NGO Resource Centre Newsletter March 1 - 14

First off this week, we would like to report that the INGO Forum meeting on February 29 addressed the issue on 'The Changing Development Context, Donors Presence, Aid Effectiveness and INGOs'. Participants discussed the implications of Vietnam becoming a middle income country (MIC), the beyond 2010 agenda, and the issue of Aid Effectiveness based on twoexternal presentations. At the meeting several operational issues were also addressed, including the EU-UN Guidelines For Financing of Local Costs in Development Co-operation with Vietnam (the so-called UN - EU cost norms), and Personal Income Tax (PIT). For more information pleaseemail: director@ngocentre.org.vn, the meeting minutes will soon be available, the presentations are available at: http://www.ngocentre.org.vn/node/95

In other news, we would like to inform you that the World Bank has started to prepare for the Vietnam Development Report (VDR) 2009. This report will focus on the economic pillar of Vietnam's reform agenda (SEDP). As the World Bank (WB) has launched the preparation process early this year, donors and NGOs have an opportunity to provide input onthe outline to allocate time and resources for the process. In 2006, the NGO RC coordinated an extensive NGO input for the preparation of the VDR, and an Evaluation on NGO involvement in the VDR and PRSC (2006/7) found that there was the added value of NGO participation in the process was substantial and was recognised by donors, however it also emphasised that NGOs needs to coordinate better and engage from and early stage. Hence, the NGO RC would like to encourage NGOs take part in this process. At this stage, the WB has made a call for comments on i) The proposed outline and ii) Information on ongoing or recently completed studies which could serve as inputs for the preparation of this report. Please find the draft outline and other background documents at the following link: http://www.ngocentre.org.vn/node/99

Any comments and contributions needs to reach the WB before March 17. Please contact director@ngocentre.org.vn for further details on the preparation of input for the World Bank. Once comments have been received the WB will organise an informal workshop to discuss the general outline and possible building blocks.

The NGO Climate Change Working Group (CCWG) has continued to develop, both in its activities and scope, and now has four sub-groups: Policy, Adaption, Mitigation and CC Awareness & Behavioral Change. Each sub-group is holding meetings over the next few weeks to develop annual plans of action, which will be reported back to the core group at the next meeting on March 20. The CCWG is also continuing to develop the CC Stakeholder & Project Database, which contains information about current and future climate change-related projects being carried out by NGOs in
Vietnam. If you would like to participate in this initiative, please visit http://ngocentre.org.vn/node/5457 to download the database form, and fill in and return the questionnaire to administrator@ngocentre.org.vn. The latest version of database is also available at the above address in Excel format, as well as meeting minutes from previous meetings.

In member news, we would like to inform your that the NGO RC is starting the process of compiling the next INGO Directory and would like to take this opportunity to improve the listing information. We would therefore like to invite our members and friends to submit suggestions on how we can improve the Directory, including any new fields of information that you would find useful in the next edition. Currently, the NGO RC is considering asking for the following new inputs to be included in addition to the normal listing information:
• listing of local project partners
• list of publications/reports in 2007
We welcome any feedback on how the Directory can be improved to better serve our members’ and friends’ needs. Please send your suggestions and feedback to Eddy McCall at: eddy@ngocentre.org.vn.

In other member news, we would like to remind you of the announcement of two INGO representatives for the NGO RC Steering Committee:

1) Daniel Valenghi, Helvetas Vietnam
2) Peter Newsum, CARE International

If the NGO RC does not receive any comments before March 14, the two nominees will become members of the Steering Committee. If your organisation has any comments or objections please send them to director@ngocentre.org.vn.
There are three working group meetings coming up in the next month: the HIV/AIDS Working Group will be held on March 12 from 14:00 – 16:00, location to be confirmed; the Disability Working Group will be held on March 13 from 14:00 – 16:00 at NGO Resource Centre; and the Administrative Working Group will be held on March 20 from 15:00 – 17:00 at the NGO RC.

See the Calendar section below for more details.