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Development of RCA Projects and Assessment Criteria.

Dr John F Easey

What are the Procedures for the Development of RCA Projects?

Articles in the RCA Agreement Relevant to Development of Projects

Article II (2). The Meeting of Representatives shall have the authority:  (a) to determine a programme of activities and to establish priorities therefor;  (b) to consider and approve the co-operative projects proposed in accordance with paragraph 1 of article III;. Article III (1).  Any Government Party may submit a written proposal for a co-operative project to the Agency, which shall, upon receipt thereof, notify the other Governments Parties of such proposal. The proposal shall specify, in particular, the nature and objectives of the proposed co-operative project and the means of implementing it. At the request of a Government Party, the Agency may assist in the preparation of a proposal for a co-operative project.

Procedures for Project Development

The RCA Member States have agreed a set of Guidelines and Operating Rules that cover the operation of the Agreement, including the procedures for the initiation of Cooperative Projects and Cooperative Research Projects (CRPs). The procedure for Project Development will depend on the requirements of the sponsoring agency.

Cooperative Projects - Purpose

Designed to meet the needs for development and practical applications of nuclear science and technology for peaceful purposes. Not primarily research projects but may contain a research component. Enable the RCA Member States to acquire wellestablished nuclear technologies to address socioeconomic development problems. Provide tangible socio-economic benefits to the participating Member States (Impact). Essential to be in areas of development priorities of the participating Member States, who should have the physical infrastructure and human and financial resources to implement the project activities and to sustain the activities after the project is closed following completion of the delivery of the technical inputs.

Cooperative Projects Technical Inputs The inputs shall be in the form of:  regional and national training courses;  meetings for reviewing the progress of the projects and planning future activities;  services of experts, and consultants;  award of contracts for specific tasks. Fellowships, Scientific Visits and supply of equipment are not input components for RCA projects.

Coordinated Research Projects - Purpose Coordinated Research Projects are essentially networks of national research institutions which work within an operational framework for research on a similar and well-defined regional theme or problem focus that is relevant to, or can be resolved through, nuclear science and technology.

Determining Project Priorities.

Guidelines & Operating Rules - Priorities

The following criteria are taken into consideration in deciding on the priorities: the relevance to RCA Vision and Mission development needs of individual Member States (identified through consultations with relevant stakeholders) and the expected impact commitment at national level to maximize sustainability potential to benefit from the advantages of using nuclear techniques potential for regional cooperation potential for improving the utilization of established regional networks and resources and value addition to previous inputs to the project area Millennium Development Goals


G&OR Further Refined: Adoption of the RCA Medium Term Strategy (MTS) 2006-11

Key features Strategic Plan: Vision Mission RCA Core Values RCA Governance Strategic Context Critical Success Factors

G&OR Further Refined: Adoption of the RCA Medium Term Strategy (MTS) 2006-11 Key features Strategic Directions: Ensuring Effective Management of the RCA Achieving Greater Impact for RCA Projects Developing Sustainable Capacity to Address Socioeconomic Needs Enhancing Uptake of Nuclear Technologies and Increasing Visibility of the RCA

G&OR Further Refined: Adoption of the RCA Medium Term Strategy (MTS) 2006-11 Strategic Context: Millennium Development Goals IAEA Medium Term Plan & TC Strategies Regional priorities and Policies agreed by MSs and new emerging priorities Development & Income generating Opportunities International & National Trends in Nuclear S&T The need to create, manage, share & exploit our knowledge more effectively.

G&OR Further Refined: Adoption of the RCA Medium Term Strategy (MTS) 2006-11
Critical Success Factors: Projects should be needs driven & benefit from regional cooperation Projects should be of sufficient size to achieve high impact and measurable outcomes High use of regional networks & resources Build on adequate national resources, infrastructure and existing programmes Choose projects where a nuclear technique is high value adding and technology transfer a major focus Consistent with MDG and TC Strategy Ability to attract external funding

G&OR Further Refined: Adoption of the RCA Medium Term Strategy (MTS) 2006-11
Performance Indicators: More active involvement of NRs in management of the programme Achievement of a reduced number but high impact projects aim for 10 projects/year by 2011 Increase use of regional experts & resources in addressing regional needs aim for 70% by 2011 Increase exchange of information & technologies between RCA MSs need fewer formal TCs Increased use of electronic networks & enhanced level coordination within RCA all MSs provide information via RCA website Increase non-IAEA funding for RCA aim to double by 2011 Establish partnerships between RCA and other Organisations at least 2 by 2011 Increase awareness of the capabilities of RCA in the region recognised by requests to participate in international conference and donor meetings

Timing Considerations in the Development of RCA Projects.

