To strengthen Latvia's international role as a new donor country, ensuring wide involvement by governmental institutions and the public in defining policy priorities and implementing set targets.

Sub-objective 1: Introduction of a mechanism for provision of planned bilateral/trilateral assistance, thus facilitating Latvia's foreign policy activities related to development cooperation issues

Introduction of an internationally recognized practice in the planning and administration of aid programmes in compliance with national legislation; coordination with activities undertaken by other donor countries.

Directions for action for the introduction of assistance provision mechanisms

Bilateral assistance provision policy results

Performance indicators

1.1. Introduce mechanisms for provision of planned bilateral/trilateral assistance

1.2. Strengthen Latvia's role in the international aid structure

  • More active multilateral relations policy in issues related to developing countries and transition economy countries
  • More active foreign policy in bilateral relations and a dialogue with developing countries and transition economy countries
  • Latvia's expertise and comparative advantages identified – Latvia's role in the international aid structure
  • Latvia s foreign aid is coordinated with the help of other donor countries to achieve maximum effectiveness
  • Practice is established in accordance with the principles of good governance
  • The public and organizations are more involved in civil society activities and defining of state policy
  • NGOs and private sector representatives are given the opportunity to participate in the implementation of development cooperation projects
  • Individual experts and public authorities are given the opportunity to participate in the implementation of development cooperation projects
  • Higher public support to the state-financed development cooperation programme
  • Increase in the number of NGOs and private sector representatives involved in the implementation of development cooperation projects
  • Increase in the number of individual experts involved in the implementation of development cooperation projects
  • Aid provided by Latvia becomes more effective
  • Aid provided by Latvia meets the needs of the recipient country

Sub-objective 2: Foster public support of the development cooperation targets and policy

Foster public support to the priorities of the state development cooperation policy

Directions for action to foster public support

Results of public involvement policy

Performance indicators

2.1. Promote public understanding of development cooperation

2.2. Ensure public involvement in identifying priority areas and directions

  • The public understands the development cooperation policy targets
  • The public is more involved in civil society activities
  • The public sees the benefits and results of the state-financed development cooperation policy
  • Higher public support for providing development cooperation assistance
  • The role of the Consultative Council and the role of the exchange of opinions and wide-ranging discussions has increased in identifying state priorities
  • Increase in the number of persons involved in public organizations and in implementation of development cooperation projects
  • Increase in the number of NGOs and private sector representatives who participate in the implementation of development cooperation projects

Sub-objective 3: Increase in Latvia's role as a new donor country and international obligations with respect to development cooperation

Fulfillment of international obligations and fostering of Latvia's foreign policy activities on development cooperation issues

Directions for action

Donor country's policy results

Performance indicators

3.1. Increase the amount of financing targeted at development cooperation 3.2. Strengthen Latvia's role in the international aid structure

  • Latvia fulfils the international political obligations of a donor country to increase financing for development cooperation
  • Development cooperation strengthens its role as an integral part of Latvia's foreign policy
  • Latvia acquires instruments and mechanisms for the protection and fostering of its interests in the foreign policy
  • Latvia strengthens its status as a country (donor country) with successful reform experience
  • Effectiveness of aid provided by Latvia has increased
  • Total financing for development cooperation reaches the average level of the new EU member states
  • Growth of the part of the total financing that does not fall under the category of Latvia's membership fees in international organizations and payments into the EU budget/EDF; growth of the bilateral/trilateral assistance budget
  • Growth in the number of bilateral/trilateral assistance programmes (compared to the number of projects)
  • Introduction of long-term obligations for financing of development cooperation programmes and projects
  • Regular assessment activities are undertaken for the programmes and projects financed

4. Main tasks and associated results

No.

Main tasks ensuring the achievement of results defined by the programme

Action

Action results

Performance indicators

I Introduction of an internationally recognized practice in the planning and administration of aid programmes in compliance with national legislation; coordination with activities undertaken by other donor countries

1.1. Action: To introduce mechanisms of planned bilateral/trilateral cooperation

1.1.1.

To set up a functioning administrative capacity within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and constantly upgrade it to ensure management of bilateral/trilateral cooperation programmes.

Responsible institution – Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The first direction for action shall be set according to the Development Cooperation Policy Plan 2005, the others – on a regular.

  • Establishment of administrative procedures in conformity with accepted international practice
  • Regular consultations with the involved parties regarding required amendments to existing procedures
  • Regular provision of public information
  • Involvement in trilateral projects (to gain experience and adopt the practices of other countries)

Practice is established complying with the principles of good governance, thus fostering involvement of civil society in forming state policy

The number of state-financed cooperation projects including trilateral cooperation projects, will increase. These will be selected and drawn up in accordance with the planned policy priorities and specific procedures approved by the Cabinet of Ministers also.

1.1.2.

Administration of state financial support for implementation of bilateral/trilateral projects. Responsible institution – Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on a regular basis.

