Press Release: Second Regional Conference on Poverty Reduction Strategies Communiqué
October 20, 2003

The Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF)
A Factsheet

Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSP)

Debt Relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative
A Factsheet

Role of the Fund in Low-Income Member Countries over the Medium Term—Issues Paper for Discussion
July 21, 2003

Indonesia and the IMF

Cambodia and the IMF

Lao People's Democratic Republic and the IMF

Mongolia and the IMF

Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste and the IMF

Vietnam and the IMF

Second East Asia and Pacific Regional Conference on Poverty Reduction Strategies
The Asian Development Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the United Nations Development Program, and the World Bank
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
October 16-18, 2003

Objectives: To review and exchange experience on the development of poverty reduction strategies in East Asian countries; identify obstacles and challenges countries face in designing and implementing their strategies; and derive lessons to help formulate a shared view of next steps for each country and for replication in other developing countries.

Conference participants included invited country delegations and donor agency representatives. A limited number of observer seats were open to members of the public.


DAY I Thursday, October 16, 2003

7:30-8:30 Registration

8:30-9:30 Opening Ceremony

(Ballroom, Level 1)

Chair: Mr. Urooj Malik, Country Director, Cambodia, Asian Development Bank

Inauguration: H. E. Samdech Hun Sen

Prime Minister, Kingdom of Cambodia

Speeches by Heads of Sponsoring Agencies

Chair: Ms. Nisha Agrawal, Country Manager, Cambodia, World Bank

Mr. Jan van Heeswijk, Director General, Asian Development Bank

Mr. David Burton, Director, APD, International Monetary Fund, Welcoming Remarks

Mr. David Lockwood, Deputy Assistant Administrator and Deputy Director Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, UNDP

Mr. Jemal-ud-din Kassum, Vice President, EAP Region, World Bank

9:30-10:45 Plenary: Highlights of Country Experiences

(Ballroom, Level 1)

Overview presentations by country delegations on their experience developing their Poverty Reduction Strategies, including main achievements and key challenges. Delegates will be asked to respond, in less than 10 minutes, to a limited number of questions such as:

o What are the most significant challenges they have encountered in preparing their PRSs?

o How has the process affected their existing planning processes? What innovations in planning, budgeting, or service delivery have resulted from the PRSs development process?

o How have PRSs changed relations with donors?

Chair: Mr. Jemal-ud-din Kassum, VP, EAP, World Bank

Speaker 1: H.E. Saysamalen Kim, Cambodia

Speaker 2: Dr. Djoharis Lubis, Indonesia

Speaker 3: H.E. Khempeng Pholsena, Lao PDR

Speaker 4: Ms. Tsedendorj Bumkhorol, Mongolia

Speaker 5: Ms. Aicha Binte Umar Bassarewan, Timor Leste

Speaker 6: Dr. Sinh Viet Cao, Vietnam

10:45-11:30 Coffee break

10:45-11:30 Press Conference (parallel with coffee break)

(Siem Reap Room, Level 2)

11:30-1:00 Plenary Theme I: Governance and Poverty Reduction Strategies

(Ballroom, Level 1)

Presentations based on comparative country case studies or international experience for 30 minutes and the rest for open discussion

o How does weak governance affect economic growth and delivery of basic services? How has it been addressed by PRSs?

o What indicators and monitoring tools can be used to track governance improvements?

o How can improved participation of the poor, women and other vulnerable groups enhance accountability and service delivery?

Chair: Mr. Jan van Heeswijk, Director General, ADB

Speaker 1: Ms. Chea Vannath, President, Center for Social Development and Head of TI, Cambodia

Speaker 2: Mr. Andi Mallarengeng, Partnership for Governance, Indonesia

Discussant: Dr. Kao Kim Hourn, Advisor, Ministry of Foreign Affairs & President, University of Cambodia

1:00-2:00 Lunch

(Imperial I, Level 3)

2:00-3:30 Breakout discussions on:

A) Participation, Transparency and Accountability

(Ballroom, Level 1)

o How can other parts of government outside PRS teams, be integrated into PRS deliberations to ensure broad trust and ownership, while building social capital that benefits poor people?

o How can broad participation be institutionalized, including for NGOs, civil society, women, and ethnic minorities?

o How can internal mechanisms of legislatures be strengthened to design and monitor poverty reduction strategies?

