22 September 1998
Original: Spanish


(Document prepared by the General Secretariat)

September 1998


I have the honor to transmit to Your Excellency the General Secretariat document "Considerations for an Evaluation of Partnership for Development" for consideration by the member states.

This document was prepared to provide background information for the discussions of the Special Joint Working Group of the Permanent Council and the Inter-American Council for Integral Development on the process of strengthening and modernizing the OAS. It is part of a package of documents on institutional reform to which I referred in the note I sent you this past July 31.

Accept, Excellency, the renewed assurances of my highest consideration.

C�sar Gaviria
Secretary General

His Excellency
Ambassador Antonio Mercader
Permanent Representative of Uruguay
to the Organization of American States
Chair of the Permanent Council
Washington, D.C.

Considerations for An Evaluation of Partnership for Development


An evaluation of cooperation implies a review of policy goals and financial and organizational aspects. Member states have made considerable progress in these three aspects since 1996 with the establishment of the Inter-American Council for Integral Development (CIDI) and the Executive Secretariat for Integral Development (SEDI). Such progress includes establishment of a legal and institutional framework for CIDI activities, adoption of basic policy documents setting guidelines for partnership, the holding of ministerial- and high-level technical meetings, and the formulation and start-up of a significant number of partnership programs and projects. Along with some positive results, these activities have also highlighted a number of shortcomings that must be overcome in order to strengthen partnership among member states.


The Managua Protocol, adopted in 1996, and the resolutions of the special session of the General Assembly on inter-American cooperation for development, held in 1994, laid the foundation for partnership as it has developed within the framework of the OAS.

In AGECID, member states agreed to promote partnership for development as a basic objective of the OAS and as a demonstration of authentic inter-American solidarity, founded on recognition of the eminently endogenous nature of development processes.

It is in this framework that member states undertook to review the traditional concept of cooperation and to clarify the role the OAS should play as a forum and instrument in conjunction with the many other organizations and institutions involved in inter-American cooperation. They also set out to establish guidelines enabling the OAS to contribute in a timely and effective manner to the development of member states.

Accordingly, AGECID determined that the purpose of partnership for development is to provide collective support for member states’ efforts to achieve their own integral and sustainable development, and in particular, to contribute to eradicating extreme poverty in the Hemisphere, thereby boosting the consolidation of democracies and the institutions underpinning them throughout the region.

During the period known as the transition to CIDI, the General Secretariat submitted a working paper entitled "Modernization of Cooperation and New Guidelines for CIDI Activities" for consideration by the political bodies. The aim was to put forward ideas and suggestions to guide the new concept of cooperation being developed in the Organization.

This paper analyzed how cooperation developed and identified the origins of the problems it faced. That documents also included a proposal for organizing the area of cooperation in the OAS and sets guidelines for improving it.

Several of the General Secretariat’s suggestions were reflected in the framework later established by member states in the CIDI Statutes and in the Strategic Plan for partnership for development 1997-2001.


The Strategic Plan for partnership for development 1997-2001 includes and develops the main guidelines defined in the Protocol of Managua and the AGECID. With respect to cooperation programs and projects, the guidelines in the Strategic Plan highlight the need to:


A review of the activities carried out in compliance with the mandates of the General Assembly regarding strengthening of cooperation reveals that member states have made genuine progress in the two years that have elapsed since the beginning of CIDI activities in mid-1996. Achievements include:


At the same time, this review of activities carried out so far shows that various mandates regarding the strengthening of cooperation are still pending.

The decisions and actions required in order to strengthen partnership for development are outlined in the Strategic Plan and call for new working approaches. In particular, the participation of sectoral political and technical authorities must be strengthened, as well as that of specialized institutions in member states, in a joint effort that should be supported by the General Secretariat.

More detailed information is provided below on the tasks already carried out and those which have yet to be carried out with respect to each of the principal actions called for by member states in the Strategic Plan pursuant to the mandates of the General Assembly regarding the strengthening of cooperation.


