129. The steady increase in the TC adjusted programme, experienced in the years 1993-95, declined in 1996. At the same time, new resources remained at 1995 levels and the implementation of funds decreased. It is too early to know whether a new trend was established or whether 1996 will simply reflect a pause in the Agency's TC Programme growth. Senior management is closely monitoring this situation.
130. New resources for the TC Programme totalled $63.2 million, a slight decrease from the $63.5 million registered in 1995. The relative percentages of the new funds changed marginally, with the TCF now providing 85.9%, extrabudgetary 10.5% (Member States 8.8% and UNDP 1.7%), and in-kind 3.6%.
131. The total adjusted programme, i.e. the sum of the programme undelivered from 1995 and previous years plus the new 1996 programme, came to $78 million, significantly less than the $83.3 million on the books in 1995. The reason for this drop was that the carryover from 1995 decreased owing to obligating more funds in 1995 than were received during that year. The financial implementation rate was 75.4% in 1996, only slightly less than the record percentage achieved in the previous year, and the total funds obligated were $58.8 million.
132. Quality management remains the central focus of the TC Programme. The rate of financial implementation has remained reasonably high (above 70%) for the last four years and there is confidence that it will remain so. Attention is now being concentrated on improving programme quality.
133. The actual delivery of the programme to recipient Member States is based on disbursements made during the year. In 1996, goods and services for a total of $59,552,000 were delivered. The area with the highest amount was Africa with 23.1%, followed by East Asia & Pacific, 21.6%; Latin America, 20.0%; Europe, 19.8%, and West Asia, 6.9%. The interregional programme, including all miscellaneous costs, received 8.6% of disbursements. The pie chart below shows the actual amounts for each area.
134. The same delivery is shown by major programme in the following chart. The respective shares were: (1) Food and Agriculture, 22%; (2) Safety (Radiation Safety and Safety of Nuclear Installations), 19%; (3) Human Health, 15%; (4) Industry and Earth Sciences, 14%; (5) Physical and Chemical Sciences, 13%; (6) Nuclear Power (including Comparative Assessment), 7%. The remaining 10% was split between four Agency programmes: Nuclear Fuel Cycle, Radioactive Waste Management, Safeguards, and Direction and Support.
135. In addition to new resources and the adjusted programme, the Agency also calculates the total resources, which include unliquidated obligations, unobligated funds brought forward and new funds, but exclude in-kind contributions. These total resources were $106.9 million in 1996 with expenditures of $84.9 million and a total unused balance of $21.9 million. The table below shows the breakdown by major funds. This table appeared previously in the Summary of Information on Programme and Budgetary Performance.
136. In September 1995, the General Conference approved a target of $64.5 million for the 1996 voluntary contributions to the Technical Co-operation Fund (TCF) and allocated $65.5 million for the Fund, which included $1.0 million from other sources. The total value of pledges was $50.5 million, or 78.3% of the target, a slight increase over 1995. As can be seen in Table A.3 in the Supplement, four countries pledged more than their target, and 35 pledged 100%. A third group, comprising 17 Member States, pledged less than their full target (ranging from 12% to 98%). Unfortunately, the number of countries not pledging anything is very high: 68 Member States or 55% of the Agency's membership.
137. Part of the TCF income consists of assessed programme costs charged to Member States receiving assistance from the IAEA. In 1996, nearly $2.3 million was paid against amounts billed from 1995 and earlier. This represented an increase of 12.3% over the amount paid in 1995. Unfortunately, the total unpaid assessed programme costs, having accumulated now for many years, exceeded $7 million in 1996 for the first time. In addition, 32 Member States that were charged assessed programme costs for assistance delivered from 1991 to 1995 have not paid anything. The following graph shows the amount assessed, the amount paid, and the amount outstanding for the last five years.
138. Interest income declined to $1,367,708 from $2,697,669 in the previous year. This can be explained by the fact that some large contributors paid very late in the year so that there were fewer interest bearing funds for most of the year. In addition, interest rates in international financial markets were significantly lower in 1996.
139. The Secretariat again made use of overprogramming possibilities and this reached a peak in August 1996 at $3,058,000. With prudent management and the reduction of projects not implementable during the year, the resources available and the total programme commitments (provision for unliquidated obligations and earmarkings) were almost in balance by year end. In fact there was a small underprogramming amount of $533,000 , again due to an unexpected increase of resources at year end, as was the case in 1995. As can be seen in the table below, the Agency has been more successful in keeping a balance recently than in earlier years when there was either high overprogramming ($8,002,000 in 1987) or underprogramming ($5,436,000 in 1993).
140. At year end, the unobligated balance stood at $16,006,000, which adjusts to $15,528,000 with the exclusion of obligations against future year project budgets. This unobligated balance did not consist entirely of cash or of currencies readily utilized by the programme. In fact, $1.2 million or 31% of the $3.8 million in pledges not paid have been outstanding for more than two years. The summary below compares the situation at end 1995 and end 1996. The increase is mainly due to two reasons: (i) much less future year obligations were made than in 1995; (ii) additional pledges which were not expected were made in December ($746,000).
