E-coordination of aid for rural development
Ha Noi - The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has launched a web site (www.isgmard.org.vn) offering an ODA-database for ongoing and planned international development projects within the rural development sector.
The web site will be managed by the International Support Group (ISG), established in 1997 by the MARD as a forum for sector policy discussions between the Vietnam Government and International Development Agencies, which are directly connected to agriculture development and rural development activities.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Public Administration Reform in the Forestry Sector (REFAS) project have supported the ISG in constructing the web site and developing the several existing databases into an extended database including information of ODA as well as FDI in the field of agriculture and rural development.
"The launch of the ISG web site is really the launch of the idea about using the Internet to fight poverty. As a facilitator of Government-led donor coordination, the UNDP has actively supported coordination and information sharing by showing where the money goes and get people involved", said Edouard A. Wattez, UNDP Resident Representative. "This web site will provide a snapshot to donors regarding changing sectorial priorities which should, for example, direct donors to neglected areas, identify new areas in which project identification would be appropriate, and curb over-concentration of resources in fashionable areas".
"One of the objectives of the initiative is to establish a culture of information exchange by using Internet-based information and communication technologies (ICTs) in the agriculture and rural development sector", said Cao Duc Phat, MARD Vice Minister and Chairman of ISG Steering Board. " There is a need to be quite clear in stating our priorities and assessing the acceptability of proposed support".
The ISG web site provides an interactive facility for easy access to comprehensive set a full text documents about ongoing and planned international development projects within the rural development sector. The scope and coverage includes among others agriculture, forestry, irrigation, rural development, new economic zone and aquaculture.
Based on questionnaires, on-going projects will be up-dated annually and planned projects on a quarterly basis. In addition to the database, the web site will offer a development forum to provide the policy dialogue with updated experience and lessons learnt from field projects thereby expanding and strengthening the national networks involved in rural development. The UNDP hopes that this model will be replicated in other sectors where concentrates high ODA level.According to the UNDP's Report Overview of ODA in Vietnam in 2000, ODA is estimated to have reached US$1.6 billion in 2000, bringing the total ODA disbursement to nearly US$ 7.6 billion for the period 1993-2000.