Structure Learning Visit (SLV) cum Evaluation Workshop in Mekong countries

November 13 - 16, 2023

In t he Mekong r eg ion a substantial reservoir of untapped potential and opportunities emerges when countries engage in strategic collaboration. While notable efforts have been made, including initiatives like the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) supported by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy(ACMECS), the Lancang-Mekong Special Cooperation Fund, AEM-METI Economic and Industrial Cooperation Committee(AMEICC), and the Mekong-U.S. Partnership, which have yielded significant achievements within their respective cooperation frameworks, the prospect for further advancement remains substantial if these cooperative endeavors are taken to a deeper and more effectively managed level. 

MKC F (Mekong-Republic of Korea Cooperation Fund) is dedicated to laying a robust foundation for fostering strategic cooperation through a meticulously structured and forward-looking framework. In pursuit of this objective, the Mekong Institute is presently executing a project titled “Capacity Building on Regional Project Design, Implementation, Monitoring & Evaluation of MKCF Projects” spanning from 2023 to 2025. This initiative aims to bolster institutional capacities across the entire project life cycle, incorporating systematic Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) processes, all in the pursuit of enhanced regional cooperation and integration among the Mekong countries and the Republic of Korea (RoK).

To this end, the Mekong Institute has undertaken and continues to conduct a diverse array of capacity development programs tailored for key stakeholders engaged in regional cooperation. It has become evident that these stakeholders express a genuine need and desire for practical experience in project implementation within the context of regional cooperation frameworks. With this backdrop, the Mekong Institute is currently orchestrating a Structured Learning Visit, designed to delve into the operational mechanics of successful regional projects, as an integral part of its ongoing efforts.

The specific objectives of the Structured Learning Visit are;

  • To provide MKCF stakeholders with a unique opportunity to observe, study, and interact with professionals, experts, or processes in a real-world setting of regional development projects
  • To enrich the knowledge and understanding of MKCF stakeholders by exposing them to practical project implementation, case studies, and real-life applications of concepts of regional project management.
  • To offer valuable networking opportunities, allowing MKCF stakeholders to meaningfully interact with other participants, experts in the field, other projects’ stakeholders in their area of interest. To establish communication channel with stakeholders’ involvement for future synergic cooperation.

The SLV has three main strands

A. Inception workshop (based on a preliminary online session)

With key Objectives;

  • To have clear understanding on the objectives, content, and desired outcomes of the Structured Learning Visit and get prepared for the best learning outcomes
  • To share experiences and design specific learning outcomes for each participant.
  • To establish a shared understanding of the scope, schedule, and activities of the SLV.

B. Learning visits and on-site workshops

With key Objectives;

  • To gain first-hand experience and knowledge about successful regional projects with key features of the projects, implementation mechanism, and lesson-learnt.
  • To interact with project management teams and beneficiaries at each site.
  • To understand the process of regional project planning, implementation, and impact measurement, along with the challenges faced and best practices followed.

C. Synthesis workshop along with pre and post-event sessions

With key Objectives;

  • To consolidate and reflect on the learnings from the Structured Learning Visit (SLV).
  • To discuss the application of learned insights in ongoing or future projects.
  • To facilitate sharing and discussion among participants for enhanced collaborative learning.

USAID RDMA

Discussion point

  • Agriculture, environment and business nexus regional project which is to address one of the key issues in the Mekong Region 
  • Variety of interventions including mobilizing finance, studies, conference and webinar and trainings and their result framework 

GMS framework, ADB Thailand Resident Mission

Discussion point

  • GMS regional cooperation initiative, corporate result framework and signature projects in Thailand and Mekong Region such as Strengthening Ecosystem for Sustainable Finance in ASEAN+3 and others.
  • Multi-year and inter-organization cooperation experience and lesson learnt

Expected learning outcome

  • Improved understanding on one of the longest Mekong regional cooperation frameworks, their regional cooperation mechanism and have clearer perception on regional projects and their features 
  • Improved understanding regional cooperation result framework with ADB’s corporate result framework which has regional progress indicators, baseline and etc. 
  • Newly established or strengthened network between regional cooperation coordinating body and participants 

CCC project by BIOTEC(Thailand)
Capacity Building on Circular Economy, Resource and Energy Efficiency for Productivity and Sustainability of Cassava Chain to High Value Products: Cassava Root, Native Starch, and Biogas in Mekong Countries (CCC) by National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (BIOTEC), Thailand