Chair: Ms. Katherine Waletin Jensen, DANIDA

Speaker 1: Mr. Russell Peterson, Cambodia NGO Forum

Speaker 2: Mr. Akbar Ali, MP and Chair of Standing Committee on Ministry of Planning, Bangladesh delegate

Discussant: Mr. Radnaa Gantumur, Executive Director, Center for Social Development, Mongolia

B) Decentralization and Planning

(Sihanoukville, Level 2)

o Are national and sub-national planning processes, and the policy priorities and strategies generated by them, integrated and balanced?

o How can local planning be aligned with national planning? What incentives and fiscal instruments are available for local governments to support national PRSs?

o How is the responsibility for monitoring and evaluation of results allocated between central and local governments?

Chair: Dr. Peter Blunt, Cambodia Commune Council Development Project

Speaker 1: Ms. Ofie Templo, Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines

Speaker 2: Dr. Bambang Bintoro, BAPPENAS, Indonesia

Discussant: Mrs. Singkham Khongsavanh, Committee for Planning and Cooperation, Laos

C) Public Expenditure Management through Medium-Term Frameworks

(Phnom Penh, Level 2)

o What are the best tools for balancing long term and short term goals in expenditure planning? What has been the experience of using medium term expenditure frameworks to plan for PRSs and MDGs?

o How realistic have medium term frameworks been and what instruments have been useful in assuring realism?

o How can expenditure frameworks be used to deal with the inevitable gaps in financing for PRSs and MDGs?

o Is there adequate provision of gender-sensitive costing and budgeting for PRSs?

Chair: Mr. Simon Tosali, Department of Treasury and Finance, PNG

Speaker 1: Dr. Hang Naron, MEF, Cambodia

Speaker 2: Ms. Aicha Binte Umar Bassarewan, Vice Minister, Timor Leste

Discussant: Mr. Malcolm Holmes, Consultant, Australia

D) Improving Good Governance for Service Delivery

(Siem Reap, Level 2)

o What practices have been most useful in dealing with incentive and institutional bottlenecks to improved service delivery?

o How can citizens be empowered to be more effective in demanding better services from their governments?

o What indicators and monitoring tools can be used to track improvements in service delivery?

Chair: Ms. Rebecca Hansen, World Food Program

Speaker 1: Dr Made Suwandi, Director of Policy Facilitation and Evaluation of Regional Autonomy, Ministry of Home Affairs, Indonesia

Speaker 2: Mr. Sak Sitha, DG, Dept of Local Administration, Ministry of Interior, Cambodia

Discussant: Mr. Stephen Commins, World Bank

3:30-4:00 Coffee break

4:00-5:30 Country Delegation Group Time

5:30-6:30 Time for Media Contact

7:00-9:00 Dinner (Hang Neak Restaurant)

DAY II Friday, October 17, 2003

8:00-9:00 Plenary: Reporting back on breakout discussions

(Ballroom, Level 1)

Chair: Mr. Jan van Heeswijk, Director General, ADB

9:00-10:30 Plenary: Theme II: Pro-Poor Growth

(Ballroom, Level 1)

Presentations based on comparative country case studies or international experience for 30 minutes and the rest for open discussion

o What do we mean by pro-poor growth? What public spending priorities and policies are needed to attain pro-poor growth? How is participation important in defining and assuring the implementation of pro-poor policies?

o What issues are central to efforts to reduce poverty and inequality and to maintaining sustainable growth and macroeconomic stability?

o How can the needs of different regions and groups be balanced without sacrificing investment in catalytic regions and sectors?

o How can trade and pro-market policies be made more beneficial to the poor and how can less beneficial effects be offset?

Chair: Mr. David Burton, Director, APD, IMF

Speaker 1: Mr. C. Peter Timmer, Development Alternatives, Inc.

