ISG TERMS OF REFERENCE

(Final Version for 2003-2005)

INTRODUCTION

The International Support Group (ISG) was established in 1997 in accordance with Decision No. 541 NN/TCCB-QD on 9th April 1997 with advisory function in the effective use of ODA resources. The focus of ISG was then on forestry. However, a review was undertaken in 1999. The review recommended widening the scope of ISG to include more sectors and activities than forestry. A new set of ToRs was therefore developed for the period 2000 to 2002 and it was decided to fund ISG activities through a Trust Fund arrangement to which donors could contribute funds. The present ISG Trust Fund was established in accordance with Decision No 1167/CP-QHQT dated 18th December 2000 by the Government and extended until 31 December 2005 by Decision No 4299/VPCP-QHQT dated 5th August 2002 issued by the Government.

ISG reports to MARD Minister via the Director General of the International Cooperation Department (ICD), who is also the Director of ISG Secretariat. The present hierarchical composition of the four ISG bodies is: ISG Plenary, ISG Steering Board, Thematic Ad-hoc Groups (TAGs) and ISG Secretariat.

ISG has since establishment provided significant support to MARD generally and ICD specifically. Efforts have been geared towards; (i) dissemination of information, (ii) coordination with donors and within MARD, (iii) policy dialogue and (iv) preparation of workshops, seminars and (v) other activities.

However given new policies, priorities and strategies to address present development challenges, opportunities and constraints faced by the agricultural and rural sector in Vietnam, the present review has been undertaken (April/May 2003) to up-date and revise the ToRs for the ISG.

This review concludes that the ISG has achieved commended results and that ISG's scope of work being further widened to meet the current needs and challenges. It is in particular found that ISG should assist MARD, ICD with coordination and policy dialogue at horizontal and vertical levels during all levels of the project cycle: identification through to impact evaluation and dissemination of lessons learned.

Below are ISG steering documents in details:

ISG Terms of Reference 2003-2005

ISG Operational Plan 2003-2005

ISG Proposed budget 2003-2005

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