Regional: Implementing the Greater Mekong Subregion Human Resource Development Strategic Framework and Action Plan

Sovereign Project | 41369-012


The TA supports the implementation of the GMS HRD Strategic Framework and Action Plan (SFAP) by restructuring the Working Group on HRD (WGHRD) and its subgroups, building capacity of the WGHRD members and relevant agencies, and implementing some of the priority initiatives of the SFAP to improve regional HRD cooperation.

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Project Name Implementing the Greater Mekong Subregion Human Resource Development Strategic Framework and Action Plan
Project Number 41369-012
Country Regional
Project Status Closed
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Technical Assistance
Source of Funding / Amount
TA 7275-REG: Implementing the Greater Mekong Subregion Human Resource Development Strategic Framework and Action Plan
Regional Cooperation and Integration Fund US$ 750,000.00
Strategic Agendas Inclusive economic growth
Regional integration
Drivers of Change Governance and capacity development
Sector / Subsector

Education - Technical and vocational education and training

Health - Health insurance and subsidized health programs

Public sector management - Public administration

Gender Equity and Mainstreaming Gender equity
Description The TA supports the implementation of the GMS HRD Strategic Framework and Action Plan (SFAP) by restructuring the Working Group on HRD (WGHRD) and its subgroups, building capacity of the WGHRD members and relevant agencies, and implementing some of the priority initiatives of the SFAP to improve regional HRD cooperation.
Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

The Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Strategic Framework 2002-2012 identified 5 strategic thrusts to realize the vision and goals of subregional cooperation and integration. The mid-term review of the GMS Strategic Framework concluded that while good progress had been made on the "hardware" aspects of subregional cooperation, especially improved physical connectivity, less progress had been made on the ?software? aspects to realize and achieve the overall vision, goals and objectives the GMS Program. The Review recommended more emphasis on skills development, labor migration, prevention of trafficking of women and children, and surveillance and control of communicable diseases. It suggested modifying the structure and organization of the Human Resource Development (HRD) working group to strengthen and revitalize the working group to focus on critical subregional HRD concerns requiring subregional solutions.

The regional policy and advisory technical assistance (R-PATA) supports the GMS Strategic Framework and is included in the Regional Cooperation Business Plan 2009-2011. It is consistent with Strategy 2020 and supports two core operational areas: regional operation and integration; and education. The R-PATA will implement some of the recommendations of the GMS mid-term review, and the 2008 Regional Cooperation Assistance Program Evaluation by strengthening the WGHRD, restructuring the organizational arrangements, building capacity, and implementing some of the priority initiatives from the GMS HRD Strategic Framework and Action Plan (SFAP). The SFAP provides the framework for subregional cooperation in education, health, labor and migration, and social development that require subregional actions and solutions. The R-PATA will contribute to improved subregional cooperation in HRD through support for an improved system for technical skills recognition and qualifications, strengthened regional labor market information system and labor migration management programs, and assessment of the impact of economic corridors on ethnic and vulnerable groups.

Impact The impact of the R-PATA is strengthened human resource development and enhanced social inclusion in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS).
Project Outcome
Description of Outcome The outcome is improved Human Resource Development (HRD) cooperation in the GMS.
Progress Toward Outcome

The TA was well formulated and relevant as it supports the GMS Strategic Framework 2002 2012. The TA supported key activities including implementation of the HRD SFAP 2009 2012 by restructuring the WGHRD and its subgroups, building capacity of the WGHRD members and relevant agencies, including involvement and ownership by the HRD focals from each country, and implementing some of the priority initiatives of the SFAP 2009 2012 to improve regional HRD cooperation.

The TA outcome was achieved through the satisfactory completion of various activities under each of the 4 outputs.

Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs


subregional institutional

arrangements for HRD


Agreed framework for

mutual recognition of

technical skills and

qualifications in the GMS

Improved labor market

information system and

labor migration

management programs

Completed social

impact assessments along

the GMS economic


Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)

Output 1: The TA has successfully conducted 4 WGHRD meetings with relatively small budget (even only 2 WGHRD meetings are originally planned): in 2009 (9th WGHRD Meeting in Guilin, PRC), 2011 (10th WGHRD Meeting in Vientiane, Lao PDR), 2012 (11th WGHRD Meeting in Yangon, Myanmar) and 2013 (12th WGHRD Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand). The subgroup meetings on health (2009), social development (2010), and a workshop to renew the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for Joint Action to Reduce HIV Vulnerability Associated with Population Movement (2011) were also productive. While the subgroups on education and labor migration were not able to meet, intensive discussions were conducted in subsector break-out sessions in the WGHRD Meetings. Working group and subgroup members, including development partners expressed satisfaction not only during these WGHRD Meetings but also during the various consultation meetings and constant communication during the course of TA implementation. The TA also supported the preparation of the GMS HRD SFAP 2013 2017, which was endorsed at the 18th GMS Ministerial Conference (MC) in the People's Republic of China, and the Regional Investment Framework (RIF) HRD sector pipeline which was endorsed the 19th GMS MC in Lao PDR.

