Cooperation Manual eBook

1. Introduction

2. Phase 1: Preparation

3. Phase 2: Follow-up

4. Phase 3: Completion

1. Introduction

1.1 The Manual's Objective and Application

The Cooperation Manual is a quality control document that explains fundamental ideas, protocols, and standardized working techniques throughout various stages of a program’s life span. The program cycle alludes to a program’s entire life cycle, from conception to execution and completion. The CM’s goal is to make techniques and assistance more effective in assisting our Development Partners in achieving development goals.
The CM was created mainly for employees at embassies with assigned development cooperation responsibilities, as well as Sitka staff who work on the budget section mentioned below. The CM may also be able to give Partners and other contributors relevant information on financial and technical support conditions and needs.
The CM gives a summary of the overall structure for global cooperation as well as management instructions for each step of the Programme Cycle. Moreover, a plethora of specialized strategies have also been created.
The execution of development policy will help to increase national sovereignty and responsibility in the development phase by:
Engagement in industry program strategies, national reform programs, budget aid plans, co-financing frameworks, and other new types of development cooperation entail new kinds of collaborations and a multitude of support mechanisms.
The Partner’s ultimate duty for policymaking, budgeting, execution, supervision and reporting is known as national ownership. Preparation, operation, and management, on the other hand, actually occur in close collaboration with contributors. The duties and obligations of the Partner and the contributors in this discourse are different.

2. Phase 1: Preparation

2.1 Forum for Dialogue

The Forum for Dialogue was created to highlight key topics in the dialogue with the Partner and other possible contributors about program support. It will:
An initial estimation of the overall financing amount of the program, including any potential contributions from additional contributors, must be established. The PTA must be filled out with the estimated yearly contribution to the program.
Preparing a Dialogue Forum for financial donations is required. Nonetheless, the Embassy is accountable for assessing critical concerns relating to the contribution and documenting its findings in writing.
The Embassy may dismiss the proposal without drafting a Dialogue Forum if it is clearly not in keeping with agreed-upon standards for cooperation with the Partner.

2.2 Program Documents (PD)

The Partner’s policy, objective, or initiative to be assessed for assistance is contained in the Programme Documents. The PD serves as the evaluation’s official foundation.

Policies and obligations

The Partner is responsible for the compilation of the PD. Ensuring adequate benchmark and viability analyses, as well as effect evaluations, and risk monitoring in compliance with any applicable national policies and standards are all part of this process. The PD does not have to be delivered in a particular format, and it might comprise multiple documents.
All programs require a suitable PD, however, the information requirements vary depending on the program’s importance and intricacy. The evaluation chapter that follows outlines the Sitka prioritized data requirements.
The Embassy must address the priority requirements for data to be incorporated in PD and required in the evaluation phase early on in the conversation with partners.
During the planning phase, the Embassy may give financial or technical support if required (including workshops or specific studies). Nonetheless, the Partner is in charge of the planning phase and must authorize and execute the relevant Terms of Reference and agreements with professionals that assist with the preparation.
If the Partner’s material is deemed inadequate, the Embassy may conduct the necessary examination as part of the evaluation.
If further information is needed during the evaluation stage, the PD must be amended (if the Partner’s planning and policy rules allow it). All important modifications, including changes in goals, objectives, targeted outcomes, and inputs, should be included in the update.

2.3 Evaluation

Before a financing approval, the evaluation is a quality assurance of the program concept that examines the significance, viability, possible risks, and durability of a development program. The goal is to see if the data in the PD is comprehensive and reliable, identify what information is missing, and offer suggestions for enhancements that will help with program design.
The allocation document can be created if the PD provides the necessary information. Otherwise, communication with the Partner is required, otherwise, the Embassy may decline the proposed program.