  • Drawing up of grant programmes
  • Drawing up of technical assistance programmes

NGOs and private sector representatives, as well as individual experts have the opportunity to participate in state-financed development cooperation projects

Latvia's NGOs, private sector representatives and individual experts will gain experience necessary for qualifying for other internationally-financed development cooperation projects

1.2. Direction for action: Strengthen Latvia's role in the international aid structure

1.2.1.

Coordination of aid extended with the recipient country, other donor countries; involvement in trilateral projects.

Responsible institution – Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on a regular basis.

  • Evaluating grant project applications and technical assistance project proposals to assess involvement of other donor countries and that of the recipient country, its interests and development needs
  • Involvement in trilateral projects in order to coordinate the aid extended
  • Latvia's expertise and comparative advantages identified
  • Latvia-financed aid is coordinated with aid financed by other donor countries
  • Aid provided by Latvia- becomes more effective and meets development needs of the recipient country
  • Aid provided by Latvia does not overlap with aid extended by other donor countries
  • Aid provided by Latvia has a permanent and positive impact on the development of the recipient country

1.2.2.

Research, positions and assessment on the problems of the recipient countries and Latvia's place and role in the international aid structure.

Responsible institution – Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on a regular basis.

  • Conduct regular research on priority countries
  • Conduct post-project/programme assessment study
  • Latvia's expertise and comparative advantages identified
  • Latvia-financed aid is coordinated with the aid extended by other donor countries
  • Aid provided by Latvia becomes more effective and meets the development needs of the recipient country

Latvia's comparative advantages are defined taking into account the assessment of effectiveness, on the basis of which development cooperation policy priorities are defined

II Foster public support for development cooperation policy priorities

2.1. Direction for action: Foster public understanding of development cooperation

2.1.1.

Informative campaigns on the targets and priorities of international development cooperation.

Responsible institution – Ministry of Foreign Affairs; other governmental institutions are involved in the cooperation with international organizations

  • Cooperation with NGOs and businessmen, explaining the targets and directions of development cooperation
  • Cooperation with other donor countries/international organizations, explaining the targets and directions of development cooperation
  • Public understanding of general targets and directions of development cooperation is fostered
  • Increased public support of Latvia's development cooperation activities

Public understanding of the targets and priorities of development cooperation is increased

2.1.2.

Informative campaigns on the activities undertaken by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs/government in the area of development cooperation.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs in charge of the Communications Strategy – on a regular basis; other governmental institutions shall regularly inform the public about their development cooperation activities financed from resources other than Ministry of Foreign Affairs budget

  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs implements the Communications Strategy for Development Cooperation
  • The ministries and other governmental institutions inform society about development cooperation activities undertaken
  • Enhanced public understanding of the development cooperation priorities of Latvia's government
  • The public is informed of the use of state budget for development cooperation purposes
  • The public is informed of opportunities for participation in government-supported development cooperation activities

Increase in the number of individual experts, NGOs and businessmen involved in development cooperation activities

2.2. Direction for action: Ensure public involvement in defining priority areas and directions

2.2.1.

Promote dialogue with society concerning Latvia's involvement in, and possible contribution to, fulfilling development cooperation targets.

Responsible institution – Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on a regular basis; all governmental institutions are involved.

Cooperation with NGOs and businessmen, thus fostering dialogue with society

  • Increased public understanding of Latvia's priorities regarding development cooperation
  • Public opinion formed on Latvia's role and place in fulfilling development cooperation targets

Increased public support for Latvia's contribution to development cooperation

III Fulfilling of international obligations and fostering of Latvia's foreign policy activities on development cooperation

3.1. Direction for action: Increase the amount of financing for development cooperation

3.1.1.

Progressively increase the financing for development cooperation to the average level of the new EU member states.

Responsible institution – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Progressively (each year) increase the development cooperation financing for bilateral/trilateral projects and programmes

  • Latvia abides by international obligations of donor countries regarding increase of financing
  • Development cooperation strengthens its role as part of foreign policy
  • Financing for bilateral/trilateral activities is set for several years forward and thus programming can be performed for multi - annual projects/programmes
  • Programming and project tenders can be organized in time, prior to the commencement of the next financial year
  • Latvia's total financing for development cooperation reaches the average level of the new EU member states

3.1.2.

To ensure regular assessment of state-supported bilateral/ trilateral projects and programmes.

Responsible institution – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Regular activities for assessing major financed programmes and projects

  • Effectiveness and impact of Latvia-financed projects and programmes is assessed
  • Assessment provides the basis for planning of further activities
  • Effectiveness of aid provided by Latvia is increased

A system is established for assessment by independent assessors of results and impact of the major programmes and projects supported by the respective country, as well as individual project groups in a specific sector. The results obtained are taken into account when planning further assistance

3.1.3.