1. The legal framework and representative organs

The strengthening of the role of the OAS as a forum for inter-American dialogue is a central objective of the Strategic Plan for partnership for development, 1997-2001.

The CIES and the CIECC met at ministerial level over the course of many years and also fostered the holding of numerous high-level political and technical meetings in their fields of competence.

The OAS for many years has supported the holding of ministerial-level meetings, as well as projects and other cooperation activities in sectors and specific areas which today constitute CIDI priorities, including ministerial meetings on education, labor, social development, environment, trade, tourism, culture and science and technology.

Since 1996, the following ministerial or ministerial-level meetings have been held pursuant to CIDI priorities: the Second and Third Regular Meetings of CIDI, the Meeting of Ministers of Science and Technology of the Hemisphere, the High Level Meeting on Social Development, the XVII Inter-American Travel Congress, the IX Inter-American Port and Harbor Conference and the First CIDI Meeting of Ministers of Education.

CIDI also promotes cooperation activities and projects geared to strengthening democratic institutions which complement activities undertaken by other areas of the OAS in support of ministerial meetings on the administration of justice and the modernization of public institutions.

For the 1998-1999 period member states are considering convening ministerial meetings in the framework of sectoral meetings of CIDI on sustainable development, labor, tourism, social development, and science and technology.

In the framework of CIDI, ministerial and high-level technical meetings have been accompanied by other institutional meetings on cooperation among which the following should be highlighted:

Recognizing the potential of collective action in the framework of the new Council, the General Assembly of the OAS has urged member states to promote CIDI mechanisms, in particular its regular and specialized ministerial-level meetings, in order to follow-up on the decisions adopted at the Summits of the Americas, as well as to formulate and to develop initiatives which facilitate the implementation of these decisions.

It should be noted that follow-up to the Summits of the Americas and the ministerial meetings has begun in inter-American committee meetings and other high-level technical forums in the CIDI framework. They have drawn up inter-American partnership programs which include forum activities, project promotion and exchange of information. The Inter-American Program to Combat Poverty and Discrimination, the Inter-American Program for Sustainable Development, the Inter-American Program for the Sustainable Development of Tourism and the Inter-American Program of Culture have all been formulated since June 1996. These programs have already been approved by CIDI and the General Assembly and constitute an integral part of the Strategic Plan.

The possibility of gradually establishing links between summit and ministerial meetings and the creation of inter-American committees comprising the technical authorities in each sector is particularly interesting in this context. Among the specific functions assigned to these committees are a review of the progress achieved in the action plans approved by the ministers; drafting proposals and supervising the execution of inter-American programs adopted for OAS cooperation activities; and the coordination of efforts with other organizations and institutions which engage in cooperation activities in the hemisphere. This has been the case with respect to social development, environment and sustainable development, and science and technology.

To consolidate these possibilities it is necessary to increase the participation of both the political authorities which define the main action guidelines and the technical authorities, which not only have the know-how and can arrange specific activities with other countries, but can also commit their own institutional and financial resources in carrying out these activities.

While recognizing the need to strengthen the contribution of CIDI as a forum for political dialogue, the General Secretariat considers that it is useful to distinguish clearly between functions germane to the discussion of development policies and those which relate to partnership.

In this regard, the regular meetings of CIDI should be entirely devoted to specialized subjects in the sphere of inter-American cooperation. In these meetings member states should be represented by their cooperation agencies and by the highest national authorities in the area concerned.

The regular meetings of CIDI should, moreover, be prepared through consultations and technical meetings with agencies and institutions in the field of cooperation in a way similar to those for which the General Secretariat has already convened the participation of cooperation agencies in member states.

Furthermore, discussion of sectoral policies and other specialized subjects should take place in ministerial meetings like that of the Ministers of Education, recently held in Brazil under CIDI auspices. That should make it possible to provide systematic follow-up to the decisions adopted by the Presidents and Heads of Government of the Hemisphere at the Santiago Summit.

As has been pointed out on other occasions, the General Secretariat believes that CIDI provides an appropriate framework for ministerial forums in fields such as sustainable development, science and education, and social development, inter alia. At the same time it considers that specialized sectoral policy and partnership issues require separate treatment.

