Myanmar: Capacity Development and Institutional Support

Sovereign Project | 46254-001

Summary

The TA is designed to strengthen the capacity of the government to develop and implement policies through a combination of policy advice, learning programs, workshops and seminars, and exposure to experiences from neighbor countries that faced similar challenges. Given that the capacity constraints are overwhelming and resources limited, the proposed TA will be selective in its interventions. It will improve the capacity of civil servants in government ministries and related public companies, although support to divisions and states could also be considered. The sectors to be included in the TA have been selected according to government priorities and the potential for ADB support based on preliminary needs assessments, strategies, and road maps.

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Project Name Capacity Development and Institutional Support
Project Number 46254-001
Country Myanmar
Project Status Approved
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Technical Assistance
Source of Funding / Amount
TA 8244-MYA: Capacity Development and Institutional Support
Technical Assistance Special Fund US$ 1.50 million
TA 8244-MYA: Capacity Development and Institutional Support (Supplementary)
Norwegian Grant (w/ LoA) US$ 300,000.00
TA: Capacity Development and Institutional Support (Supplementary)
Technical Assistance Special Fund US$ 590,000.00
Strategic Agendas Inclusive economic growth
Drivers of Change Governance and capacity development
Partnerships
Sector / Subsector Agriculture, natural resources and rural development - Agricultural policy, institutional and capacity development
Energy - Electricity transmission and distribution
Public sector management - Public administration
Transport - Road transport (non-urban)
Water and other urban infrastructure and services - Urban water supply
Gender Equity and Mainstreaming
Description

The TA is designed to strengthen the capacity of the government to develop and implement policies through a combination of policy advice, learning programs, workshops and seminars, and exposure to experiences from neighbor countries that faced similar challenges. Given that the capacity constraints are overwhelming and resources limited, the proposed TA will be selective in its interventions. It will improve the capacity of civil servants in government ministries and related public companies, although support to divisions and states could also be considered. The sectors to be included in the TA have been selected according to government priorities and the potential for ADB support based on preliminary needs assessments, strategies, and road maps.

The new government is implementing a broad set of reforms as it embarks on a remarkable transition to build an economy that will benefit all citizens. Some major ongoing initiatives concern exchange rate unification, reform of land and investment laws, amendment to the Central Bank Act, finance sector reforms, and reform of the trade union law. These reforms offer a unique opportunity for the country to lay the foundations for a brighter and more prosperous future for its people. The political and economic developments since early 2011 open unprecedented opportunities for Myanmar to catch up with its neighbors and increase its per capita gross domestic product, one of the lowest in Southeast Asia at about $860; reduce the poverty rate from the current 26% to 16% of the country's 60 million people; and improve human development indicators (Myanmar is near the bottom of the list at 149 out of 187 countries). The changes and speed of reform have been impressive, but the challenges are complex and numerous.

The country is facing several binding development constraints, including (i) a weak economic policy framework and environment that needs urgent reforms to maintain macroeconomic stability, strengthen public finance, promote private-sector-led trade and investment, and provide timely and reliable statistics to inform policy decisions; (ii) limited capacity of government civil servants for formulating and managing the policy and institutional reform process, coordinating among themselves, and managing external assistance; (iii) weak public institutions that have difficulties to effectively support the economic reform process, efficiently provide essential public services, and develop and enforce strategies, plans, laws, rules, regulations and standards; and (iv) lack of efficient physical infrastructure to support trade and investment in agriculture, manufacturing, and industry, as well as to provide a sufficient level of services to both the urban and rural populations.

The country needs to embark on a comprehensive and well-sequenced program of reforms if it is to realize its potential. The regulatory, legal, and policy environment needs upgrading to facilitate the participation of the private sector, promote investment, and diversify the economy. The government needs to develop strategies, investment plans and incentives, and generate adequate fiscal resources to expand access to electricity, water supply and sanitation, and transport, as well as to improve health, education, and social protection systems. Agriculture, which employs about 70% of the population, has great potential for improvement, but is in great need of land reform, expansion of credit to farmers, more public investment in rural infrastructure, and better seeds, fertilizers, extension services, and post-harvest facilities.

The capacity of existing socioeconomic policymaking institutions in Myanmar is limited and needs to be bolstered if appropriate economic policy reforms are to be designed and implemented successfully. Strengthening these institutions and giving them more independence in decision making in their areas of responsibility would increase accountability and contribute to better governance and greater transparency and efficiency. The Myanmar civil service has a critical role to play in this reform process. However, the majority of the civil servants have limited exposure to modern public sector management and good governance practices. They have had very few opportunities to develop new techniques and skills, to learn lessons from other countries, or to access high-quality policy advice.

To avoid duplication and overstretching of the government's absorptive capacity, the TA will be implemented in consultation with other development agencies that are providing related assistance to the government. The TA takes into account lessons learned from other capacity-building TA projects, especially the need for strong government ownership for TA to be successful and sustainable. The TA also builds on and complements other capacity-building TA projects. In particular, it will harness the experience developed under the ADB-financed GMS Phnom Penh Plan for Development Management, The Phnom Penh Plan builds capacity of civil servants for leadership, public policy, and development management; and promotes regional cooperation in the countries of the GMS. which since 2005 has provided limited support to improve the capacity of civil servants through learning programs outside Myanmar.

Policy advisors will support selected government agencies in preparing the new policy agenda, in line with the government strategy to reduce poverty and promote sustainable economic growth. Advisors placed in key ministries will work closely with government officials to assist them in the preparation of policy papers, plans, strategies, laws, or regulations. They will also suggest improvements to management systems, policies, and procedures in the ministries through the preparation of institutional development plans. These will be complemented by the preparation of capacity-building plans based on training needs assessments, in-country training programs based on demand, and out-of-country programs to learn lessons and best practices from neighbor countries. The TA will also support workshops, seminars, and conferences to share knowledge and discuss economic development and policy issues.

Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is in the preliminary stages of reengaging in economic policy advice and capacity development with the Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar. ADB adopted a three-phased process of reengagement with Myanmar in early 2012: phase I preparation of initial economic and sector assessments as an extension of work done under the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Program; phase II conduct of comprehensive sector assessments, capacity and institutional support, and project preparation; and phase III resumption of lending operations, subject to satisfactory progress in the country's engagement with the international community and clearing of its arrears. ADB has completed phase I and is moving toward phase II by preparing for technical assistance (TA) operations focused on capacity building and institutional strengthening. This CDTA will support the implementation of the Interim Country Partnership Strategy for Myanmar, 2012-2014.
Impact Participating Ministries implement effective and efficient policies and strategies in respective sectors.
Project Outcome
Description of Outcome Participating Ministries agree to adopt effective and efficient policies, strategies, plans, laws or regulations in their sectors
Progress Toward Outcome
Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

1. Institutional capacity of ministries to design policies and strategies is strengthened

2. Myanmar government officials acquire knowledge and develop skills

3. Good practices, lessons learned , and experiences from other countries are disseminated

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)
Geographical Location
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects
Involuntary Resettlement
Indigenous Peoples
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design
During Project Implementation

The Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development (MNPED) will be the executing agency. A sub-committee under the Aid Management Working Committee will be formed by the government, which will include senior officials from the participating ministries. The sub-committee will coordinate TA activities and serve as a forum for exchanging lessons in capacity development across ministries. A TA focal point in each participating ministry will provide administration support for the conduct of all activities. The sub-committee will also select participants for the training programs. ADB will attend the sub-committee meetings as an observer.

International and national consultants will be recruited by ADB in accordance with its Guidelines on the Use of Consultants (2010, as amended from time to time). TA implementation is anticipated to require 42 person-months of international consultancy and 39 person-months of national consultancy. The consultants will be recruited as individuals. Their outline terms of reference are in Appendix 3. Disbursements under the TA will be done in accordance with ADB's Technical Assistance Disbursement Handbook (2010, as amended from time to time). They will be included in the TA expenditures if they are reasonable in amount and nature. The duration of the TA will be from 1 December 2012 to 30 November 2013. Office equipment will be procured in accordance with ADB's Procurement Guidelines (2010, as amended from time to time). On completion of the TA, all equipment will be turned over to MNPED. The outputs of the TA will be disseminated through seminars, workshops, and publications.

Responsible ADB Officer Peter Brimble
Responsible ADB Department Southeast Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Myanmar Resident Mission
Executing Agencies
Ministry of Electric PowerNo. B-07, Yadana Shwe Pyi St., Zaya
Theidi Ward,Nay Pyi Taw
Republic of Union of Myanmar
Ministry of Nat'l Planning & Economic DevelopmentOffice of the Ministers
Yangon
Union of Myanmar
Timetable
Concept Clearance 10 Jul 2012
Fact Finding -
MRM -
Approval 03 Dec 2012
Last Review Mission -
Last PDS Update 23 Nov 2012

TA

Financing Plan/TA Utilization Cumulative Disbursements
ADB Cofinancing Counterpart Total Date Amount
Gov Beneficiaries Project Sponsor Others
590,000.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 590,000.00 - 0.00

TA 8244-MYA

Milestones
Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
03 Dec 2012 05 Feb 2013 05 Feb 2013 30 Nov 2013 30 Sep 2015 -
Financing Plan/TA Utilization Cumulative Disbursements
ADB Cofinancing Counterpart Total Date Amount
Gov Beneficiaries Project Sponsor Others
1,500,000.00 300,000.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 1,800,000.00 03 Dec 2012 1,538,191.98

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