IAEA Member States who wish to participate in the IAEA’s 2014–2015 technical cooperation (TC) programme cycle are finalizing preparations for the submission of their project designs to the IAEA Secretariat. Submissions close in March, the final deadline for any national, regional or interregional projects that aims to start implementation in 2014. Following review by the Secretariat, the project designs are considered by the Technical Assistance and Cooperation Committee (TACC) and approved by the Board of Governors in November. Around 700 new projects are expected to be proposed for the 2014–2015 TC programme, spanning thematic areas that include human health, food and agriculture, water and environment, energy, safety and security.
Throughout 2012, counterparts from different regions took part in workshops, meetings and trainings to help them to design projects for the 2014–2015 TC programme. Training has continued throughout the early part of 2013 – this week, counterparts from Member States in the Asia and the Pacific region have participated in a workshop for the design of regional projects proposed under the Regional Co-operative Agreement for Research, Development and Training Related to Nuclear Science and Technology for Asia and the Pacific (RCA). A similar workshop took place last week to assist counterparts from the same region to design their national TC projects. Both meetings aimed to address and support project design, provide technical advice and guidance on necessary improvements and assist project counterparts to formulate the final draft of their project designs.
All IAEA TC projects must meet certain quality standards, and must be in line with defined TC project criteria. The IAEA’s Quality Assurance team works with project counterparts to build a thorough understanding of the project design process and to provide guidance on quality issues that affect projects. TC projects are planned and designed using a methodology called the Logical Framework Approach (LFA). This approach helps potential project counterparts to identify key problems and the solutions to address them, as well as feasible alternatives for implementation, in order to ensure maximum programme impact. The IAEA also collects and shares best practices in the design of TC projects, so that all potential project counterparts can learn from prior successes.
Although the TC programme is regarded as having a two year cycle, planning starts two years in advance. During these two years, the programme cycle is planned and designed. This period includes strategy formulation, project concept identification, the drafting of project proposals, and project design. The two year process concludes with the submission of the new TC programme for approval by the IAEA Board of Governors. Then begins the two year TC programme cycle, which constitutes project implementation during which all activities that were planned in the preparatory phase are executed. Once the cycle begins, planning for the following cycle already starts. TC projects are not limited to two years, but can continue up to five years.
Workshop participants talk about the benefits of the project design review meeting
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