Ausaid support to Landmine Clearance in Cambodia through Clearing for Results Phase II design Summary and Implementation Document



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AusAID Support to Landmine Clearance in Cambodia through Clearing for Results Phase II

Design Summary and Implementation Document

Introduction


This Design Summary and Implementation Document, prepared by AusAID, proposes continued support to landmine clearance in Cambodia through a AUD 10 million contribution to Clearing for Results Project Phase II (2011-2015), a multi-donor facility managed by United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in partnership with the Cambodian Mine Action and Victim Assistance Authority (CMAA).

Background


Cambodia is one of the most mine affected countries in the world. Landmines and unexploded ordnance (UXO) kill and injure hundreds of people in Cambodia each year, having affected around 50,000 people to date. It is estimated that around 650 square kilometres of otherwise arable land remains contaminated with landmines and UXO, reducing available land for agriculture and rural development. It is estimated that clearance of these landmines and UXO will take another 10-15 years of intensive effort.

Progress is being made. Casualty rates have progressively declined from over 2,700 per year in the late 1990s to 243 in 2009. Some 560 square kilometres of contaminated land (nearly half of the total contamination) has been cleared since 1992.

Recognizing that a major constraint to Cambodia’s development is the continued contamination of landmines and UXO, the Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) added elimination of the negative humanitarian and socio-economic impacts of landmines and UXOs as its ninth Millennium Development Goal. Mine clearance is recognised as a key priority to enhance agriculture and rural development in the RGC’s Rectangular Strategy and National Strategic Development Plan (2009-2013).

Cambodia has developed a National Mine Action Strategy (NMAS) (2010-2019) to provide the strategic framework for mine action in Cambodia and outline how Cambodia will meet its obligations under the Anti-Personal Mine Ban Convention. It has four goals:

1. Reduce mine/explosive remnant of war (ERW) casualties and other negative impacts;

2. Contribute to economic growth and poverty reduction;

3. Promote international and regional disarmament and stability; and

4. Ensure sustainable national capacities to adequately address the residual mine/ERW contamination.

Cambodia became a State Party to the Anti-Personal Mine Ban Convention (APMBC) in 2000. In August 2009, Cambodia submitted a request for extension of its 10-year deadline for the clearance of all known mined areas. However, the precise extent and location of Cambodia’s remaining contamination is currently unknown. In August 2009, a Baseline Survey commenced which aims to define the remaining contamination and enhance planning and prioritisation of clearance. It is planned that survey of the 21 most mine-affected districts will be completed by December 2010, followed by all remaining districts by December 2012.

While Cambodia has yet to sign and ratify the Convention on Cluster Munitions, it has committed to do so following a review of the Convention’s implications. Australia will continue to advocate at the Technical Working Group for Mine Action for the RGC to complete this review quickly and sign and ratify the Convention. Clearing for Results will assist RGC to accede to the Convention by clarifying the extent of cluster munitions contamination in Cambodia through the Baseline Survey.

Australia has been a longstanding partner of Cambodia in reducing the impacts of landmines, providing over $60 million to mine action activities since 1996. Australia’s recent assistance for mine action in Cambodia has included support for mine clearance, post clearance community development, mine risk education and survivor assistance. These activities have been concentrated in the most mine affected provinces in the north west of Cambodia.

Australia was the largest donor to Clearing for Results Phase I (2006-2010), contributing AUD 14 million. AusAID has been satisfied through Independent Mid Term Reviews in 2008 and 2009 and annual field monitoring missions that Clearing for Results Phase I has been efficiently managed and implemented by UNDP and CMAA. Excellent communication and working relationships have been developed between UNDP, CMAA and Development Partners, including AusAID.