2. Unified management of cooperation activities

As has been noted, the reforms undertaken are designed to consolidate the OAS as a forum for political dialogue and as an agency for the promotion of partnership for development. Accordingly, the strengthening of cooperation for development among institutions which are active in the hemisphere is another central objectives of the 1997-2001 Strategic Plan.

Experience acquired in the first two years of CIDI operations suggests that in order to strengthen Partnership, the General Secretariat’s capacity to manage it must also be boosted.

Strengthening management of cooperation issues will require that the political bodies and the General Secretariat adopt a set of measures to ensure coherent handling of technical approaches, financing and organization.

Within the General Secretariat, such measures should eliminate duplication of tasks and reduce management and administrative costs. It should also help free up internal resources needed to allow the Organization to comply more effectively with its commitments; mobilize external resources for cooperation activities; and improve the quantity, quality, cost and timeliness of the cooperation services which can be offered with presently available resources.

Project management

The Executive Secretariat for Integral Development (SEDI) plans, programs, evaluates ex-ante and submits projects to the political organs for their approval, selecting them from all requests for cooperation made either by the member states or by the various units of the General Secretariat: a faculty granted it under the Strategic Plan. Nonetheless, responsibility for follow-up and monitoring of projects is currently shared by SEDI and the specialized units. In some cases this has led to unnecessary duplication of efforts.

The specialized units and offices were created as technical bodies, to ensure that the General Secretariat has access to all the advice it needs to enable it to carry out the priority tasks on the Organization’s agenda. Hence they must be capable of acquiring in-depth understanding of the issues assigned to them and to provide detailed follow-up of developments in the hemispheric and world context, so as to be in a position to formulate policy proposals in their respective areas of competence. These specialized bodies should be prepared to advise SEDI regarding the enhancement of the technical quality of projects which have been adopted in order for members to derive the maximum benefit from them. The Units should be involved in a limited and selective manner in the direct implementation, monitoring, and follow-up of cooperation projects.

In principle, SEDI should be entrusted with the responsibility of managing projects financed through CIDI’s Special Multilateral Fund (FEMCIDI).

Nonetheless, the Secretary General shall retain the authority to assign responsibility for given projects to specific Units when particular technical, political and/or financial considerations so require. In such cases procedures should follow the guidelines identified by CIDI in accordance with the provisions of the Statutes of FEMCIDI.

In these cases, the Units and specialized offices of the General Secretariat shall be responsible for project execution, while keeping SEDI duly informed. In order to ensure smooth coordination between the Units and SEDI, a project planning meeting will be convened among the parties involved.

Projects financed through external funds and ad hoc contributions will continue to be run by the specialized agencies of the General Secretariat.

Consequently, in the proposed model the norm would be that SEDI manages the projects its supports. The specialized agencies of the General Secretariat would reinforce their technical advisory capacities and would be responsible only on a selective basis for management of certain projects.

Complementing this model there could also be a seed-fund in the framework of CIDI, which would serve to earmark some resources for the preparation of projects designed by the units and specialized offices of the General Secretariat to raise external funding.

Human resources training and the management of fellowships

As has been emphasized in a number of studies carried out in the last three decades both inside and outside the Organization, the education and training of human resources are among those international cooperation activities that generate the highest returns for the countries, institutions and individuals involved. Accordingly, the education and training of human resources are major concerns within the new structure of cooperation, which is reflected in many of the projects presently carried out with the support of CIDI.

New hemispheric and global realities have shown the need for systematic efforts to foster inter-American cooperation in educating, training and recycling human resources so that they contribute to establishing improved political, commercial, academic, technical, cultural and other ties between the member states, and thereby to the integral development of all the countries of the region.

The demand for skilled human resources, together with institutional consolidation and the impetus given to the various national fellowship and training programs in member states, have created new objective conditions for inter-American cooperation in this field. These conditions have already begun to be reflected in new forms of multinational association, many of which are supported by universities and research institutions operating in the hemisphere.

