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A note on the programming issues raised by Cape Verde, Rwanda and

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A note on the programming issues raised by Cape Verde, Rwanda and Powered By Docstoc
					Prepared by Task Team 2 of the Working Group on Programming Policy

Draft updated 10 July

Note on Programming Issues Related to the One UN Pilots: a response to questions from pilot countries 1. The countries piloting „delivering as one‟ allow us an opportunity to experiment in a number of areas and raise issues that could, amongst other things, lead to improvements and innovations in common programming processes and instruments. Therefore the process should not be driven by strict guidance from HQ. However as the pilot countries raise issues, hit bottlenecks and identify concerns, sharing and exchange of thinking should assist UNCTs, ROs and HQ to move forward together. This note is prepared in that spirit to share some thoughts in line with the issues identified by Cape Verde, Rwanda and Albania. Defining One UN Programme 2. The essential basis of One Programme is a validated and relevant results framework. The CCA/UNDAF process provides an approach to analyze and prioritise strategic results. Countries that have already completed CCA/UNDAF process should therefore have a good starting point in the UNDAF to conceptualize or extract the One UN Programme but, depending on the point in the programme cycle a number of opportunities already exist for review including strategic assessments as part of the mid-term review, and annual UNDAF reviews. Terms of reference/ standards already exist for these reviews and could be used as the basis for the UNCT‟s review. If a UNCT does decide to undertake such a review the ultimate objective presumably remains the identification of a validated and relevant results framework, ensuring that the results are SMART1 - particularly that they are strategic and measurable. 3. The High Level Panel report provides some criteria for assessing the quality of One programme:     Country owned and signed off by government, responsive to the national development framework, strategy and vision, including the internationally agreed development goals Building on UNCTs CCA/national analysis and reflecting UN added value from the entire UN system strategic, focused2, results-based, with clear outcomes and priorities, while leaving flexibility to reallocate resources to changes in priorities Drawing on all UN services and expertise from all funds, programmes and specialised agencies including non-resident agencies in order to deliver effectively a multi-sectoral approach to development (with due attention to cross-cutting issues).

4. If the UNCT decides to review the UNDAF then it would be useful to take into account the revised CCA/UNDAF Guidance issued in February 2007. So, for example Cape Verde (which is in the middle of its second year of the UNDAF and the government is drafting a new
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SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timebound. We realize the difficulties of being both strategic and focused at the same time – further work is being undertaken on this issue.

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Prepared by Task Team 2 of the Working Group on Programming Policy

Draft updated 10 July

PRSP) may review the current UNDAF and Common Country Programme and identify suitable revisions in accordance with the current national priorities (i.e. security, drug control, graduation etc.) and revise the results matrix taking into account both the revised CCA/UNCAF guidance as well as the quality criteria outlined above. In Rwanda the new UNDAF has been identified as the foundation for one UN Programme and so it is unlikely that such a revision is required. Approval mechanisms 5. Approval mechanisms for One Programme is an issue raised by Albania. Here there are several considerations:  If the defined One Programme (ie the results framework) remains within the already agreed UNDAF and programme inputs (financial, human, results) of the UN agencies agreed by their governing bodies then do Agencies need to approve? Individual Agencies will need to assess this. What would be critical is the commitment of the national partners to it, and therefore signatures of the government and on behalf of the UN system might be sufficient. Assuming that the government has been fully involved then this should be pro forma. If however the proposed One UN programme substantially differs from the agreed UNDAF and exceeds resources approved by the respective governing bodies of the UN agencies concerned, then approval by those governing bodies may be needed. Again, agencies will need to advise. In terms of Government, again they should have been involved and so signature should be pro-forma. Depending on the situation, UNCTs could adopt a phased approach: initially remain within existing approvals and use One Programme to primarily increase coherence, effectiveness and impact. Phase in the wider dimensions of the One Programme at a stage that may combine with the new programming cycle, MTR etc.

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Delivering the programme as one 6. With a robust set of results, the next issue is how we organise ourselves to deliver those results effectively, using the knowledge, skills and capacity of all of the UN agencies. Key questions might include:   What are the opportunities for intra-UN partnerships? Are there opportunities for joint programmes which increase coherence and synergy between agencies and reduce transaction costs (particularly for partners – transaction costs to the UN may be increased). Could joint programmes make a substantive contribution to the achievement of national priorities? If not is a joint programme the most appropriate approach?

