Pakistan Earthquake Relief & Reconstruction

In response to the October 8, 2005 earthquake in the Kashmir region of Pakistan, Synergy was contracted by UNDP to produce a Core Development Assistance Database (DAD) for the Economic Affairs Division (EAD) of the Ministry of Finance in Pakistan to facilitate aid management, coordination, transparency and accountability in the wake of the donor response to the Pakistan earthquake.

After successful implementations of the DAD in four of the Tsunami affected countries, Synergy was called upon again to rapidly produce and deploy the software needed to track billions of dollars in funding. An initial needs assessment mission was conducted in November, 2005. A contract with UNDP was signed on January 30, 2006. Since this time, a pilot DAD was launched and on-site taining has begun.

DAD Vietnam Released

The Development Assistance Database (DAD) Vietnam was launched by Synergy International Systems through the Ministry of Planning and Investment (MPI) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Vietnam.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported that the MPI Deputy Minister Cao Viet Sinh spoke on the need for the DAD Vietnam by stating, “it is significant not only to government agencies or donors involved, but also to aid beneficiaries.”  UNDP Resident Representative Subinay Nandy stated that the DAD was part of the overall ODA management effort to realize the commitments set forth in the Paris Declaration and the Hanoi Core Statement on Aid Effectiveness.

The DAD Vietnam will allow the government of Vietnam to track up-to-the-minute information on ODA commitments, disbursements, and project status.  The DAD will support ODA reporting, monitoring and evaluation, harmonization, and will enhance government and development partner accountability and transparency.

Historical data from the past decade of ODA has been released by UNDP to be included in the DAD.  This will facilitate monitoring and evaluation and aid tracking as Rwanda’s development partners look toward the future.

Donor Assistance Database rebranded to Development Assistance Database

Synergy International Systems is announcing that, effective immediately, the Synergy DAD brand will now be referred to as the “Development Assistance Database”, which emphasizes the broader and more comprehensive scope of DAD 5.0 in supporting development overall, rather than focusing on donors to the development and reconstruction process. The DAD has become the leading Aid Coordination and Management system of choice and the new standard for use by governments, international organizations and key stakeholders involved in the next generation of development programs around the world that emphasize performance, accountability and transparency. This rebranding to the Development Assistance Database is the result of strategic new business initiatives and DAD deployments that Synergy expects to be announcing over the near term.

Synergy deploys DAD systems in support of countries affected by Tsunami disaster

Synergy International Systems announced today that its DAD 5.0 aid coordination and management system has been implemented in several countries affected by last year’s Tsunami disaster in the Indian Ocean region. As part of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) support of government-led recovery efforts, The Maldives, Sri Lanka and Thailand now have DAD systems coming online which are collecting and tracking aid and assistance data in support of their respective reconstruction projects.Preparations are also underway to establish additional DAD systems in other affected countries in the region.Training on use of the DAD has begun involving the major stakeholders, donors and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) that are actively working on the ground in this massive relief and rehabilitation effort.

Ensuring a timely and effective reconstruction process which meets people’s expectations is a key priority facing Tsunami-affected countries. At the High Level Coordination Meeting on Rehabilitation and Reconstruction of Tsunami-Affected Countries hosted by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on 18 March 2005, UNDP and ADB were asked to support governments in tracking Tsunami funds and whether projects are achieving their goals.

According to the UNDP, “Nationally-owned tracking systems will better enable the Governments and their partners to align support with the needs – avoiding duplication, and filling gaps – by building up a very detailed picture of who is doing what and where. The DAD will track every major project – covering both the finances (how much was promised and how much has been delivered project-by-project) and the expected results. Expected outputs are set for each project and a deadline for delivery. Actual results achieved will be measured quantitatively and qualitatively. This makes it easy for Government and donor countries to check whether funds are being used in the way they expected. Members of the public can use the internet to see which projects are planned in their district, and whether these projects are delivering results.”

After the Manila meeting, the Governments of Sri Lanka, Maldives and Thailand asked for assistance from UNDP in establishing their own nationally owned tracking systems. Synergy International Systems, working with UNDP country teams, conducted a round of rigorous needs assessments in order to customize the Donor Assistance Database to meet each country’s specific requirements. The DAD systems have now been installed within the Government body responsible for Tsunami coordination.

In addition to standard DAD functions such as bi-lingual Web Portals, GIS and advanced data analysis tools, new capabilities for tracking reconstruction in impacted sectors such as housing, fishing and agriculture have been added, as well as NGO registration databases for coordinating activities among the myriad local implementation agencies.Each DAD system will track funding assistance and the correlated reconstruction projects at a detailed reporting level, such as state, district and sub-district.

“These aid tracking systems will help all partners plan their assistance better, and provide ordinary citizens with a tool to hold their governments and partners accountable – both in the Tsunami affected countries, and back home. The goal is full transparency and enhanced effectiveness” says the UNDP.

UNDP is also developing a regional database which will be on-line by August, 2005. The Regional Tsunami DAD, based in Bangkok, will bring together information across all Tsunami-affected countries, and cover funds, projects and results through one website.

Former President Clinton cites Donor Assistance Database as an important tool to Tsunami region’s recovery

As the United Nations Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery, former US President Bill Clinton cited the Donor Assistance Database in a recent “Lessons Learned” speech to the UN:

“Now let me say, I am quite excited and this is something I urge you all to check on yourselves to see if my excitement is justified, but we set up a Global Consortium mechanism to establish a simple common tracking system for the funds. It is now in place for the Maldives, Sri Lanka and Thailand. It’s anchored in the UN’s Donor Assistance Database model. And we have just made a presentation of it to Mr. Kuntoro in Indonesia and I think they will be participating.

This is a great system. You can get on the system now and [when] we get it all set up and published and you can find out, you can go to any country, to any part of the country, to any topic area that needs to be addressed and you can see what the plan is, how much it costs, what the timeline is and whether someone has pledged funds for this particular project or not. It is a very good common way for us to be able to monitor what is happening in tsunami relief and I hope it will work as a model for what can [be] used in similar projects in the future.”

Synergy releases new version of Donor Assistance Database (DAD)

Synergy International Systems is pleased to announce that it has released DAD 5.0, the latest version of the Donor Assistance Database (DAD) product line.Taking into account feedback from its global DAD clientele in countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Zambia and others, Synergy has greatly improved the user-interface in all areas of the software, including data-entry, presentation and analytical reporting. Synergy developers took great strides to enhance the analytical reporting capabilities within the DAD.The reporting capability is even more robust, allowing users more power and flexibility in the creation of ad-hoc reports, and their export to Word, Excel and PDF.Reports by any combination of groups, columns, rows and fields can be created by non-technical staff on-the-fly in a highly user friendly and logical manner with the Report Builder.

Furthermore, in order to better serve clientele who may be working in areas without a quality Internet connection or who may be without access to the Internet entirely, DAD now includes an off-line data entry module in addition to the on-line. “With the addition of the off-line data entry module, users can enter project data seamlessly regardless of the quality of the connection, and submit their data for integration with the central on-line source when a connection is available”, said Richard Bradley, Aid Coordination Adviser for Synergy.

DAD 5.0 is a Java-based system, which allows for greater operability with third-party systems and other platforms.Further, DAD 5.0 enables for XML data exchange and can more easily link with other critical government systems in budgeting, financial management, or legacy systems.