Such considerations underscore the importance of the task that member states have entrusted to CIDI in the area of human resources.

On the basis of decisions taken by AGECID, the Strategic Plan lists, as one of the actions to be carried out, a program for supporting the education and training of human resources including, inter alia, the current OAS fellowship program.

Fellowships were the first form of assistance provided by the Organization, predating the projects and cooperation as we know it today in the OAS. They exist in their own right and have an excellent record to show.

At the same time it must be admitted that while the Fellowships Program has broadened the scope of its activities over the years, it has barely modified its conceptual and methodological approach, particular with respect to PRA fellowships. At present, the fellowships program, which should be an integral part of Partnership for development, functions independently of cooperation priorities.

Fellowships, like projects, are instruments of an inter-American cooperation policy, and as such should follow the guidelines of the Strategic Plan. Consequently, the fellowships program constitutes a cooperation activity which should be guided by that Plan.

To this end, steps should be taken to ensure that the fellowships provided by the OAS be associated more and more explicitly with the policy guidelines and priorities defined in the framework of CIDI, in particular through specialized meetings at the ministerial level and through inter-American programs.

It would also be worth considering a pilot scheme involving the Non-Permanent Specialized Committees of CIDI (CENPES) in the fellowship selection process. The work of these CIDI bodies provides an opportunity not only to improve the technical quality of cooperation activities, but also perhaps to introduce technical selection criteria more in line with the cooperation priorities of the Organization.

A pilot scheme such as the one we suggest could accompany the fellowships with other training components for cooperation projects, in the framework of the Strategic Plan, and stimulate their role as key factors in strengthening institution in member states.

In particular, ways could be found to make training an integral part of cooperation projects, thereby helping to make human resource training more coherent.

If such an approach were applied, SEDI, in analyzing the projects submitted to it, would be in a position to identify training needs on the national, subregional and regional levels in relation to the various priority areas, and to help foster participation by universities, institutions and research centers of member states in meeting those needs. Simultaneously it would attempt to coordinate more closely with actions supported by the General Secretariat through the fellowship and training programs of the Organization, along the lines established by AGECID and in keeping with the guidelines of the Strategic Plan.

The management of horizontal cooperation

The various horizontal cooperation funds have also developed independently of the programs and projects of CIDI. An effort must be made to integrate the horizontal cooperation resources provided by countries with the diverse activities carried out by the Organization in the field of cooperation, in order to make sure that they more effectively complement OAS programs.

At present, projects financed by means of the various trust funds for horizontal cooperation are small-scale ad hoc activities which are negotiated and agreed upon directly between the institution applying for support and the country providing cooperation, without substantive participation on the part of the General Secretariat. This does not appear to have been the original intention as regards the principal use of horizontal cooperation funds.

Both the Argentine Fund as well as the Brazilian Horizontal Cooperation Fund explicitly envisage the possibility of making use of these funds to complement the resources intended for cooperative projects of the Organization. The Argentine Fund gives explicit preference to those applications which constitute a part of multilateral projects approved by the Organization. This preference is justified by the fact that participation in Organization projects signifies that a bilaterally conceived instrument is transformed into a multilateral one.

As has been pointed out, no systematic inclusion of horizontal cooperation resources in cooperation projects approved by CIDI has yet been obtained, but that could be achieved as a result of the general strengthening of partnership for development.

The administrative management of funds for cooperation

One subject-area of relevance to the coordination and rationalization of cooperation activities is the administration of voluntary funds.

The countries have expressed concern because there is no clear-cut distinction between the accounts through which regular funds and voluntary funds are managed. The General Secretariat is especially interested in ensuring total transparency in the management of these funds.

In conformity with the measures suggested here, options should be studied, in the framework of the general principles which govern the financial management of the Organization, with a view to establishing the separate financial management of funds earmarked for cooperation activities, which will make it possible to respond with greater transparency and timeliness to the information needs of the member states.

