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Operational Priorities

The TaiwanICDF’s core strategies focus on how to enhance aid effectiveness and substantive results. To achieve this goal, we actively seek to incorporate Taiwan’s comparative advantages into our projects, for which reason we also distinguish between several priority areas of assistance. When matched to the appropriate resources, we expect this approach to realize a high standard of aid effectiveness.

As well as respecting a commitment to the UN’s Millennium Development Goals, the TaiwanICDF works in accordance with cooperative themes identified in Taiwan’s International Cooperation and Development Act. Our assistance projects promote five development themes as discussed below.

Agriculture

Although international food crises have affected the whole world to a varying degree, the biggest impact has been felt in the poorest countries. Sharp rises in prices have caused unrest in nations with a significant, long-term reliance on imported foodstuffs, dragging down economic growth. The majority of farmers and low-income residents have been unable to withstand these changes, which have made them more and more vulnerable to poverty and hunger, and hindered national development. 

Over many decades, Taiwan’s agricultural policies and supporting systems have stabilized the prices of agricultural products, guided farmers’ organizations and fostered agricultural production techniques and human resources. These and similar measures have provided Taiwan with a full range of nutritionally balanced food sources and safeguarded food security, making agriculture an economically essential cornerstone of the country’s development process and driving the smooth transition to industrial and commercial prosperity and national development. This unique “Taiwan Experience” provides ample experience for partner countries to draw on in their own pursuit of national development.

To reduce the impact of the food crises arising in our partner countries, our approach toward technical cooperation is emphasizing increased production of grains and animal protein and introducing the advantages of Taiwan’s productive sectors — raising productivity and promoting balanced nutrition in rice production and aquaculture, for example, to increase partners’ food self-sufficiency rate.

In terms of production management, we are actively promoting the development of the agriculture sector in our partner countries. For example, this has meant introducing Taiwan’s approach to the guidance of farmers’ organizations, including the experience and practices of production and marketing groups, cooperatives, and farmers’ and fishermen’s associations, as well as integrating production and marketing information and developing key agribusiness technologies. This is strengthening the development and operational efficiency of partner countries’ agricultural policies while also increasing farmers’ incomes and directly improving their quality of life.

To ensure that projects can develop sustainably and to continue expanding their long-term benefits, we are also supporting farmers and small businesses with short- to medium-term financing. This is helping them to become self-reliant, driving agribusinesses in our partner countries toward sustainable development and ultimately furthering progress toward the realization of the first MDG, “Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger.”

Public Health and Medicine

Disease prevention and control was actively promoted throughout Taiwan after World War II. Infectious diseases such as cholera and smallpox were eradicated, outbreaks of tuberculosis, measles and polio were brought under control, and by 1965 the World Health Organization had declared the country a malaria free zone. Health care in Taiwan continued to develop and divisions of labor became more and more specialized. Whether it be public policy development and public health advocacy, community health systems development, disease surveillance and management or another, similar field, each of these individual achievements represents a considerable development that our partner countries can draw from.

In Africa, our partner countries still suffer from a lack of public health advocacy, poor health care systems, shortages of qualified health care personnel and similar issues. This has resulted in high rates of maternal and neonatal mortality, and the continuing prevalence of infectious diseases, parasite-borne illnesses and other afflictions.

Elsewhere, the remoteness and “small island” characteristics of our Pacific island partner countries mean that there is a widespread lack of public health resources, poor health care systems and few qualified health care personnel. When this results in critical illness, often the best and only option is to transfer a patient for treatment in another country. There is therefore an urgent need to build up the long-term stability of local health care systems.

To ensure that everybody in our partner countries can enjoy a basic right to life and well-being, we are responding to their actual circumstances and needs, and passing on Taiwan’s experience and know-how in the field of public health. Through our approach to technical cooperation, we are introducing partner countries to Taiwan’s public and private sector health care resources and actively upgrading the functions of their own public health systems. We invite Taiwanese hospitals to participate in these cooperative endeavors, providing professional, efficient solutions and building the capacity that partners need for the development of their own health care systems.

