fbpx 48290-001: Building Capacity for Enhanced Connectivity in Southeast Asia | Asian Development Bank

Regional: Building Capacity for Enhanced Connectivity in Southeast Asia

Sovereign (Public) Project | 48290-001 Status: Closed

Despite ASEAN's progress and prospects, achieving the ASEAN Economic Community's (AEC) targets and milestones by the end of 2015 remains a significant challenge. AEC targets released in 2012 by the ASEAN Secretariat indicate that removing physical and soft connectivity constraints remain some of the most significant challenges. As these challenges persist, the need to build capacities within ASEAN to enhance physical, institutional, and people-to-people connectivity as defined in the Master Plan for ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) remains.

Project Details

Project Officer
Krishnan, Gary P. Southeast Asia Department Request for information
  • Regional
  • Technical Assistance
  • Transport
Project Name Building Capacity for Enhanced Connectivity in Southeast Asia
Project Number 48290-001
Country Regional
Project Status Closed
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Technical Assistance
Source of Funding / Amount
TA 8836-REG: Building Capacity for Enhanced Connectivity in SOutheast Asia
Republic of Korea e-Asia and Knowledge Partnership Fund US$ 500,000.00
TA 8836-REG: Building Capacity for Enhanced Connectivity in Southeast Asia
Technical Assistance Special Fund US$ 250,000.00
TA 8836-REG: Building Capacity for Enhanced Connectivity in Southeast Asia (Supplementary)
People's Republic of China Poverty Reduction and Regional Cooperation Fund US$ 250,000.00
TA 8836-REG: Building Capacity for Enhanced Connectivity in Southeast Asia (Supplementary)
Regional Cooperation and Integration Fund US$ 500,000.00
Strategic Agendas Environmentally sustainable growth
Inclusive economic growth
Regional integration
Drivers of Change Governance and capacity development
Knowledge solutions
Private sector development
Sector / Subsector

Agriculture, natural resources and rural development / Agricultural policy, institutional and capacity development

Energy / Electricity transmission and distribution

Finance / Infrastructure finance and investment funds

Health / Disease control of non-communicable diseases and other priority programs

Industry and trade / Trade and services

Transport / Multimodal logistics

Water and other urban infrastructure and services / Urban policy, institutional and capacity development

Gender Equity and Mainstreaming No gender elements

Despite ASEAN's progress and prospects, achieving the ASEAN Economic Community's (AEC) targets and milestones by the end of 2015 remains a significant challenge. AEC targets released in 2012 by the ASEAN Secretariat indicate that removing physical and soft connectivity constraints remain some of the most significant challenges. As these challenges persist, the need to build capacities within ASEAN to enhance physical, institutional, and people-to-people connectivity as defined in the Master Plan for ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) remains.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has been working to promote connectivity in Southeast Asia through three subregional cooperation programs, namely: (i) the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia- Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA); (ii) the Indonesia- Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT); and (iii) the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Economic Cooperation Program. While these subregional cooperation programs have achieved considerable success in promoting physical connectivity, continued efforts are needed to foster greater institutional and people-to-people connectivity.

Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy

ADB has supported capacity building for subregional cooperation and connectivity since 2002 through the Phnom Penh Plan for Development Management Program. While the PP Plan has achieved considerable results, an evaluation study conducted by IED in 2008, recommended key design changes for any proposed successor programs, namely: (i) expanding the program to non-GMS countries, but retaining specific focus on Cambodia, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Myanmar and Viet Nam (the CLMV countries); (ii) enhancing the program's operational focus, relevancy and linkages; and (iii) developing partnerships with research and training institutions to promote greater outreach and more sustainable knowledge sharing. Along with these design enhancements, the number of training sessions will be reduced, in consideration of administrative and budgetary constraints.

Drawing from the experience gained and knowledge shared through the PP Plan, this proposed regional technical assistance will be closely aligned with and support the overall framework of the MPAC on regional connectivity and other relevant initiatives (especially from the subregional programs) to build the AEC. Accordingly, the TA will consist of series of training programs for government officials to enhance their capacities in advancing physical, institutional, and people-to-people connectivity within the region and incorporating lessons learnt from the previous TAs.

