NATIONAL PRIORITIES (NP) PROGRAM 2009/ INTERNATIONAL COMPACT
The National Priorities Program is the first comprehensive Government-owned and Government-led planning and progress monitoring mechanism. The National Priorities are aimed at immediate stabilization to overcome the effects of the 2006 crisis while setting the country more firmly on its path to sustainable recovery and development. The seven National Priorities for 2009 are:
National Priority 1: Agriculture and Food Security
National Priority 2 Rural Development
National Priority 3 Human Resources Development
National Priority 4 Social Protection and Services, including Health
National Priority 5 Security and Public Safety
National Priority 6 Clean and Effective Government
National Priority 7 Access to Justice
Beginning in 2008, and now well into its second year of operation, the National Priorities have become the centerpiece of the Government’s socio-economic development planning and programming, set by and for Timor-Leste. A greater number of relevant line Ministries is involved and more targets are being monitored than before, improving donor dialogue and coordination.
How it works:
A national Secretariat, located at the Ministry of Finance (jointly supported by a total of three international professional staff members from the UN and the World Bank) provides executive assistance for overall coherence, regular monitoring and follow-up, as well as coordination to the seven Working Groups, one for each National Priority. Each Working Group is chaired by a Government lead ministry, with support from one or more development partners serving as lead assistants or co-leads. An increased number of UN Agencies have assumed these prominent support roles in 2009, especially WFP and UNICEF. UNMIT became a lead assistant in Working Group 5 in recognition of the need for close coordination with the Government and development partners during the phased resumption of policing responsibilities by Timorese police. UNDP is supporting Working Group 7 on Justice which was established as a stand-alone Working Group only in 2009.
A robust monitoring framework includes the detailed results-based matrix, regular working group meetings/monthly reports, analytical quarterly progress summaries, and a peer review every six months. The next review is to take place as a joint initiative with the Government, under the auspices of the Vice Prime Minister for Administrative Reform.
Also in 2009, Gender aspects were systematically incorporated in key program areas. In addition, Civil Society Groups were for the first time represented throughout all seven National Priorities Working Groups.
After the success of the 2008 National Priorities Program, in April 2009, the Government held the Second Timor-Leste Development Partners Meeting (TLDPM). It was the second high-level coordination meeting since the 2006 crisis to review progress in implementation of the National Priorities Program which constitutes the international compact for Timor-Leste. The TLDPM convened over 300 representatives of bilateral and multilateral donors including those not resident in Timor-Leste; United Nations agencies, funds and programmes; Members of Parliament; ministry representatives; as well as civil society and the private sector. During the meeting, organized with support from the United Nations and the World Bank, the Government officially launched the National Priorities for 2009.
Overall performance and Way forward:
In May 2009, the Government started to synchronizethe National Priorities process with the regular Budget cycle. In tandem with strong Government initiatives on aid effectiveness and the OECD DAC Principles, greater alignment of donor funds was secured with a new set of priorities for 2010. National Priorities performance levels in 2009 remained high and 53% of the established targets for the first and second quarters were achieved by mid-year. Good overall levels of commitment have been registered from the Government and Development Partners. A strong rural development focus in the 2009 National Priorities complemented the Government’s vision of 2009 as the “Year of Infrastructure.” Development of main goals and objectives for the 2010 National Priorities is already underway. It is expected that this process will more and more draw on the medium- to long term Strategic Development Plan currently being prepared in the Office of the Prime Minister. Through the ongoing National Priorities Program, Timor-Leste is progressing towards a comprehensive aid management system.
The 2010 National Priorities already established by the Government of Timor-Leste will be:
2010 National Priority 1: Roads and Water
2010 National Priority 2 Food Security with a focus on productivity
2010 National Priority 3 Human Resources Development
2010 National Priority 4 Access to Justice Social
2010 National Priority 5 Social Services and Decentralized Service Delivery
2010 National Priority 6 Good Governance
2010 National Priority 7 Public Security