ERD UNVEILS ‘JOINT COOPERATION STRATEGY’ FOR 2015-20
Economic Relations Division (ERD) yesterday unveiled a roadmap for the next ‘Joint Cooperation Strategy (JCS)’ which will be signed next year between the Bangladesh government and its Development Partners (DPs) for the period 2015 to 2020. The current JCS which was signed between the government and the DPs back in 2010 for a five Years’ period, is set to expire in 2015. In this context, a new JCS (2015-2020) is going to be formulated by the Economic Relations Division (ERD).
A proposed theme and way forward of the planned JCS was shared with the government high officials and the DPs at the Local Consultative Group (LCG) plenary meeting at the NEC conference room at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar in the capital.
Cabinet Secretary M Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan was present in the meeting as chief guest. ERD Secretary Mohammad Mejbahuddin and UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh Neal Walker co- chaired the meeting.
Briefing reporters Mejbahuddin said the planned JCS will be aligned with the government’s upcoming seventh Five Year Plan to ensure appropriate support from the DPs in implementing the plan.
The next JCS will also focus on achieving the post-2015 development agenda and sustainable development goals while also emphasizing on quality of aid rather than on quantity, he added.
He also said the new JCS will explore the opportunity for a greater role of the private sector in development cooperation while also focusing on other source of development financing including remittances, domestic resources- government representatives and the development partners observed during the meeting.
The meeting also informed that the Aid Information Management System developed by ERD would go for full launching by the end of October. The internationally compliant homegrown aid data base is currently accessible online on a trial basis.
Once operational, anyone will be able to access all sorts of information related to the inflow and disbursement of foreign aid in Bangladesh through visiting the AIMS website. In this way, Bangladesh is set to become one of the few countries in the world to have its own homegrown aid database.
“Having a system like AIMS will allow us to increase aid transparency, strengthen accountability, improve aid coordination and enable more efficient aid management”, Mejbahuddin said.
“This will also help the coordination between the government and the DPs as they will have a single source for all data relating to aid in Bangladesh. This will also enable us to standardise reporting, improve the reliability and make the collected data easily accessible to all”, he added.
Mejbahuddin also said ERD has already sent out a formal request to donors to enter data in AIMS on their ongoing projects. Representatives from World Bank, ADB, EU, Australia, DFID, JICA, South Korea, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, USA, France and the UN system (UNEP, UNHCR, UNDP, IFAD, UN Women and UNFPA has already registered for the system.
Neal Walker said Bangladesh has potentiality to speed up the development and already reached to leading position in voice raising among least developed countries.
“It is really exciting among the global community as Bangladesh could draw attention due to its success in different sectors,” he said.
The planned approach and development strategy of the country’s upcoming seventh Five Year Plan was also shared with the government high officials and Development Partners during the meeting.
The meeting also formally announced the name of Janina Jaruzelski, mission director of USAID in Bangladesh, as the new LCG Plenary co-chair. Neal Walker, the UN resident coordinator in Bangladesh who has headed the LCG Plenary from the Development Partners’ side since June 2012, is leaving Bangladesh as part of his new assignment as the UN Resident Coordinator in Ukraine.
SEPTEMBER 18, 2014