Impact Accelerated implementation of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC) for enhanced connectivity in the region.
Project Outcome
Description of Outcome Greater capacity of government officials in the region to develop and implement policies for enhanced connectivity
Progress Toward Outcome

At the outcome level, data gathering for the tracer study which commenced in February 2018 is on-going. A survey instrument was used to assess application of knowledge acquired and skills developed in the workplaces by the BIMP-EAGA, IMT-GT, and GMS government officials.

Based on the preliminary results of 76 respondents, 71 (93%) confirmed that they applied in their work place what they learnt (compared with 70% outcome indicator target). They applied the following in their work: (i) knowledge on concepts and tools in regional cooperation and integration (RCI) and connectivity (68), strategy development (63); and (ii) skills development in problem solving and analysis (61), strategic thinking (63), working in teams (60), and action planning (60).

The B-I-G Program targeting of participants was effective with 68 (89%) respondents working in RCI. Sixty-three (83%) were members of the BIMP-EAGA, IMT-GT, and GMS national and subregional secretariats, served as focal points for the sector working groups, and were part of project teams. In terms of level of involvement, 63 (83%) indicated having moderate to high involvement in BIMP-EAGA, IMT-GT and GMS institutional mechanisms and activities.

Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

A comprehensive training program delivered

An information repository established

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

Output 1: A Comprehensive training program delivered

For output 1, 838 (compared to 500 target) middle and senior level officials from BIMP-EAGA, IMT-GT and GMS attended 26 trainings and knowledge events organized in collaboration with 29 knowledge and institutional partners. Nineteen trainings were conducted on economic corridor development (2 modules, 8 trainings), tourism (3 trainings), regional power market (3 trainings), SEZs (3 trainings), social protection (1 training) and project management (1 training). A total of seven knowledge events conducted on cross-border e-commerce (3 workshops); 3 forums on poverty reduction and social development, health impact assessment in economic zones, and trade facilitation; and a seminar on integrated transport. Of the 25 trainings and knowledge events (718 participants), three hundred (300) participants (42%) were women and majority (386, 61% were Directors and above).

The list of training programs and knowledge events from July 2015 to December 2018 is provided below:

Economic Corridor Development for Competitive and Inclusive Asia

(8 trainings)

Module 1: Economic Corridors Concepts, Characteristics and Models

Partners: ADB, Asian Development Bank Institute, Ministry of Foreign Affairs-Singapore Cooperation Programme and the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University

Dates and Locations: 26-28 August 2015, Singapore; 17-18 August 2016, Singapore; 23-25 August 2017, Singapore; and, 9-11 July 2018, Indonesia

Number of Participants: 31 with 5 from CAREC and SASEC (2015); 26 with 6 from CAREC and SASEC (2016); 27 with 4 from CAREC and SASEC (2017); and, 28 (2018)

Module 2: Drivers of Economic Corridors Development

Partners: Center for IMT-GT Subregional Cooperation, National Economic and Social Development Board-Thailand, and Prince Songkhla University

Dates and Locations: 29 August to 4 September 2015, Malaysia (Johor, Melaka, Putrajaya, Penang, Hang Tuah Jaya and Bukit Kayu Hitam) and Thailand (Sadao and Songkhla); 20-26 August 2016, Malaysia (Johor, Melaka, Putrajaya and Bukit Kayu Hitam) and Thailand (Sadao, Hat Yai and Songkhla); 26 August-1 September 2017, Malaysia (Johor, Melaka, Putrajaya, Penang, Hang Tuah Jaya and Bukit Kayu Hitam) and Thailand (Sadao); and, 12-21 July 2018, Brunei Darussalam (Bandar Seri Begawan and Muara), Indonesia (Pontianak and Entikong) and Malaysia (Tebedu, Kuching, Miri, Labuan and Kota Kinabalu)

Number of Participants: 29 (2015); 26 (2016); 26 (2017); and, 27 (2018)

Tourism Management in BIMP EAGA, IMT-GT, and GMS Enhancing People-to- People Connectivity for Inclusive Growth Training (3 trainings)

Partner: Guilin Tourism University (GTU)

Dates and Locations: 19-23 October 2015, GTU, Guilin, Peoples Republic of China (PRC); 24-29 April 2016, GTU, Guilin, PRC; and 25-30 April 2017, GTU, Guilin, PRC.