3. Implementation of partnership for development

As has been pointed out, the reforms undertaken through CIDI address the consolidation of the OAS as a forum for political dialogue and as an institution for the promotion of partnership for development among member states. With respect to their participation, the Strategic Plan emphasizes that: Partnership for development includes all the States, regardless of their level of development, and the fact that CIDI shall favor multilateral projects.

The new concept of cooperation implies that the limited resources of the OAS should be directed more effectively to meeting the most urgent needs of the member states, particularly of those with the smallest or relatively least developed economies.

The experience of these first two years has demonstrated that more effective efforts must be made to apply the concept of partnership for development to the participation of relatively less developed countries and those with small markets.

While some countries have begun to perform as net donors in their participation in cooperation activities, they still constitute the exception and resources are not yet being channeled preferentially toward those countries with the greatest needs for cooperation.

Thus, for example, in 1997-1998, although Haiti and Honduras received the largest amount of resources, Argentina, Brazil and Mexico are among the five countries which received the bulk of CIDI’s Special Multilateral Fund. The share of total cooperation funds channeled to these three countries, together with Chile and Venezuela, increased from 21% to 33% in 1998.

Although various factors could account for this situation, one worth addressing is the inequality in the level of preparation [for such funding] which exists in the different countries.

It is true that most cases of resources channeled to the countries listed above, were earmarked for activities of a multilateral nature. Nonetheless specific measures should be adopted in order to obtain the greatest benefit for the smaller or relatively less developed countries–above all bearing in mind, as has been pointed out in another section of this paper, that multinational projects in many cases are simply the sum of national projects.

In accordance with the Strategic Plan, participating national institutions should generate and foster preferably multilateral projects in the framework of the policies, inter-American programs and action guidelines established by the member states.

Nonetheless, a lack of explicit policies and measures in support of smaller or relatively less developed countries is evident in this respect. The present model assumes that all member states compete on the same footing for cooperation resources. But the ability to compete depends upon institutional capacities to formulate and to present projects, and these are activities which other countries are in a better position to undertake in view of their scale and degree of development.

For the concept of partnership for development to materialize, the Executive Secretariat must be granted more leeway with respect to the preparation, follow-up and evaluation of cooperation projects. The Executive Secretary should be supplied with the means to carry out programming tasks, and technical meetings for project design, in order to support and complement national capacities in this area.

These activities would be consistent with one of the roles which the Statutes of CIDI assign to the Executive Secretariat, when it entrusts it with "coordinating the support offered by the General Secretariat to those member states which so request, for the formulation of their projects".

On the other hand, experience acquired since 1996 suggests that an advisable measure in this regard would be the establishment, through voluntary contributions, of a special fund for technical assistance for the support of smaller or relatively less developed countries. Through such a fund, needed support would be provided for the preparation of projects and resources made available to carry out some of the cooperation activities of special importance to them, in particular those which have a national bearing or which facilitate their participation in regional or subregional cooperation efforts. In addition to the member states, those States which participate in the OAS in their capacity as Permanent Observers would be expressly invited to join in the establishment of such a fund.

Thus it is necessary to keep in mind that for many States the most immediate and urgent need is to strengthen their own institutional development, which would allow them to participate actively in jointly formulated policies and actions for integration and development.

Many of these member states confront problems of economy of scale in order to sustain the panoply of specialized institutions required by economic globalization and by an active participation in continental integration. As a result, these member states generate a strong demand for technical cooperation in the form of aid in order to sustain national institutional action on the many fronts where the necessary institutional basis is not available. In the present framework of international cooperation, resources for this purpose are increasingly scarce.

In these cases technical assistance for the strengthening of institutions for action at the national level may be a legitimate and necessary component of inter-American cooperation, when it is conducive to national institutional consolidation. At the same time it must be recognized that in many cases considerations of scale prevent such consolidation either in the medium or the long term. An alternative strategy, which has already proved to be viable in some cases, is the establishment and coordination of working groups, committees and subregional bodies which make possible a division of labor at the subregional level, or other forms of association taking advantage of complementary and specialized economies. Such forms of association constitute per se measures of integration which, if they gradually acquired priority in the framework of cooperative action in the OAS, could benefit from the contribution of institutions of other member states in the form of training and consulting.