141. The sum of $6,855,000 is only slightly higher than the useable unobligated balance recorded a year earlier, and equals less than seven weeks of new obligations. The Secretariat will endeavor to reduce this balance. However, owing to the lack of a working capital fund for the TCF, the unobligated balance (useable portion) should not fall below $5,000,000.
a. Funds from Member States
142. New extrabudgetary resources from Member States amounted to $5.6 million in 1996 and accounted for 8.9% of all TC new resources. Over $2.3 million was in support of Model Projects.
143. Footnote a/ projects and project components totalling $7.1 million were funded using available extrabudgetary resources of $4.0 million and TCF savings of $3.1 million. This represented 39.5% of the total 1996 footnote-a/ programme of $17.9 million. Type II fellowship resources from France and the USA amounting to $396,000 were also earmarked for these projects.
144. Most of the extrabudgetary resources are tied funds and have restrictions as to their use. Implementation in this category of funds reached 59.1%, and as usual, was lower than that of the TCF, where funds available to programme managers are untied.
145. The unobligated balance for this category of resources amounted to $6.3 million. It should be noted that the receipt of cash late in the year and the absence of allocation instructions from donors meant that over $2.5 million from this balance could not be programmed. Thus, the Secretariat was not in a position to deliver goods and services against these funds.
146. As noted in the 1995 report, funds under a Government agricultural loan from the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) were redirected towards the funding of the Model Project URT/5/016 "Tsetse Fly Eradication on Zanzibar Island". The Tanzanian authorities contributed an additional $440,000 in 1996 . Cash contributions from this source now stand at $1.1 million.
147. Subsequent to the discontinuation of the footnote a/ funding agreement by the UK authorities, negotiations were pursued on alternative sources of funding. A $432,000 funding proposal covering two years is under consideration by the Overseas Development Administration (ODA) for the Model Project RAF/8/022 - Isotopes in Groundwater Resources Development.
148. In 1996, $1.05 million was expended on Agency implemented UNDP projects. A new large UNDP project in Syria was approved during the year (SYR/95/002) which aims to transfer the technology for removing uranium from phosphoric acid. Due in part to the slower than expected implementation of this project, UNDP expenditures remained below the levels foreseen at the outset of the year.
149. Under UNDP sectoral support, the Agency fielded a mission to review legal, environmental and institutional aspects of Indonesia's national nuclear power development plan. The mission made recommendations to the Indonesian Government, the Agency and UNDP. In the Philippines sectoral support made it possible to respond quickly to a request by the Government to assess how the Agency might assist in solving the problems of deaths and overfishing caused by poisonous algae bloom. A UNDP project proposal is expected. Ghana, Latvia, Russian Federation, Ukraine, Vietnam and the Region of West Asia also received sectoral support funding to assess and develop new programmes.
150. UNDP's preparations for the next programming phase - starting in 1997 - consolidated the focus on directions taken in earlier years, addressing problems such as poverty, the environment, women and employment, greater resource flexibility and national project execution. The establishment of new funding facilities dedicated to promoting UN organizations in programme and project development and technical support is expected to enhance programme linkage with UNDP in the future. The Agency attended UNDP consultations in September and November 1996.
151. The volume of in kind assistance made available in 1996 increased by $400,000 over 1995 to $2.3 million. Assistance in kind is only recorded at year end and the new resources are automatically calculated to be equivalent to disbursements.
152. Assistance in kind is recorded according to strict criteria. No record is made of in-kind support provided to TC activities of an infrastructural nature within a donor country. However, credit is given to donor countries for the services of their experts going to another country or for the sponsorship of foreign training course participants. Values are reported for equipment actually transported from one country to another. Fellowship inputs are based on the utilization of Type II resources.
153. This resource category remains particularly important for the Agency's training programmes as 83% of in-kind support was in this area. It comprised the costs for 419 months of fellowship training, stipends and travel for 57 training course participants and the assignment of 34 lecturers.
154. One project in Myanmar benefited from an equipment donation of a gamma camera from Singapore.
155. The 39 contributors to the programme that have pledged in 1996 100% of their share of the target to the TCF are profiled in this section. The table at the end summarizes the contributions made from all sources of funds for each of these Member States and is sorted by amount pledged. The group includes 14 developed and 25 developing Member States. Together they represent 83% of the payments made to the TCF. Four countries exceeded their 1996 target: Australia (102%), Egypt (112%), Morocco (103%) and Slovenia (108%). All Member States are listed in Table A.3 of the Supplement to this report according to the percentage of share pledged.
156. The financial commitments made by Member States - both donors and recipients - to the TC programme remained an issue of importance during 1996. As noted last year, in its report on the Financing of Technical Assistance and the Financing of Safeguards (GC/39/23) the Board recommended in paragraph 4(a) that the General Conference "urge all Member States to pledge and pay in full their shares of the target for voluntary contributions to the TCF and urge the Agency to take due account of the extent to which Member States have paid their TCF target shares when determining the allocation of resources for TC projects and for the procurement of equipment and expert services for TC activities." This guidance was among the considerations that shaped the formulation of the 1997-98 TC programme.
