The Country Director of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) says the Organization is continuously striving to remain a reliable, transparent and accountable partner to the Government and people of Liberia.
Dr. Pa Lamin Beyai said these and many other factors have kept UNDP on top of the Aid Transparency index for most of the past five years.
He was speaking at the opening of a one -week Harmonized Approach to Cash Transfer (HACT) and Results-Based Management (RBM) training being held in Monrovia for its implementing partners.
Dr. Beyai said the training is part of UNDP’s capacity development initiative for the improvement of the human resource of implementing partners for cost-effective and efficient delivery of its programmes.
“One key measure taken to mitigate financial risks associated with the use of funds is the HACT framework that establishes common principles and processes for managing cash transfers to implementing partners,” said Dr. Beyai.
He stated that the training also shifts the management of cash transfers from a system of rigid controls to a risk management approach.
This is aimed at reducing transaction costs with the ultimate objective of focusing on strengthening national capacities for management and accountability with a view to gradually shift to national systems for managing development funds.
“In Liberia, UNDP currently partners with over 25 Implementing Partners from government and non-government entities to carry out development support for the people of Liberia… These partnerships enable us to contribute to government’s vision and priorities by building institutional capacities, policy formulation and strengthening and economic sustainability support,” the UNDP Country Director said.
He said assisting the partners understand the work and responsibility that is required of them, is critical to the achievement of quality and timely implementation of development projects across Liberia.
He added: “By understanding and applying UNDP’s processes, we hope to significantly reduce the length of time for financial transactions thereby contributing to increased proficiency in implementing programme activities.”
The Deputy Minister of Budget and Planning at the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, Tanneh Brunson in a statement said the Government has come a long way in working with its partners in fostering the development of the country, with several initiatives undertaken, including the way it conducts business with partners like UNDP to reach this stage of the nation’s development.
The statement read by Sidiki A. Quisia of the Ministry quotes Minister Brunson as saying: “Key to this partnership has been the Harmonize Approach to Cash Transfer (HACT) This process is meant to ensure a coherent and consolidated approach to addressing country challenges, supporting Government and building capacity of our institutions so that they can increasingly take over responsibility in project/program implementation and take national ownership of development results.”
Minister Brunson said the training was an important for Government counterparts to learn, prepare and be able to qualify for implementing UNDP funded projects in various institutions as government implementing partners (IPs), some of which have been challenged by delays in procurement processes, financial intricacies and results-based reporting among others.
“The HACT framework represents a common operational (harmonized) framework for transferring cash to government and non-governmental IPs. The objective of the HACT framework is to support a closer alignment of development aid with national priorities and to strengthen national capacities for management and accountability, with the ultimate objective of gradually shifting to national systems,” Sidiki is quoted as saying on behalf of Brunson.
The training is being facilitated by colleagues of the West Africa Cluster Regional Service Center for Africa, in Addis Ababa (RSCA) of UNDP.
The Team Leader, Dominique Kabeya said the exercise is part of the broad framework of the ongoing planning and programming reforms within the UN Development Group, which focuses on enhancing implementation, monitoring, and reporting of transformational change in development activities.
“It should also be noted that this training is timely because your United Nations Development Framework (UNDAF) and Country Programme Document (CPD, which were extended will come to an end soon to align them with the time horizon and the formulation of the National Development Plan. It is in this spirit that we have planned in the agenda modules on Theory of Change, Data, Strategic Plan etc. which are more than relevant in the formulation of the new generation of UNDAF and CPD,” Mr. Kabeya said.
The Harmonized Approach to Cash Transfer (HACT) and Results-Based Management (RBM) training focuses on modules related to UNDPs HACT framework and procurement processes, which explain the criteria for partners to receive funds from UNDP. It also includes the procedures for managing UNDP funds and how to qualify for full National Implementation.