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Prepared by Task Team 2 of the Working Group on Programming Policy

Draft updated 10 July

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Apart from joint programmes what other co-ordination mechanisms might facilitate coherent working? Are they appropriate for non-resident agencies or agencies with a small staff? Has space been created for non-traditional CCA/UNDAF implementing partners with specialized skills including non-resident agencies and specialized agencies? If not then the new CCA/UNDAF guidelines provide a possible approach to in the wider UN system into the One Programme Do the agencies have the capacity and financial resources to deliver the agreed results? Identified funding gaps can form the basis for resource mobilisation within the context of One Budgetary Framework. Is there a monitoring framework which includes indicators which allow the UNCT to determine if they are moving towards „delivering as one‟ – relating both to how we work (eg process indicators such as % of resources and projects implemented jointly as opposed to single agency projects; number of joint programmes; reduction in number of missions; transaction cost reductions etc) but also the impact of our work – are we effectively supporting the achievement of national results?

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7. A rigorous quality check for One UN programme is essential. The current regional QSA system should certainly be the basis for this but may need to be integrated into a global review mechanism, especially while the pilots are experimenting. Dimensions such as accountabilities (which may also need to take into account the approach taken to leadership), risk management and more rigorous results based management may be introduced to ensure quality. Country teams could institute more robust quality assurance systems as a real added value of One Programme. Operationalising One Programme 8. In this note we are using the term operationalise to refer to the process of turning the strategic results framework into an operational plan which supports the management and implementation of the framework. Such an operational plan establishes the nature of the relationship between the agencies and government and sets out commitments of both to ensure implementation of the programme; it should show how we will work together to deliver agreed results. There is not currently a common operational plan for the UNDAF – it is operationalised through projects (specialised agencies and non-resident agencies) and CPAP/AWPs (ExCom Agencies). Key reasons for the differences between agencies include different planning cycles (Ex Com agencies usually 5 years, Specialised Agencies usually 2 years). So country teams will need to consider a number of issues:  Is it possible to develop a common operational plan for all the agencies? If so what time period would it cover – two years? Could it be a “rolling” two year plan to fit into the

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Prepared by Task Team 2 of the Working Group on Programming Policy

Draft updated 10 July

time period of the programme framework? What implications would a rolling two year cycle have for approval of programme documents by governing bodies (eg would the ExCom Agencies move to a 6 year programme approval process?) Also what are the implications of this for the ability of the UN to fit into the government‟s planning cycle? A common operational plan could be a significant achievement of One UN pilots that could simplify operations and reduce transaction costs to the government and UN system.  If a single, common operational plan is not considered feasible, would an alternative be for a legally-binding operational plan for those agencies which can undertake this (and based on their programme cycle) with an annex showing the “in principle” results and resource commitments of other agencies If neither of these is possible would it be feasible for one CPAP for the ExCom, and another equivalent for the specialized agencies. This would result in a “two-track UN” which is not desirable There are a number of questions to consider in these discussions, including: o What impact would a common operational plan have on how we work – how might it streamline or improve our relationships with government? How can it support the needs of different agencies to have access to different ministries or parts of government? Will it allow us to address sensitive human rights or other issues? 9. The common CPAP in Cape Verde provides a starting point to develop a possible common operational plan. One approach would be for a group of specialised agencies and nonresident agencies to review the common CPAP format and identify changes that would be necessary to make it a common UN operational/action plan which can then be used to operationalise the One Programme. An alternative would be for agencies each to identify key requirements for an operational plan and to use that is the basis for development of a common format. There are likely to be many common elements (eg the country situation, results to be achieved, lessons from previous programmes etc). Documentation 10. Currently we have several planning documents at strategic (UNDAF/CPDs/Country Strategies) and operational levels (CPAP, master plans, project documents and AWPs). Some agencies also develop management plans which are required to make the full link from planning to implementation. One objective of the delivering as one pilots might be to reduce the number of documents. The question of incorporating the results/strategic planning components and operational components within the scope of one document or keeping them separately in two documents warrants careful discussion.

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Prepared by Task Team 2 of the Working Group on Programming Policy

Draft updated 10 July

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A single document would have the advantage of coherence. But it would be difficult to prepare in one go and cumbersome for practical operational purposes and use. In the programming process the articulation of results and strategic planning elements must and does happen first, and requires different type of discussion and interlocutors. The operational details are needed only once the strategic components are agreed. Therefore developing the strategic planning documents and operational documents separately and having them as separate documents could prove to be practical. Other opportunities may exist to reduce documentation. Joint Programmes are an appropriate operational modality to deliver common outputs but whilst UN agencies implement joint programmes according to individual agency procedures their efficiency may be reduced. There may be scope here to simplify the programme documentation for joint programmes (we would not suggest any revisions to the standard legal and financial instruments). The UNDAF M&E framework provides an extensive array of building blocks for monitoring and evaluation. Many of the problems in monitoring arise, on the one hand, from poorly defined results, indicators baselines, targets and unavailability of data; and on the other from annual review monitoring and reporting processes. There is scope here also for UNCTs to simplify, also in consultation with national partners. A small group may be formed to address this.

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11. For any of these changes to be made the RC must work to bring in all the UNCT resident and non-resident agencies in a manner in which all parties have confidence. All relevant UN agencies must own all documents coming out of the process.

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