Projects and programmes in the focal and non-focal areas
a. The contribution of projects and programmes in the focal sector
Focal sector EDF 9: Education and Training
Out of the three EDF 9 projects still under implementation, only one is in the focal sector: 9 ACP VA 14 -Vanuatu Tourism and Economic Growth (VTEG). This project was identified as both a follow up to the previous 8 ACP VA 23 / 9 ACP VA 08 Vanuatu Tourism Education and Training Project (VATET) and a pathway to EDF 10 new focal sector: economic growth and job creation. Under VATET, the cost of the construction of the School of Tourism was under estimated and in the end this activity consumed most of funds. As a result some activities in rural tourism development could not be finalised and the school itself was not fully completed. The main objective of 9 ACP VA 14 - VTEG is therefore to allow for full equipment of the school with possibly an extension of some infrastructures, together with a progress in the definition of tourism development plans for Vanuatu destinations other than Efate (Capital Island). Development of some of the activities identified, including training, in outer islands is foreseen as well.
9 ACP VA 14 - VTEG was signed on 18/10/2007 for an implementation time ending 30/06/2011. The project comprises two components implemented respectively through the Vanuatu Institute of Technology (institution of the Ministry of Education) and the National Tourism Development Office (NTDO) under the Ministry of Trade. Each component can implement activities through programme estimates and/or through individual commitments.
So far, disbursement in the project has been slow, and both components have faced difficulties trying todefine on their own their respective programme estimate.
Having identified potential issues related to a slow implementation in both components of the project, a mid-term evaluation was carried out in May 2009. The conclusion of this exercise and the latest developments will most likely lead to request a rider to the FA in order to achieve the objectives initially identified for this project. A ROM monitoring mission has taken place in October 2009.
Other EDF 9 projects in the focal sector contributed positively to the initial objectives. For example, 9 ACP VA 3 – 9 ACP VA 09 EDUTRAIN contributed to the building of several double classrooms throughout the country with a strong involvement of the communities; and therefore a strong appropriation of the results.
Focal sector EDF 10: Support to economic growth and the creation of employment, including human resources development (vocational training and capacity building)
Following the implementation of 8 ACP VA 16 - Producers Organization Project (POP II) co-financed with France, the EC in Vanuatu acquired experience in the agricultural sector and mainly into support to farmers' organization.
Identification of the major intervention under EDF 10 (with a budget of 46% of the NIP) initially focused on support to the two major sectors where growth could originate in Vanuatu: agriculture and tourism. Following an initial multi-sector identification mission (mid-2007) a first PIF was submitted for an amount of 10M€. Around the same period, other donors in Vanuatu expressed their interest in the productive sector and it was then decided to lower the pace to accommodate this shift from a traditional project support to a sector support with newer implementation modalities such as pool-funding and eventually (sector) budget support.
The initial stage of the Primary Sector Growth Support Programme (PSGSP) will be implemented through project-approach. This will allow for a gradual reinforcement of the institutions involved, the development of primary sector policy and strategy, the establishment of a sector budget and of its medium-term perspective, a sector coordination framework as well as a performance monitoring system and a reinforcement of the existing capacities in the institutional setting. The further PSGSP stages will aim at using Budget Support (from the EC and others) as aid delivery method. The amount of the initial commitment is 5.5M€, the balance being earmarked for the same sector, and potentially for a second phase as sector budget support. It is expected that the FA for this project is signed before the end of year 2009.
The process of developing the Action Fiche has shown the need for a stronger leadership from government partners, both at economic analysis and planning level (Department of Strategic Policy Planning and Aid Co-ordination (DSPPAC), under the Office of the Prime Minister) and at line Ministries (Agriculture and Trade at a lesser extent). Initial activities, like SWAP trainings or sector discussions are looking at this higher involvement that will certainly need additional efforts from the NAO and the Delegation after the signature of the Financing Agreement. The EU will continue to coordinate the donor group during 2010.
Closely linked with the EDF 10 focal sector is another planned intervention under the Global Climate Change Alliance funded under ENV Budget Line. Indeed this action should see support for the implementation of the NAPA (National Adaptation Programme for Action) which focuses largely on productive sector issues: food security, disaster preparedness, risk mapping etc…Potential synergies should be explored by the partners in both interventions, the NACCC (National Action Committee on Climate Change) or the DARD (Department of Agriculture and Rural Development).
In order to remediate one of the most common constraints in Vanuatu, namely lack of capacities, both projects have a component of capacity reinforcement which represents between 20 and 25% of the full budget.
Additionally, the EDF 10 GBS programme will include capacity building in statistics (in coordination with AusAID); the PIF for the EDF 10 GBS programme should be finalised before the end of November 2009.
b. The contribution of projects and programmes in the non-focal area
Project aiming at providing support and capacity building to the NAO office, including a Technical cooperation Facility (TCF) have proved very valuable both during the implementation of EDF 9 and for the preparation and implementation of EDF 10 projects. As expressed above, capacity is often a limiting factor, and currently the NAO office is hosted at the Department of Strategic Programming, Planning and Aid Coordination (DSPPAC) (at Prime Minister's Office) whose mandate encompasses general donor coordination as well. The TCF is helping the NAO Office to increase and improve its monitoring functions (including for non-EDF interventions).
Technical Assistance is not limited to the implementation of EDF cooperation and extends as well to support to DSPACC for donor/general Aid coordination.
No major delay or constraint is identified and dialogue with the NAO is cordial.