FAO/IBRD co-operative program
344. The Conference strongly supported the FAO/IBRD Co-operative Program, and noted with satisfaction the progress achieved so far by the joint FAO/IBRD teams (document C 65/50). It recognized that this partnership fulfilled an essential function by combining FAO's philosophy and experience in the field of agriculture with the Bank's resources and expertise in financing development. The Program Illustrated the appreciation by the Bank of the role of agriculture in economic development, and It was also a major vehicle for better co-ordinated and more effective international aid. The Conference took note that already 80 missions had been organized, and that for missions under appraisal in which the Program had participated the total of loans signed exceeded $100 million. It was generally agreed that the real test of the Program would be the extent to which it would promote an increase in agricultural development through enlarged possibilities of financing, and also the extent to which its activities would cover the whole gamut of agricultural development, including forestry and fisheries. However, it was emphasized that It would be necessary to take care in promoting new projects to avoid the establishment of new institutions or services where these might duplicate those already established.
345. In view of the large number of suggestions which had been made for increased activities under the Program, many delegate expressed the hope that the resources of the Program would be reinforced, and also that the Bank would simplify Its procedures for loans in order to speed up implementation. Other delegates drew attention to the investment opportunities for forestry Including new plantations, transport and related industries, and in the food processing industries. Other delegates, while expressing appreciation of the Program, urged the need for caution in expanding the Program as FAO's financial participation, under the terms of the new agreement, was necessarily subject to the availability of financial resources. The Conference was informed that because of the heavy demand from Member Countries and the limited availability of staff, the Program was extremely selective in undertaking missions.
346. Satisfaction was expressed at the fact that continuous consultation had been maintained between the Bank and FAO at all stages of the work, and it was emphasized that this was Indeed necessary to secure smooth transition from study to action. The Conference recognized that the responsibility for final appraisal rested with the Bank but expressed the hope that, an a result of the present partnership between the two organizations, It should now be possible in the evaluation of the projects to take into account. all aspects of agricultural development, and that in measuring the Impact of particular projects a broad view should be taken so as to reflect all aspects relating to the economic justification rather than to confine appreciation to their direct benefit alone. For this type of evaluation and activity the team approach, which the Program followed, and which received backstopping from FAO and its regional offices, was considered essential.
347. Many delegates suggested that the Program could fulfil an educational role in training or assisting in training counterpart staff from developing countries in the preparation of projects both in the course of mission work and by accepting trainees at Program head quarters. While it was recognized that there was great need for such training, it was pointed out that possibilities in this respect should be considered in the context of wider co operation between FAO and the Bank and taking due account of the training courses in agricultural planning and development currently organized by both institutions. Some delegates suggested that the Bank and FAO organize courses in the management and execution of agricultural projects as well. Theme courses could be of great use to many developing countries in implementing their agricultural development plans.
348. In the discussion of methods of work of the Program, the suggestion was made that detailed questionnaires should be sent if possible well in advance of the arrival of missions. There might also be need for arrangements for missions of longer duration than those at present organized under the Program. It was recognized, however, that this depended on the staff resources available. The suggestion was also made that some of the work of the Program be published as appropriate to provide guidance to governments in their work on project identification and preparation.
Joint activities with the Inter-American development bank (IDB)
349. The Conference was Informed that the Director-General and the President of the Inter-American Development Bank had signed, subject to approval by the Conference, a basic Agreement to co-operate in the identification, formulation and execution of agricultural development projects in the Latin-American region. Countries in this area were extremely interested in obtaining external financing for these types of projects and the Inter-American Development Bank, since its establishment in 1959, had paid considerable attention to granting loans for their implementation. Unfortunately, very often these projects were inadequately prepared and required considerable elaboration before being ready for financing. Within the framework of the Agreement, FAO, with its considerable experience, could make an Important contribution to their preparation and implementation.