Number of Participants: 26 (2015); 25 (2016); and 26 (2017)

Regional Power Market and Cross-border Interconnections Training

(3 trainings)

Partner: ASEAN Korea Center with support from POSCO Engineering and Construction

Dates and Locations: 29 November-4 December 2015, POSCO Group University, Republic of Korea (ROK); 25-30 September 2016, Seoul, ROK; and 12-17 November 2018, Seoul, ROK

Number of Participants: 24 (2015); 28 with 1 ROK (2016); and 28 (2017)

Special Economic Zones (SEZs) as Catalysts for Economic Corridors, Value Chains and Production Networks Training (3 trainings)

Partners: ADB TA 8430: Regional Knowledge Sharing Initiative, CAREC Institute, China Association of Development Zones, and Asia Pacific Finance and Development Institute (AFDI)

Dates and Locations: 17-22 October 2016, Shanghai, PRC; 25-30 September 2017, AFDI, Shanghai, PRC; and, 7-11 May 2018, AFDI, Shanghai, PRC

Number of Participants: 24 with 7 from CAREC (2016);

27 (2017); and, 20 (2018)

Regional Training on Social Protection Systems: Social Assistance

(1 training)

Partner: Centre of Social Protection, Institute of Development Studies

Date and Location: 16-20 January 2017, Manila, Philippines

Number of Participants: 32 (2017)

Workshop on Cross-border E-commerce: Towards Seamless Connectivity

(2 workshops)

Partners: ASEAN Studies Center, Chulalongkorn University (CU), Thailand and Ministry of Commerce-PRC

Dates and Locations: 9-11 March 2016, CU and ADB-Thailand Resident Mission (TRM), Bangkok, Thailand; and 16-18 May 2017, CU and ADB-TRM, Bangkok, Thailand

Number of Participants: 29 (2016)

12th ASEAN-China Forum on Poverty Reduction and Social Development

Partner(s): RKSI, ADB provided support to the main organizers

Date and Location: 27-29 June 2018, Manila, Philippines

Number of Participants: 120

Regional Forum on Innovation for Healthy Economic Zones and Border Area Development in the GMS

Partners: ADB Regional Departments

Dates and Locations: 16-17 August 2018, Ho Chi Minh, Viet Nam

Number of Participants: 50

Workshop on Promoting e-Commerce in Asia and the Pacific

Partners: ADB TA 8813: Information and Communication Technology for Development Initiative Facility in Asia and the Pacific and United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UN-ESCAP)

Dates and Locations: 27-28 August 2018, United Nations Conference Center, Bangkok, Thailand

Number of Participants: 14 participants with 7 from SASEC (2018)

Seminar on Integrated Green Urban Transport Plans Preparation

Partners: Centre for IMT-GT Subregional Cooperation and National Economic and Social Development Board-Thailand

Date and Location: 4-5 September 2018, Phuket, Thailand

Number of Participants: 71

Regional Training in Project Management

Partner: National University of Management, Cambodia

Date and Location: 22-27 October 2018, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Number of Participants: 31

Forum on Enhanced Implementation of the World Trade Organization Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA)

Partners: World Trade Organization, the World Customs Organization, CAREC Institute and ADB Regional Departments

Date and Location: 30-31 October 2018, Bangkok, Thailand

Number of Participants: 19

Output 2: An information repository established

The internet based information repository and website is fully functional since April 2017. It serves as a platform for information dissemination and knowledge exchanges between and among the government officials trained and knowledge partners of the B-I-G Program. The online platform aims to promote and provide information about the TA along with details about past, on-going, and upcoming activities. The information repository and website also have a discussion room and provides access to the training materials and related sites for the training content, and a database of government officials as well as knowledge partners.

Other project updates include:

Governance and Reporting Mechanisms- As part of the TA governance and reporting mechanisms, updates and progress of activities are reported to the Steering Committee. The first Steering Committee meeting was held on 7-8 November 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand. The Steering Committee assessed achievements of the B-I-G Program from June 2015 to October 2018. They provided strategic and technical guidance on the B-I-G Program performance monitoring and evaluation system, demand based training needs, and potential knowledge partners. Mechanisms to strengthen strategic linkages and institutional coordination with ASEAN and the four secretariats, BIMP-Facilitation Centre, Centre for IMT Subregional Cooperation, GMS Secretariat and ASEAN Secretariat, tackled.