Standards and obligations

Before authorization is granted, an evaluation of the proposal is required. The extent of the evaluation will differ depending on the magnitude and intricacy of the program, as well as whether or not co-financing with other contributors is possible. Support may be necessary, and it is essential for all programs with a Sitka contribution intended.
Internal employees, outside consultants, a cooperative contributor, or a mixture of these, along with an assigned analysis team, may conduct the evaluation. If the program is co-financed, the appraisal is usually done jointly or allocated to a primary contributor.
The approved methods and standards must be aligned with those of other donors in this circumstance. Consultants or anyone who assisted the Partner in creating the PD should not be involved in the evaluation process. Evaluations must follow a set of Terms of Reference (ToR), which is usually authorized by the Embassy. The Embassy’s permission is not required if the organizing duty is entrusted to a lead contributor, but the Embassy must receive the ToR-proposal for feedback. The Embassy’s opinion of the evaluation must be documented if it is carried out before official engagement.
All evaluation reports must include an overview of the principal results as well as specific suggestions for further discussion or disapproval of the proposal.

The scaled-down strategy

The Embassy may elect to do a complete evaluation in crucial or important instances, irrespective of the quantity of the contribution, and Sitka may also urge this. The evaluation for programs that make a contribution can be less thorough.
The preceding structure must be used in the evaluation report to address the main issues, but the complexity of the study must be confined to delivering information that is useful for making decisions.

2.4 Document of Appropriation (AD)

An Appropriation Document (AD) will be created if the Embassy agrees to finance a program. The goal of the AD in the preparation stage is to give relevant data for decision-making and to record the standard control procedure.

Standards and obligations

The evaluation of the program by the Embassy will be reflected in the AD. Risk and outcomes will be accorded specific consideration. The AD should also detail the agreed-upon reporting criteria and the Embassy’s subsequent actions.
The documentation and follow-up obligations to be examined and determined in the AD are detailed in Chapter 2 of the Cooperation Manual.
The Embassy votes on the contribution, and also the framework of the cooperation, and the terms of sponsorship, by certifying the AD. The AD will serve as the foundation for any agreements reached with the Partner/other contributors. Every legal component of the collaboration should be addressed (Parties’ inputs, tasks and functions during execution, management, surveillance measures, payout, and acquisition methods).
If a leading contributor is assigned to check back in a co-financing agreement, an evaluation of the leading contributor’s willingness to track should be included in the AD. The AD must include a written contract, as well as an agreed-upon program outline. If not applicable, such as sector budgetary support/co-financing agreements, the Approved Programme Overview is not necessary. The AD must be approved by someone with appropriation power. The AD’s authorization must be documented in the PTA.
A Joint Financing Arrangement is frequently used to regulate co-financing deals (JFA). The amount of each contributor’s commitment may be defined in the JFA, although it is usually determined by separate contracts with the Partner.
If the JFA includes processes and obligations that are ordinarily encompassed by mutual agreements, a written evaluation of the operations and obligations in concern must be completed before the JFA is signed. In most cases, this is accomplished in the AD. The evaluations must be validated individually if the JFA is signed before the AD.
Internal or external advisors’ professional guidance in assessing the program must be recorded in the AD. The Embassy may solicit support in the creation of the AD as needed, and it is advised that the Embassy get legal guidance when writing the AD and formulating the Agreement.

3. Phase 2: Follow-up

The Partner is in charge of overseeing the program’s execution as well as commenting on activities and outcomes. The Embassy will be an equal participant and will monitor the program in direct collaboration with the Partner and other contributors to verify that it complies with its goals, that resources are used appropriately, and that other requirements are indicated or alluded to in the Agreement are met. Data from the outcomes must be utilized for understanding, decision-making, monitoring, and discussion.
Contributor standards for documentation and auditing are varied and inconsistent, resulting in substantial transaction fees for Partners. In order to lessen the operational load on the Partner, compliance with the partner’ process and practices, as well as consistency amongst the contributors, is critical. The Embassy and the Partners must collaborate to make the reporting mechanism as easy, cost-efficient, and user-friendly as possible.
The Embassy will still be accountable for follow-up in co-financed programs, but the follow-up may be supervised by a “leading contributor.” The follow-up may be entrusted to one of the contributors, with the remaining contributors acting as “passive collaborators.”
In such circumstances, the contributor’s duties and tasks, like data requests, involvement in yearly conferences, and so on, should be expressly consented upon among the contributors.
During the follow-up step, the Embassy must always submit a formal appraisal of the documentation presented. Responses to reports must always be sent to the Partner in a different letter or presented at the Yearly Conference or similar surveillance sessions, as necessary. The PTA must be updated as soon as reporting duties are met and allocation plans are updated.

