Project Implementation Support
Under a special agreement with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has been serving Turkey's development for about 60 years now.
In its 60 years of presence in Turkey, the UNDP has assumed a very important role in the implementation of projects funded by the World Bank, the OPEC, the IFAD and other international finance institutions. Implementation Support, which, aim effective and timely delivery of the projects, is one of the key portfolio for UNDP Turkey.
The main services that UNDP provides for the Implementation Support;
Institutional Building and Capacity Development
Through the implementation support, UNDP intends to strengthen the implementation of the development project (DP) and technical capacity of relevant institutions, and endowing these institutions with sustainable human development principles and methodologies. UNDP provide support to ministries in areas that will be essential to national ownership and sustainability, notably support services in the financial management, areas of recruitment, as well as training on policies and procedures as and when necessary to support effective project execution. Through a "learning by doing" approach, UNDP as a development organization will seek to build and support the ministry's long-term capacity for programme management.
UNDP's intention is in line with the framework for its forward-looking planning based on external evaluations, which notes that "UNDP must strengthen what are currently weak, decentralized capacities at the regional, local and community level, and it has to close the gaps between the more and less advanced regions in the country in the face of major regional disparities." UNDP will provide its support to ministries through a project framework ultimately geared towards ensuring national ownership; and, under UNDP national execution arrangements, the Government is fully responsible for the realization of the objectives of projects, and for their sustainability.
More specifically, UNDP Turkey will be responsible for providing specific support services to Ministries for the facilitation of the project activities, support to effective and timely delivery, and institutional capacity building. These support services include:
Recruitment through transparent and competitive standards
UNDP in Turkey, as well as globally, has accumulated vast experience in recruiting Project Staff based on the principles of transparency, gender sensitivity, and competitiveness. Indeed, these principles are a component of UNDP's legal framework on recruitment. UNDP-Turkey will bring this experience to bear in the recruitment process for qualified national and international experts best suited for the management, implementation, and monitoring/evaluation of the projects. Selecting high caliber project staffs are highly strategic since they are geared to facilitate efficient, effective, and transparent project management and coordination through monitoring and evaluation, recruitment, and coordination with relevant partners.
Cost-effective international training and technical assistance
As part of a global organization, UNDP-Turkey has access to an international network of professional, tested, internationally-reputed trainers with experience in providing training to staff and government counterparts for similar projects, based on the ultimate objective of capacity building and institutional strengthening. UNDP-Turkey helps to the ministries to access these trainers to provide quality training to the project's beneficiaries, as well as support to studies and research. This training will be provided in a cost-effective manner as foreseen in the "Technical Assistance and Staff Training" and other relevant sections of the Projects Appraisal Reports.
Cost saving on project staff
Through its 60 years experience in Turkey, UNDP has built significant professional staff capacity and experience on project implementation and administrative/operational services. Through the implementation support, this capacity and experience tap and utilize, thereby reducing the number of project implementation positions foreseen in the projects. Through this reduction in staff positions and the use of its internal capacity, UNDP generates a notable cost-savings to the overall loan portfolios.
Procurement according to Guidelines
UNDP monitors that industry-standard procurement principles (competitiveness, best value for money, transparency, fairness, efficiency and economy) and compliance with the provisions of the Loans are complied with and respected. The UNDP, which has been directly implementing the projects of international finance organizations such as the World Bank, the OPEC, the IFAD, the EC and many others or providing support to Ministries in the implementation of such projects for nearly 50 years now, is specialized in the "Procurement Rules and Procedures" that these organizations require in the implementation of externally funded projects. Great difficulties arise from mistakes to be made in these rules and implementation standards, which are rather complicated and with which our ministries have only recently become familiar. The UNDP, which is an international organization, provides support in these areas, which are one of the most critical points in externally funded projects, and assumes all responsibility in accordance with the agreement. In this way, the year-end closures and auditing process through both Treasury and external auditing companies could be finalized without having any complications.
Full package of financial management and reporting, and bypassing the bureaucratic difficulties that raises from domestic legislation
The UNDP, which has been directly implementing the projects of international finance organizations is also specialized in the "Financial Management and Reporting Rules and Procedures" that these organizations require in the implementation of externally funded projects. The implementation support for the financial management covers all kind of financial activities such as preparation of annual work plans and budget in the appropriate format, preparation and issuance of loan withdrawal application, annual review of progress against work plan and cash flow control according to the AWAB, agreement on necessary budget revisions, preparation of annual financial statements for presentation to auditors, control of the financial productivity for timely delivery.
The implementation support services also cover overcoming of the difficulties that rises due to the discord in the domestic legislation, and bureaucracy. The domestic legislation applicable to the use of loans for externally funded projects in Turkey puts the implementing organizations in difficulty. In particular:
During the first 3 months of the year, the Ministry of Finance does not release appropriations. As a result, the activities and expenditures planned for the first 3 months of the year are stopped and project activities slowed down. In particular, no payment can be made during this period to the project consultants to be retained. In particular, if the project is above agriculture, then the spring sowing and planting season is missed as no inputs can be obtained due to the lack of appropriations in the first 3 months, and as a result certain agricultural activities can only be performed with a delay of one year.
The use of the appropriations set aside for a project during the year takes a long time due to the red tape at the Ministry of Finance and the accounting office, and this slows down the project activities and expenditures planned for the entire duration of the project.
Again due to domestic legislation, great difficulties are encountered in the recruitment of short-term technical consultants and project staff and in the payment of money to them, and such project activities can hardly be carried out in time.
All these difficulties result either in a failure to make sufficient use of these resources which are obtained as an external loan and on which interest is paid or in the project deadline being extended. In either case, there is a waste of resources in question.
The UNDP also provides ministries with strategic support in the reporting standards required to be implemented under those rules and procedures and in the reports that are generated, and assume all responsibility in accordance with the agreement. Preparation of the yearly progress reports, semi annual reports, cash flow reports, productivity on financial management measures and reports, cash flow management are some of the reports that prepare by UNDP under the implementation support services.