The meeting provided opportunities to take stock of progress and achievements as well as define future plans. The discussions yielded useful suggestions and recommendations for overall B-I-G Program improvement. The BIMP-EAGA, IMT-GT, and GMS governments, and the subregional secretariats also took it as an opportunity to express support and great satisfaction for the B-I-G Program.

Resource Mobilization- The B-I-G Program successfully worked with a total of 29 knowledge and institutional partners including international organizations, governments, and universities and education institutions. The B-I-G Program also collaborated with various ADB TAs and sector divisions to leverage existing resources. The knowledge and institutional partners provided financial and in-kind contributions, which led to significant savings. Financial support from development partners such as the Governments of the People's Republic of China and the Republic of Korea to the TA was highly appreciated by the governments and expanded the scope of activities.

Performance Monitoring and Evaluation System- an effective performance monitoring and evaluation system has been set up. Comprehensive evaluation methodologies are used to measure inputs for trainings such as evaluation forms, mid-program assessment, needs and baseline assessments (to compare knowledge and skills levels before and after training), meetings with training teams, and lead experts and knowledge partners reports.

For the July 2015 to December 2018 training programs and workshops, overall training evaluation ratings are between 4.34-4.89 (with no ratings below 4.00 on a scale of 1.00 as lowest to 5.00 as highest). Pre- and post- tests have been administered to assess knowledge acquired and skills developed of BIMP-EAGA, IMT-GT and GMS civil servants. Participating BIMP-EAGA, IMT-GT and GMS officials have increased scores from pre-to posts tests.

The B-I-G Program also uses other complementary instruments and tools to assess qualitative results of learning such as: (i) use of participatory learning methodologies for skills development; (ii) networking and cross learning; (iii) fostering team work and collaboration in the multi-country exercises; (iv) integration exercises where participants work in multi-country teams to apply what they learned in the BIMP-EAGA, IMT-GT and GMS context; (v) strategies and action plans development; and (vi) project concept proposals and implementation plans.

The participants acknowledged the relevance of the content and the usefulness of what they learned in their workplace. They value the unique knowledge and experience sharing opportunities and networking. The BIMP-EAGA, IMT-GT and GMS civil servants also requested continued capacity development on the connectivity and subregional cooperation themes given no other institutions are offering similar customized and demand-based trainings.

At the outcome level, data gathering for the tracer study which commenced in February 2018 is on-going. The preliminary results of the tracer study indicated majority of participants: (i) applied what they learned in the work place; (ii) worked in the three subregions, e.g. national focal points, secretariats, members of working groups, and part of project teams; and (iii) are involved in policy and planning for regional cooperation and integration.

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
Business Opportunities
Consulting Services It is estimated that 28 person-months of international consulting services and 46 person-months of national consulting services are required for the TA. Individual consultants will be recruited on an intermittent basis, in accordance with ADB's Guidelines on the Use of Consultants (2013, as amended from time to time).
Procurement Purchases of equipment (computer hardware and software) will be undertaken in cost-efficient manner, in accordance with ADB's Procurement Guidelines (2013, as amended from time to time) and in coordination with ADB's Office of Information Systems and Technology and Office of Administrative Services, where applicable. After the TA completion, any procured equipment will be disposed in compliance with Project Administration Instruction 5.09.
Responsible ADB Officer Krishnan, Gary P.
Responsible ADB Department Southeast Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Regional Cooperation and Operations Coordination Div, SERD
Executing Agencies
Asian Development Bank
6 ADB Avenue,
Mandaluyong City 1550, Philippines
Concept Clearance 08 Sep 2014
Fact Finding -
Approval 18 Dec 2014
Last Review Mission -
Last PDS Update 29 Mar 2019

TA 8836-REG

Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
18 Dec 2014 - 18 Dec 2014 31 Dec 2017 31 Dec 2018 -
Financing Plan/TA Utilization Cumulative Disbursements
ADB Cofinancing Counterpart Total Date Amount
Gov Beneficiaries Project Sponsor Others
750,000.00 750,000.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 1,500,000.00 18 Dec 2014 1,418,466.61

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