350. The Conference was also informed that in spite of the fact that the Agreement was only a few months old, FAO and IDB were in the process of Identifying and preparing projects with a potential Investment of about U. S. $ 70 million, in twelve Latin American countries. For this purpose, the Director-General had temporarily appointed, as co-ordinator of the FAO/IDB activities, an officer of the Headquarters staff, who had been assisted by staff from the Latin American Regional Office. Among the projects for Immediate implementation were a colonization scheme in Argentina, the identification of small-scale irrigation works in Uruguay and the Improvement of Irrigation projects in Chile. Other projects -would follow in rapid succession.
351. The Conference noted that the FAO/IDB relationship within the framework of the Agreement comprised more than the simple assignment and payment of experts for specific tasks. The goal was an Integrated approach to each project and, consequently, prior planning and continuous follow-up became particularly Important.
352. Some delegates drew attention to the investment opportunities, also under this Program, for forestry Including new plantations, transport and related industries; and for the food processing industries.
353. The Conference recommended that the Director-General establish on a permanent basis, in the Latin American Regional Office, a post of co-ordinator of the FAO/IDB Program, subject of course to the availability of funds. The Conference also noted that similar agreements might be considered with other regional financial institutions now in the process of being created.
H. Technical co-operation programs
Future conference review of development programs
Impact of field programs on the regular program
Co-operation between multilateral and bilateral aid programs
Increased technical assistance
International guarantee for government land reform bonds
Evaluation of conferences, seminars and visits of experts
354. In considering FAO's activities in the field, the Conference noted the decision of the United Nations General Assembly to merge the management of the Expanded Program for Technical Assistance (EPTA) and the United Nations Special Fund (UNSF) into the "United Nations Development Program." The Conference felt that this merger would further improve the planning and implementation of development assistance.
355. The Conference, being aware of the complementary role of the two Programs, expressed the hope that the two types of development assistance would continue to be available to countries in need of such assistance. In this connection, the Conference felt that the EPTA-type assistance had played, and should continue to play, a crucial role in preparing, where feasible, the ground for UNSF-type assistance projects. Secondly, there were occasions when assistance on a small scale should continue to be given after the cessation of concentrated International assistance to national development projects. Thirdly, the EPTA-type assistance should continue to be available to countries requesting development activities which did not require or were not suitable for international assistance on a large scale.
356. The Conference, at earlier sessions, had emphasized more than once the need for developing countries to prepare carefully considered development plans in order to ensure the most effective utilization of limited resources. In this connection, the Conference stressed the need for careful consideration to be given to priorities for development projects, particularly those for which international assistance was requested. The establishment of sound priorities was of the utmost importance, both because it helped ensure the most effective use of internationally available development funds, and because the United Nations Development Program and bilateral assistance programs usually required participating countries to make considerable national efforts which in monetary terms in several cases exceeded the total of external funds being made available.
357. The Conference, recognizing the increasing demand for qualified experts required for development assistance work, requested the Director-General to consider ways and means by which the Organization could make still better use of the experienced personnel available in the world. The Conference further recommended that the Director-General should continue to study and implement procedures whereby delays in the recruitment of experts and associate experts would be reduced to a minimum, bearing in mind that full use should be made of the appropriate government agencies and nongovernmental organizations established in the Member Countries for the purpose of assisting in the location of suitable candidates.
358. The Conference realized that one of the difficulties in recruiting qualified staff was that for the field programs the Organization could not give career appointments. Some of the economically developed countries had contributed to the solution of this problem by creating at the national level a "pool of experts" to help ensure security of employment for staff between overseas international or bilateral assignments. The Conference was also informed that the entire question of recruitment and conditions of service for or United Nations field assignments would be subject to a systematic and analytical review by the Governing Council of the United Nations Development Program.
359. The Conference once again noted that several countries required technical assistance in order to fill gaps in the national personnel establishments caused by the absence of qualified national staff. It was reassured that Individual FAO experts could be given certain limited operational tasks in national institutions or departments, in accordance with the normal policies of the United Nations Development Program. In those cases where participating countries wished to have international assistance to fill a vacant technical post in the national establishment, they could include in their category I submission for technical assistance, a request for operational assistance which was now available from FAO and other Specialized Agencies under conditions similar to the United Nations OPEX Program.