Improve gathering of statistical data regarding development cooperation activities supported in a decentralized manner by state institutions.

All governmental institutions, regularly twice a year

  • By 31 January and 31 July every year, all governmental institutions shall advise the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the state budget-supported projects implemented during the previous six months in relation to the development cooperation countries (as defined by the OECD DAC statistical reports)
  • Similarly – advise payments to international organizations that qualify as financing of development cooperation as defined by the OECD DAC statistical reports

By preparing information for international organizations of aid provided by Latvia annually, the amount of such assistance is assessed more accurately

The amount of aid provided by Latvia financed from the state budget, but not specifically budgeted for, is determined more accurately

3.2. Direction for action: Strengthen Latvia's role in the international aid structure

3.2.1.

Ensure Latvia's contribution to achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

Responsible institution – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

  • Increase the part of total financing that does not falling under within the category of Latvia's membership fees in international organizations and payments into the EU budget/EDF
  • Increase the volume of bilateral/trilateral assistance
  • Latvia acquires instruments and mechanisms for the establishment of bilateral relations with developing countries and transition economy countries
  • Development cooperation strengthens its role as part of foreign policy
  • Increase in the part of total financing falling outside the category of Latvia's membership fees in international organizations and payments into the EU budget/EDF
  • Increase in financing for bilateral/trilateral assistance

3.2.2.

Strengthen development cooperation policy as an important mechanism for achievement of foreign policy targets;

Establish a development dimension in bilateral relations with developing countries and transition economy countries, and for operating in international organizations.

Responsible institution – Ministry of Foreign Affairs; all governmental institutions are involved, on a regular basis

  • Participation in forming the EU development cooperation policy
  • Participation in forming the development cooperation policy of international organizations
  • Forming development cooperation policy in Latvia's bilateral relations
  • Latvia strengthens its status of a country (donor country) with a successful reform experience
  • Latvia acquires efficient tools and mechanisms for establishment of bilateral relations with developing countries and transition economy countries
  • Latvia's active participation in forming the EU development cooperation policy and in the work of international organizations is ensured
  • The development cooperation targets are taken into account when establishing bilateral relations with developing countries and transition economy countries


5. Planning of timescales to implement tasks

Pursuant to Cabinet of Ministers Order No. 107 of 19 February 2003 (amended by Order No. 339 of 28 May 2003 and Order No. 691 of 29 October 2003) "On the Basic Principles for the Development Cooperation Policy of the Republic of Latvia", each year the Ministry of Foreign Affairs prepares and submits for approval by the Cabinet of Ministers the annual plan of development cooperation activities. Following the reporting year end, by 1 April of the following year, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs prepares and submits for review by the Cabinet of Ministers a report on the implementation and results of the previous year's plan.

In accordance with Clause 1.1.1 of Section 4 of the Programme and according to the Development Cooperation Policy Plan 2005 and timescales provided therein, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall commence the planning and provision of grant programmes and technical assistance. For this purpose, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall establish an appropriate administrative structure, develop and approve the guidelines of the grant programme and project tender, and organize the tender. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall arrange for project assessment, and subsequent supervision of the approved projects. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall regularly consult with the governments of the countries listed as priority states concerning their interest in receiving Latvia's technical assistance, to determine the areas where the aid is required. To this end, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall organize and finance feasibility studies, as well as technical assistance projects. Similarly, the other activities listed under Clause 1.1.1. shall also be undertaken on a regular basis.

The remaining tasks under the Programme are to be undertaken as shown in the table in Section 4

6. Planning of allocated and additional financing in compliance with the tasks

It is important for Latvia to demonstrate its political commitment by progressively increasing the total financing for development cooperation during the time of implementation of the Programme. The financing increase models of development cooperation have been defined by the "Conception for Increasing State Budget Financing for Implementation of the Development Cooperation Policy of the Republic of Latvia 2006-2010 (adopted by the Cabinet of Ministers, Order No.76 of 09.02.2006). Based on this document the most appropriate development cooperation financing increase model is approved by way of a Cabinet of Ministers Order.

7. Institutions responsible for implementation of tasks

Pursuant to Cabinet of Ministers Order No. 107 of 19 February 2003 "On the "Basic Principles for the Development Cooperation Policy of the Republic of Latvia", the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is responsible for implementing the Principles for the Development Cooperation Policy of the Republic of Latvia. In addition, development cooperation activities shall also be undertaken by other governmental institutions, using their budget resources as stipulated in Section 4.

8. Procedure for submission and assessment of reports

By 15 June 2008, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall submit to the Cabinet of Ministers an Interim Report as to the implementation and assessment of the Programme, and by 31 December 2011 - the Final Report.


[1] Pursuant to the Development Cooperation Principles approved in 2003, the CIS and the Balkan countries are regarded as priority regions.

[2] Basic principles of the EU development co-operation policy mechanism are coordination, complementarity and coherence.