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First organizational reforms in history of TaiwanICDF-create newly styled foreign aid agency

Since its establishment in 1996, the International Cooperation and Development Fund (TaiwanICDF) has operated in accordance with governmental policy on foreign aid and international trends in development assistance. On June 15, 2010, the government expanded the diplomatic opportunities to be gained through development by promulgating the Act Governing International Cooperation and Development and making corresponding amendments to the Statute for the Establishment of the International Cooperation and Development Fund. This legislation was effected after President Ma called for the establishment of a more professional, legally transparent and results-oriented system by which Taiwan can provide aid to its overseas partners.

In recent years, a shift in the development concerns of the international community has led national foreign aid agencies and multilateral organizations to adopt practices that are markedly different to those of the past. As Taiwan’s primary provider of official development assistance, it has become essential that the TaiwanICDF responds to these rapid changes and international trends, and “moves with the times.” The government’s new guidelines on foreign aid are also driving an urgent need for the organization to set fresh targets, transform its business operations and innovate: In addition to providing assistance as an “implementing agency,” the TaiwanICDF must also assist the government on research and foreign aid policy, and widen cooperative networks with construction groups, partner governments, NGOs and other international organizations.

Following a six-month consultation process involving domestic and overseas staff, TaiwanICDF Secretary General Amb. Tao Wen-lung aims to address these various issues through a major series of personnel changes and reforms to the structure and strategic outlook of the TaiwanICDF. Under the authority of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the organization’s 54th Joint Board Conference oversaw the approval of these reforms on July 2. The changes will officially come into effect on July 12.

Specific readjustments and reforms at the TaiwanICDF will include:
(1) The creation of three new, independent offices for public relations, personnel and finance, so that the original organizational structure of five departments, four offices and 15 divisions will become five departments, seven offices and 14 divisions;
(2) The separation of the existing Technical Cooperation Department into two distinct departments: a Technical Cooperation Department and a Humanitarian Assistance Department — to ensure that technical cooperation focuses on core professional work, and associated competencies;
(3) The integration of humanitarian assistance operations — which will result in new humanitarian missions and overseas services, and public health and medical services, in line with the organization’s revised operational commitments;
(4) The creation of a Lending and Investment Department from the existing Banking and Finance Department, and an International Education and Training Department from the existing International Human Resource Development Department — so as to return to the core development needs of professionals and industries associated with the work of the organization.

Collectively, these reforms represent the most far-reaching changes to be made to the organizational framework of the TaiwanICDF in its 14-year history. Internal measures are in place to ensure that personnel rotation, training and capacity building is conducted as necessary, in order to assist staff as they adapt to new working practices. Ultimately, Secretary General Tao and his staff hope that by enhancing operational practices at the TaiwanICDF, the organization will become increasingly professional and efficient as a provider of foreign aid, and gain a more professional and pragmatic approach toward the implementation of its foreign assistance projects.

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  • Date:2010/7/6