We are also focusing especially on maternal health, deepening the promotion of public health concepts among communities and establishing long-term modes of cooperation. Improving overall health systems in this way is helping to fulfill the fourth and fifth MDGs, “Reduce child mortality” and “Improve maternal health.”

Education

Education is a key means of reducing poverty. It provides people with the skills and know-how that they need to be independent and self-sufficient, and cultivates a high-quality labor force that can contribute to a country’s economic development.

Many governments around the world already appreciate the importance of education and, faced with the challenges brought about by today’s knowledge-based economy, have taken the initiative to cultivate talent at all levels. In Taiwan, the government has popularized higher education and improved vocational training systems so that the country continues to produce capable, talented citizens.

To help partner countries acquire the critical knowledge required for long-term development, we will continue to assist them in cultivating talent through higher education, strengthening academic exchanges through our approach to technical cooperation so as to provide the human capital needed for national development and the development of soft power.

We also remain committed to technical and vocational education and training (TVET). In addition to assisting partners to strengthen their TVET systems through technical cooperation, we will also utilize financial instruments and consultancy services, paying close attention to industrial development trends. At this stage the capacity of young people remains the focus of human resources development from the TaiwanICDF. The timely provision of loans is allowing more and more people in our partner countries to generate business and pursue an education, stimulating socio-economic activity in turn.

Information and Communications Technology

Information and communications technology (ICT) is already breaking down the distance between regions, countries and people. It is widely used to transfer knowledge, exchange information in real time and improve management systems. It is transforming service delivery methods and changing patterns of trade, and can even eliminate the space and time constraints involved in long-distance clinical consultations and diagnosis. Hence, as the world becomes increasingly interdependent and integrated, ICT symbolizes the way in which future cooperative partnerships will face crucial transitions, offering alternatives to traditional modes of development.

Since 1998, Taiwan has been promoting e-government through government-related network infrastructure and applications and projects focusing on social care. These initiatives have effectively improved efficiency and service quality, winning the approval of international ratings agencies. Taiwan’s experience of using ICT to raise government performance – improving public sector governance capacity while also developing private sector enterprise – is something that our partner countries can draw on as part of their own development process.

In the future, we will continue our approach toward technical cooperation, promoting Taiwan’s experience of developing e-government and expanding the scope of partner governments’ public services. At the same time, we will introduce skills and resources from the Taiwanese private sector and assist partner countries to actively develop applications for ICT across a range of different sectors, such as real-time agricultural production and marketing information systems, or telemedicine consulting services.

Environment

Environmentally sustainable development is one of the most pressing existential issues facing the world right now. In recent years, the capacity of partner countries  and the foundations of their development have been continually eroded by frequent natural disasters, and by the increasingly damaging impact of climate change and energy crises. As a result, nations around the world have grasped the urgency of environmental protection and begun to focus resources on the development of this and related fields.

Located in the Pacific Ring of Fire and lying within a subtropical monsoon region, Taiwan is prone to frequent natural disasters such as earthquakes, typhoons and storms. This has led authorities here to establish a variety of environmental monitoring mechanisms. We use geographical information systems (GIS), for example, for land planning, for monitoring natural resources and the environment, and for planning emergency responses.

Natural disasters often do permanent damage to Taiwan’s limited environmental resources. To minimize these effects, Taiwan pursues the continued implementation of environmental protection and develops green industries such as solar photovoltaic power and biogas. Associated development experiences are something that our partners can learn from to facilitate their own environmentally sustainable development.

At the TaiwanICDF, we are committed to improving natural disaster response and management mechanisms. Through our approach to technical cooperation, we are drawing on Taiwan’s relevant experiences in GIS to assist partner governments in estimating the scope of damage and planning relief programs. This is reducing the casualties and losses caused by disasters.

Furthermore, in response to sustainable energy issues, our investment and lending activities are providing the necessary funds and actively assisting partners to promote the development of green forms of energy, thereby putting into practice the seventh MDG, “Ensure environmental sustainability.”

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