Strengthening public environmental expenditure management, in general and public environmental funds, in particular, has been one of the major objectives of the work on environmental finance of the EAP Task Force over the past few years. One of the main conclusions emerging from this work, is the need for practical management tools and operational procedures that can be used by managers of public environmental expenditure programmes in their daily operations as a benchmark to improve their effectiveness and efficiency.
In response to the demand expressed by EECCA countries for such tools, the EAP Task Force has developed two major tools: the Good Practices for Public Environmental Expenditure Management (PEEM) and the Handbook for Appraisal of Environmental Projects Financed from Public Funds. The Good Practices for PEEM aim to assist governments in designing and implementing public environmental expenditure programmes and supervising and evaluating the performance of agencies implementing such programmes. The Handbook provides domestic institutions managing public environmental expenditure and selecting individual projects for financing with useful step-by-step guidance as to how to implement the Good Practices in real life.
On the basis of these two tools, the EAP Task Force has designed a training toolkit which covers issues such as: programming, project appraisal and post-selection activities (contracting, financial transfers, project implementation and post-implementation monitoring and evaluation). The focus of the training is on investments in the wastewater collection and treatment projects as this sector heavily relies on public support.
The toolkit contains both presentations on specific issues as well as practical exercises related to different appraisal systems and methods for calculating cost-effectiveness of environmental infrastructure projects. The toolkit also contains real case studies based on the experience of some of the Polish and other environmental funds. A simple model for calculating cost-effectiveness has been designed and instructions for its use provided.
Thus, the training is targeted at both decision-makers who are responsible for setting the rules of the expenditure programmes as well as managers who work on appraisal, selection and financing of projects on a daily basis.
The toolkit and the training materials were first tested in Moldova, where 17 Moldovan experts from the National and local Environmental Protection Funds were trained. The training took place on 16-19 January 2007 and was delivered by Polish consultants and practitioners form the best-functioning environmental funds in the country with hands-on experience in this area.
The EAP Task Force is planning to deliver additional training sessions by the end of 2007.
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