Consequently, it appears advisable that, along with its partnership for development approach, the OAS should open a technical assistance facility for relatively less developed member states, to be financed through voluntary contributions.

4. The function of the General Secretariat of the OAS in promoting and facilitating cooperation.

In accordance with the Strategic Plan, the General Secretariat will participate increasingly as an agent for the promotion of cooperation and less as an executor of projects.

Important progress has been made on this level. In the projects supported by CIDI starting in 1996 a very significant change has been observed with regard to the institutions responsible for implementation of the projects as compared with prior practices in the field of cooperation. Almost all approved projects requested by member states, whether of a national or multilateral nature, are being implemented by national institutions. At the same time, the implementation of projects originating in the various specialized departments of the Secretariat is gradually being transferred to national institutions of the member states, which execute certain components of these projects.

5. Greater clarity regarding priorities

Although preparation and adoption of the Strategic Plan of the various inter-American programs represented a major step forward in terms of the definition of the objectives and targets of cooperation, priorities continue to be too broadly defined.

As a result, even when projects correspond to one of the eight thematic priorities established by the General Assembly, they are not always tailored to those areas in which OAS partnership for development can make an effective contribution. For cooperation activities to be more useful for member states, it is essential to persist in the effort to identify the specific areas in which such undertakings should be concentrated.

Focusing resources on more specific areas should help make a qualitative impact on areas that are crucial for the development of member states.

In-depth and substantive progress must be made in order to attain the objectives set forth in the Strategic Plan, so that resources effectively complement the efforts made by the countries themselves and contribute to the achievement of lasting institutional change instead of ad hoc, short term, and ephemeral results.

Today’s priority areas are very broadly defined and they may include a possibly less well defined spectrum of cooperation activities. Cooperation must be sharply focused and the limits and scope of the Organization's action must be defined with greater precision within the eight identified priority areas. Additional efforts need to be made to identify more specific areas within each one of these, where a significant impact may be obtained in the countries.

To this end, a joint programming model put together by institutions of the countries involved, supported by the General Secretariat, coordinated by the Executive Secretariat for Integral Development, and operating on the basis of a simplified ex-ante mechanism of evaluation, should be incorporated in the present system of planning, programming and approving projects. This would obviate an excessive accumulation of proposals which do not necessarily meet even minimum quality standards.

For their part, and by improving the inter-American programs, technical institutions in the countries, especially the National Liaison Agencies for Cooperation, can contribute to defining more specific fields of activity within each priority area, and to establishing more clearly the limits and scope of CIDI action.

With regard to all these matters, the need to broaden the scope of the activities of the Executive Secretariat should again be emphasized.

6. The concentration of resources and the size of projects

Substantive progress has been made on this level, since CIDI has concentrated greater resources in fewer projects. The average size of projects has risen from $100,000 in 1997 to $122,000 in 1998, both figures being way above those for previous years.

While the progress noted in these growth rates is largely quantitative, the change is significant, above all if one bears in mind that the average value of projects before CIDI started operations was in the order of $14,000.

7. Emphasis on multilateral projects

The General Assembly has reaffirmed on various occasions the determination of member states to foster regional programs promoting cooperation projects arising out of multilateral initiatives and which involve participation by both the public and the private sector as well as other sources of finance.

A favorable trend is observable in this respect, although an effort must be made to define clearly the participation of each of the countries involved in exchange activities in the projects, and to ensure that authentic multilateral activities are at play and not simply the sum total of national projects in a common field.

In terms of numbers and amounts of projects, with resources from 1994 to 1997, CIDI approved the implementation of 145 multilateral projects for a total of $26,915,190. The impact of the multilateral projects on total funding has shown a positive trend throughout the two-year period since, while multilateral projects received 41% of the total in 1997, in 1998 this percentage rose to 78%.