Output 2: This was successfully undertaken using a participatory process involving key stakeholders. Initial work has been completed benchmarking the existing qualifications frameworks in the participating countries (Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand, and Viet Nam) to the regional framework. Qualifications in 3 technical skill areas (welding, automotive technology and domestic and hotel housekeeping) were mapped against Regional Model Competency Standards of the International Labour Organisation (ILO). A small cadre of public officials/trainers from each country were then trained in competency-based training and assessment. In March 2011, Declaration of Confidence towards the establishment of an Agreed Framework for Mutual Recognition of Technical Skills and Qualifications in the GMS was formally endorsed by the three countries: Lao PDR, Thailand, and Viet Nam, except for Cambodia, with the responsibilities divided between ministries, the institutional implementation arrangement was insufficient for obtaining the appropriate interministerial endorsements. A final report was submitted to ADB in April 2011 which detailed the mutual recognition framework for 3 technical skills areas.

Output 3: The TA was partly successful in implementing the activities. One major accomplishment is the increased awareness about safe migration issues among migrants by conducting the training program in collaboration with IOM. The training program focused on building capacity of government staff to design and conduct information and education campaigns and provided cascade training for community trainers that live in villages at risk for unsafe migration. Participating countries (Lao PDR and Cambodia) were satisfied with the quality of the training program. However, strengthening the labor market information system was not implemented since ADB is supporting the development of labor market information (LMI) systems through grants in Lao PDR and Cambodia, and an ILO project is strengthening LMI in Viet Nam, while Thailand does not need assistance. In view of non-implementation of the activity, the TA scope has been changed in November 2011 to include: (i) GMS Higher Education Harmonization and Networking; and (ii) a study on public-private partnerships in tourism education for the GMS, which have been successfully implemented from 2012 to 2013.

Output 4: This output was successfully completed. Social impact assessments on the connectivity and regional integration in the GMS were successful with the completion of the following activities: (i) in-depth profiling of the vulnerabilities and risks of migrants; (ii) migrants' access to HIV and AIDS services, by addressing issues particularly related to gender-specific risks that female migrant workers experience; and (iii) HIV service financing for migrants. In addition, the HRD assessment in Myanmar was conducted, which included sharing of GMS experience relevant to Myanmar in TVET and higher education and resulted in the preparation of Rapid Assessment (Phase 1) of the Comprehensive Education Sector Review.

Geographical Location Greater Mekong Subregion
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects
Involuntary Resettlement
Indigenous Peoples
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design Individual national level consultations were undertaken with the 6 GMS countries as part of the discussions about the draft GMS HRD SFAP. Consultations were also held on a subsector basis with the education, labor and migration, and the health subgroups. Separate meetings were held with ILO, IOM and World Bank. Other development partners attended the national consultation meetings.
During Project Implementation The project is promoting stakeholder participation and consultation on HRD issues of regional importance through biennal meetings of the WGHRD and subsector working group meetings.
Business Opportunities
Consulting Services

Summary of consultants by output:

Output 1: Individual National consultants

Regional Development Economist (national, 12 person-months, intermittent and national, 4 person-months, intermittent); Project Analyst (national, 24 person-months, intermittent)

Output 2:

A. Firm

1. Technical Skills Recognition Firm:

Technical and Vocational Education and Training Policy, Management and Institutional Development Specialist and Team Leader (international, 5 person-months); Technical and Vocational Education and Training Programs Specialist (1, international, 4 person-months); Skills Development Specialist (5 nationals, 3 person-months); Gender and social development Specialist (national, 1 person-month).

Ouptut 3:

A. Firm

2. Labor Migration Awareness Campaign Firm

B. Individual International Consultants

International Migration Specialist and Team Leder (international, 3 peson-months); Labor Market Information Specialist (international, 3 person-months);

Output 4: Individual

Regional Cooperation/Economist/Anthropologist/Team Leader (international, 2 person-months); Gender Specialist (international, 1.5 person-months).

Responsible ADB Officer Yasushi Hirosato
Responsible ADB Department Southeast Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Human and Social Development Division, SERD
Executing Agencies
Asian Development Bank
Uzma Hoque/David Ablett
6 ADB Avenue Mandaluyong City Philippines
Concept Clearance 19 Mar 2009
Fact Finding -
Approval 29 Apr 2009
Last Review Mission -
PDS Creation Date 19 Mar 2009
Last PDS Update 31 Mar 2014

TA 7275-REG

Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
29 Apr 2009 - 29 Apr 2009 31 Oct 2011 31 Dec 2013 -
Financing Plan/TA Utilization Cumulative Disbursements
ADB Cofinancing Counterpart Total Date Amount
Gov Beneficiaries Project Sponsor Others
750,000.00 0.00 150,000.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 900,000.00 29 Apr 2009 1,238,938.45

Safeguard Documents

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Evaluation Documents

See also: Independent Evaluation

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