Speaker 2: Dr. Mohamed Ikhsan, Director, Institute for Economic and Social Research, Indonesia

Discussant: Dr. Shankar Sharma, Vice Chairman, National Planning Commission, Nepal

10:30-11:00 Coffee Break

11:00-12:30 Breakout discussions on:

A) Macro-framework and budgets

(Ballroom, Level 1)

o How have countries dealt with exogenous shocks in the macroeconomic framework and with uncertainty in resource envelopes?

o How can countries ensure fiscal sustainability and macro economic stability to support pro-poor growth?

o How have countries gone about setting spending and policy priorities that favor the poor? What are the obstacles and innovations for costing MDGs and PRSs? What are the lessons from East Asian countries and other regions?

Chair: Dr. Aun Porn Moniroth, MEF, Cambodia

Speaker 1: Mr. Bimal Koirola, Chief Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat, Nepal

Speaker 2: Ms. Tsedendorj Bumkhorol, Adviser to the Minister of Finance, Mongolia

Discussant: Mr. Mark Plant, Policy Development & Review Department, IMF

B) Widening markets and trade

(Sihanoukville, Level 2)

o How do global, regional and cross-border constraints and protection in trade affect poor and vulnerable groups, and what can be done to address them?

o How can markets, and especially trade, be better promoted to improve access for the poor, women and other disadvantaged groups?

o How can market institutions and policies be strengthened to limit negative externalities for vulnerable groups?

o What has been the impact of trade liberalization in East Asia?

Chair: Mr. Thang Nguyen, Cabinet Office, Vietnam

Speaker 1: Mr. Neil McCulloch, World Bank

Speaker 2: Mr. Sok Hach, Economics Institute, Cambodia

Discussant: Ms. Myrna Austria, De La Salle University, Philippines

C) Dealing with regional disparities and inequality

(Phnom Penh, Level 2)

o What is the status of regional disparities within East Asian countries?

o What policies and institutional choices have been successful in mitigating inequality in other countries?

o What are the implications for national and regional planning?

Chair: Mr. Richard Edwards, DfID

Speaker 1: Mr. Athar Hussain, London School of Economics

Speaker 2: Dr. Priyanut Piboolsravut, Director, NESDB, Thailand

Discussant: Ms. Gandi Tugsjargal, Chairwoman, Standing Committee on Social Policy, Parliament of Mongolia

D) Addressing infrastructure and regional integration

(Siem Reap, Level 2)

o How can the poverty and growth impacts of infrastructure be assessed ex-ante?

o How can a coherent infrastructure strategy that is consistent with pro-poor growth be developed?

o What are the special concerns for rural infrastructure and for infrastructure services (e.g. transport services and policies)?

Chair: Mr. Tsutomu Uchida, JBIC

Speaker 1: Ms. Pham Lan Huong, CIEM, Vietnam

Speaker 2: Mr. Ngy Chanphal, Under Secretary of State, MRD, Cambodia

Discussant: Mr. Jong Seok Kim, Hong Ik University, Korea

12:30-1:30 Lunch (Imperial I, Level3)

1:30-3:00 Country Delegation Group Time (incl. Coffee break)

3:00-4:00 Plenary: Reporting back on Breakout discussions

(Ballroom, Level 1)

Chair: Mr. Gobind Nankani, VP, PREM, World Bank

5:00-7:00 Donor Agency Sessions


a) IMF seminar: "The Role of the Fund in Low Income Countries."

(Sihanoukville, Level 2)

b) UNDP seminar: "MDG 8 and Trade: Post Cancun Challenges."

(Phnon Penh, Level 2)


c) WB seminar: "World Development Report 2004: Making Services Work for Poor People."

(Sihanoukville, Level 2)

d) ADB seminar: "Breakthroughs in Regional Cooperation."

(Phnom Penh, Level 2)

7:30-9:00 Dinner (The Raffles Restaurant at Le Royale Hotel)

DAY III Saturday, October 18, 2003

8:00-9:30 Plenary Theme III: MDGs & Linkages to PRSs

(Ballroom, Level 1)

Presentations based on comparative country case studies or international experience for 30 minutes and the rest for open discussion

o What is the relationship between PRSs and MDGs and how have PRSs incorporated the MDGs?

o Is there scope for developing a regional MDG development compact between donors and countries in the region?

o Are East Asian countries on track to reach MDGs; and what is needed (policies and financing) to get there?

