Regional : Greater Mekong Subregion Phnom Penh Plan for Development Management Phase V

Sovereign Project | 46232-001

The Phnom Penh Plan for Development Management (PPP) is a capacity development program that supports knowledge products and services in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS). It is a pioneering program to build capacities of civil servants and to promote regional cooperation in the GMS. PPP has received total funding of $10.95 million since its inception in 2003 for the first four phases. It is designed as a continuing project, with each phase building on the experiences and lessons of previous phases.

Project Details

  • Project Officer
    Perdiguero, Alfredo
    Southeast Asia Department
    Request for information
  • Country/Economy
  • Modality
  • Sector
    • Public sector management
Project Name Greater Mekong Subregion Phnom Penh Plan for Development Management Phase V
Project Number 46232-001
Country / Economy Regional
Project Status Closed
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Technical Assistance
Source of Funding / Amount
TA 8225-REG: Greater Mekong Subregion Phnom Penh Plan for Development Management Phase V
Technical Assistance Special Fund US$ 750,000.00
Republic of Korea e-Asia and Knowledge Partnership Fund US$ 500,000.00
People's Republic of China Poverty Reduction and Regional Cooperation Fund US$ 500,000.00
Strategic Agendas Inclusive economic growth
Regional integration
Drivers of Change Governance and capacity development
Sector / Subsector

Public sector management / Public administration


The Phnom Penh Plan for Development Management (PPP) is a capacity development program that supports knowledge products and services in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS). It is a pioneering program to build capacities of civil servants and to promote regional cooperation in the GMS. PPP has received total funding of $10.95 million since its inception in 2003 for the first four phases. It is designed as a continuing project, with each phase building on the experiences and lessons of previous phases.

The PPP has had notable achievements. Learning programs provide GMS policy makers and managers with conceptual tools and frameworks on regional integration and leadership, core development sectors, development management and cross-cutting themes. These programs enhance their skills in developing and implementing functional and strategic development interventions. To date, 2,032 GMS civil servants have attended 103 PPP learning programs organized with 28 capacity development partners (within and outside the GMS). The PPP supports fellowships to prestigious universities and institutes. Graduates of these learning programs or the 47 fellows, now constitute the core of development leaders who are making a difference in the GMS. Seven issues of the Journal of Greater Mekong Subregion Development Studies, a multidisciplinary peer-reviewed publication promotes better understanding of GMS development issues have been published. The PPP Research Program has funded 4 multi-country research projects (female labor quality; contract farming; financial services in border areas; and cross-border economic zones) participated by 14 GMS institutions and produced 4 working papers, 4 policy briefs and a journal special issue. The PPP organized 7 GMS Development Dialogues (GDDs) attended by 500 participants from government, civil society, academe, private sector and media to provide a platform for in-depth discussion of subregional issues to enhance policy and decision making capacities. The PPP also supports learning resource centers in Cambodia and Lao PDR with about 10,000 users and organized 18 Leaders Networking for Knowledge (LINK) alumni events with 850 participants. A program management and performance monitoring and evaluation system set up to be more results oriented. A newsletter (Mekong Leaders) published and website established.

The TA builds on past experiences and lessons learned from previous phases. Several evaluation were conducted on the PPP including an evaluation study conducted by OED in 2008, the PPP Impact Assessment Study also in 2008 and TA completion reports for the first three phases. The major lessons learned include the need for: (i) selecting learning programs with more sharpened focus and customization that contribute to developing individual civil servants capacities to support GMS cooperation; (ii) better targeting of participants involved in GMS working groups, programs and projects; (iii) follow-up and deepening programs, i.e. one-off programs unlikely to lead to sustainable workplace behavior; (iv) progressively develop technical and financial sustainability; (v) more active roles of GMS institutions (both research and training), despite their weak capacities, for PPP to 'phase out and eventually assume a more facilitative and enabling role; (vi) developing a pool of GMS trainers and experts; (vii) GMS learning materials (e.g. case studies, manuals and tool kits); (viii) better synergies and linkages of policy research with learning programs; and (ix) better indicators (baseline and targets) for more results-oriented capacity development. These lessons were taken into account, thus the R-CDTA design include new key features: (i) customized regional cooperation learning programs; (ii) better targeting of participants; (iii) sustainability strategies such as Training of Trainers (TOT), learning materials development and new partnership modalities; (iv) South-south cooperation focusing on low income countries; and (v) tracer studies and comprehensive evaluation.

Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy The PPP is an integral component of the GMS Human Resource Development (HRD) strategic framework specifically the education subsector and is listed in the action plan. It is in line with the strategic thrusts of the GMS regional cooperation strategy and program (RCSP) specifically pillar 3 on addressing health and other social, economic and capacity building issues associated with subregional linkages. The GMS RCSP places increasing emphasis on capacity development related to regional cooperation given the uneven levels of development among GMS countries and the inabilities to fully benefit from subregional cooperation. The PPP aims to bridge this gap primarily through learning programs for GMS civil servants and other complementary capacity development activities.

GMS Governments design and implement effective and efficient strategies and projects to promote subregional cooperation

Project Outcome
Description of Outcome

GMS civil servants apply knowledge acquired and skills sets developed in their work place

Progress Toward Outcome

Majority (143, 78%) of the 184 respondents as of January 2015 to the tracer study applied what they learned from the PPP in their work place. They applied the following in their work: (i) knowledge on leadership and development management concepts and tools (109, 59%), in regional cooperation (95, 52%), in sector development (88, 49%) and new perspectives and trends in the public sector (87, 47%); and (ii) skills development in problem solving and analysis (127, 69%), strategic thinking (117, 64%), working in teams (111, 60%) and in leadership (103, 56%). Only 43 (23%) out of 184 had difficulty applying what they learned citing institutional constraints (14), no opportunities in the work place to apply (21) and limited funding as bosses did not support or allow (8).

