Ten state sectors in Vientiane and the provinces have received funding under the Governance and Public Administration Reform (GPAR) Fund for 2011, with the aim of improving public administration and services.
With total funding of more than 616 million kip, GPAR projects in 2011 will be implemented within a six-month period to further strengthen good governance in various ministries and provinces.
The Public Administration and Civil Service Authority (PACSA) yesterday held a signing ceremony in Vientiane to launch the GPAR fund for three sectors in Vientiane and seven sectors in the provinces.
The three Vientiane sectors are the Ministry of Planning and Investment, the Prosecutor's Office and the National University of Laos. Projects will run in the provinces of Phongsaly, Luang Namtha, Huaphan, Xieng Khuang, Oudomxay, Xekong and Champassak.
Civil Service Management Department Director General and GPAR Project Manager Mr Nisith Keopanya signed the agreement with representatives from the 10 sectors that won GPAR funding, witnessed by PACSA Vice Chairperson Mr Khammoune Viphongxay and UNDP Deputy Resident Representative Mr Dirk Wagener.
Most of the projects are related to enhancing capacity of officials, improvement of office management, job description and personnel performance evaluation. The objective is to improve working methods to ensure transparent administration and better delivery of state services to the public, to speed up Laos' regional and global integration.
Mr Khammoune said 300 expressions of interest were received this year which were reviewed by the technical support team and 18 were shortlisted. After detailed consultations, the GPAR Fund Management Committee approved the 10 most competitive proposals.
Mr Wagener said despite the small grant programme, the GPAR fund has responded to the needs of government sectors to provide better service delivery and improve governance in Laos.
“The GPAR fund is a well designed initiative to support wide implementation of innovative governance practices under the leadership of the government,” he said.
“We recognise that mainstreaming of reforms and good practices by different government offices cannot wait until large programmes or projects like the GPAR or others come forward.”
“Many offices are interested in piloting related reform ideas as soon as possible. If their innovative ideas and practices are supported and piloted, the successful experiences contribute significantly to the national effort to improve governance and make a major impact,” Mr Wagener said.
The GPAR fund started in 2009, supporting nine projects in Vientiane and the provinces with a total value of almost 1.04 billion kip. In 2010 the fund supported 13 projects with a total value of 1.035 billion kip.
The GPAR fund is a contribution of the donor community in support of the mainstreaming of better governance practices and bringing solutions to development challenges at national and provincial levels.
Officials said the success of projects operated with GPAR funding can help attract more funding from development partners to improve state services delivery in Laos.