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Governance and Public Administration Reform Programme

Summary of GPAR Program & Update of activities undertaken to date


GPAR Overview

Since 1997 Lao PDR has invested in a comprehensive reform program for better governance. The program aims to build a state administration capable of managing the development goals of the country; that is, to navigate Lao PDR out of the ranks of the least developed countries by the year 2020.

There have been many important achievements to date, building a culture of learning and continuous improvement. An integrated approach is being taken to 6 main components of governance reform:
GPAR Staff

  • Central Government reforms
  • Local Administration reforms
  • Role of Government reforms
  • Personnel Management reforms
  • Financial Management reforms
  • Public Sector Legal reforms

GPAR I (September 1997 - December 2000)

Objectives

  • Assist the Government and the Party in their efforts to cautiously upgrade the capacity of the Lao public administration and implement far reaching reforms to improve governance in Lao PDR;
  • Provide direct capacity building assistance to DPA and PMO;
  • Help the Government, in particular the DPA, prepare policy option papers and provide drafts for proposed new legislation and regulations in the area of Public Administration reform;
  • Assist with resource mobilisation.

Achievements

  • provided considerable support to the development of a conceptual framework for governance and public administration reform
  • developed Towards Better Governance policy paper which outlined the key policy directions for the Government
  • The evaluation of Phase I pointed to some key areas of emphasis for Phase II.
  • The first phase has successfully positioned the overall program for subsequent decision-making and implementation. The evaluation's major recommendation was that the momentum should be maintained, and that the follow-on project should:

0 expand upon key activities addressed in the first phase (e.g. capacity building at the central and local levels, civil service reforms, strategic management, priority institutional reforms, research and development, pilot initiatives, among other areas); and
0
Strengthen the institutional arrangements so that they could focus more directly on implementation activities.

  • The evaluation pointed out that the task of governance reform is long-term and that active implementation of revised policy and procedures can only effectively take place where the environment is supportive of such reform.
  • The evaluation also noted that the GPAR program as a whole and the GPAR I project in particular had benefited from a high degree of national ownership.
  • Held a wide range of workshops/training sessions across the country on issues such as Reducing Red Tape, Job description writing, performance management, HRM , creating a level of awareness of issues such as these, and preparing the way for further activity in Phase II of the project.

 

GPAR II (January 2001 - September 2006)

Objective: In the broad context of governance and public administration reform in Lao PDR, the longer term development goal of GPAR II project is to assist the government in the design and implementation of identified reforms that respond to priority issues related to the improvement of its system for governance and public administration . These priority reforms are directed to poverty reduction and to optimizing the delivery of services to the public.

The key objectives of the GPAR Central project are:

  1. Support the Strategic Management of the GPAR Program

  2. Support Capacity Development of the Cabinet of the Prime Minister's Office

  3. Support Priority Civil Service Reforms

  4. Support Implementation of the Decentralization Policy

  5. Support Targeted Central and Local Administrative Improvements

  6. Support Priority GPAR-related training

Key achievements during this period have been:

Support to the development of the Governance Policy paper;

Obtained additional financial support from SDC to ensure the extension of Phase II till September 2006,

Support to the development and implementation of the:

  • Civil Service Decree,
  • Law on Local Administration,
  • Law on Government
  • Decree on PACSA.

This also includes the translation of these laws into English

Review of the Decentralisation Decree (including drafting a revised Decree)

Design of a national civil service database to ensure that all civil servants' details are accurately recorded and maintained which will provide managers with up-to-date information and allow payroll records and social security records to be updated on a monthly basis

Establishment of a Governance Coordination Committee including:

  • Minister /Vice Minister from Prime Minister's Office (Chair)
  • Ministry of Finance
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Dept of International Cooperation)
  • National Assembly
  • Ministry of Justice
  • Committee for Planning and Investment
  • NOSPA
  • CCOP
  • Provincial representation

The main role of this Committee will be to ensure effective implementation of Governance policy initiatives

Design of a website for PACSA

Preparations for the follow-up meeting of the Governance RTM

Preparations for the development of a Human Resource Management Framework for the Civil Service

Strategy for the development of a training curriculum for organisation and personnel staff

Support to the development of pilot projects in:

  • Luang Prabang – the GPAR Luang Prabang project commenced in January 2002 and has focussed on capacity assessment and development in key pilot offices.

Key achievements of the project have included:

  • Job description implementation
  • Village Management Training
  • Implementation of the National Accounting System

This project is currently being evaluated and it is planned to start a second phase of this project in 2005. This project is funded by Sida and UNDP.

  • GPAR UNV – located in Luang Prabang Province , GPAR UNV works very closely with the GPAR LP project. Having started in 2003, key activities include:
    • Pilot restructuring of district offices
    • Working with the provincial Department of Planning and Cooperation to develop capacity at provincial and district level, and provide support to ongoing work at the village level
  • Saravane – DPACS/GPAR have supported the preparatory and project formulation missions which have resulted in a project document being accepted by the Provincial administration. This project is expected commence later in 2004. A key objective of this project is to strengthen local development planning and to support these plans with access to funds (based on criteria set by UNCDF). A key outcome of this project will be to strengthen the local financial management systems. This project will be funded by UNDP and UNCDF. DPACS and GPAR have provided induction training to key officials from Saravane to help them prepare for the implementation of their project.
  • Xieng Khouang – Initial missions have been undertaken in Xieng Khouang to identify key needs of the province. A project formulation mission is planned for August/September to prepare a project document. SDC have expressed interest in supporting this project. DPACS and GPAR have provided support to senior officials from Xieng Khouang to undertake a study tour to Luang Prabang to better understand how to set up a project.
  • Khammouane – Initial missions are planned for early August. A project formulation mission (undertaken jointly by the UNDP and the World Bank) will be conducted later in 2004.

Support to the development of GPAR activities in non-pilot provinces in:

  • Xayaboury
  • Savannakhet
  • Champassack

These provinces will provide details of areas of support that they will request from DPACS and GPAR.

Functional analysis and capacity assessment in Pak Ou District (Luang Prabang province) to support the pilot restructuring

Support for participation of senior officials in international conferences, training programs and study tours:

  • Study tour in Belgium and France
  • Participation in EROPA Conferences
  • Study tour to Vietnam to review the PAR Master Programme and One-Stop Shops
  • Participation in an e-government conference in Beijing
  • Participation in financial management course in Cambodia
  • Delivery of workshop in Luang Prabang for SE Asia Conflict Studies Network
  • Establishment of a Governance Change Management Team (key Ministries and provinces) to enable stronger understanding of GPAR activities and to identify opportunities to strengthen implementation of these activities at Ministry and Province levels

Training for GCMT members in Change Management and Project Management by Khon Kaen University

Last Updated on Friday, 26 February 2010 09:58
 

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