Governance and Public Administration Reform Programme critical to national development

24 Jan 2014

imageA one-door service center in Sekong Photo credit: UNDP Lao PDR/Eeva Nyyssonen

Vientiane, 24 January 2014 – Last year, 16 new districts joined the District Development Fund (DDF) system and 16 local One Door Service (ODS) centers continue to provide easier access to local citizens’ services. These key achievements of the National Governance and Public Administration Reform Programme (NGPAR) were presented at an annual review meeting of the programme at Mercure Hotel today.

The meeting was co-chaired by H.E. Dr. Khammoune Viphongxay, Vice Minister of Ministry of Home Affairs and Executive of the NGPAR Board, and Mr. Minh Pham, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative, and attended by representatives from relevant Government ministries and agencies, embassies, development partners and Non-Profit Associations (NPAs).

The Programme, which was set up in 2012 with the support of the United Nations Development Programme, aims to provide a new way of thinking and doing in public service improvement by assigning more responsibilities to district authorities and by strengthening their capacity to provide more efficient and effective services to local communities.

“The government is aware of the key role the Programme plays in helping our nation’s on-going development as a modern state, as well as in preparing us for the many challenges from our growing international roles in ASEAN the World Trade Organisation” said Dr Khammoune Viphongxay.

He explained that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is not a full measurement of a country’s progress and wellbeing: “There is a great need for programmes like NGPAR and Sam Sang to support more equitable and sustainable growth, fairer service delivery and poverty reduction, particularly at the local levels.”

To date, the programme has benefited over 460,000 people in Laos.  

“Several years of governance reforms in Lao PDR are yielding results and useful lessons from successful pilots.” said Mr. Pham, UNDP Resident Representative. He said that the benefits of governance reforms in Lao PDR will be fully realized when the achievements and lessons are built into the national development plans and programmes. “A growing collaboration between the administration and the civil society, which has great potential to add useful support to the government’s national development goals and people’s well-being, is encouraged,” he added.

There are currently four projects to help achieve the goals of NGPAR; the National GPAR Secretariat Support Project; Strengthening Capacity and Service Delivery of Local Administrations; the Civil Society Support Programme; and the Governance and capacity development in public sector management project.

The Programme has strong national ownership with the Ministry of Home Affairs responsible for implementation. The overall goal is to help build a public service that is able to meet the needs of the multi-ethnic Lao people.

The Programme is financially supported by various development partners including UNDP, United Nations Capital Development Fund, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, the Governments of Luxemburg and Korea, the European Union and the Asian Development Bank.

Contact Information

Ms Viengmala Phomsengsavanh, UNDP Programme Specialist. Email: viengmala.phomsengsavanh@undp.org.

and Mr. Thilaphong Oudomsine, UNCDF Programme Specialist. Email: thilaphong.oudomsine@undp.org