360. The Conference noted with approval that, in considering requests from participating countries for larger United Nations Special Fund-type projects, the United Nations Development Program, in consultation with the Specialized Agencies, tried to be sure that the activities for which the requests were made were of high priority within the total Government development effort. The United Nations Development Program and the participating agencies, through their field representatives and headquarters staff, endeavoured to assist governments in this respect.
361. The Conference took note of a statement on behalf of the Director-General outlining the procedures followed in programing, preparation and execution of field projects in which evaluation took a prominent part (document C 65/LIM/7). Evaluation should continue to be given increasing attention, both on the part of participating governments, the agencies concerned, the Council and Conference.
362. One important factor in the evaluation of field programs and projects was constituted by the follow-up action taken by participating governments after technical assistance had ceased. Such a follow-up depended, of course, upon the nature of the project. In projects where national institutions had been supported or strengthened by international assistance, the follow-up action would be mainly a national effort. Other projects, particularly of the survey type which represented a truly preinvestment activity, required at the next stage financing which might be on only a national scale or supplemented by foreign financial assistance or investment comming from public and/or private sources.
363. The Conference noted the Importance which the Director-General was giving to adequate follow-up of the Organization's field projects. In this connection, it commended the session which had been held in October 1965 in Santiago, Chile, in full co-operation with the UNSF, IBRD and IDB, of Project-Managers in Latin America together with their national Co-Managers and other interested government officials to review the development of UNSF projects, particularly with regard to follow-up activities, including investment possibilities. The Conference recommend that the Director-General and the Administrator of the United Nations Development Program consider the organization of similar sessions in other regions in the future, in order to strengthen contacts between all those involved in the operation of development projects and, particularly in their Identification, preparation, execution and financing. The Director-General was also requested to consider the possibility of arranging for the participation of representatives of bilateral aid programs in the above mentioned sessions.
364. The Conference recognized that, in order to accelerate adequate follow-up action Particularly of large scale projects, it was essential to prepare and distribute as quickly as possible the final reports containing the technical and economic data collected during the investigations and the recommendations for further action. The Conference, however, also recognized that the preparation and publication of such reports constituted an Increasingly large workload upon the Organization and that the process of careful preparation, printing and presentation of reports, especially where these included designs and maps, usually caused delays. While commending the arrangements made by the Director-General to reduce as much as possible this time lag, the Conference felt that it mould be desirable, before the finalization of the total report, to present separate parts of it on an informal basis to government a so that follow-up work could be started promptly.
365. The Conference considered the procedures followed in preparing and implementing UNSF-supported projects (document C 65/35). It recognized that, on the whole, the procedures for the implementation of projects were satisfactory. On the other hand delays had occurred during the preparatory and Initial stages of these projects, which should be avoided as much as possible in the future. The Conference agreed with the Director-General and the Representative of the United Nations Development Program, however, that more adequate preparatory work for the larger UNSF development projects would mean time well spent, since such sound preparation of projects would reduce considerably delays in implementation.
366. The Conference endorsed the continued discussions of the Director-General with the United Nations Development Program with a view to perfecting the preparatory work for the larger projects. In this connection, the Conference agreed that the establishment of "pre-projects" of a smaller size to prepare larger projects on the spot, in close co-operation with the government authorities concerned, was well worth further consideration.
367. In order to make full use of the available expertise, the Conference also recommended that more attention should be given by the Organization to the possibility of subcontracting the execution of development assistance projects, or parts thereof, to consulting firms or non commercial institutions.
368. The Conference stressed that missions visiting developing countries for project Identification and preparation be properly co-ordinated between the Organization and the other United Nations agencies Involved. It also recognized that the host countries should be given as much advance notice an possible of the dates of much visits in order to allow for adequate preparations to be made by the governments concerned.
