Within the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) is the organization with responsibility and authority in all matters related to the management and supervision of public investment projects. The MPI verifies the appropriateness of projects in each field, and reviews the development budget for approval at the National Assembly. The MPI is also assigned to regularly monitor and evaluate projects, and to report the results to the National Assembly. However, the MPI lacked project management ability, so did the Department of Planning and Investment (DPI) in each province and the district-level District Planning Office (DPO), which are its local agencies. As such, public investment projects implemented using the domestic development budget are not carried out effectively. Furthermore, the degree to which these projects contribute to the achievement of the targets set out in the government’s five-year National Socio-Economic Development Plan (NSEDP) was unclear, resulting in major discrepancies in planning and implementation.
Given the situation, IC Net was awarded and carried out a Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) technical assistance project entitled “Project for Capacity Building in Public Investment Program Management” (PCAP1) from between November 2004 and October 2007, followed by another JICA technical cooperation project, from March 2008 to August 2011, entitled “Project for Enhancing Capacity in Public Investment Program Management” (PCAP2). IC Net had implemented both PCAP 1 and 2 successfully.
PCAP1 and PCAP2 increasingly improved the capacity of MPI and DPI to manage public investment projects, by developing, revising, and disseminating methods and tools for assessing, monitoring, and evaluating projects, as well as developed various forms for assessing projects. The team prepared the environment for Public Investment Law enactment, which took place in December 2009, prescribing the obligation to assess public investment projects, and positioning the methods and tools developed through PCAP1 and PCAP2 as national systems under the law.
To further address the remaining issues in public investment management and utilize outputs from PCAP1 and 2, a new technical cooperation scheme has been agreed upon, to be implemented within the period from March 2012 to September 2015, entitled “Project for Establishing Public Investment Plan under NSEDP” (PCAP3). IC Net was awarded this contract.
In order to realize the primary objective of achieving sound project management that aligns with NSEDP targets, PCAP3 will develop methods and tools for public investment project management from a mid-term perspective, and further enhance the capacity of MPI, DPI and DPIO nationwide. More specifically, PCAP3 involves the following four approaches for achieving its primary objective: i) establish a mid-term public investment framework and financial management guidelines, ii) develop a process that ensures that project effects will be sustainable after the project completion, iii) improve the ODA project information management method, and iv) strengthen district-level public investment project management.
To view the first year reports, click on the following links: