APR Session: Managing Partnership and Co-Financing

This APR session was led by Mr. Sana Jatta, CPM, IFAD and co-facilitated by Mr. Vikash Kumar from Fiji. World Cafe was the method applied to facilitate the session.

There were 12 participants in the session. Mr. Jatta explained the six co-financing issues in the meeting which are underlined in the 2010 Portfolio Report. The participants were then divided into two groups. Each group worked with two challenges - 1 & 2 and 3 & 4 (indicated below):
  1. Different requirements and processing schedule of donors
  2. Mobilizing private companies as co-investors
  3. Firm co-financing commitments difficult to obtain leading to unilateral withdrawals during implementation
  4. How to overcome self-interest considerations from partner co-financers and replace with common interest?
Approximately 20 minutes was spent introducing the session lead, facilitator, the social reporter and to clarify the issues by the session lead; 5 minutes to set up the groups, select the note-taker and to kick off the group discussion. Each group worked for 35 minutes each on the two issues first and then switched on the remaining two issues. Results of the group discussions are summarized as follows:

Issue # 1:
  • Different roles and regulations posses problems for the project management
  • Project should choose the most stringent request for implementation
  • Donors to harmonize their requirements and expected complementarities
  • Donors to see the project as ONE project and have joint missions
  • Government to take leadership roles in getting donor together

Issue # 2:
  • Size of investment unattractive for private companies to invest that calls for innovation and sharing of technology
  • Effective implementation of the different private investors' contribution ensuring good governance, harmonization, transparency and accountability
  • Bureaucracy of utilization of the funds (from donor and governmentt)
  • Lack of recognition of private-investors contribution in meeting social responsibilities
  • Private sector is profit oriented and must see profit first
  • Risk of loosing publicity
  • Challenge for project to mainstream government's and private investment at planning
  • Lack of clarity on partnership and co-financing
  • Difficulty in defining the boarderline when dealing with the private sector
  • Insufficient design time to understand local condition especially from private companies

Issue # 3:
  • Involve everyone in project since the starting to ensure that everyone is aware of what the project is all about and what its vision is
  • Make IFAD fund available to all components to minimize delays and facilitate re-allocation later
  • Forge an MoU among all partners emphasizing the responsibility of each and ensure commitment to co-financing
  • Compare parallel vs. joint financing (case specific) – considering the advantages and disadvantages
  • Involvement of co-financier on the Supervision and Implementation Support Missions/show impact
  • Provision of mid-term correction in the MoU
  • Give co-financer the option to choose the component which is close to their investment policy

Issue #4
  • Harmonize project implementation procedures, staff terms and conditions of employment – harmonization must be clarified in the design stage and include MoU: e.g., one implementation manual; project manager and staffing structure unified
  • Open dialogue – Open communication to both partners emphasizing on the overall achievements of the programme
  • Follow only one system in the project implementation so as not to hamper/delay project
  • Equal responsibility and accountability between the financers
  • Developing partnership strategies /modalities based on local context where it is implemented
There was a high level of interaction among the members in the group. Participants appreciated the tool used for facilitation. They lauded to the session lead and facilitator for the interaction they facilitated for. One participant captured on video (forthcoming) mentioned that the session met her expectations.

This session was documented by Social Reporter Bashu Aryal.