369. The Conference agreed that in drawing up development projects adequate attention should be given to the marketing of agricultural, fisheries and forestry products. Surveys and studies of internal and external market possibilities should be included in these projects in order to help ensure the best economic returns to the producer. Although several of the United Nations Development Program projects executed by the Organization included or were related to marketing studies and training in marketing, the Conference felt that the governments concerned should pay more attention to these important aspects in their future requests for development assistance projects, where appropriate. It also le toted the Director-General me to give high priority to requests of Member Governments for assistance in the planning and preparation of prows related to improved marketing of agricultural, fisheries and forestry products
370. The Conference reiterated that the Organization's work in planning, managing and evaluating Us development programs was a functional element of Its operations; nevertheless It recognized that the preparation, evaluation, execution and co-ordination of individual projects as well as programs as a whole, constituted a considerable task for the Director General, particularly since this had greatly increased in volume and scope. The Conference therefore request that continuous attention be given to equipping the Organization more adequately for carrying out these tasks. It also recommended that the Director-General continue to arrange for attention to be given by the Organization to adequate follow-up of preinvestment activities.
Future conference review of development programs
371. The Conference reiterated that development assistance funds enabled the Organization to give effect to Article 1 (3) of its Constitution, and hence to accelerate progress toward Its general alms. Since the activities under these funds had increased considerably in recent years, both in volume and scope, the Conference decided that more attention should be given at each of Its sessions to a detailed review and evaluation of these activities, in terms of both policy and operations. Consequently, the Conference decided that Institutional arrangements should be so constituted as to provide for the efficient discharge of the Organization's field program responsibilities, including an appropriate review of Its field activities.
372. The Conference recommended that the proposed review should include, but not necessarily be limited to:
(b) The effectiveness of the Organization's machinery for planning and evaluating Individual projects, of itself, and in its relations with the machinery of other organizations and of countries,
(c) The effectiveness of the Organization's management of its development assistance program.
373. This review should take into consideration, in particular and among others, the following matters:
(a) The arrangements by which the Regular Program contributed to development assistance, and by which Regular Program staff participated in the field program, and to what extent the Regular Program staff contributed to It and drew benefit from it.
(b) The need for continuing revision of the techniques of project evaluation in a technical, economic and operational sense.
(c) The importance and role of education and training in all development projects.
374. The Conference adopted the following resolution:
Resolution No. 8/65
Future Conference Review of Development Programs
Considering that it falls within the competence of the Program Committee to examine the development assistance programs (Article XXV1, para 7(a) (iii) of the General Rules of the Organization),
Considering that the integrated analysis of these programs can only be made after sectorial examination by the Technical Committees, and further
Considering the great Interest of all Member Countries to participate in the review and evaluation of development projects, which participation would be possible only through consideration of the matter at each session of the Conference
Requests the Council to make arrangements, through its Program Committee or by such other procedures as It may find appropriate, for a detailed review and analysis of the development assistance programs and the impact of the field programs on the Regular Program, with particular regard to their effectiveness, and to prepare a report thereon;
Decides that this report should first be considered by the existing Technical Committees of the Conference, and subsequently by Commission II together with a special committee of Commission II on development assistance programs, or by such other method as may be agreed by the next session of the Conference based upon recommendations of the Council;
Notes that in making the above review the Council would need to consider carefully the documentation required for Council and Conference review; and
Suggests that this documentation should include for each particular project under review, information on matters such as the following:
(a) its relation to the national development plan, if such a plan exists, or alternatively to the national list of priorities for development;
(b) a descriptive summary of results achieved, including quantitative data and information;
(c) what steps have been taken by the government concerned to ensure training at all levels of national personnel needed to carry out and possibly amplify the project recommendations and results in the same field;
(d) how the international expert or experts have integrated their work into the national structures, and the way national counterparts have participated in the implementation of the project;
(e) where relevant, a detailed breakdown of investments following project recommendations, including the origin of funds made available - national, international or bilateral.