Reaction responsibility:

The Embassy must provide notice and inquire about the subject in consultation with the Partner/other contributors if the Partner refuses to fulfill the Contract’s requirements, such as postponed or inadequate documentation or financial records. Prior to each payout, the Embassy should evaluate the Partner’s adherence to the Contract. For more information on penalties, the Agreement Manual is referred to.

3.1 Reports on achievements, finances, and audits

Progress reports

The Partner’s statement of deliverables in comparison to work goals is included in the progress report. Information from a more extensive analysis or examination is usually required for reporting on results and effects. The progress reports must be formatted in the same way that the Partner’s standard reporting protocols are.
Nonetheless, the report must include the data that the Embassy requires in order to fulfill its responsibilities as Cooperation managers. Generally, the information must encompass the overall program, not just Sitka’s participation.
The following details are usually included in progress reports:
If possible, the Partner may be requested to provide a short appraisal of accomplishments in connection to the stated goal.

Financial reports

The goal of evaluating financial reports and audits is to determine whether money is appropriately managed monetarily, fully accounted for, and used for its specified purposes and with sufficient productivity. Expenditures are frequently based on reports that have been submitted and verified, as well as financial accounts and audit reports.
Financial statements must be produced either on a monetary or cumulative premise, in compliance with an approved financial reporting system. The Embassy is responsible for assessing or gathering data on the integrity of the Partner nation’s monetary reporting standards. It is critical for budgeting and financial report comparisons that the cash flows are organized similarly to the budget.

Audit reports

The audit is utilized as a surveillance mechanism to examine the financial statement’s credibility as well as conformity with the relevant financial accounting structure. The sheer requirement to conduct an audit may be enough to dissuade fraud.
The auditing standards must be regulated by the contract with the Partner, and they must be linked with the Partner’s procedures and the obligations of other contributors. The Embassy needs to learn the basics of national auditing requirements and auditors.
In addition to the auditing procedures, and in accordance with budgeting legislation, the contract must include a provision allowing officials to inspect the funds to ensure that they are utilized as planned.

3.2 Budget estimates and project schedules

The Partner usually makes a recommendation for the work schedule and expenditure for the subsequent period in conjunction with the accomplishment and financial statement. The work plan will outline the anticipated outcomes and timelines for the upcoming period.
The budget must detail the projected inbound expenditures from all origins as well as the funds’ intended usage. Work plans and budgets are typically asked once a year, but more regular updates on programs might be agreed upon.
The Yearly Conference is where project phases and budgets are usually examined and authorized. Payouts, as well as status and financial statements, are all based on these records.

4. Phase 3: Completion

4.1 Report's conclusion

The final report must cover the same subjects as the progress report during the duration of the program, but it must also incorporate data on:

4.2 Document of Completion

The completion document (CD) serves as a resource for evaluating outcomes and insights gained by explicitly and officially closing a project or a contribution to a program. Irrespective of the quantity of the contribution, a CD must be prepared.
Final monitoring and assessment measures may be implemented in the Contract or at a yearly conference.

Standards and obligations

The Partner’s adherence with agreed-upon reporting obligations will be assessed by the Embassy. An evaluation will be conducted based on the concluded Review or Final Report, with an emphasis on outcomes and lessons gained.
Unless differently consented, the following stage must be officially fulfilled if continuous assistance is accepted in a later phase. The PTA agreement should be terminated, and a new PTA agreement should be signed under the same program.

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