Value for money: Cooperation between Pakistan and Norway
About the program:
The program “The Institutional Cooperation Framework between Pakistan and Norway” has become the umbrella covering a number of very diverse collaborations/projects between Pakistani and Norwegian Institutions.
The Pak-Norway Institutional Cooperation Framework was initiated in April 2005 with the intention to facilitate collaboration between matching public and private sector institutions of the two countries. The program aimed at enhancing the technical competence of Pakistani institutions by implementing jointly developed projects with their respective Norwegian partner institutions.
The review was conducted in the end of 2012. The general impression is that the program and all its sub-components give value for money:
It is relevant in line with the main goals set in the agreement between the Government of Pakistan and the Government of Norway, in the Annual Development Plans of Pakistan as well as the overarching goals in the Norwegian development policy.
As far as the review team could observe, most of the collaborations were based on an understanding of mutual benefits for the two institutions. Only in a few collaborations, the impression was that a one-way transfer of knowledge was the focus. For the review team it seems obvious that an institutional anchoring on both sides and a clear understanding of the mutual benefits of the collaboration is supportive to the sustainability of the outcomes and paves the way for a continued collaboration, even without external support.
The program appears to be very simplistic in the way it is organized, but by further scrutiny the complexity and differentiations of the collaborations established under the program become obvious.
The program opens up for an innovative approach by the different institutions participating. They experience a flexible mechanism giving room for substantial creativity. But the monitoring of the different collaborations was very limited as was the formalization of the relations between the different institutions and the project secretariat.
The review team is of the view that two challenges should be kept in mind in the development of the program:
- HOW TO KEEP THE SIMPLICITY AND AT THE SAME TIME MAKE THE COMPLEXITY LESS UNPREDICTABLE
- HOW TO KEEP THE SIMPLICITY AND AT THE SAME TIME INCREASE THE EFFICIENCY AND VALUE FOR MONEY?
The review will be part of the documentation available as basis for a decision on a non-cost extension of Phase 2 (since substantial funds are still unspent), and a decision on a possible Phase 3.