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Monday, 26 August 2013 08:28

Theme 14a: Good Governance Frameworks – Disclosure and Access to Information

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Implement Agency:  Project Coordination Office, Ministry of Interior

Good Governance Framework Workshop to Enhance Understanding of Element 3 – Disclosure and Access to Information

CONCEPT NOTE

Introduction

Transparency and access to information are two key contributors to Demand for Good Governance (DFGG) and Social Accountability (SA). The RGC has the following objectives with its commitment to transparency and access to information:

1. Reduce corruption, cronyism and inefficiencies in the public administration.

2. Reduce mistrust, rumor, and ignorance regarding public issues, particularly in the rural areas, where access to public information is often limited to ‘word of mouth’.

3. Avoid tension and potential conflict caused by inadequate or inaccurate information.

4. Build a stable, functioning democracy and a vibrant, informed, and tolerant citizenry.

Over the last 5 years the World Bank and Asian Development Bank have introduced “Good Governance Frameworks” as a means to manage and monitor project governance but these action plans have only been partially implemented to date by most implementing agencies. One consistent finding of the various reviews of these GGFs has been the need for more awareness building and training in the role of GGFs in project management and their use as a tool to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of project funds. This is particularly relevant in relation to the demand side or social accountability elements (disclosure, role of civil society and complaints handing mechanisms) of the GGF which have lagged due to less understanding and capacity for implementation.

In June 2010, the MEF, World Bank and ADB supported a pilot workshop to enhance understanding of project complaints handling. Over 2 days, this workshop brought together management, technical, procurement and FM staff from around 20 government implementing agencies. It set out, in relation to the complaints handling element of the GGF, the principles, best practices and mechanisms for developing a CHM, and raised the level of awareness among those who attended as to the relevance of this demand-side dimension of good governance to their project.

Given the mandate of the Demand for Good Governance (DFGG) project, and the reallocation of a substantial amount of funds to establish an enhanced Learning Program, it has been proposed that the DFGG project, in conjunction with the MEF (which is responsible for compliance with the GGF), now organize a number of similar learning sessions for Implementing Agencies on the more challenging elements of the GGF. It is proposed that the first workshop focus on Element 3: Disclosure.

An integral part of each GGF is concerned with a Project’s responsibility related to disclosure, conflict of interest, transparency, access to information and public awareness – all GGFs include a requirement for projects to disclose a range of information on a regular basis. This includes all project documentation, project management documents, procurement (bids and results) and FM documents (audits and IFRs) as well as Technical reports as they are completed. Element 3 also requires staff to disclose any conflict of interest in their undertaking their role or any activity in the project.

To date, there has been a mixed response to this element of the GGF, with varying levels of disclosure. Some IAs have established websites and put in place communications efforts which they use to regularly provide access to all project information. Other IAs have found this element more of a challenge and will benefit from learning about the principles and practices of disclosure.

Expected outcomes and outputs

The purpose of this inter-ministerial workshop is to provide a forum for learning about the principles and practices of disclosure for the Implementing Agencies of World Bank and ADB? projects. The outcome of the workshop will be better understanding and ability of Ministries and Project Offices to implement the Disclosure and Access to Information element of the GGF. Workshop participants will be trained to understand the meaning, implication and implementation of the GGF element related to disclosure, conflict of interest, transparency, access to information and public awareness, and be armed with the knowledge to improve their IAs implementation of this element.

Scope

The contents of the workshop will be further developed in consultation with the MEF, World Bank and ADB officers responsible for the implementation of the GGF.At this time it is envisaged that the workshop will focus on: (i) the principles of disclosure, (ii) the emerging practices of disclosure, and (iii) the implementation of the disclosure requirements of the GGF.

The following outline (similar to that for the CHM workshop) is proposed as a basis for discussion:

A. Introductory sessions

1. Introduction by high level officials from MEF and MOI

2. Short session providing background and function of the GGF by MEF staff

B. The context of Disclosure worldwide

3. The principles of disclosure (why disclose? How has disclosure changed development and governance)

4. International Best Practice to provide the setting for disclosure (e.g. EITI, COST, corporate policies, the World Bank Access to information policy, )

C. The Disclosure element of the GGF

5. The scope and content of the GGF element 3 on disclosure

6. Best practice in Cambodia (2-3 selected IAs present the scope and processes they have followed in the implementation of the requirements of the GGF, including their websites and project information materials, allocation of responsibilities within project teams, costs etc.)

7. Smaller working group sessions to discuss how each IA will take their implementation to the next level. (this could be by Ministry or by project)

8. Plenary wrap up

9. Closing session by MOI or MEF senior official.

D. Follow up sessions planned with individual IA teams

Target Audience

The participants in the GGF workshop on Disclosure and Access to Information will be the project directors, managers and team members responsible for GGF implementation and in particular disclosure, from all Implementing Agencies, and other interested development partners.

The total number of participants will be around 80-100. The workshop will be designed with multiple facilitators and structured small group work to ensure all participants will be able to actively participate.

Resources

The budget for this workshop is of $50,000. PCO will engage a designer/facilitator, provide all logistics support, and conduct an evaluation of the workshop. PCO will coordinate closely with the MEF, WB and ADB to ensure a collaborative effort.

Timing and Location

The training will be organized in February 2012. The exact date will be determined in consultation with MEF, WB and ADB. It is currently proposed that the workshop be conducted in 1 day (with follow ups for selected IAs) in Phnom-Penh, at a venue to be decided.

 

 

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