(Adopted 7. 12. 65)
Impact of field programs on the regular program
375. The Conference recognized the complementary nature of the two programs, and considered that field programs were an integral part of the Organization's activities. It felt that the Organization had greatly benefited. from the expansion which had taken place in the operational work. In a number of divisions, a very large proportion of total staff time was now devoted to field programs, while in others the proportion of time was less, mainly because of the smaller number of projects in the relevant subject matter fields. The Conference noted that a Division first welcomed enthusiastically the extension of Us activities through field programs and found it not too difficult to cope with the extra work, but that then as the number of projects grew, the inadequate rate of reimbursement for overhead costs made it impossible to recruit sufficient additional staff to cope with the additional work, with the result that the work of the Regular Program, authorized by previous Sessions of the
Conference, was not done or was excessively delayed. Moreover the supervision of the field projects themselves could become seriously affected.
376. In this connection the Conference noted the following distribution of professional, staff by Divisions in the Technical and Economic Departments (Posts filled as of 31 October 1965).
HQ and Regional Offices of which
Field Project Personnel
Outposted to regions
UNSF Ag. Costs
|ADG and Atom.||18||6||2||-||-|
|Land and Water||64||5||20||210||155|
|ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL|
377. The Conference expressed its concern that funds voted for specific activities of the Regular Program were, in practice, spent on others, and it therefore reiterated Its view that the rate of reimbursement of headquarters costs was inadequate, even though a small improvement had been authorized. It requested the Director-General to continue his efforts to obtain an adequate level of reimbursement and urged Member Countries, through their representatives in other fora, to support the case for a higher rate.
Co-operation between multilateral and bilateral aid programs
378. The Conference recognized that It was essentially the responsibility of recipient countries to co-ordinate multilateral and bilateral aid programs, and that this should be done within the framework of the national development plans.
379. It noted that it was the policy of the Organization to lay great stress on the importance of close co-operation between FAO field staff and locally based bilateral aid officers.
380. It drew the attention of the Director-General to the need for encouraging much closer co-ordination between multilateral and bilateral programs, especially in the planning phases.
381. The Conference also urged the Director-General to encourage recipient countries to pay particular attention to the need for co-ordination of all forms of aid in preparing their national development plans.
Increased technical assistance
382. The Conference adopted the-following resolution,
Resolution No. 9/65
Increased Technical Assistance
Being aware that, although in some cases profound structural reforms are the decisive means for developing countries most swiftly and efficiently to achieve economic and social advancement, technical assistance can and should be a valuable additional contribution to progress in these countries,
Considering that the flow of technical and economic assistance to the developing countries is not yet fully adequate,
Realizing that technical assistance Is most useful in those developing countries which make serious efforts and adequate reforms of their own to overcome their backwardness,
Recommends that FAO should endeavor to secure increased technical assistance programs for these countries, bearing in mind the original guiding principles of an expanded program of technical assistance for economic development.
(Adopted 7.12. 65)
International guarantee for government land reform bonds
383. The Conference recognized the importance of the problem of financing land reform, and in this connection considered the following draft resolution supported by it number of delegations for the guaranteeing of land reform bonds by an international credit agency:
Considering the discussion held during the Forty-Fourth Session of the Council, recorded in the Report at that Session, on the advisability of having studies conducted on the feasibility of obtaining an International guarantee for government land reform bonds,
Recommends. that: (a) early practical steps be taken to finalize the proposal for the establishment within an international credit agency of a system of guarantees for bonds issued in payment for land by countries that carry out land reform; (b) the responsibility for the financial servicing of such bonds devolves upon the country issuing them, and that only in case of "force majeure duly confirmed by the guaranteeing body shall this system of international security come into operation; and (c) that the underwriting body shall provide such guarantee after a study of the land reform legislation of the country concerned. "
However, other delegates were not in full agreement with this draft resolution, especially since studies were in progress. The Conference welcomed the fact that the Director-General had initiated such studies, and that a first report would be available in time for the World Land Reform Conference, to be held in 1966. The Conference expressed the hope that these studies would lead to a successful solution of the problem of financial assistance for land reform (see also paras. 46, 215, 294 and 333).
