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LESSONS:

Prevention and Control of HIV/AIDS and Other Communicable Diseases in Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Countries: Technical Assistance Completion Report

sector: Health, Industry and Trade | country: Kazakhstan Kyrgyz Republic Tajikistan Uzbekistan | region: Regional

Engaging development partners like WHO (World Health Organization) or other UN (United Nations) agencies should be guided not only by project-based service agreements but preceded by an umbrella memorandum of understanding (MOU), which would address the sensitivities of each party, and may include provisions for seeking Board waiver for ADB’s procurement guidelines. As international organizations are guided by their own rules and regulations, negotiating the legal, financial and administrative details will be less tedious and time consuming if there is a pre-existing basic document that defines the status of each party and harmonizes their respective rules and regulations (e.g., consulting services recruitment and management, prior approval for procurement of equipment, and agreed requirements before contract signing) in a way that satisfies the mutual needs for transparency and accountability.

With a funding source that has a narrow timeline, it is important for ADB and the financier to agree on specific milestones in TA (technical assistance) implementation period (e.g., consulting services recruitment), with failure to meet these specific milestones triggering joint re-examination of the merits of continuing with the TA. Strict utilization deadline from the Cooperation Fund for Fighting HIV/AIDS in Asia and the Pacific (contributing to more than 80% of the TA resources) led to cancellation of the TA, as start- up delays (due to failed negotiation with WHO and subsequent new consulting firm recruitment) left less than 6 months for fund utilization.

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