Toily Kurbanov: Launch of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation Monitoring Round in MyanmarFeb 22, 2016
Permanent Secretary U Tun Tun Naing,
Representatives from the Myanmar civil society organizations,
Representatives from the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw office,
Representatives from the private sector,
Representatives from the international non-governmental organizations,
My fellow developments partners, and
On behalf of the Development Partners Group, I would like to congratulate the Government of Myanmar for its decision to join the Monitoring Round of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation.
The essence of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation is the partnership to bring better lives for Myanmar. The monitoring round allows us to look back at whether we are achieving this goal or not.
The “looking back” will present views that are glass half full and glass half empty.
The glass half full views.
Development Partners in Myanmar have achieved much in the past few years in collaboration with government, NGO, civil society and private sector partners. To name just a few examples, in education, over 10,000 primary and over 11,000 secondary teachers have been trained. In health, essential health services have been extended to over 8 million people. In agriculture, several hundred trainings were provided to farmers to improve their productivity and farmers now enjoy more access to finance.
- Achieving development progress was not done alone by individual development partners. We were able to maximize our efforts by joining ideas and each organization’s strengths through coordination:
- We used bi-annual Myanmar Development Cooperation Forums, and bi-monthly meetings with the Government to address strategic matters.
- We were guided by the Government representatives on specific topics through the 17 Sector Working Group meetings.
- Among Development Partners, we developed our partnerships at the bi-monthly Development Partners Group meetings.
- We have also reached out to civil society, international NGOs, private sector and the parliament for their guidance on our work.
Now, the glass half empty views.
Development cooperation forums have not been inclusive. I am reminded of the statement made by the CSO Forum at the 3rd Myanmar Development Cooperation Forum, which emphasized that CSO participation is not just about sending an invitation to them, it is about securing a space for the civil societies to share their views. The same message was stressed by the private sector representative. Only after having passed three Myanmar Development Cooperation Forums, representatives from the civil society, international non-governmental organizations and the private sector have been officially included to the Sector Working Groups.
Support from development partners is not fully transparent and predictable. It has been since two years we started entering our data to the Aid Information Management System called, Mohinga. However, our data completeness stays at less then 80 per cent, and it has been more or less the same rate the past six months. Incomplete data cannot be of a use by people of Myanmar to hold us accountable.
We have established a coordination structure for development cooperation, but this structure could not respond fast enough when the country was most in need from natural disasters and political tensions. These challenging periods tested effectiveness of our coordination mechanisms but we have not changed much. For example, our coordination structure still remains at the national level, while unique development challenges exist in each State and Region.
In order to fill up this half-empty-glass, we must do more. To this end, I consider the launch of the monitoring round to be a catalyst for development cooperation in Myanmar.
The ten monitoring indicators we are launching today cover critical questions. For example,
- is Myanmar taking ownership when discussing development with international partners?
- do we have an environment that encourages roles of civil society?
- are private sector and the government speaking together to identify how best they can cooperate?
- is international assistance aligned with Myanmar’s key development issues?
- are development partners transparent about their contributions?
- are we all creating better lives for the most vulnerable groups such as women and girls?
Assessing these indicators will inform us how we have been making progress so far and what more we should do. The next Myanmar Development Cooperation Forum could use the results of this monitoring round as an evidence.
As I close, I urge my fellow development partners to extend all efforts to this important endeavor. Not only that this monitoring round is the first of its kind for Myanmar, but I am glad to recognize that it is the first time where we have the full presence of all development stakeholders: Government, Parliament, Civil Society, International NGO, Private Sector, and Development Partners. This should continue.