Clearing for Results has also been effective in achieving its objectives of: (i) landmine clearance which is transparently prioritized, cost-efficient and contributes directly to poverty alleviation and rural development; and (ii) enhanced capacity of CMAA in socio-economic planning, regulation, monitoring and quality assurance. Phase I funded the clearance of more than 35 square kilometres of mine/ERW affected land for communities in support of local development priorities. CMAA has been increasingly engaged in managing the Clearing For Results demining resources by participating in the development of terms of reference, assessing project proposals and monitoring demining activities to increase compliance with national mine action systems and standards. Phase I strengthened CMAA’s oversight of a decentralised system to prioritise mine clearance tasks in accordance with community development priorities and supported the CMAA to develop the NMAS, Baseline Survey and Land Release Policy/Standards which have the potential to dramatically improve the effectiveness and efficiency of future clearance.

Proposed program and rationale for AusAID participation

Activity Summary


Clearing for Results Phase II (2011-2015) is a continuation of Phase I and has been developed to support the national priorities of the RGC as detailed in the NMAS.

The objectives of Clearing for Results Phase II are:



  1. Mine action policy and strategic frameworks ensure resources are effectively allocated to national priorities and maximize the land available for local development;

  2. The CMAA is equipped with the technical and functional capacities required to manage the sector within an evolving environment; and

  3. Sustained funding for the maximum release of mine/explosive remnant of war (ERW) affected land, promoting efficiency and transparency.

Building on the results and responding to recommendations from the Mid Term Reviews of Phase I, key changes in Phase II include:

  • A shift from direct implementation by UNDP to national implementation by CMAA, reflecting CMAA’s increased capacity to lead the mine action sector at both policy and operational levels. This will mean that CMAA will be responsible and accountable for managing the project, including monitoring and evaluating project interventions, achievement of project outputs and effective use of resources. UNDP will support CMAA’s project management capacity through capacity development and advisory support especially during the first couple of years of project implementation.

  • A change in the way that clearance resources are allocated from maintaining the Cambodian Mine Action Centre’s demining capacity over time to competitive bidding open to all accredited humanitarian demining operators in Cambodia. Under the new arrangements, demining operators must detail how many teams they will provide within a given cost ceiling and how many tasks they will complete within a maximum defined time frame. This has the potential to increase the efficiency of clearance funded by the project. Efficiency of clearance operations will also be dramatically improved through the use of Baseline Survey data to define clearance tasks in Cambodia’s 21 most mine affected districts. This will reduce the use of clearance assets on low priority tasks.

AusAID objectives in supporting Clearing for Results Phase II


Proposed Australian support recognises that mine action is critical to Cambodia’s development. Around ninety per cent of Cambodia’s poorest people live in rural areas and about 80 per cent of the population relies on agriculture for their livelihood, so it is very important that Cambodia’s people are able to safely access land resources without fear of injury and death from landmines.

Support for mine clearance contributes to Australia’s objective to increase the food and livelihood security of the rural poor in Cambodia by releasing land to poor communities for livelihood purposes. It also contributes to Australia’s objective to increase the value of agricultural production and smallholder income in targeted provinces. Increasing access to safe land is one of the most significant factors in increasing agricultural production in Cambodia and complements our other major rural development initiatives.

Australian support to Clearing for Results is also well aligned with the Mine Action Strategy for the Australian Aid Program (2010-2014) which aims to reduce the threat and socio-economic impact of landmines by reducing the number of deaths and injuries and enhancing the capacity of countries to manage their mine action programs.

As a multi-donor funding facility supporting the leadership of CMAA to implement the RGC’s National Mine Action Strategy, Clearing for Results represents the most harmonised and aligned modality to support mine clearance in Cambodia. As the lead development partner (DP) facilitator of the joint RGC/DP Technical Working Group for Mine Action in Cambodia, UNDP plays a highly effective leadership role in promoting aid effectiveness in the mine action sector in Cambodia. UNDP has supported the development of Partnership Principles between the RGC and DPs which require CMAA to review and endorse DP’s initiatives prior to implementation to ensure alignment with the NMAS. The new modality for procurement of demining services through competitive bidding managed by the CMAA is an initial step towards a program based approach in Cambodia’s mine action sector. It is hoped that the cost-efficiency gains and increased impact of this modality will encourage other DPs to reconsider parallel funding mechanisms in favour of a CMAA-led funding allocation system.