Chair: Mr. Jan Vandemoortele, Principal Advisor, Bureau for Development Policy, UNDP

Speaker 1: Dr. Cao Viet Sinh, Director, General Economics Department, MPI, Vietnam

Speaker 2: Ms. Anne Pettifor, Jubilee Research

Discussant: Mr. Aynul Hasan, Chief, Least

Developed Countries Coordination Unit/Poverty Centre, ESCAP

9:30-11:00 Breakout discussions on:

A) Linking and monitoring MDGs and PRS targets

(Ballroom, Level 1)

o To what extent are PRSs picking up and localizing MDG targets and monitoring indicators?

o Is there scope for regional standardization of monitoring indicators?

o How is information being collected and is it being fed back to decision-makers?

o How is civil society involved in setting targets, monitoring and data collection?

Chair: Mr Christoph Feyen GTZ, Sri Lanka

Speaker 1: H. E. Saysamalen Kim, Ministry of Planning, Cambodia

Speaker 2: Mr. Jan Vandemoortele, Principal Advisor, Bureau for Development Policy, UNDP To be confirmed

Discussant: Mr. Wigberto Tanada, President, Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement/Social Watch

B) Engendering PRSs and MDGs

(Sihanoukville, Level 2)

o How are issues of gender being addressed in PRSs and how well are the MDGs' gender targets integrated in national strategies?

o What are the most significant gender concerns in formulating and implementing PRSs and how have countries dealt with these?

o Are gender concerns reflected in PRS budget frameworks?

Chair: Ms. Milena Pires, UNIFEM

Speaker 1: Ms. Nanda Pok, Women for Prosperity, Cambodia

Speaker 2: Mr. Binayak Sen, Bangladesh Institute of Development Studies

Discussant: Ms. Tsedendorj Bumkhorol, Adviser to the Minister of Finance, Mongolia

C) Policy Priorities for MDGs and Social Impact Assessments

(Phnom Penh, Level 2)

o What lessons do we have from poverty and social impact assessments and have the lessons been captured in PRSs?

o What challenges do countries face in institutionalizing poverty and social impact assessments?

o Can the MDGs be used to prioritize policies for poverty and social impact assessments?

o Are policy priorities identified by PRSs consistent with those needed for MDGs?

Chair: Ms. Yanti Lacsana, Deputy Country Manager, Oxfam GB, Indonesia

Speaker 1: Mr. Thang Nguyen, Researcher, Cabinet Office, Vietnam

Speaker 2: Dr. Asep Suryahadi, SMERU Research Institute, Indonesia

Discussant: Mr. Daw Tenzin, Planning Commission, Bhutan

D) Role of donors and coordination to support MDGs/PRSs

(Siem Reap, Level 2)

o What are the reforms needed to align donor funding and policies to effectively support PRSs and MDGs?

o What are examples of regional progress on the harmonization agenda?

o What can governments do to enhance donor coordination, harmonization, and alignment with national priorities especially in critical sectors?

Chair: Mr. Geoff Adlide, AUSAID

Speaker 1: H.E. Khempeng Pholsena, VP, Committee for Planning and Cooperation, Lao PDR

Speaker 2: Dr Shanker Sharma, National Planning Commission

Discussant: Mr. Jan-Olov Agrell, SIDA, Vietnam

11:00-11:30 Coffee Break

11:30-12:30 Plenary: Reporting back on Breakout discussions

(Ballroom, Level 1)

Chair: Ms. Saraswathi Menon, Resident Coordinator, UNDP Mongolia

12:30-2:00 Closing Luncheon

(Imperial I, Level 3)

Chair: Mr. Robert P. Hagemann, IMF Resident Representative, Cambodia

Speaker: H. E. Sok Siphana, Ministry of Commerce, Cambodia

2:00-3:00 Time for Media Contact or Press Release