Lao PDR’s Development Policy Priorities for the Next 5 Years: High-Level Consultation on the 9th NSEDP under the Roundtable Process
- Vientiane, 11 December 2020 – The High-Level Consultation Meeting on the 9th National Socioeconomic Development Plan (NSEDP) under the Roundtable Process was held today. This consultation was jointly organized by the Ministry of Planning and Investment and the United Nations.
This consultation served as a final high-level opportunity for development partners to consult with Government on the policy priorities of Lao PDR under the six outcome areas of the 9th NSEDP 2021-2025.
As noted by His Excellency Dr. Kikeo Chanthaboury, Vice Minister of Planning and Investment, “The development of this 9th NSEDP which will guide policymaking for the next 5 years, comes at a time when our country continues to face with a number of challenges. One of them is the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic which has already imposed a major shock on Lao PDR and our neighbors, with effects that are likely to be felt for years to come. The impact of this pandemic comes on top of existing challenges due to the two consecutive years (2018 and 2019) of natural disasters seeing both heavy flooding and drought affect the country.” He also added the imperative of remaining vigilant to the continued forces of the pandemic and regional and global developments as the finances of the country, which already saw a slowdown prior to the COVID – 19 outbreak, remains severed by its impact.
In this context, the 9th NSEDP will guide policymaking to advance sustainable and inclusive growth, human capital investment, infrastructure development and progress towards the smooth transition from Least Developed Country status.
“We now have a clear and much reinforced articulation of how Lao PDR will work to ensure that no one is left behind in the development process, with a stronger focus on children, youth- which now has a specific output- gender, and vulnerable groups. The essence of the 5th draft of the NSEDP now provides a clear strategic framework for policy priorities that reflects the context of Lao PDR, and to which all of our efforts can be aligned” Ms. Sara Sekkenes, the UN Resident Coordinator to Lao PDR, stressed.
Participating development partners also reached agreement on their support to the elaboration of key 9th NSEDP implementation arrangements over the coming months, including the development of a monitoring and evaluation framework; a costing; and a financing strategy as companion pieces to the 9th National Socio-Economic Development Plan.
Due to COVID-19 disruption, preparations for the usual Roundtable Meeting have been disrupted. However, recognizing the importance of inclusive consultations in finalising the policy directions of the 9th NSEDP in early 2021, this focused one-day high-level consultation was organized. In preparation of this final opportunity, stakeholders also met on 10 December for technical exchanges before presenting the final draft to the high-level consultation.
Following this concluding consultation with external stakeholders, the Government will now finalise the Plan in time for the upcoming Congress and the submission to the 1st Session of the National Assembly in 2021. Moreover, a retreat under the Roundtable Process is proposed towards in the first quarter of 2021 to finalise the monitoring and evaluation framework, the financing strategy and the costing of 9th NSEDP that will accompany the 9th NSEDP in this submission.
195 participants attended the consultation for a constructive and open exchange.