Executive Board of UNDP, UNFPA and UNOPS Second Regular Session 2021 UNDP Country Programmes and related matters

Posted September 2, 2021

Mr. Chair, Members of the Executive Board,

I am pleased to introduce the session on the UNDP Country Programmes and related matters.

My statement today will cover two points:

First, the progress made towards delivery on a key component of the UN Development System reform, that is a closer integration between our Country Programmes and the UN Cooperation Frameworks.

Second, I will introduce the new UNDP Country Programmes and extensions tabled for your approval during this session.

  1. Progress towards delivery on a key component of the UN Development System reform

Since the introduction of the new Cooperation Frameworks, UNDP has taken deliberate steps to realize the vision of a reformed development system and to deliver common results.

As highlighted in previous occasions, the key measures have included:

1. The sequencing of the Cooperation Frameworks and the Country Programme Documents (CPDs):

As integral members of the UN Country Teams, UNDP Country Offices continue to actively engage in the development of Cooperation Frameworks at their onset, in order to produce quality Common Country Analysis and ensure an integrated approach through the incorporation of the Cooperation Frameworks’ Theory of Change.

2. The articulation of the UN Cooperation Framework priorities through the Country Programme Documents (CPDs):
Together with other UN entities and members of the development system, we unpack the Cooperation Framework outcomes into joint work plan outputs; adopting shared results and indicators, which allow us to further coordinate our approaches in implementing and monitoring results.

3. The posting of final or government-approved UN Cooperation Frameworks (CFs) for comments alongside the respective Country Programme Documents (CPDs):

While ultimately the posting of the Cooperation Frameworks remains the prerogative of the UN Development Coordination Office (DCO), UNDP, UNICEF and UNFPA continue to coordinate closely with DCO to ensure that our Country Programme Documents (CPDs) and the Cooperation Frameworks are in close adherence and are presented jointly.


4. Finally, the formal confirmation by the Resident Coordinator of the alignment between the Country Programme Documents (CPDs) and the Cooperation Frameworks remains a key part of our processes.

Over the past year, we have systematically tested and applied these measures in the design of the new Country Programmes and our approach is now beginning to yield early results.

Based on data from our corporate quality review of new Country Programmes, we have observed a positive trend in some of the key indicators that measure how our programmes are becoming more integrated with the Cooperation Frameworks.

On average, the new CPDs have shown improvement in two key criteria:

a) how we define our comparative advantage in the areas the programme aims to undertake, and

b) how we define our role in relation to other UN entities in achieving common results.

The definition of the comparative advantage is an important step in the analysis of the Cooperation Framework’s Theory of Change and in the identification of the UNCT’s collective contribution to the joint UN results.

It also enables a shift from the definition of programme priorities on the basis of mandates, to one based on the assessment of capabilities and of our role vis-à-vis our partners.

While more remains to be done, we believe the data is an early confirmation of the validity of our approach and demonstrates that these new methods of working are becoming established practice.

UNDP remains committed, under your leadership, to continue our work to sustain the trend and further elevate the quality of our Country Programmes as key instruments for the achievement of joint UN results and national development plans.

II. Presentation of CPDs and extensions for this session

Before we turn to the ten (10) new Country Programmes and the ten (10) extensions that are being presented for approval today, I would like to highlight the seven (7) Country Programmes that have been granted an extension to align with Cooperation Frameworks and ensure harmonization with national development plans.

These are the Country Programmes for The Gambia, Montenegro, Morocco, Niger, Sao Tome and Principe, South Sudan, and Sudan.

Tabled for your approval today are:

a) The new Country Programmes for Albania, Bangladesh, Botswana, Cameroon, Comoros, Eritrea, Guatemala, Lao PDR, Madagascar and Zimbabwe.

b) The multi-year extensions for the Country Programmes of Djibouti, Lebanon and Libya.

We look forward to your deliberations.

Mr. Chair, I thank you.