Links with current programs


Australia has also been supporting mine clearance followed by integrated community development activities to ensure that cleared land is used effectively by poor communities for livelihood purposes through three NGO Cooperation Agreements (AUD 9.2 million, 2006-2011). These projects will be complete by June 2011 and there are no plans to extend them further. AusAID is currently considering future engagement with NGOs across the Mekong. Any future NGO activity would not duplicate the mine clearance conducted under Clearing for Results, but could complement it with integrated community development activities.

Australia is also supporting mine risk education and survivors of landmine/UXO accidents through the Cambodia Initiative for Disability Inclusion (formerly the Landmine Survivor Assistance Project) managed by Australian Red Cross (AUD 4.8 million, 2007–12). This complements the clearance conducted under Clearing for Results to support a comprehensive mine action response in Cambodia.

Australia’s flagship agriculture and rural development project, the Cambodia Agricultural Value Chain (CAVAC) Project (AUD 48 million, 2010-2014) is targeting Cambodia’s lowland rice-based farming areas. Although the current target provinces are not heavily affected by landmines and UXO, the project will expand to additional provinces in future years. This may include provinces in the northwest of Cambodia with high agricultural potential that is significantly constrained by landmine and UXO contamination. Investment in mine clearance will therefore complement Australia’s significant investments in agriculture in Cambodia.

Proposed AusAID funding amounts


Cambodia has estimated that approximately USD 470 million is required over the next ten to fifteen years to release the remaining 650 square kilometres of contaminated land. RGC will require significant, continued financial support from development partners to maintain their demining capacity to achieve their clearance commitments under the APMBC. As a long-term major partner of the RGC in mine action and given Australia’s significant investment in rural poverty reduction through agricultural development, the rationale for a continued, significant contribution to mine action in Cambodia remains strong, as outlined in AusAID objectives in supporting Clearing for Results Phase II and Links with current programs above.

The total budget of Clearing for Results Phase II is USD 26 million. Other development partners have foreshadowed commitments of over $11 million as detailed in Table 1. Canada has demonstrated their continued commitment to supporting Cambodia’s demining efforts and their confidence in Clearing for Results as an efficient and effective mechanism for doing so by increasing their contributions from Phase I (Canada contributed approximately USD 7.5 million to Phase I).



Table 1: Foreshadowed Commitments from other Development Partners to Clearing for Results Phase II (2011-2015)

Development Partner

Amount (USD)

Canada

10,000,000

UNDP

800,000-1,000,000

United Kingdom

520,000

Total

11,320,000-11,520,000

Funding Deficit

14,616,000-14,816,000

The proposed AusAID contribution is AUD 10 million (currently USD 9,900,000). This would be disbursed over the full period of the project from 2011 to 2015 (AUD 2 million per year). It will be a contribution to the project as a whole and will not be targeted to any particular component of the project.

This leaves the Clearing for Results project with a funding deficit of close to USD 5 million. UNDP will attempt to mobilise additional resources from other development partners. However, if they are unable to do so, the clearance activities will need to be scaled down.

Cambodia will host the 11th Meeting of States Parties of the APMBC at the end of 2011 in Phnom Penh. This offers an opportunity for Cambodia to solicit increased financial assistance. This would also be an excellent opportunity for Australia to announce our continued support for mine action in Cambodia.

Implementation arrangements


CMAA will implement the project, supported by UNDP. AusAID will participate actively in the governance of the project through the six monthly project board meetings which review and approve the project’s annual work plans, budgets and personnel, authorise any major deviation from these agreed plans and review and approve progress reports. Detailed activities and associated budgets will be determined annually through the annual work plans.

Monitoring arrangements

A continuation of AusAID’s current management and monitoring arrangements is suggested. AusAID’s experience during Phase I of the project and the Independent Mid Term Reviews in 2008 and 2009 have given us confidence that the project is being efficiently and effectively managed and implemented by UNDP and CMAA.

UNDP has developed a Results and Resources Framework which includes intended outputs, output targets per year, key deliverables, responsible parties and inputs over the duration of the project. This will facilitate AusAID’s capacity to monitor progress towards achievement of the project’s outcomes.