A series of focus group discussions (FGDs) with alumni as part of the PPP tracer study was conducted in Phnom Penh, Hanoi, Vientiane, Bangkok and Nay Pyitaw from June to July 2013. FGDs were conducted to validate the survey responses and gather additional information on specific examples of applications of their training in the work place. FGDs in each GMS country yielded very positive results. During the FGDs, the PPP alumni provided specific examples of applications of their training in the work place such as design and implementation of national and regional strategies, systems improvement, services delivery, policy formulation and implementation, and project management. Through their involvement in the GMS Program, some of them have initiated efforts to ensure alignments and complementarities of national priorities with the GMS development agenda. They are involved in GMS working groups, GMS projects, and GMS coordination. Many participants responded that the PPP trainings contributed to their professional and personal development (e.g. raise awareness on new issues and topics, new perspectives, change mindsets and attitudes, skills development and application of new analytical tools learned).

Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

1. GMS government officials acquire knowledge and develop skills set

2. High quality research on priority GMS development issues accessible to GMS civil servants

3. Knowledge acquisition, dissemination and networking on GMS cooperation improved

4. Improved capacities of GMS institutions for sustainability

5. An effective project management and performance monitoring system

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

As of 13 March 2015, 405 GMS civil servants have attended 18 PPP learning programs organized in partnership with 10 capacity development partners. A GMS Development Dialogue on Social Security for Migrant Labor in the GMS was organized in December 2012 and attended by 90 representatives from government, the academe, private sector, civil society and development partners. The sixth and final issue of the Journal of Greater Mekong Subregion Development Studies was published in October 2014. Six (6) Leaders Networking for Knowledge (LINK) Alumni events, attended by 570 alumni, were organized in Phnom Penh (twice), Vientiane, Nay Pyi Taw and Hanoi to disseminate outputs of the PPP research projects, regional cooperation and integration, energy sector management, cross-border economic zones, and launch the PPP publication. The Learning Resource Center (LRC) in Phnom Penh continues to expand its products and services. It has established knowledge sharing and networking activities with 14 libraries and knowledge centers. The LRC collections in Lao PDR were donated to the National University of Laos where a GMS section was established in July 2014. A performance monitoring and evaluation system has been set up and a PPP tracer study is ongoing with 184 respondents as of January 2015. A series of country consultations was conducted in June 2013 to request guidance from the GMS governments and the PPP capacity development partners on the need for increased country ownership, financial sustainability and improved capacities GMS institutions for sustainability. The PPP Steering Committee was convened on 20 February 2014 to take stock of the program and agree on its remaining activities given resource constraints and the expected completion of PPP activities in March 2015. The Phnom Penh Plan for Development Management: A Retrospective publication which marked more than 10 years of the PPP's achievements in building the capacity

of the GMS civil service and in strengthening networks among government policy makers and planners for deepening economic integration was published in December 2014 and is a main deliverable at the GMS Summit held in Bangkok from 19-20 December 2014. Representatives from 24 GMS education and research institutions participated in a capacity development workshop organized from 9-11 March 2015 in Hanoi. PPP best practices and lessons in training design, development, and evaluation were discussed. The workshop provided a platform for knowledge sharing and networking among GMS institutions.

Geographical Location Regional
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects
Involuntary Resettlement
Indigenous Peoples
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design
During Project Implementation

Stakeholder consultation and participation is done through the PPP's tested technical methodologies and in close coordination with properly functioning institutional mechanisms.

The PPP Steering Committee serves as the main mechanism for stakeholders participation and consultation. The GMS national coordinators, representatives of development partners and ADB who are members of the PPP steering committee conduct periodic review of the PPP to ensure its relevance and responsiveness to the needs of the GMS countries. The Steering Committee oversees the implementation of the PPP and provides strategic direction and technical guidance. The PPP learning programs are continually improved based on participant, capacity building partners and faculty/trainers feedback.

High level events in the GMS program such as the GMS summits, ministerial meetings and senior official meetings also serves as mechanisms for stakeholder consultations and assessment of the Plan. Moreover, other PPP activities such as alumni consultations, discussions with capacity building partners and teaching faculty, and dialogues with PPP focal persons in the GMS national secretariats also ensures stakeholder participation and consultations.

Business Opportunities
Consulting Services 3 national concultants (individual) for total of 54 person-months of input and 1 international consultant (individual) for 8 person-months of input.
Responsible ADB Officer Perdiguero, Alfredo
Responsible ADB Department Southeast Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Regional Cooparation and Integration, SERD
Executing Agencies
Asian Development Bank
Concept Clearance 15 Jun 2012
Fact Finding -
Approval 19 Nov 2012
Last Review Mission -
Last PDS Update 27 Mar 2015

TA 8225-REG

Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
19 Nov 2012 - 19 Nov 2012 30 Apr 2014 31 Mar 2015 30 Oct 2015
Financing Plan/TA Utilization Cumulative Disbursements
ADB Cofinancing Counterpart Total Date Amount
Gov Beneficiaries Project Sponsor Others
750,000.00 1,000,000.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 1,750,000.00 17 Jun 2022 1,669,479.63

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