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                                                         Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

STRENGTHENING STATE PLANS FOR HUMAN DEVELOPMENT
Memorandum of Understanding
( MOU )

This Memorandum of Understanding sets out the objectives and terms of cooperation for strengthening State Plans and the planning process of the Government of West Bengal, through technical assistance from the Government of India-UNDP project on Strengthening State Plans for Human Development. Accordingly, the Government of West Bengal, the Planning Commission, Government of India and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) endorse a formal understanding on the project objectives and deliverables.
 
                                                       
Context

 The Government of India has made a commitment to meet national and global human development goals in the Tenth Five Year Plan document, including State-level monitorable targets for poverty reduction.

        For the first time State Plans have been incorporated as a separate volume in the National Tenth Plan with State-specific monitorable targets. The Tenth Plan has outlined a multi-pronged strategy to assist the State Governments in achieving the development targets set out for them. The direction of public investment to achieve these targets can be through the State Plans and so also poverty reduction strategies within a human development framework, as set out in the State Human Development Reports, which are prepared by the State Governments themselves. Effective follow up by the State governments requires the creation and strengthening of institutional capacity within the State's planning process to work across departments and with civil society to devise specific policies and programmes to improve the level of human development in the state.
                                                        

        The Government of West Bengal has prepared its State Human Development Report and is committed to national and international goals, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) through an effective poverty reduction strategy and an action agenda for human development.

        The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the UN's global development network, mandated by its Executive Board to assist member countries in devising more effective public policies and programmes for poverty reduction, human development and the achievement of MDGs. The UNDP's Country Programme 2003-07 has a specific focus on human development and gender equality, and the Government of India has approved a Project for Strengthening State Plans for Human Development, led by the Planning Commission, Government of India (refer Project document).

Objectives

The key objectives, based on the Project document, can be summarised as follows:

       Build and strengthen capacity of State planners to provide a human development perspective in State Plan documents and relevant policies and programmes of the state government, through a Human Development Research & Coordination Unit, which may be located in the State Planning Commission/ Planning Department with technical assistance from the Project on Strengthening State Plans for Human Development.
                             

       Provide research and training services to identify specific policy options for financing of human development. Strengthen state statistical systems through development of methodologies, software and training courses for data providers and users, both in the Directorate of Economics & Statistics and relevant departments. Emphasis would be placed on generation and computation of district level statistics pertaining to education, health, income and poverty.

Deliverables

As envisaged in the project document, the specific deliverables would include the following:

     Dissemination of State HDR messages, using both executive summaries and audio-visual media, with an effective communication & advocacy strategy aimed at government departments, district administration, local bodies and civil society, including media and academic & research institutions.

    Analytical reporting on human development – thematic reports and forecasting exercises, district level HDRs, human development policy briefs and memos (including chapters in the Annual Economic Survey and State Plan documents), evaluation and documentation of best practices.

    Design and implementation of human development training courses and modules, including training of trainers and exposure of state planners to concepts and best practices of human development, at the national and global level.                                                                            

    Design of human development programmes and poverty reduction and employment generation strategies for the State, including district level interventions for backward districts taking up in the initial phase those districts covered under the Rashtriya Sam Vikas Yojana (RSVY), through substantive participatory processes to ensure clear linkages with human development and MDGs.

    Training of State and district level statistical officials in modern statistical methods and computation of human development indicators.

For carrying out the above tasks, a Human Development Research & Coordination Unit will be established within the State Planning Commission/Planning Department, with specific terms of reference based upon the Project Document.

Roles and Responsibilities

Government of West Bengal

     Establish a Human Development Research & Coordination Centre within the State Planning Board, Development & Planning Department as the resource centre and coordination mechanism for the follow up to the HDR and related policy documents (Refer State Government Proposal), by ensuring adequate office space and logistical support as required. This Unit will prepare, approve and implement the annual work plan, and also serve as the channel for allocating and utilizing the resources provided by UNDP for various activities under the annual work plan of the Unit as agreed upon between the Planning Commission, Government of India, the State Government and UNDP.      
                                                                                                                                               

   Designate and empower a Nodal Officer in the State Planning Commission to oversee and coordinate the activities of the Unit and implement its work plan.

     Constitute an Empowered Committee to monitor and guide the Unit, including management of the resources provided to the Unit.

      Provide resources to bridge the gap, if any, between the resources made available by UNDP and the requirement of resources for carrying out the activities as per the approved work plan as also ensuring smooth functioning of the Unit.

      Facilitate interaction and consultation with departments, districts and block officials, and State Government agencies.

Planning Commission

     Authorise the use of UNDP resources for meeting the costs of establishment of Human Development Research & Coordination Unit, and in implementation of its work plans, including strengthening State statistical systems, training, national experts, workshop/consultations under the Government of India-UNDP project on "Strengthening State Plans for Human Development" (Refer Project document and Work Plan).

      To monitor the progress of implementation of the project through visits as well as participation in various meetings.

      Integrate the deliverables from the exercise in the process of State Plan dialogue and the national planning process.                                                                                                          

UNDP

      Provide technical assistance and financial resources for the establishment of Human Development Research & Coordination Unit and in implementation of its works plans, strengthening State statistical systems, on the request of the State government in association with the Planning Commission, Government of India.

     Support identification of strategic options for financing of human development at the State level, through research, training and related studies, in tandem with specialized national resource institutions.

Participate in review meetings.

     Coordinate with other UN agencies and international organizations, as and when requested by the State Government, in consultation with the Planning Commission.

Facilitate experience sharing with other States and countries.                                                     

        

Signed on this day, the………………………, Two thousand four at ………………… by and on behalf of:

                      
                       
Planning Commission                             UNDP                                         Government of 
                  Government of India                                                                                   West Bengal

 

   Rajan Katoch                Maxine Olson               Asok Gupta
Joint Secretary (State Plans)             Resident Representative               Chief Secretary