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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 funds over 100 projects each year.
The APEC Secretariat administers two project funding sessions each 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 capacity building 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. Many projects currently use virtual and remote delivery mechanisms in response to the travel constraints borne by the COVID-19 pandemic.
All APEC project policies and processes are described in the Guidebook on APEC Projects. The current version is Edition 16 (published in September 2021), and you can find a copy here.
The project Concept Note, Project Proposal, Monitoring Report and Completion Report templates are regularly reviewed. Please make sure you use the current version of the template. These are located in the PO Toolkit, as well as in the Guidebook on APEC Projects.
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 APEC Putrajaya Vision 2040, through:
- Promoting trade and investment,
- Encouraging innovation and digitalisation, and
- Strong, balanced, Secure, Sustainable and Inclusive Growth.
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. If you have any questions about whether you are using the most up-to-date versions please do not hesitate to contact the Secretariat.
All APEC projects are afforded 18-21 months to implement, irrespective of whether the project is selected in the first or second project session of the year. For example, projects selected in Project Session 1 2022 must aim to complete by 31 December 2023. Projects selected in Project Session 2 2022 must aim to complete by 30 June 2024.
The actual commencement date of any project is still subject to satisfactory findings during the Secretariat quality assessment process, and the date that BMC gives final approval to a project. POs should factor these considerations into project timelines.
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 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 should keep 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 formally monitored through the submission of annual Monitoring Reports, to ensure that they are progressing in line with the timeframes, budgets and methods presented in the project proposal.
The Secretariat reports projects to BMC that have not met the monitoring reporting requirements. POs who 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 also take action to manage projects that are not being implemented in line with timelines or expectations.
POs should plan ahead to ensure that all aspects of project implementation, including disbursement of all project funds, are finalised by the Project Completion Date (PCD). POs may submit project extension requests using the APEC Project Design Amendment and Extension form, but these are subject to approval by the Secretariat, and every effort and care should be taken to ensure projects are delivered in entirety by the PCD.
The PO must complete and submit a Completion Report to the Secretariat (through their Program Director) within two months of the completion of the project. The Secretariat will review the Completion Report and may revert to the PO for clarifications, if required. Once the Completion Report is found satisfactory by the Secretariat, it will be circulated in the forum by the Program Director for comment and finalisation.
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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