Discussion point

  • As a real MKCF project example, the proponent shares MKCF project cycle from EoI development to project evaluation 
  • Several good project implementing methodologies and tools such as Voice of Customer, Structured online training modules, and exit strategy namely beyond CCC

Expected learning outcome

  • Improved understanding on MKCF project cycle and be ready for developing new regional cooperation projects 
  • Equipped project implementing and developing methodology
  • Established network for future collaboration

PROMISE project by IOM
Poverty Reduction through Safe Migration, Skills Development and Enhanced Job Placement in Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar, and Thailand (PROMISE) Programme

Discussion point

  • One of the cross-border issues that is expected to persist and is being experienced by a number of countries. 
  • Stakeholder coordination and project implementing mechanism such as steering committee:

*the issue has broad range of concerns affecting both sending and receiving countries which means the tackling interventions need close regional cooperation.

  • Policy level interventions and implication

Expected learning outcome

  • Gained practical skills on mutli-stakeholder coordination by analyzing real-world challenges faced by a regional cooperation project and discussing potential solutions 
  • Enhanced multi-stakeholder coordination skills through real case study
  • Gained/enhanced understanding on policy level intervention through/followed by regional projects
  • Enhance high-level officials’ understanding of effective policies and strategies that promote successful regional cooperation.

❖ Participants will consist of mid to senior-level of government officials of seven MKCF priority sectors from five Mekong countries and PIA members. This includes government officials,
❖ Seven priority sectors of MKCF
❖ The candidates from the governments should be senior-level officials who can lead the conceptualization of regional cooperation and regional projects.
❖ PIAs should send agency members with at least 10 years of experience in project management.
❖ Proficiency in English (speaking, understanding, reading, and writing) is essential.
❖ Participants must commit to attending the entire training course.
❖ Participants must be the same for the workshops and the SLVs
❖ Participants should actively engage in the training and be willing to participate in interactive sessions.
❖ Participants should maintain effective coordination with the project team at MI before and after the event. 

 

Date: Monday, 13- Thursday, 16 Nov 2023

Location:

  • Mekong Institute, Khon Kaen
  • RDMA- USAID, Bangkok
  • ADB Thailand Resident Mission, Bangkok
  • Thailand National Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (BIOTEC)
  • International Organization for Migration Office, Bangkok

At the end of the meeting, the SLV participants will be able to:

  • Gain a comprehensive understanding of various regional projects, including their planning, implementation, impact, challenges, and best practices, by directly observing and engaging with project teams and beneficiaries. 
  • Reflect on their experiences, share insights, and broaden their understanding by learning from their peers’ perspectives.  
  • Develop concrete action plans to apply their newfound knowledge to their ongoing or future projects, effectively linking the SLV experience to their work 
  • Cultivate a commitment to applying these insights, enhancing their project management skills, and contributing to the design of more effective regional projects. 

The outcomes of the SLV are to come up with the following follow-up actions: 

  • Each participant should incorporate observed best practices, addressing identified challenges, or improving project planning and impact measurement in an action plan based on the lessons learned during the workshops and SLVs. 
  • Participants should share their insights and newfound knowledge with their broader teams, thereby extending the impact of the SLV through follow-up sessions and communications. 
  • Participants should actively monitor the implementation of their action plans and provide
    feedback to the Mekong Institute, enabling the
    Institute to assess the real-world impact of the SLV and make improvements for future programs. 
  • Participants should actively seek opportunities for sustaining collaboration with the visited projects or other participants. This may involve resource sharing, collaborative efforts on specific project components, joint problem-solving, or maintaining regular communication via email. 

MKCF’s Project Implementing Team

Mr. Madhurjya Kumar Dutta
Director, Trade and Investment Facilitation Department & Mekong-RoK Cooperation Fund Tel: (+66) 43 202 411 (Ext: 2101)
Email: dutta@mekonginstitute.org

Ms. Hyeyoung Lee
Project Manager, Mekong-RoK Cooperation Fund Tel: (+66) 43 202 411 (Ext: 2111)
Email: hyeyoung@mekonginstitute.org

Ms. Hao Wen
Senior Project Coordinator, Trade and Investment Facilitation Department Tel: (+66) 43 202 411 (Ext: 2111)
Email: hyeyoung@mekonginstitute.org

Mekong Institute
123 Mittraphap Road, Muang District, Khon Kaen 40002, Thailand
Website: https://www.mekonginstitute.org

 

To download the concept note, click here

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