The Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) has made remarkable strides in achieving global and regional development goals. One of the crucial driving forces behind this progress lies in how the region recognizes and works to foster and enhance regional cooperation and integration among its sovereign nations. This commitment has paved the way for greater synergy, enabling the pooling of resources, sharing of knowledge, and jointly addressing the challenges and opportunities that transcend borders.
For over two and a half decades, the Mekong Institute (MI) has stood as a vanguard for forging dynamic partnerships and facilitating collaborations within the GMS. MI, jointly owned and governed by the GMS countries, is an intergovernmental organization that deepens regional cooperation and integration through capacity development, dialogue, and advocacy for the acceleration of sustainable socioeconomic development and poverty alleviation in the GMS. Guided by its Strategic Plan 2021-2025, MI is committed to becoming a center of excellence in human resource development, a think tank, and a convener for dialogue and collaboration.
One of the key strategic directions under MI’s five-year strategic plan is to strengthen synergies across the GMS/Mekong-related cooperation frameworks. MI’s goal is to serve as a co-creation and multistakeholder platform, fostering complementarity among existing regional cooperation mechanisms for sustained and more meaningful developmental impacts.
MI strives to bring together stakeholders in pushing for development agendas on agriculture, trade and investment, and sustainable energy and environment. To cement holistic and meaningful impacts, MI takes into account in its operations various cross-cutting themes such as social inclusion and vulnerability, digital economy and innovation, and labor mobility. MI, through its “partnership approach”, encourages GMS countries to work cohesively by sharing information and pooling resources to holistically address transboundary issues and challenges.
Halfway through the implementation of its five-year Strategic Plan, MI intends to measure thoroughly its progress through a mid-term review (MTR), which was conducted from August to October 2023. MI engaged an independent regional consultant to oversee the review and provide technical guidance throughout the MTR process. Various data collection methods were utilized including a comprehensive literature review, online surveys, key informant interviews (KIIs), and focused group discussions (FGDs) with key MI stakeholders.
The findings and recommendations of the MTR will serve as crucial pointers for MI to recalibrate mechanisms to further improve its service delivery and continue working alongside its development partners toward a more integrated, prosperous, and harmonious GMS.
The Development Partners’ Meeting 2023 is a significant milestone in MI’s ongoing commitment to transparency, accountability, and collaboration with its valued partners. The meeting aims to:
● Re-introduce MI’s portfolio: MI aims to present its advocacy and work portfolio, highlighting the critical role of partnership and collaboration in achieving its vision.
● Share the Strategic Plan 2021-2025 MTR results: MI aims to share the results of the mid-term review, highlighting its contribution to the GMS and the challenges and opportunities encountered during the first half of the Strategic Plan implementation.
● Foster partnership and collaboration: MI aims to initiate an open and productive dialogue with its development partners to enhance and foster alliance and ensure alignment of efforts, with a specific focus on the remaining two years of implementing its Strategic Plan.
MI’s existing and potential development partners in the GMS/Mekong cooperation frameworks as well as MI’s Steering Committee and Coordinating Agencies will be invited to participate in this meeting, with an expected attendance of approximately 40 to 50 participants.
The meeting will be held in Bangkok on November 16, 2023, 1:30 PM – 5:00 PM. The exact venue will be announced as soon as confirmed.
The meeting will run for three and a half hours (1:30 PM to 5:00 PM)
● One of the highlights will be the presentation of the MI’s portfolio and the key findings and recommendations of the Strategic Plan 2021-2025 MTR.
● MI will engage development partners through an interactive session with an online polling activity. The questions are designed to identify strategies, approaches, and priority areas for enhancing capacity development efforts in the context of regional cooperation and integration within the GMS.
● Selected development partners will be invited to provide brief 3-minute statements on partnership in support of regional cooperation and integration in the GMS.
● MI’s work portfolio will be showcased through an exhibit outside the meeting venue.
○ Station 1: About MI
○ Station 2: Strategic Plan 2021-2025
○ Station 3: Flagship Programs
○ Station 4: Highlights of Thematic Areas (ADC, TIF, SEE, Cross-cutting issues)
○ Station 5: MI and Development Partners
○ Station 6: Knowledge Products
● A meeting report will be shared with the participants within a month after the event.
|12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
|1:00 PM – 1:30 PM
|Registration and welcome coffee
|1:30 PM – 1:40 PM
|Welcome address by Mr. Suriyan Vichitlekarn, MI Executive Director
|1:40 PM -1:50 PM
|Opening message by Dr. Narongchai Akrasanee, MI Steering Committee Chairman
|1:50 PM – 2:20 PM
|Presentation of the MI’s Portfolio and Strategic Plan 2021-2025 MTR Findings and Recommendations
|2:20 PM – 2:45 PM
|Question and Answer
|2:45 PM – 3:00 PM
|3:00 PM – 4:20 PM
|Interactive Session: Exploring Collaborative Approaches
|4:20 PM – 4:45 PM
|Development Partners’ Statement (Selected development partners will be invited to provide brief 3-minute statements)
|4:45 PM – 5:00 PM
|Synthesis and Ways Forward