State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi chaired the first meeting of the Development Assistance Coordination Unit (DACU) at 10am on Monday 28th November at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Nay Pyi Taw. The meeting was attended by DACU Deputy Chair Union Minister for Planning and Finance U Kyaw Win, DACU members U Set Aung (Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Myanmar) and U Min Ye Paing Hein (Director Designate, Myanmar Development Institute), DACU secretary U Tun Tun Naing (Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Planning and Finance), and members of the DACU technical support team.
During the meeting, it was noted that the government is committed to working with all Partners in Development to ensure that international development assistance brings maximum benefits to the people of Myanmar, and that the establishment of the Development Assistance Coordination Unit is in line with this commitment.
The meeting agreed that DACU will strive to improve the coordination and effectiveness of future development assistance to Myanmar. DACU’s work will be based on internationally-accepted principles of development assistance, namely: that Myanmar, as host country, should exercise ownership, leadership and guidance with regard to development coordination; that Partners in Development will align their assistance with Myanmar’s development priorities and policies, and act in a transparent fashion; and that both the government and Partners in Development will be accountable to the people of Myanmar and the donor taxpayers for achieving tangible development results.
It was agreed that among DACU’s primary responsibilities will be: to identify priority sectors and potential projects for future development assistance, based on consultations across government; to draw up, in dialogue with Partners in Development, a nation policy for development assistance; to review, and if necessary revise, the existing aid coordination architecture, including Sector Working Groups, so as to ensure efficiency and inclusively; to support the Economic Committee by reviewing and evaluating potential loans and major grant and technical assistance projects; and to identify constraints to the effective delivery of development assistance, and help to resolve those constraints where possible.
In carrying out all these tasks, and in accordance with the principle of inclusivity, it was agreed that DACU will establish a regular dialogue with all Partners in Development active in Myanmar, both traditional and ‘non-traditional’.
DACU members also acknowledged the critical role that the private sector will play in the country’s development, including in addressing infrastructure requirements, and noted that coordination between government, private sector, and Partners in Development will be key to attracting and facilitating the investment that is needed. DACU members also noted the importance of engagement with CSOs, INGOs, and major domestic and international philanthropists, to encourage greater coordination and alignment of their valuable efforts with national priorities.
In carrying out all its tasks, it was agreed that DACU will be supported by the Foreign and Economic Relations Department of the Ministry of Planning and Finance, and will also draw on the support of the Myanmar Development Institute.
DACU members noted that DACU would seek to be innovative and creative, and would be open to feedback and suggestions from stakeholders on how to improve the unit’s effectiveness. Ultimately, DACU would have one simple but challenging objective: to ensure that the generosity and support of Myanmar’s friends across the world is translated most effectively into genuine improvements in the lives of Myanmar’s people in the years ahead.