WCO Project Map

Effectively coordinating today’s capacity building

The World Customs Organization works with many donors around the world to provide its members with the capacity building that they request, since the WCO is not a donor organization. Historically, capacity building has been challenged by duplication, such as when another donor has already given the similar support, resulting in a duplication of efforts. The WCO Project Map aims to reduce this problem.

In 2010 the WCO and Inter American Development Bank hosted a regional donor meeting in Washington DC for the Americas and Caribbean. This meeting to introduce both the WCO Regional Office for Capacity Building and the Regional Donor Liaison officer, who suggested the centralization of information on donor support in the region. From this meeting, and with the agreement of the donors present, the Regional Donor Liaison promptly created what would be the first iteration of the WCO Project Map, a database that will serve as a repository of past, present and future projects.

Donors agree that coordination is essential for achieving sustainable results in development. The Project Map provides a positive way forward by collecting information that allows better decision making and avoids duplication. All Project Map participants can browse the information to review the various projects that are developing, in operation, and completed. In particular, it assists those seeking donors for their projects. The Project Map thus provides donors with the necessary information so that resources are used effectively to the benefit of the recipient administration.

The recipient administration can use the Project Map to post projects they are developing and for which financial support is needed, and can record progress on projects and attach all documents pertinent to the project. One of the specific benefits that the Project Map brings to members is as a tool for basic project management, which thanks to the use of Google translate is available in fifty-three languages. Careful attention was given to ensure the database is user friendly and easy to maintain up to date.

The Project Map itself is not a panacea nor will it avoid all duplications. Nevertheless, it can serve as a valuable tool to help donors make informed decisions. Recipient administrations will find a way to manage their projects, centralize their information and print professional reports and statistics. For the WCO it allows its officials to monitor a variety of projects, better coordinate its resources, access to statistics and information that will allow trends and patterns to be analyzed, and to provide substantial and useful assistance to the Members. Overall, it is a valuable and practical tool that can help the WCO, Donors and Members to tackle the challenges of the 21st century.