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Government and 18 Development Partners Assess Cooperation Progress

June 1, 2011

DHAKA, June 1, 2011 — The Government of Bangladesh and Development Partners today met to review progress made under the first year of the Joint Cooperation Strategy (JCS) Action Plan. A year ago, on 02 June 2010, the Government of Bangladesh and 18 development partners signed the JCS. This agreement focuses on creating new and more effective ways of working together to support development in Bangladesh.  It includes principles for joint working and specific actions to strengthen aid management.  Today was the time to take stock and make plans for the coming year.

Achievements in 2010-11 include Government’s preparation, with development partner support, of the upcoming sixth Five Year Plan. Government and development partners have been meeting more regularly in joint working groups in key sectors, sharing ideas and information, developing strategic plans and joint programmes. The JCS has helped to streamline development assistance through joint programming, promoting country-led, sector-wide approaches in areas like Health and Education, and conducting joint reviews of implementation progress.

‘The Joint Cooperation Strategy has helped reduce the transaction costs of dealing with multiple development partners and has assisted Bangladesh to be on track in achieving the Millennium Development Goals,’ said  M. Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan, Secretary, Economic Relations Division and co-chair-LCG‘Going forward, we will further enhance country ownership to ensure aid is well-aligned with our priorities and vision.’

The JCS puts greater focus on managing for development results. This requires a shift among both Government and development partners toward balancing day-to-day implementation concerns with a sustained focus on achieving outcomes.  In preparing the Sixth Five-Year Plan, the Government is incorporating a development results framework which will serve as a monitoring tool to ensure that implementation ultimately leads to achievement of goals.

‘Aid commitments are at record levels in Bangladesh. To ensure that aid makes a maximum contribution to growth and poverty reduction, it must be used effectively.’ said Ellen Goldstein, Co-chair of the Local Consultative Group and Country Director, World Bank‘This will require a collaborative effort by Government and partners to strengthen systems and capacities to monitor and manage for sustainable development results.’

JCS signatories include the Government of Bangladesh and 18 Development Partners: the Asian Development Bank, Australia, Canada, Denmark, European Union, Germany, the Islamic Development Bank, Japan, Republic of Korea, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United Nations, the United States, and the World Bank.