Agreeing on a foundation for Oil for Development in Myanmar
June 6th in Nay Pyi Taw: For the first time, all the institutions involved in the future OfD programme in Myanmar were gathered in the same room.
The Norwegian partner institutions had already since 2013 met with their institutional counterparts. Over the course of the past three years, several encounters had enabled a more profound understanding of how the programme could best address the needs of the country.
Addressing challenges and proposing outcomes
At the workshop, the Norwegians presented proposals for programme outcomes, while attendants from the Myanmar institutions lay forth their challenges in managing the sector.
Each of the Myanmar institutions also presented thoughts on how an OfD programme could help improve the management of the country’s petroleum sector.
Many institutions shared common challenges, including:
- a lack of adequate databases and monitoring systems
- lack of information and institutionalized reporting procedures
- weak administrative capacity
The Norwegian institutions in turn proposed relevant outcomes for a 5-year OfD programme. They also gave an outline of the current situation (baseline) within each of the four program areas - resource, safety, environment and revenue management.
Discussing the way forward
Lively debates ensued when the challenges and proposals for outcomes were later discussed in break-out groups. A particular focus of the discussions were issues involving more than one ministry and thus requiring collaboration across institutions.
The day highlighted how several institutions are involved in the OfD programme and need to work together in order to make use of its full potential.
A key take-away was how a better understanding of needs and possibilities for collaboration in Myanmar will strengthen the sustainability of the programme and result in better coordination among the various ministries.
As a representative from the Ministry of Planning and Finance said after the workshop:
- A lot of questions have arisen that we need to ask ourselves. The only answer to address all issues and to achieve the desired outcomes, is 'cooperation'. Though we still need to go a long way to reach our destination, we can say that we have built a common understanding of our oil and gas sector management among the concerned ministries and departments, and that the workshop formed the first step for us.
Now the hard work begins, when a programme document is finalized and the official bilateral cooperation can begin.
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