UN Development System Reforms Advance for Country Teams
UN Photo/Kim Haughton
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UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed provided updates on reforms to the UN development system at an informal joint meeting of the FAO Council, IFAD Executive Board and WFP Executive Board.

Mohammed called on the support of Rome-based agencies to ensure that their reporting systems and country programme documents are aligned with the Cooperation Frameworks and new accountability systems of the UN country teams.

13 September 2019: A new management and accountability framework (MAF) has been agreed for UN Country Teams, providing dual accountability for agency representatives to both their respective entities and the Resident Coordinator. Providing updates to representatives of the Rome-based Agencies, UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed also highlighted a Common Country Analysis for UNCTs.

Mohammed briefed participants on UN development system reforms at an informal joint meeting of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) Council, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) Executive Board and the World Food Programme (WFP) Executive Board, which took place on 13 September 2019, in Rome, Italy.

On the MAF, she said the dual accountability for agency representatives marks a shift in the UN’s organizational culture.

Other updates related to:

  • The transition of 129 Resident Coordinators from the UN Development Programme (UNDP) to the Secretariat in January 2019, which Mohammed said “released time” for RCs to invest in quality development coordination and system leadership, while resolving a “historic accountability deficit” in the coordination of the UN development system.
  • The renaming of the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) to the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (Cooperation Framework), which also has been redesigned to serve as the “backbone” of the UN development system’s planning, performance and reporting. Mohammed said the Cooperation Framework will serve as “the foundation” of the UN system’s accountability to the government, and that it provides an analysis of development challenges in each country.
  • The Common Country Analysis, which will serve as the starting point for joint work across pillars, by incorporating a new risk management component that will enable UNCTs to identify vulnerabilities that need coherent responses between development, humanitarian and peacebuilding actors.
  • The new funding architecture for the RC system, which is currently operational. Mohammed reported that to date, 38 Member States and 19 UN entities have made commitments and contributions to the Special Purpose Trust Fund for the RC system, with around USD 195 million mobilized. Furthermore, she noted that a draft system-wide strategic document has been published to foster a collaborative approach in support of country needs by building on entities’ comparative advantages and reducing overlaps and duplication.

Mohammed called on the Rome-based agencies to: ensure that reporting systems and country programme documents are aligned with the Cooperation Frameworks and new accountability systems of the UNCTs; increase the share of common premises and common services; maintain their support to ensure sustainable cost-sharing contributions to the new RC system and adequate collection of the 1% levy; and encourage all entities to put forward their best candidates for the new Resident Coordinators pipeline, and review human resources procedures to ensure Country Team members have the right skill sets and incentives. [Deputy Secretary-General Remarks]

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