Briefing for the UNDG chair:Reports CEB high-level committee

05 Nov 2010

Reports of CEB High-Level Committees
CEB second regular session for 2010

5 November, 2010

I. Talking Points

Strategic Priorities
The UNDG began the year by taking a strategic and long-term look at what we need to do to provide the best possible support to programme countries and get the maximum development impact.

This resulted in the adoption in May of the first-ever set of UNDG Strategic Priorities, covering the period 2010-11. That was followed by the endorsement of a working plan, with clear accountabilities, to oversee the implementation of the Strategic Priorities.

Then, at its October meeting, the UNDG endorsed its new and more streamlined working methods to drive the work plan forward.

Accelerating MDG achievement
The Strategic Priorities emphasize the importance of supporting achievement of the MDGs and other internationally agreed development goals.

In preparing for the MDG Summit, the UNDG produced a number of in-depth thematic papers on the Goals which contributed to the discussions leading up to the MDG Summit in September.

In ten countries, UNCTs and government partners have been piloting the MDG Acceleration Framework, which helps identify bottlenecks to and constraints on MDG achievement, and the solutions which would enable countries to meet the Goals.

The challenge before programme countries and all other development stakeholders now is how to translate the MDG Summit’s Outcome Document into action on the ground.

At its 6 October meeting, the UNDG agreed to the following nine-point action agenda to guide UNCTs on support to countries for achieving the MDG targets by 2015 :

1. Strengthening national ownership of and commitment to the Summit’s Outcome Document through UNCT engagement with national counterparts.

2. Building on the inter-linked nature of the MDGs, as achievement of any of the Goals underpins the success of the others.  That requires better integration of UNCT activities and programmes.

3. Supporting the design, implementation, and monitoring of national development strategies.

4. Improving the targeting of UNCT support to address inequalities, marginalization, and discrimination in order to reach the most vulnerable and marginalized communities.

5. Identifying good practices and contributing to the sharing of knowledge and experience of what works.

6. Enhancing South-South and triangular co-operation.

7. Broadening partnerships for development overall.

8. Providing extra support to countries in crisis and post-crisis.

9. Giving special and urgent attention to the needs of young people.

UNDAF roll-out
Driving the UNDG Strategic Priorities forward requires higher quality UNDAFs, which are focused on MDG achievement and closely aligned with national development priorities

New UNDAFs will be rolled out in 46 countries this year.  To support the design phase of the UNDAFs, the UNDG, with the support of DOCO and the UN System Staff College, has conducted six regional workshops to build UNCT capacities. There have also been 19 UNDAF strategic planning retreats, and twenty more are planned before the end of this year. They are in addition to over two dozen in-country UNDAF workshops which the UNDG has supported on topics ranging from results-based management to human rights work and conflict analysis.

Since mid-August, the UNDG has managed through DOCO an UNDAF helpdesk to ensure integrated and well-co-ordinated support to each of the 2010 UNDAF roll-out countries.

Delivering as One
In June, a High Level Tripartite Conference on Delivering as One (DaO) was held in Hanoi.  Governments, donors and UN Country Teams from the Delivering as One pilots and voluntary adopters met there to review the initial results of the country-led evaluations of the pilots.

Recognizing the progress made, but also the challenges, the Hanoi outcome document stated that : “Delivering as One is the future for UN development activities.”

For that to be so, Delivering as One would require the full and unequivocal support of Member States and the full UNDG from principals down to all levels of our structures. Additional countries do continue to come forward to adopt the Delivering as One approach.

The findings of the country-led evaluations will feed into the independent evaluation of the Delivering as One pilots as a group, which is about to begin. Its outcome will inform inter-governmental discussions on the future course of UN support to programme countries, including the General Assembly’s comprehensive policy review in 2012.

The General Assembly resolution in July addressed, among other issues, the independent evaluation of the pilots, funding of the UN’s operational activities for development, and the establishment of UN Women.

UN Women will help magnify the impact of the UN’s work on gender equality. It will work closely with other UNDG members at the global, regional, and country levels to improve the UN system’s contribution to advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment.

UNDP and other UNDG agencies have been actively supporting the Deputy Secretary-General as she has led the process of establishing UN Women, and we will continue to do so.

M&A System review
Two years ago, the UNDG agreed to a Management and Accountability System for the UN Development and Resident Co-ordinator System.


The UNDG has begun a review of the M&A System as planned at the two year mark, to assess the progress made and identify any gaps remaining in completing the agreements. 

The review will be undertaken by independent consultants, and should be completed by early next year. A senior group of UNDG principals is working with me to oversee this exercise and its follow up.

Strengthened co-ordination between the three CEB pillars
One of the UNDG’s Strategic Priorities is to support co-ordination across the three CEB pillars.

As the Chair of HLCM Josette Sheeran just reported, UNDG and HLCM are working together on the harmonization of business practices.

Building on that collaboration, we now propose to commission a review of how the UN development system reports on results, to identify best practice  and an agreed level of standards which could be widely applied to results reporting. That would help provide increased clarity between Member States and different parts of the UN development system on what the expectations of reporting are.

The UNDG also looks forward to close collaboration with the HLCP to advance MDG achievement and co-ordinate follow up to the MDG Summit.

Regular consultations on those matters are being held between the UNDG and the HLCP Secretariats and their working mechanisms. HLCP’s policy and management knowledge complements the UNDG’s operational knowledge and know-how. Advocacy around the MDGs has also been identified as an area where the two pillars could collaborate more.