Timing of Key Actions in the Development of RCA Projects

Activity: Priority areas for the RCA Programme are decided by the NRs at the NRM Identification of PLCs for the priority areas Drafting of the Concept Papers by PLCCs, in the priority areas identified by NRs in consultation with the other stakeholders Interaction with IAEA on Concept Papers Review of Concept papers and assignment of priorities by NRs at the GCM Time Frame: NRM held in year N-2 (for projects to be implemented commencing in year N) At the above NRM

31st of July, year N-2

July September, year N-2

September, year N-2

Timing of Key Actions in the Development of RCA Projects

Activity: Submission of the approved Concept Papers to the IAEA by the RCA Chair Screening of the Project Concepts according to TC Criteria and technical feasibility by IAEA staff Detailed design of the projects selected for implementation by the PLCCs in conjunction with IAEA TO and in consultation with the relevant RCA Stakeholders. Review of detailed design by NRs and the NRM Refinement of the project designs by PLCCs Time Frame: 31st of September, year N-2

30th November, year N-2

December, year N-2 - February, year N-1

March / April, year N-1

April May, year N-1

Timing of Key Actions in the Development of RCA Projects

Activity: Review of project designs, preparation of budgets, decision on the projects / project activities that could be supported by TCF. Final approval of projects by NRs including discussion of proposed Agency funding Information on projects approved by the Board of Governors conveyed to the Member States NRs inform the RCA Secretariat of the project they wish to participate in along with the contact details of the appointed NPCs. Time Frame: June - August, year N-1

September, year N-1

November, year N-1

31st of December, year N-1

Fast Track Procedure for RCARO

DIR-RCARO prepares a Concept Paper according to the standard RCA format. Submits this to the Standing Advisory Committee (SAC) together with a justification for the use of the fast track mechanism. The Chair SAC consults with the other SAC members on the suitability of the submission for fast-tracking and notifies the DIR-RCARO as quickly as possible and within 1 week of the SACs acceptance or rejection of the use of the fast-track mechanism.

Fast Track Procedure for RCARO

On acceptance of the use of the fast track option, the DIR-RCARO and the SAC jointly prepare a project proposal with explanatory text complemented by any necessary additional materials, and promptly distribute them to NRs for consideration and comment by a due date. The NRs will communicate to mutually agree a position and inform the DIR-RCARO through the SAC by the due date. Should any NRs not respond to the SAC by this designated time, they will be deemed to agree with the position adopted by the NRs who do respond. The fast-track decisions will not require formal endorsement at the next NRM following the due date. However the decisions should be appended to the NRM report to ensure full transparency.

What are the Criteria used to Assess RCA Project Proposals?

Factors in the Review and Assessment of Project Concepts

Is there a detailed description of the problem or need that is being addressed? Are the objectives of the Project clearly stated?  Each Project should have a broad objective and a much tighter focussed specific objective, which relates directly to the planned outcomes.  Most Projects should have no more that two specific objectives. More usually implies that there is really more than one Project being attempted.  There should be a clear linkage between the Specific Objective(s) and the problem/need to be addressed.

Factors in the Review and Assessment of Project Concepts (cont.)

Technology transfer should be the major focus of the project Does the proposal duplicate efforts being undertaken using other mechanisms (national projects, non-RCA projects and other cooperative agreements) or duplicate previous RCA Projects? Is it an extension of a previously implemented RCA? If so what is the new dimension and is it important? Is the Project of sufficient size to achieve high impact? Does the Proposal have to have defined and measurable outcomes?

Factors in the Review and Assessment of Project Concepts (cont.)

What is the nuclear technique being proposed and does it have demonstrated advantages over conventional methods ? What makes the concept a good proposal for an RCA regional project? Why is it important as an RCA regional project? What is the potential for TCDC?

Factors in the Review and Assessment of Project Concepts (cont.)

Indicators of Regional Interest, Priorities and Capabilities: How many RCA Member States have identified the concept area as a priority in their CPFs? How many RCA Member States have national projects in the proposed area? Which RCA Member States have the infrastructure and other resources necessary for implementation of the project?

Factors in the Review and Assessment of Project Concepts (cont.)

Is the Concept Feasible?  Can the problem/need be adequately addressed through the proposed project?  Is the time scale realistic?  Is funding requirement realistic?  Is the nomination of participating countries appropriate?  Is there sufficient technological capability and capacity in the MSs and support from the National Authorities to make the achievement of sustainability realistic within a reasonable time frame?

Some Key Rejection Points

The concept does not meet TC Strategy or MDG or MTS criteria. No essential nuclear component. Not needs driven. Inadequate applicability to RCA MSs stated priorities and needs. Duplicates projects carried out previously or being carried out under other mechanisms and arrangements. Unrealistic outputs/outcomes coming from the proposed inputs. No major regional cooperation driver. Low probability of achieving sustainability. No general commitment at a national level.

What Key Factors need to be Considered in the Development of the Concept into a Project?

Further Enhancements in Project Design Introduced in the 2009-2011 cycle

Improvement of Progress Monitoring Ensuring all MSs appoint National Teams and adopt Work Plans Ensuring nominees for regional events are members of the project teams Ensuring availability of national resources for project implementation Ensuring sustainability of project outputs and outcomes

Factors Enhancing Project Sustainability

identify and transfer nuclear technologies, which are value-adding and address ongoing needs develop relevant technical expertise in nuclear institutions to increase self reliance provide support for effective regulatory control and safe and secure use of radioactive materials introduce mechanisms that provide for continuing exchanges and support to nuclear institutions following closure of specific projects as part of the project design enhance the ability of nuclear institutions to access funding from end users

Adopted Recommendation WG on Implementation of MTS: .all projects designs for projects being implemented in the RCA programme for 2007 and beyond have milestones and performance indicators.