UBCM Leads Capacity Building Exchange with Vietnamese Partner - MOU Pending

UBCM staff has just returned from a successful mission to Vietnam to support the capacity building efforts of the Association of Cities of Vietnam (ACVN). This work is undertaken in partnership with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), under the Municipal Partners in Economic Development (MPED) program, funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

UBCM is now seeking member feedback regarding a proposed MOU between the two organizations.

While in Vietnam, UBCM staff attended ACVN's local economic development workshop and annual meeting, and developed and delivered a training session on project management, policy development and advocacy for ACVN staff.  The work concluded with a debrief of successes and lessons learned from the current year MPED program activities, as well as preparation of a proposed two year ACVN/UBCM association capacity building work program.

The two-year work program is subject to execution of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between ACVN and UBCM, which sets out the principles, objectives and approach to the capacity building work contemplated by the two associations.  CIDA funding supports the majority of the work under the MOU, with UBCM's financial contribution being limited to in-kind contributions.

The views of the membership on the proposed MOU below are now being sought. We would appreciate hearing whether members support the agreement. Please contact either Jared Wright (jwright@ubcm.ca) or Brenda Gibson (bgibson@ubcm.ca) by December 31, 2012, to make your views known.  Given the nature of this MOU, the UBCM Executive will consider any member not responding by that date to be in support of the MOU.

the Association of Cities of Viet Nam (ACVN)
the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM)
(together referred to as “the associations”)
November, 2011

ACVN is an association representing Special and Rank I to IV cities/towns in Viet Nam, and UBCM is an association representing all local governments in British Columbia, Canada;

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities, in partnership with Canadian municipal associations, including UBCM, is supporting international municipal associations, including ACVN, through the Municipal Partners in Economic Development Program (MPED), sponsored by the Canadian International Development Agency;

UBCM and ACVN have benefited from their initial collaboration during the development of ACVN's 2011 to 2016 Strategic Plan; and

ACVN and UBCM have agreed to establish a formal partnership to work together in support of their common goals.

This Memorandum of Understanding formalizes the commitment of ACVN and UBCM to work together, sets out the principles that will guide that relationship, and describes the objectives of that relationship and the approach the associations agree to use to work towards those objectives.

The relationship between the associations under this Memorandum of Understanding is based on the following principles:
•    Local governments are important to the quality of life of individuals within a community, and municipal  associations can play a significant role in supporting local governments as they address their community needs;
•    Each of the associations respects the other, and is committed to a relationship that focuses on a partnership, where each shares their expertise, skills, knowledge, experience and perspectives with the other in order to strengthen the associations and the local government system as a whole; and
•    Activities implemented under the MOU should be results-based and recognize the need to balance immediate project results with longer-term results relating to the self-sufficiency and sustainability of local government institutions and associations.

The cooperation of the associations is intended to strengthen the local government system, through building capacity of the associations, and in particular the following ACVN priorities:

•    organizational capacity, including fiscal sustainability and organizational and human resources development;
•    policy development and advocacy;
•    member services and programs, with a particular focus on training, capacity building and consultancy services for members;
•    member and international relations, including supporting member to member linkages and supporting sustainable international development projects; and
•    local economic development.

With the support of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities under the MPED program, the associations will use internal resources, supplemented on occasion with external or member resources, to mutually develop and implement a project plan, as follows:
•    in the first year of the MOU, develop the project plan, which:
      • identifies specific projects to be undertaken under the MOU;
      • provides details of how and when the projects will be implemented, including key milestones and accountabilities, where appropriate; and
      • identifies results to be achieved for each of the projects;
•    annually undertake the projects identified for that year in the project plan; and
•    annually review the project plan, report on activities and results for the previous year, and update the project plan, making adjustments as needed for the following year.

Activities undertaken in relation to the projects identified under the project plan will take place in both Vietnam and Canada, and may include such things as:
•    observing and engaging in:
      • association functions, board meetings and conventions;
      • policy development and advocacy processes;
      • member services, capacity building, training or consultancy activities;
•    elected leadership and staff secretariat exchanges, focusing on best practices related to the objects set out in this MOU;
•    developing or sharing written materials, policy manuals or other publications; and
•    supporting or coordinating other elements of ongoing partnerships between local governments in British Columbia and Vietnam, including local economic development activities under the MPED program.

The parties may agree to amend or terminate this MOU at any time.

The term of this MOU shall be from the date of signing to March 31, 2015, unless otherwise amended.

Each of the parties in executing this Memorandum of Understanding commit to the partnership described therein.

OF VIETNAM                                         COLUMBIA MUNICIPALITIES

                                                          Mayor Mary Sjostrom

Date Signed                                         Date Signed


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