Member's Area
Indian Ocean Rim Association
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The introduction of new projects form a central part of IORA's work programme and their success has a large bearing on the Association's value to its Member States.  The selection of appropriate projects and the commitment of Member States to their successful completion are vital to the Association.

The Ministerial Meetings over the years have endorsed the following projects to be included in the Work Programme of IORA.

  • Regional Centre for Science and Transfer of Technology (RCSTT)
  • University Student Mobility Program for the Indian Ocean Region (UMIOR)
  • Tourism Feasibility Study Project
  • Maritime Transport Council (MTC)
  • Opportunities for Construction within IORA
  • Promoting Cultural Cooperation
  • Preferential Trade Agreement for interested Member States (PTA)
  • Fisheries Support Unit (FSU)

There are various guidelines which have been designed to help Member States to propose, select and implement projects on a basis of consensus.


The source of funding for IORA Projects may come from:

  • IORA Special Fund
  • Voluntary contribution from Member States
  • Member States funding their own participation
  • Voluntary contribution from Dialogue Partners, Observers, NGO's, the Private Sector, Donors, etc
  • Voluntary contribution from International Organisations

(Sources from non-member funding requires prior approval of the CSO/COM.)


The "Criteria, Procedures and Guidelines for the Inclusion of Projects in the Work Programme", aim to encourage the selection of projects that directly advance IORA's immediate focus on Trade and Investment facilitation, thereby helping to achieve more demonstrable and practical outcomes.

Project proposals should satisfy each of the following criteria:

a)      there must be no significant overlap between the project proposal and past and current work programme within  IORA;

b)      there is no significant overlap between the project proposal and other current proposals;

c)      the project is policy and results-oriented, with the deliverables meeting the needs of the intended beneficiaries;

d)     the project advances IORA objectives, as stated in Paragraph Three (ii) of the IORA Charter. The project should also achieves at least one of the following:


-          improves understanding of Trade and Investment regimes, or impediments to Trade and Investment, in the Indian Ocean Rim;

-          removes impediments to Trade and Investment;

-          promotes trade liberalization;

-          enhances the flow of goods, services, investment or technology;

-          improves trade-related capacity;

e)      the Project does not harm the interests of any Member State;

f)       the project's implementation schedule, will realistically achieve the project's deliverables;

g)      each Project participant responsible for delivering or contributing to a milestone, agrees that it will meet the deadline for that milestone;

h)      each funding source identified agrees that it will provide the funding.

Presentation of Projects Guidelines

Presentation of Projects Guidelines aim to ensure that project participants adhere to their commitments. They also allow Member States to consider and prioritise projects carefully, with sufficient time to consult on the benefit of the project within their governments, and to ascertain if there are sufficient resources to commit to the project.

The documentation for each Project Proposal should include:

a)      the title of the project;

b)      a brief description of the project;

c)      the relationship of the project to previous or current work, both within and outside of the IORA

d)     the organizations (government or business) consulted in the planning of the project;

e)      the project's deliverables and beneficiaries (government or business), a plan for disseminating the deliverables, and a statement of how the project's deliverables would meet the needs of the interned beneficiaries

f)       a statement of how the project would advance IORA's objectives

g)      the implementation schedule for the project, including the specification of regular milestones such as deliverables or meetings, the deadline for each milestone, and the allocation of responsibility for delivering the milestone

h)      a detailed resource and budget plan for the project, including funding requirements and funding sources for each milestone;

i)        Member States, Dialogue Partners and other organizationco-ordinatingthe project and their contact details;

j)        Member States, Dialogue Partners and other organizationsparticipatingin the project and their contact details.

The Clustering Approach

At the 5th Meeting of the Council of Ministers in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Council agreed that a minimum of five Member States (4+1 namely 4 Member States with 1 Lead Coordinator) would constitute the right cluster to quick start a project in the ambit of IORA, with flexibility for other Member States to also join at a later date.

Before drafting project documentation, prospective Project Coordinators should consult with the Secretariat on possible directions for their project. The Secretariat should provide advice on the proposals.  The procedure followed are:

a)      project proposals are considered by the relevant forum i.e. IORAG, IORBF, or WGTI at its meetings;

b)      for any project to became an IORA Project, it should be proposed by a Member State (Lead Coordinator) and should be supported by at least four other Member States (Clustering Approach);

c)      the documentation for each project proposal should be circulated, through the Secretariat, 60 days in advance of the meeting to be considered The Secretariat should also advise of any inconsistencies within each proposal, where relevant.

d)     the documentation for each Project Proposals should be in the specified format;

e)      Member States should evaluate each project proposal according to the criteria;

f)       the CSO should consider the projects recommended by the three forums.

g)      once a project has been approved, the Secretariat should inform the Project Coordinator(s), and should liaise regularly with the Project Coordinator(s) to ensure adherence to the implementation schedule. The Project Coordinator(s) should remind participants of impending deadlines as appropriate. Through the Secretariat, Project Coordinator(s) should submit progress reports, sixty days in advance of IORA meetings;

h)      if there is little prospect of a project's successful completion by its deadline in its present form, the Secretariat should refer to the Chair of the relevant body, in conjunction with the Project Coordinators, in order to recommend the re-design or cancellation of the project;

i)        On completion of a project, the Project Coordinator(s) should submit an Evaluation Report, including feedback from the intended beneficiaries.

Monitoring of the Projects

The monitoring of the projects is done at the various levels:-

  • The Member State which is the Lead Coordinator, monitors their project closely by liaising with the private/NGO/Semi-Government/Government organisations carrying out the projects.
  • The Secretariat maintains a register of all projects and seeks regular progress reports on various projects from the Lead Coordinators and disseminates any information, to all Member States.
  •  The progress of the on-going projects is also reviewed in the annual meetings of Council of Ministers (COM) as well as Bi-annual meeting of the Committee of Senior Officials (CSO).
  • To have a clearer focus on important projects, it was decided by the Council of Ministers, that, if the requirement of support of 4+1 Member States (clustering approach) is not satisfied, or no progress is made for a period of two years, the project would be removed from the Agenda, in consultation with the lead Member State.