The Ministry of Planning and Investment of the Lao PDR released last week its annual Foreign Aid Implementation Report (FAIR) for the fiscal year 2011-2012. This year's FAIR is unique because it is the first FAIR report published by the Ministry to be comprised of Official Development Assistance (ODA) data entirely from the Aid Management Platform (AMP).
The AMP was fully implemented in 2012 by the Government of the Lao PDR, in partnership with Development Gateway and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). At the close of the Fiscal Year in September 2012, the AMP in Laos accounted for 33 development partners, 454 projects and approximately $2.5 Billion dollars in financial commitments to the Lao PDR. These figures have risen in the current fiscal year as five more development partners have been added to the AMP and project level disbursement figures have been updated by existing development partners.
The analysis component of the Foreign Aid Implementation Report concentrates on the disbursement of development finance over the fiscal year. The report analyzes ODA disbursement by donor, ODA received across government line ministries, by Millennium Development Goal (MDG), by Lao Sector Working Group, and includes a comprehensive annex of development aid by geographic region.
The results indicate that Japan, the Asian Development Bank, and Australia ranked as the top three providers of ODA by total disbursement over the last fiscal year. Infrastructure and education were the top two recipient sectors of ODA respectively, together comprising approximately 45% of total ODA. Eradicating extreme poverty and hunger (MDG Goal 1) and developing global partnerships for development (MDG Goal 8) received the largest portion of annual development finance. Notably, according to the FAIR, 17% of ODA was not aligned with any development MDG’s. This suggests that almost 20% of aid projects in the Lao PDR are not correlated with the Government’s development strategies.
The Fiscal Year 2011-12 represents the first ODA series published using the AMP. Continued publication of the annual Foreign Aid Report with AMP information will elicit a better data series with which to analyze annual trends in ODA flow to the government of the Lao PDR in future years. The task remains in the current fiscal year for the Government to continue bringing new Development Partners (particularly China and Vietnam) on board the AMP to increase both the scope and the effectiveness of the AMP system; thereby enabling better nationally led development planning.