Feasibility Study of Context and Conditions for a Budget Support Programme in Regional Development
The Global objective of this assignment was to advise ECD Armenia on the appropriateness of EU funded budget support for regional development and, if so, the method of selecting relevant projects that meet an agreed set of conditionalities.
This required the review of current development strategy proposals being considered by the relevant government ministries (MoE, MoF and MTA).
Determining if such regional strategy/strategies are supported by realistic projects i.e. addressing regional disparities in Armenia at the Marz and pan Marz level. The identification of specific selection criteria (conditionalities) that have to be met by regional projects if they are to be funded under EU budget support. Review the project management capacities within key ministries (MTA and MoE) and the eleven Marzes.
The specific objective(s) were :
A comparative review was required of the programmes promoted by the GoA (and others) that have relevance for regional economic and social development e.g.:
– SDS (formerly PRSP);
– Urban Regeneration Strategy;
– Current and proposed Marz Plans;
– Relevant international donor funded projects ;
An objective assessment as to whether or not the relevant line ministries are (or intend) working together to encourage complimentary actions at the regional level.;
A review of administrative and project management capacities (MTA and MoE) and Marzes to prioritize, manage and monitor regional projects funded under EU budget support i.e. know-how and management experience within MTA (and the Marzs) and the effectiveness of monitoring systems, MIS etc.;Identify an evaluation template of priority areas and related conditionalities to be met by projects promoted at the regional level, e.g. projects should be based on agreed priority areas and or sectors at the pan marz level and encourage innovation, diversification, sustainability and complementarity;
Make initial suggestions about the level and type of possible external assistance necessary to secure the delivery and sustainability of projects and local level and that will demonstrate good practices for the management of projects at the regional and local levels.