In order to strengthen multilateral action with a high level of exchange among institutions in member states, systematic support for the institutions concerned to enable these to participate directly in the formulation of multilateral projects appears to be necessary. This is a complex task which requires financial and technical resources. However it is an attractive one considering that the preparation of projects mobilizes many institutions immediately and that the exchange of experience and the identification of needs for mutual support and joint action constitute per se a significant cooperation experience which helps to establish long-lasting working ties.

Among member states a large number of institutions possess experience in the organization and coordination of initiatives on a hemispheric scale. Experience shows that all the countries, regardless of their size or degree of development, have an appreciable number of such institutions. With due support from SEDI and the other bodies of the General Secretariat, those institutions are called upon to play a central role in the organization of multilateral partnership for development activities.

In turn, the participation of national players as leaders in the organization of new multilateral projects will facilitate the participation of the private sector, of non-profit organizations and of local governments in inter-American partnership for development.

8. Participation of other agencies and the diversification of funding

The member states have reaffirmed on several occasions their wish that the OAS establish mechanisms of coordination in order to complement the efforts of other bodies and institutions which provide cooperation in the hemisphere. In this respect, attention has been drawn to the need to coordinate efforts with other institutions of the inter-American system responsible for cooperation activities, as well as with global, regional and subregional organizations concerned with cooperation for development.

The member states and the General Secretariat have adopted over the past two years a set of measures designed to achieve greater coordination with the other agencies of cooperation operating in the hemisphere as well as to mobilize other external resources to contribute to the diversification of the sources of funding of partnership for development. The results of those efforts are still incipient, and in order to obtain further results systematic action must be undertaken which will require firm decisions and sustained and support as well as additional resources to fund those efforts.

At the project execution level, while CIDI is sponsoring various projects in which other international institutions are involved, thus complementing the resources of the OAS for cooperation, much remains to be done to strengthen ties with these institutions. In some cases the ways and means of working together should be clarified, in order to avoid a situation in which the OAS provides financing for activities which are the responsibility of other organizations.

From the start of its operations, CIDI has constituted a framework of inter-agency coordination for development in the hemisphere, both on the global scale as well as in sectoral and specialized areas. In the regular meetings of CIDI, sessions have been set up for dialogue between representatives of the member states and the General Secretariat with other agencies of cooperation. The follow-up to the Summit on Sustainable Development held in Santa Cruz de la Sierra in 1996 is a case in point, at the specialized meeting level. The General Secretariat has organized 6 meetings of the Interagency Group in which 11 organizations involved with cooperation have participated.

The General Secretariat also has recently organized a meeting with national agencies and multilateral bodies which carry out cooperation activities in the hemisphere, with the purpose of fostering horizontal cooperation among member states. These initiatives are a part of on-going and systematic action designed to coordinate and complement the work undertaken with other agencies for cooperation, which is also carried out in the framework of each of CIDI’s partnership for development programs, projects and specific activities.

On the other hand, the General Secretariat recently up-dated a cooperation agreement with the IDB with which it maintains permanent contact in order to foster and facilitate joint actions with that institution.

With regard to the mobilization of external funds, progress has been made in the establishment of an infrastructure providing for effective action in this field. The creation of specific mechanisms for the mobilization of external resources, including resources from the private sector, which is being explored in the Executive Secretariat with the support of the Specific Fund established by the United States for the strengthening of CIDI, are steps taken in this direction, with the aim of testing the capability of the Organization in the mobilization of such funds. Nonetheless this represents only a first approximation, and professionally organized mechanisms need to be developed in order to achieve the desired ends.

As is well known, the mobilization of greater financial and other resources for technical cooperation activities has been a recurring focal point since the very start of the process of strengthening cooperation. The will of the member states to reinforce inter-American cooperation has resulted in the creation of a new structure which from various points of view provides a more appropriate framework for the broadening and diversification of funding sources. Nonetheless, the modernization of cooperation has not resulted in increased contributions from member states for collective action in the context of CIDI priorities. The figures show a very significant reduction in the contributions of member states, both to the regular Fund as well as to the Voluntary Funds.

