SAARC becoming an implementation body

Written by ASHOK B SHARMA | New Delhi | Updated: Nov 14 2009, 23:15pm hrs
The South Asian nations have agreed to jointly address the development plans for the region.

The body South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is gradually transforming from a declaratory body to implementation body

SAARC consists of eight member countries, namely, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

The two day meeting of the SAARC Cabinet Secretaries concluded here today. It deliberated on issues of common concern such as administrative reforms, rural development, performance management and e-governance.

The meeting was attended by all the Cabinet Secretaries from the SAARC Member States. It was noted that SAARC is transforming from a declaratory body to implementation body and the need to strengthen administrative and delivery mechanism was emphasized.

The Cabinet Secretaries deliberated upon areas where significant innovations have been tried in various Member States to benefit their citizens. Member States also discussed rural development programmes in their own countries and the impact made by them.

The challenges of performance management and evaluation were also discussed. Member States also deliberated on the use of e-governance for improving service delivery for its citizens and agreed that there is scope for collaboration in these areas.

The meeting agreed that Member States would share information on best practices in the field of administrative reforms by preparing a compendium and hosting the best practices on their official websites. ) Regional collaboration among the SAARC institutions and officials would be institutionalized by creating a network of institutions, reserving training slots in prestigious institutions and exchange of visits.

SAARC Member States in collaboration with the SAARC Secretariat would identify one or more regional projects in areas of rural development for implementation out of the funds available under the SAARC development fund.

Various institutions in SAARC member countries have developed rural development models. These models will be made available to the SAARC Secretariat, which will then put together an Index of Rural Development Models. Further exchange of information and knowledge on Rural Development Models will take place based on the felt needs of member countries.

SAARC Member States would collaborate in the area of performance management and evaluation by sharing expertise available and experience gained through the implementation of various models. In case of e-governance, it was decided that SAARC Member States would identify projects where e-governance could be used for improving public service delivery and share knowledge and expertise.