Quarterly progress reports and an annual review report will be submitted to AusAID to enable monitoring of progress towards meeting project objectives and lessons learned to inform future annual work plans. In addition, AusAID will conduct a field monitoring visit with other development partners, UNDP and CMAA at least annually. Joint independent mid-term and final reviews will be conducted. The National Management Board will approve the terms of reference of these reviews, so AusAID will have an opportunity to provide input into the scope of work.

In order to measure the impact of the mine clearance funded by the project on poverty reduction and economic growth, Clearing for Results will contribute to the development of an impact assessment methodology that will become part of the National Mine Action Strategy Monitoring and Evaluation framework.

Risks and risk management strategies in relation to AusAID’s contribution


There are two major risks – one related to project implementation and one related to the achievement of project objectives.

In terms of project implementation, the major risk is related to CMAA’s capacity to effectively and efficiently manage project resources in a transparent and accountable manner, particularly the allocation of clearance resources through competitive tender processes. If CMAA is unable to comply with operational policies and procedures, this could result in delays in allocating funds for clearance. Any improper use of funding or irregularities in procurement processes would divert funds from clearance activities and produce a reputational risk for CMAA, UNDP and the Development Partners supporting Clearing for Results.

To mitigate these risks, UNDP will continue to provide strong oversight of the Project. Financial management risks will be mitigated by UNDP retaining financial management responsibilities until it is assessed that CMAA has sufficient capacity to undertake this function. Procurement risks will be managed by UNDP observation of CMAA procurement processes whenever Clearing for Results funds are involved. Any irregularities will be referred to the Project Board for further action.

In late 2010, UNDP and CMAA will conduct an assessment of CMAA’s financial management and procurement capacity and recommend a plan for strengthening CMAA’s financial management and procurement systems. The implementation of this plan will start from January 2011 and UNDP will provide capacity development support to CMAA in the areas of project management, monitoring, finance and procurement. This capacity development plan will set clear milestones based on which the Project Board (including AusAID) can make decisions on CMAA’s ability to manage a larger volume of project resources. AusAID will ensure that we apply appropriate rigour to this decision making process.

CMAA officials engaged on Clearing for Results will be provided with incentive payments to supplement their low government salaries in accordance with the Priority Operating Cost (POC) Scheme which has been agreed between RGC and Development Partners to harmonise payments to government official across development partner projects. The POC scheme is a temporary mechanism (it will be reviewed at the end of 2011 and is due to cease on 30 June 2012) while RGC and development partners continue to discuss broader public administration reforms to establish a sustainable remuneration framework for RGC officials. UNDP will also continue to engage with the Council of Ministers to ensure adequate levels of remuneration for CMAA officials and will provide non monetary incentives such as training and exchange visits to maintain staff motivation.

UNDP has committed adequate resources at the beginning of Phase II to strengthen CMAA’s systems and maintain a significant support role to ensure transparency, accountability and cost-effectiveness in the allocation of funds. UNDP will be prepared to take over project management functions if CMAA is unable to manage project resources effectively and efficiently.

In terms of achievement of project objectives, there is a risk related to the productive use of cleared land by the rural poor. There have been instances in the past of cleared land being co-opted by powerful individuals or the nominated beneficiaries selling their land once cleared as the value has increased. Intended beneficiaries may also lack the resources to use the land productively.

This risk will be mitigated through the integration of clearance with development planning processes for the allocation of national and sub-national resources and support from development partners. Post-clearance monitoring will monitor the use of land once cleared and record cases of unused or misused land for further action by CMAA in cooperation with national and sub-national authorities. Post-clearance monitoring data collected by CMAA in 2009 indicated that less than 1% of land cleared in Cambodia was in dispute or captured for public use instead of individual use.


Other related documents


This Design Summary and Implementation Document should be read in conjunction with the following documents:

  • UNDP Project Document for Clearing for Results

  • Independent Appraisal

  • QAE Assessments by Independent Appraiser, Mine Action Coordinator and Cambodia Program

  • 2008 Mid Term Review of Clearing for Results

  • 2009 Mid Term Review of Clearing for Results




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