157. An analysis at year end of the TCF adjusted programme shows that a total of 24 recipient Member States (two more than in 1995) pledged 100% of their target share and accounted for 26% of the adjusted programme. This group included two LDC's - Bangladesh and Myanmar.
158. Some pledge was made by 12 recipient countries (one less than in 1995), and these countries accounted for 12% of the adjusted programme, while 53 countries (two more than in 1995) made no pledge and received 24% of the adjusted programme. Together, 15 Member States classified as LDCs accounted for 8% of the adjusted programme. An analysis appears below.
159. Extrabudgetary contributions were made by nine Member States who also pledged 100% of their target share. They collectively represented 92% for this category of funds. The following table gives an overview of the programmes receiving financial support in 1996 from these 9 countries. Details of all extrabudgetary contributions are shown in Table A5 of the Supplement to this report.
160. Besides having met 100 % of their TCF Target, some Member States in this group also supported the TC programme with in-kind contributions, providing 76% of these resources. Most of the support received was directed at the training sector. Details on all in-kind contributions are shown in Table B2 of the Supplement to this report.
The 20 largest contributors to the TCF (15 developed and 5 developing) represent 96% of the payments in 1996.
161. Efforts were made to deliver TC services in a more efficient and cost effective way by promoting additional competition from a broader range of suppliers for equipment, providing a greater number of hosting institutes for trainees and approaching more experts and lecturers from developing countries. The implementation process was further enhanced through more interaction with Member States to obtain feedback on project activities and stronger coordination with the technical departments in the implementing phases.
162. A total of 3,610 expert assignments were undertaken in 1996, including those of training course lecturers. Of these assignments 40.7% were carried out by international experts from developing countries. Participation of women as international experts increased from 7.5% in 1995 to 9.5% in 1996. In addition, a total of 15 project tasks were implemented through subcontracts.
163. Particular attention was paid to countries where the expert component implementation was less than 50%. This decreased from 18 to 9 the number of countries with this low implementation rate.
164. The effectiveness and efficiency of the TC Expert Roster as a selection tool was improved through enhanced computerization and refinement of the classification methodology. Several initiatives were taken to further enhance efficiency and cost saving and to optimize staff performance. A "Special Service Agreement Framework" for experts recruited for several missions was developed, and the procedures for handling group activities were streamlined.
Fellowships and Scientific Visitors
165. The Fellowships and Training Section (FTS) placed 1,390 trainees (1,032 fellows and 358 scientific visitors) during 1996, an increase of 3% from 1995.
166. Initiatives, such as grouping fellows for training, were undertaken to lower training costs to an average of less than $3,000 per month. An estimated $1.6 million in cost free fellowships and scientific visitors training was contributed by Austria, France, Germany, Spain, UK and the USA (see table below). While Austria offered 12 months of fellowships last year, the United States made funds totalling $1.2 million available for this purpose, and the other four Member States accepted a limited number of fellows.
167. Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) were signed with Argentina, Australia, Republic of Korea and South Africa, and are being negotiated with Mexico and Italy to establish better co-ordination in the placement of candidates. This resulted in a significant increase in the number of trainees in these countries. Training of 355 fellows took place in 44 developing Member States, including five new ones, thereby promoting TCDC.
168. Continued implementation of the automated Fellowship and Training system allowed an overall improvement in quality and efficiency with regard to the placement of candidates. Training was provided for counterpart liaison officers from 15 countries.
169. Disbursement of equipment reached $23.1 million in 1996. Procurement from developing countries has increased to 15%, from 12% in 1995.
170. Combined efforts of the Field Procurement Section (FPS) and the technical divisions have allowed the average time span for processing procurement requests to be significantly reduced from an average of 65 days over the last six years to 43 days in 1996.
171. An automated Field Procurement Management System (FPMS), which will enhance the efficiency and productivity of the procurement process and the identification of potential suppliers from developing countries, became operational on 1 August 1996.
172. A total of 19 interregional and 103 regional courses, including 19 relating to RCA, 15 to ARCAL, and 16 to AFRA, were held in 1996 in 56 countries. Of these, 83 courses took place in developing countries. 104 countries benefited through participating in training courses in 1996. A total of 1,718 scientists were trained. This represents 47% of the 3,761 applications received from outside the host country.
173. To assure effective and timely implementation, the working contacts with the technical divisions were strengthened and the programme spread evenly over the year.
174. With the aim of streamlining and harmonizing the implementation of training courses, an automated operations system was in a testing phase in the last quarter of 1996 and in full operation in early 1997.
|Preface | Foreword | Highlights | Technical Co-operation Report for 1996 | Elements of the Technical Co-operation Strategy | Regional Highlights | TCDC | Evaluation | Resources and Delivery | Implementation Summaries | Abbreviations | Glossary|