CzechAid Strengthens Capacities and Increases the Budget
The foreign development cooperation is an important element of the Czech foreign policy that aims to diffuse the good name of the Czech Republic abroad, as well as to share best practices in promoting interests in peace, security, stability and prosperity. The Czech Development Agency (CzechAid) is mandated to implement the foreign development cooperation jointly with the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA). At the first session of the Czech government in year 2017, on January 9, the Czech government took into consideration CzechAid’s mid-term vision that aims at capacity strengthening. The document has been submitted by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Lubomír Zaorálek.
The mid-term vision of CzechAid was approved by the resolution nr. 948 on November 20, 2015. The visions presents three main strategic goals for a successful development of CzechAid. It is the unification of the new image and brand and its stabilization in respect to the Czech and international public including the development of quality relations with partners. Secondly, CzechAid intends to implement the foreign development cooperation in an efficient manner using the added value of the Czech Republic in favour of sustainable results. Last but not least, CzechAid aims at strengthening the human capacities and establishing the positions of development diplomats in priority countries.
The report confirms that CzechAid has succeeded to progress in terms of the three priorities. The new brandname CzechAid, as well as an intensified media activity are a proof of a positive change that is well received by the public. CzechAid has also managed to increase human capacities and to enhance the quality of staff management. Currently, CzechAid is preparing the first new development diplomats for their departure to Ethiopia and Cambodia.
„Currently, we have two selection processes running to take the posts of development diplomats in Addis Abeba and Phnompenh. Having strengthened the human capacities even more, we will be able to send out diplomats to other priority countries, specifically to embassies in Lusaka, Sarajevo and Chisinau. The presence of a development diplomat, the direct representative of CzechAid in the field, will enable a flexible response to the needs and opportunities in the partner country as well as to establish delegated cooperation using the means of the European Commission and other donors,” says the director of CzechAid, Michal Kaplan.
An important element of the CzechAid vision is the increase of budget on development projects. According to the resolution approved by the Czech government, nr. 631/2016, the CzechAid budget of development, transformational and humanitarian activities will be increased between 2017-2019 by 1 00 million CZK yearly. Compared to 2016 the overall bilateral development cooperation will be increased by 300 million CZK by 2019, out of which the bilateral development cooperation managed by CzechAid will increase by 82 million CZK between 2016 and 2019. CzechAid needs to be prepared for the increasing volume of activity in terms of its capacities. The more it is necessary that CzechAid is in the process of receiving the accreditation for the delegated cooperation of the European Commission that will enable CzechAid to receive European financial means for the implementation of development projects abroad.
OECD congratulated CzechAid on the development cooperation
The report on CzechAid vision is completed with findings and recommendations of the first ever OECD peer review of the Czech development cooperation by the DAC that was coordinated by the MFA on the Czech side. As it has been confirmed by the chairperson Charlotte Petri Gornitzka in November 2016, Czech Republic has passed the review with the best grades. OECD has above all appreciated the use of transformational experience, partnership with the NGO sector and an active approach to the implementation of the Agenda 2030. The review concludes that the Czech development cooperation is well set up and it continuously improves. Among the recommendations there was the idea to reduce the number of priority countries, to choose clear sector priorities and to engage the private and NGO sector both from the Czech Republic and abroad. The Czech MFA has already included these priorities in the plan of development cooperation for 2017.
Regarding the engagement of the private sector in the development activities, CzechAid has started a large scope of activities within the B2B program that aims at Czech companies interested in running business in developing countries.
„The world faces new security challenges as well as it offers new economic opportunities. The importance of development cooperation as an inseparable part of the Czech foreign policy will continue to grow. I am glad that the government and the MFA support the above-mentioned vision that favours a successful implementation of the foreign policy,“ adds Michal Kaplan.
The Infographics at the top right corner provides an illustrative example of how the CzechAid operates. ⇑⇑