Projects are a vital part of the APEC process. They help translate the policy directions of APEC Economic Leaders and Ministers into actions and help create tangible benefits for people living in the Asia-Pacific region.
APEC provides funding for around 100 projects each year, with more than USD 16 million available in 2017.
The APEC Secretariat administers two project funding sessions per year. APEC projects are funded from one of a number of project funding accounts and are selected on a competitive basis against established eligibility and scoring criteria. Each APEC project funding source is allocated to a specified APEC forum for the purposes of eligibility and scoring. These fora are described as the Responsible APEC Fora (RAF). The final funding decision is taken by APEC’s Budget and Management Committee, or APEC Senior Officials, if the project is sufficiently large. The APEC Secretariat provides specialist advice on improving project quality and also assists members with implementation.
Projects typically include workshops, symposia, publications and research. They are open to participation from all 21 APEC member economies. As well as engaging with public and government sector organisations in member economies, external stakeholder engagement is encouraged.
The way APEC Projects are selected changed in 2018, with a new project selection process introduced for Project Session 1 in 2018. A number of changes were introduced which were designed to streamline the management of APEC Projects and to incorporate the 2015 APEC Capacity Building Policy into many aspects of the project lifecycle. These changes are captured in the current edition of the Guidebook on APEC Projects, which you are encouraged to review. You can find a copy here along with a one-page summary of edits here .
The Project Management Unit has produced a quick reference guide to the 2018 changes which you can find here.
APEC Project Focus and Themes
Most APEC projects are focused on transferring knowledge and skills between members and building capacity so that each APEC member economy can move closer towards the Bogor Goals of free and open trade and investment. This includes by:
- Promoting and accelerating regional economic integration,
- Encouraging economic and technical cooperation,
- Enhancing human security, and
- Facilitating a favourable and sustainable business environment.
Information about individual APEC projects that are currently being implemented or have already been completed can be found on the APEC Project Database.
APEC projects are managed and implemented across all 21 member economies in accordance with the Guidebook on APEC Projects. The Guidebook and the procedures described within are continuously revised to improve project planning and implementation.
Standard APEC projects are implemented over two APEC financial years, starting with the year that a project is approved and ending on 31 December the following year—that is, projects approved at any point in 2013 must be completed by 31 December 2014.
APEC encourages the involvement of the private sector, universities and governments in the region in its projects. Typically, requests for proposals/tenders to implement projects are advertised on the APEC website. Current requests for proposals/tenders, if any, are listed here.
Responsibility for the management of the project rests with the Project Overseer (PO), including ensuring adherence to funding guidelines and project milestones. The PO may form a steering committee for the project, depending on the project’s complexity. The steering committee or PO must finalise the details of the project, including the timing and venue of events, participants, and any contracting.
The PO keeps the relevant APEC Program Director and Program Executive regularly informed of progress in implementing the project (at least every two months).
All APEC-funded projects are monitored to ensure that they are progressing in line with the timeframes, budgets and methods presented in the project proposal. Projects commencing from 2018 onwards are formally monitored annually. The PO must complete and submit a Monitoring Report Template by the nominated date advised to the PO by the Secretariat in the project Letter of Acceptance. However, please note that projects which commenced in 2017 or earlier are required to submit monitoring reports twice a year (1st of February and the 1st of August).
The full reports are presented to the relevant forum, and a summary report is presented to the Budget and Management Committee (BMC). The Secretariat reports projects to BMC that have not met the monitoring reporting requirements. POs that fail to submit monitoring reports may not put forward new concept notes or proposals until all overdue reports are submitted.
Both the relevant forum and the BMC may take action to manage projects that are not being implemented in line with timelines or expectations.
An APEC project is considered ‘completed’ on 31 December of the year following the funding approval session of the project proposal, or when all project activities have been finished and all project invoices received, whichever is earlier. A project may also be deemed “completed” if it is terminated by its approving body (i.e., BMC or SOM). POs may submit a Request for Extension through the APEC Secretariat if the project cannot be completed before the end of the second budget year.
The PO must complete and submit a Completion Report within two months of the completion of the project.
POs must submit completion reports to the APEC Secretariat through the Program Director for their forum. The Secretariat reports projects to BMC that have not met completion reporting requirements. Following SOM authorisation, BMC will bar any forum that has not submitted a completion report from putting forward new concept notes or proposals until all overdue reports are submitted.
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