Strategic Programming Documents

Strategic Programming Documents


According to the project terms of reference, the specific objective of PPF5 assistance in relation to result (1) is: ‘To support the drafting of the strategic policy framework for pre-accession assistance’. In order to achieve this objective PPF5 is providing assistance in two main areas, namely:

  1. The updating and redrafting of the document ‘Needs of the Republic of Serbia for International Assistance 2014-17 with projections until 2020’ (NAD) so that it becomes a key national strategic planning document providing guidance to both national authorities and key donors in the programming of international assistance for the mid-term. It is also intended to provide national inputs to the Country Strategy Paper for planning the use of IPA assistance in Serbia over the budgetary period 2014-20. PPF5 assistance for the preparation of the NAD was provided over the course of 2013 (as explained below) and the updated NAD was finalized in October 2013.
  2. The drafting of multi-annual Sector Support Programmes (SSPs) for the achievement of the sector targets defined in the NAD /CSP. Taken together the NAD/ CSP and its implementing SSPs constitute the strategic policy framework referred to in the PPF5 specific objective above. The programming exercise for the preparation of nine SSPs was launched in October 2013 and is expected to last throughout most of 2014. PPF5 will support the NIPAC and the responsible line ministries in the preparation of SSPs and the annual Action Fiches by which they will be implemented.

Overview of Progress on the Preparation of National Strategic Programming Documents

PPF5 sector experts have provided assistance for the updating and redrafting of the NAD over the period January-October 2013 and the finalized NAD 2014-17 (with projections until 2020) is expected to be adopted by government in November 2013. This document is the fifth in the series of NAD planning documents and is the first to anticipate the complete and full adoption of a Sector Approach to the planning of international assistance over the planning period covered i.e. from 2014 onwards. For this reason the most recent NAD has a wide policy scope, covering all sectors and policy areas which are judged to be significant in preparing the country for EU accession and its socio-economic development. The NAD 2014-17 covers nine sectors, three thematic areas and two cross-cutting issues as shown in the Table below. It is the first NAD to set verifiable annual and mid-term sector targets for priorities and measures and defines the indicators which will be used for assessing the progress of reforms in each sector /thematic area.

Table: Sectors, Thematic Areas and Cross-Cutting Issues in the NAD

NAD Sectors Thematic Area
1. Justice 1. Civil Society Organisations
2. Home Affairs 2. Media
3. Public Administration Reform 3. Culture
4. Competitiveness Cross-Cutting Issues
5. Energy
6. Environment and Climate Change
7. Transport
8. Human Resource and Social Development 1. Local /Regional Development
9. Agriculture and Rural Development 2. Gender Equality

The key features of the NAD in relation to the programming of IPA2 are summarized below.

  • Sector Identification and Definition of Scope. On the basis of past experiences of programming EU assistance and the assessment of needs, the NAD identifies, and defines, the scope of those sectors which cover significant policy reforms for national development /EU accession and which are judged to have the capacity to absorb and benefit from multi-annual sector support programmes. In addition, ‘thematic areas’ can be identified which are of national importance but which have more restricted reform agendas and are best achieved by means of projects rather than multi-annual programmes.
  • Sector Strategic Framework. In order to provide a meaningful policy context, the NAD provides a comprehensive summary of the existing sector /sub-sector strategies and defines a national strategic framework and the EU accession agenda to be addressed by each sector. For Serbia, the preparation of the NAD has shown that the national strategic framework needs streamlining since at present it consists of over 100 separate strategies /master plans /action plans. The NAD therefore provides a convenient platform for reviewing and refining national sector strategic frameworks so that the whole scope of the sector is covered, gaps are filled and duplication is avoided (such a strategic review is currently under way in Serbia).
  • Intervention Logic for Future Sector Support Programmes. Each NAD sector is described at the level of overall sector objectives, sector priorities and sector measures. Overall objectives and priorities are derived from the objectives of the sector strategies which make up the strategic framework. The overall objective is based on a synthesis of the highest level objectives in the sector strategies whereas priorities usually reflect some, or all, of the specific objectives of these strategies. The intervention logic in the NAD is that overall objectives are achieved by means of one or more priorities which, in turn, are achieved through measures implemented by the actions undertaken in specific operations. The NAD intervention logic can readily be used as the basis of any future sector programmes and, in addition, provides donors with both a national policy context (at the level of sector objectives and priorities) and a specific focus for their assistance interventions (at measure level).
  • Establishing Sector Performance Assessment Frameworks (PAFs). The NAD defines indicators at the level of both measures and priorities and formulates annual targets for these over the implementation period 2014-17 (with projections until 2020). It therefore provides the basis for developing PAFs for future sector programmes. Under present arrangements monitoring data will be sent by the institutions responsible for collecting them (as indicated in he NAD) to the NIPAC. Monitoring data can then be analysed and used to compile regular reports on the use and performance of international assistance per sector.