Evaluation of conferences, seminars and visits of experts
384. The Conference considered that conferences, seminars and visits of experts were not necessarily the most appropriate or beneficial of activities unless preparatory work was improved and the activities were vigorously followed up. The Conference recommended that the Director-General should give due consideration to the possibility of reviewing and evaluating, within the Organization, the past work of this kind with a view to ascertaining whether it had made an effective contribution to the achievement of the goals of the Organization and what, if any, improvement in the preparatory and follow-up work might be necessary (see also paras. 291 and 313).
I. Program of work and budget 1966-67
Appropriations for the biennium 1966-67
385. The Conference was in support of the Program of Work and Budget as proposed by the Director-General and recommended by the Council. Many delegations expressed the view that the level of the budget represented a reasonable reconciliation between the expanding demands on FAO and the administrative and resources problems created by a rapidly rising budgetary level. They felt that the proposed increase was reasonable, bearing in mind the innumerable activities of the Organization.
386. A substantial number of delegations considered the budget level conservative in the light of the urgent needs of developing countries. On the other hand, quite a number of delegations, while being in support of the level of the budget in existing circumstances expressed concern regarding the rate of growth of the budget, and the hope was expressed by some delegates that in the future the budget level would be stabilized. One delegate expressed the point of view that the budget could be kept at a lower level. The view was expressed that It would first be necessary to go through the phase of putting the agricultural economy of developing countries on a sound basis and in particular providing the necessary trained staff before the budget level could be stabilized. Some delegates felt that the mandatory increases should have been explained in greater detail and with more clarity. One delegate expressed the view that It was desirable to have a functional classification of the budget to make It easier for Member Nations to understand.
387. In accordance with Article XVIII, paragraph 5 of the Constitution, the Conference adopted the following resolution by a vote of 71 in favor, 0 against and 2 abstentions:
Resolution No. 10/65
Having discussed the Director-General's Program of Work and Budget and the conclusions of the Technical Committees and Commissions Approves the Program of Work proposed by the Director-General for 1966-67;
Resolves that for the financial period 1966-67.
1. Appropriations are voted for the following purposes:
|Chapter I||- Conference and Council||504,500|
|Chapter II||- Office of the Director-General||2,526,250|
|Chapter III||- Department of Public Relations and Legal Affairs||71,3501,700|
|Chapter IV||- Department of Administration and Finance||2,846,300|
|Chapter V||- Common Services||5,067,600|
|Chapter VI||- Technical and Economic Program||26,039,000|
|Chapter VII||- Area Liaison Service (Regional Offices)||3,672,750|
|Chapter VIII||- Freedom from Hunger Campaign||1,335,100|
|Chapter IX||- Miscellaneous Expenditure||281,800|
|Chapter X||- Contingencies||350,000|
2. The appropriations voted in paragraph 1 above should be financed by contributions from Member Nations and Associate Members after adjustment as provided in the Financial Regulations; for this purpose it is assumed that: the Administrative and Operational Servicing Costs accruing from the Expanded Program of Technical Assistance to the FAO Regular Program would be $1,657,293 for 1966 and approximately the same amount for 1967, totaling $3,314,000, of which, however, $1,000,000 would be applied to finance the increase in the Working Capital Fund, so that the EPTA lump-sum allocation available to the Regular Program Budget would be $2,314,000 for the biennium, leaving an amount of $47,660,000 to be assessed against Member Nations and Associate Members.
3. The contributions from Member Nations and Associate Members in 1966 and 1967 should be paid in accordance with the Scale adopted by the Conference at its Thirteenth Session (Appendix D).
(Adopted 6.12. 65)