Training Programme of officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & other Ministries
The TPO was designed both as an HRD and institutional development project in the context of Cambodia’s entry into ASEAN. It focussed on improving the skills of one hundred officials from the three main Ministries concerned with ASEAN qua the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Economy and Finance, and the Ministry of Commerce. The main component of the TPO consisted of training officials from the Directorates chiefly challenged by ASEAN and other regional / global initiatives (e.g. WTO negotiations). The inception period of the project entailed refurbishment of training facilities, the selection of participants and the division of the officials into two main groups. The first group consisted of 25 Senior civil servants, 25 Mid-level managers, and 25 Support staff. These were given part-time, on-the job training over a period of 7 months. A second group of 25 Junior officials was given in-depth, full time training for a period of 10 months. Courses for the trainees included English language training specifically tailored to trainee needs, law, economy and courses on the functions, policies and institutions of ASEAN. The Support staff received additional training in IC&T room equipped by the TPO. 12 Network administrators and secretarial skills trainers were also trained. The project allowed for study tours to be organised for all the trainees to Bangkok, Singapore and Jakarta (ASEAN Secretariat) to develop cross-border working relationships, and provide a hands-on experience of collaboration with the ASEAN institutions. Systematic adjustment of TPO activities to the expressed needs of the Ministries, in particular the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Commerce entailed constant interfacing with the high-level officials, leading to various modifications to accommodate new requirements. The TPO also included two sub-projects targeted at enhancing results and permitting the implementation of improved working methods: (a) the development of documentation centres (one in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, built by the TPO, and one in the Royal School of Administration, refurbished by the project), and (b) the design, equipping and installation of a pilot IT network in the three Ministries (including 3 separate Local Area Networks linking over 100 workstations, 20 of which are delivered by the project, in some 10 buildings, and a common access to the Internet protected by a ‘fire wall’). Managers and users of these two facilities were trained by the TPO. Seen by the Cambodian client as highly successful, all TPO facilities are presently in the hands of the receiving institutions and are considered sustainable in their future management and use.