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Round Table Meeting a Productive Forum for Exchange: Development Partners

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The Round Table Implementation Meeting (RTIM) is an effective platform for productive exchanges between the government and development partners on the progress of their cooperation and enables participants to receive first-hand information on development issues.

This was the view expressed by a senior representative of Laos’ development partners about the recent RTIM, which took place in Vientiane provincial capital in a departure from the meeting’s normal venue in the Lao capital.

United Nations Development Programme Representative and United Nations Coordinator Ms Kaarina Immonen commented on the advantages of holding the meeting outside of Vientiane in a post-meeting press conference on Friday.

She said this year’s Round Table Implementation Meeting had impressed development partners through its relocation to Vientiane province. This enabled participants to visit development projects such as organic food farms, and vocational training and health facilities.

All of these projects are delivering so many positive results and continue to enforce the results, and have prospects for the future strategy and vision on how to take these forward, Ms Immonen said.

The meeting assessed the first year of the five-year National Socio-Economic Development Plan (NSEDP) for 2016-2020, and the challenges and prospects for the coming years.

Ms Immonen said the discussions at this year’s Round Table meeting were of high quality and the government had set a very open format for dialogue, which was appreciated by development partners.

The meeting was attended by members of the National Assembly, development partners, the private sector and civil society. The dialogue they engaged in was a full demonstration of more robust development partnership in operation and action, she added.

Ms Immonen said this kind of meeting was an important channel for the translation of the national agenda at the provincial level and other local levels.

The discussions and field visits were very helpful in making sure that responses were adjusted to local priorities and that there was participation in planning and implementation.

She pointed to the integration of planning and the global agenda into national strategy and the sub-national level as a concrete way that the government and development partners worked in partnership.

Another important aspect of effective cooperation was the provision of data for use in decision making.

We have to make sure that we are provided with data and that information is available about the development response, while boosting statistical information for making decisions, Ms Immonen said.

Attention should also be paid to gender equality and specific beneficiaries such as adolescents and girls. In this regard the availability of statistical information was of particular concern, especially in relation to nutrition, she added.


Source: Vientiane Times

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