The General Secretariat of the OAS has been exploring and implementing various ways and means of expanding joint financing of the projects and activities which it supports under the mandate granted it by member states. These efforts have it made possible to discern some action guidelines which should contribute to an improved ability to complement resources through external contributions. Among these, emphasis should be placed on the need to initiate start by recognizing that raising external financing requires the input of financial and technical resources in order to draft high-quality proposals which reflect the interests of the member states and which comply with the requirements of the f sources of funding.

Here it should be further emphasized that the experience of the OAS and of other agencies suggests that in order to achieve the aims of the Strategic Plan to strengthen and to diversify financing for partnership for development, an effort has to be made to foster the participation of institutions of a sectoral and specialized nature, which may themselves directly benefit from and contribute to partnership for development.

Hence it is important that CIDI, with the support of key governmental institutions, develop a strategy for the mobilization of additional financial resources for development, with input from technical authorities in each sector or area of specialization.

The establishment of a seed fund should also be envisaged, the purpose of which would be to assist in the identification and formulation of projects for external sources of financing.

9. Other matters to be taken into consideration

Role of OAS Offices in partnership for development

As has been pointed out, other instruments for project management are available which may be improved through joint initiatives adopted by the Secretariat and the political bodies.

In particular the part played in cooperation activities by the offices of the General Secretariat in the member states should be reexamined. In those countries which wish to maintain them, the offices should be incorporated in the system of cooperation.

With a modicum of infrastructure, these offices could be an efficient means of supplying support services for cooperation. The National Offices should take part in the gestation, but principally and as a priority in the monitoring and follow-up of cooperation projects. Since the implementing agencies of cooperation projects are national institutions in member states, the National Offices are ideally positioned to discharge this role, and certainly far more effectively than officials at Headquarters.

Relations of the political bodies with the General Secretariat regarding management of cooperation.

The political bodies play an essential role in the OAS, since it is through them that member states establish policies, determine the principles and define the procedures to be followed by the General Secretariat in the discharge of its duties. They must also ensure that the activities and the proposals of the Secretariat comply with established parameters.

Nonetheless, collegial groups representing governments should not be allowed to assume functions related to the technical and administrative details of cooperation management. These are the responsibility of the General Secretariat and should be dealt with through the Executive Secretariat for Integral Development. In this way harmonious interaction between representatives of the member states and officials in the Secretariat will be fostered, and through this joint approach the aims which the governments have adopted in this area will be more effectively attained.

Strengthening of the capacity of the OAS to facilitate the exchange of specialized knowledge and information

The development of information mechanisms which provide background on on-going forums and projects concerning cooperation in the Organization, facilitate the exchange of specialized information, and contribute to the joint organization of activities of mutual support and collective action among institutions of the hemisphere has long been an aim of member states.

In recent years the General Secretariat as a whole and SEDI in particular have developed a system to establish and improve the presence of the Organization on the Internet, and to expand Email operations so as to ensure access for each of the Permanent Missions. So far, efforts have focused mainly on providing information regarding activities carried out by the Organization, and significant progress is observable at this level. SEDI has gradually assembled a data bank on CEDI activities as a forum and instrument of coordination and has a page on the Internet to disseminate the corresponding information.

In this context, more must be done to support the exchange of specialized information concerning the supply and demand for cooperation. This challenge requires technical, organizational and financial resources on a scale that requires proper programming supervised by CIDI, and based on awareness of the real availability of the resources to be raised for this purpose.

Here, too, CIDI must provide guidelines for a program to establish an information network which will enable member states to identify and negotiate supply and demand for cooperation, as well as to stimulate the exchange of experience and knowledge among all the countries of the region.

To this end, maximum use should be made of electronic media as well as of the store of information available through these media which already exists in the institutions and agencies which offer cooperation for development in the Hemisphere. This proposal should be accompanied by an analysis of the institutional, economic, technical and financial viability of putting it into effect. 

[Reform Group/tracker.htm][Reform Group/tracker.htm]