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Chapter 4: Technical Cooperation Programme

(all amounts in US$ 000)
  Major Programme 2004-05 Programme of Work ZRG 2006-07 Programme of Work ZNG 2006-07 Programme of Work RG 2006-07 Programme of Work Trust Fund
41 Technical Cooperation Programme 98,645 98,645 94,645 102,645 0
42 TCP Unit 4,382 4,442 4,423 4,542 0
Total 103,027 103,087 99,068 107,187 0
Programme Change from 2004-05 Programme of Work at Chapter level 59 (3,959) 4,159  
Percent Change 0.1% (3.8%) 4.0%  


Substantive thrusts under ZRG conditions

458.     The Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP) has been under review through a process led by FAO’s Programme Committee. This review had been wide-ranging and is intended to strengthen the programme’s impact and overall effectiveness. It has involved extensive consultation with key stakeholders both inside and outside the Organization, including governments and international development partners. The review is expected to lead to substantial changes in the policy and operational framework of the programme.

459.     Subject to the endorsement of related proposals by the Committee and the Council, the elements for a strengthened TCP in the next biennium would include:

  • New strategic focus, primarily on the World Food Summit target and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), consistent with FAO’s Strategic Framework and its commitment to the MDG process, but not to the exclusion of projects related to an enhanced supply of global public goods;
  • Strengthened TCP priority-setting processes at the country level, involving the government, FAO and other stakeholders to identify the best opportunities for using TCP resources, and integrated into the National Medium-Term Priority Frameworks to be set up in response to the Independent Evaluation of FAO’s Decentralization;
  • Enhanced role of FAORs and other decentralized offices, through adequate delegation of responsibilities;
  • Full delegation of authority to FAORs to approve TCP Facility projects up to US$ 100 000 in a biennium;
  • An increase in the maximum budget ceiling for all TCP projects from US$ 400 000 to US$ 500 000;
  • Improved measures for emergency assistance TCP projects, including greater emphasis on the provision of immediate technical assistance to governments and a heightened emphasis on catalytic effects;
  • New modalities for submission and approval of regional and inter-regional projects from governments and established regional bodies;
  • Greater attention to outcomes and impact assessment, including: 1) the adoption of measures to raise impact and improve sustainability; and 2) the development of tools and methodologies to better assess the impact of TCP projects, their contribution to sectoral and national priorities and their responsiveness to the country level priorities of the UN system and other international development partners; and
  • Improved procedures and guidelines, including: revising the TCP guidelines to respond to the final decisions of governing bodies; training for FAO staff in project design and formulation; further steps to accelerate project approval; and maximum transparency in the processing of TCP requests.
460.     Subject to the decision of the Programme Committee and the Council, new criteria to determine the eligibility of member countries for TCP assistance would be established along with new criteria to determine the eligibility of individual requests for TCP assistance in order to ensure that they are adapted to fit the realities of the present time.

461.     During the 2004-05 biennium, measures were implemented to enhance the performance of the programme. Changes in procedures took account of the increased responsibilities of FAORs and TCP project budget holders, as well as staff at other FAO’s decentralized offices at all stages of the TCP project cycle from project identification to project completion. Other measures were introduced in direct response to concerns raised by FAO’s governing bodies and the External Auditor about both TCP approval rates and delivery. As a result of these and other ongoing initiatives designed to improve operational efficiency, TCP approval and delivery have both reached unprecedented levels.

462.     It is recalled that a process for systematically evaluating thematic clusters of TCP projects is now well established. Nine evaluations have so far been carried out by the Evaluation Service covering projects in the fields of food quality control (1997); apiculture and sericulture (1998); legislation (1999); policy assistance (2000); animal health (2001); emergency relief operations (2002); crop production (2003); fisheries exploitation and utilisation (2003); and livestock production, policy and information (2004).

463.     Other relevant developments are also worth recalling:

  • Continuing expanded use within TCP projects of expertise from the partnership programmes;
  • Growing utilisation of TCP in support of the Special Programme for Food Security (SPFS), including more recently, demands to support up-scaling of regional and national food security programmes;
  • Streamlining of procedures for the approval of TCP Facility projects by FAORs that strengthen their capacity to provide technical services to FAO governments in the form of local/national consultancies to assist them in solving specific technical problems; formulating project ideas for extra-budgetary funding sources and carrying out small sector studies;
  • Streamlined procedures for the reimbursement of the technical support services rendered by FAO’s technical divisions to TCP projects;
  • Enhanced working methods for collaboration among all parties concerned (TCOT163, FAORs, FAO technical units and operational branches) at the various stages of the TCP project cycle (identification, analysis, formulation, evaluation and finalisation of the project proposal).


464.     The table below shows the evolution of TCP allocations by region between 1994-95 and 2002-03. Variations largely reflect the demand-driven nature of the TCP by region.

Distribution of TCP Allocations by Region (percentage)

Region 1994-95 1996-97 1998-99 2000-01 2002-03
Africa 41.7  39.4  40.6  37.1  44.8 
Asia and Pacific 24.4  21.1  19.2  25.1  22.3 
Europe 5.9  10.4  10.5  7.6  6.7 
Latin America and Caribbean 18.2  18.5  18.8  18.7  16.4 
Near East 9.8  10.6  10.9  11.5  9.8 


465.     The TCP makes an important contribution to other Regular Programme activities and is a significant tool for ensuring synergy between FAO’s normative and operational activities. The graph below illustrates how TCP interventions relate to the Organization’s major sectors of activity (as inferred from the Lead Technical Units for projects).



466.     In addition to the call to increase resources for TCP embodied in Conference Resolution 9/89, several factors support the case for a higher TCP Appropriation: 1) the increase in the number of Member Nations eligible for assistance, affecting the share of other regions; 2) the unprecedented level of demands for TCP-supported technical assistance; 3) the increasing complexity and multi-disciplinary nature of TCP projects; and 4) the high relevance of the TCP to address new problems and priorities faced by Members, such as capacity-building for trade negotiations or issues of food quality and safety.

467.     Moreover, the level of demand for emergency assistance continues to grow (18.5% of 2002-03 total TCP allocation), competing with the resources available for non-emergency assistance. Consideration is being given to the possibility that if, as intended, the Special Fund for Emergency and Rehabilitation Activities (SFERA) grows significantly, it could take the pressure off TCP for emergency projects and would permit a larger proportion of TCP resources to be allocated to non-emergency interventions.

468.     These various developments have resulted in an increase in the number of projects approved, from 430 projects in 1998-99 to 758 projects in 2002-03. Some 900-1000 requests for TCP assistance are received per biennium.

Real Growth Scenario

469.     The net increase of 4% would augment the capacity of Chapter 4 to meet requests from countries including for emergencies.

Zero Nominal Growth Impact

470.     The reduction in resources would result in the TCP being even less able to respond to requests for assistance. However, the reduction is less than the average rate for ZNG and thus would increase the percentage of the TCP share of the budget to 14%, in line with Conference Resolution 9/89.


163 Technical Cooperation Service

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