Joint Inspection Unit to Review UN System in Light of 2030 Agenda
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The UN Joint Inspection Unit has issued its report for 2017 and its programme of work for 2018 (A/72/34) for consideration by the UNGA.

The report discusses UN system coherence, and outlines plans to examine organizational change management in the UN system and the strengthening of policy research in light of the 2030 Agenda.

18 January 2018: The Joint Inspection Unit (JIU) of the UN System notes that “a majority of UN system organizations have adapted, or are in the process of adapting, their respective strategies and/or policies to reflect the 2030 Agenda.” The Unit’s report, summarizing its work in 2017 and outlining its plans for 2018, also calls for making the UN system more effective in its cooperation with the private sector to support the 2030 Agenda and “implement sustainability in the business models” of the UN.

The ‘Report of the Joint Inspection Unit for 2017 and Programme of Work for 2018’ (A/72/34) was issued on 18 January 2018 for consideration by the UN General Assembly (UNGA). The JIU is an independent external oversight body of the UN system mandated to conduct evaluations, inspections and investigations system-wide. The report notes that during their 20th annual tripartite meeting on 12 December 2017, the JIU, the UN Board of Auditors and the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) agreed that the 2030 Agenda is an area on which they can collaborate further, and reaffirmed their commitment to ensure coordination and collaboration at the working level during 2018.

On coherence, the report highlights a management model that could enhance conceptual coherence and collective impact, which would be consistent with the integration and interdependence imperatives set forth in the 2030 Agenda. The results-based management model provides a basis for sharing information and establishing coherence and collaboration across the UN system, and offers a benchmark against which UN organizations can assess their efforts in mainstreaming results-based management. The report recommends that UN Executive Heads: endorse the framework and the assessment methodology for use in the development of results-based management in their respective organizations; and establish an inter-agency mechanism to enhance collaboration in the use and further development of the framework.

On SDG 9, the report notes that the decline in regular budget resources and the rise in earmarked voluntary contributions to the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) has compromised its ability to commit resources to its “core functions,” which has led to the prioritization of technical cooperation over research and standard setting. It adds that the UNIDO membership has been advised to review the strategic plans of UNIDO in view of SDG 9 (industry, innovation and infrastructure) to ensure that UNIDO’s role is well defined and the necessary resources are available to attain its objectives.

JIU will conduct a review of organizational change management in the UN system, in light of the 2030 Agenda and the repositioning of the UN development system.

On plans for 2018, the report announces that the JIU will carry out a review of organizational change management in the UN system. It adds that the need to enhance the UN system’s capacity in managing change is now more critical, in light of the imperatives of the 2030 Agenda and the reforms proposed by the UN Secretary-General on repositioning the UN development system. It indicates that the review will use the systems that are in place in the UN as a basis for its examination of change initiatives, including cross-organizational and system-wide initiatives. Per the report, the JIU also plans to assess failures, successes and capacities that UN organizations possess to effectively manage change, and to draw lessons to enhance the ongoing changes and reforms for system-wide “coherence, collaboration and interdependent ways of working.”

The report notes that the JIU will examine the strengthening of policy research in service of the 2030 Agenda. Although many organizations spend significant amounts on research, the policy research function has not been adequately reviewed at the UN system-wide level, it says, and such a review is necessary in the context of the 2030 Agenda, as more efficient and coherent research policies can better service the implementation of the SDGs.

The report also states that the JIU will review of the integration of disaster risk reduction (DRR) in the work of UN system entities, in accordance with the UN Plan of Action on Disaster Risk Reduction for Resilience: Towards a Risk-Informed and Integrated Approach to Sustainable Development (CEB/2016/4, annex V). The findings and recommendations of the DRR-related review will feed into the deliberations of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, and the 2019 session of the UN High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF).

Another review to be undertaken in 2018 is related to the System-wide Action Plan on Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, developed following consultations with stakeholders between July 2011 and February 2012. [Publication: Report of the Joint Inspection Unit for 2017 and programme of work for 2018] [Results-Based Management in the UN System: High-Impact Model for Results-Based Management: Benchmarking Framework, Stages of Development and Outcomes]

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