United Nations

A/50/202-E/1995/76


General Assembly
Economic and Social Council

Distr. GENERAL  

7 September 1995

ORIGINAL:
ENGLISH


GENERAL ASSEMBLY  ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COUNCIL
Fiftieth session  Substantive session of 1995
Item 99 (a) of the provisional agenda  A/50/150.  Item 4 of the provisional
OPERATIONAL ACTIVITIES FOR DEVELOPMENT:          agenda  E/1995/100.

95-27449 (E)   051095/...
*9527449*
  TRIENNIAL POLICY REVIEW OF OPERATIONAL  OPERATIONAL ACTIVITIES OF
  ACTIVITIES FOR DEVELOPMENT OF THE    THE UNITED NATIONS FOR
  UNITED NATIONS SYSTEM    INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
          COOPERATION


Triennial comprehensive policy review of operational activities
for development of the United Nations system

Report of the Secretary-General


I.  INTRODUCTION

1.   In accordance  with General  Assembly resolution 47/199  of 22 December
1992 on  the  triennial policy  review  of  the operational  activities  for
development  within  the   United  Nations   system,  an  analysis  of   the
implementation  of the  resolution in  the  form of  an interim  report  was
submitted  to the Economic and Social Council at its substantive session for
1995   (E/1995/98).    It   was  indicated   therein  (para.   3)  that  the
recommendations  of  the  Secretary-General  which  had  been  requested  in
paragraph  55  of  resolution   47/199  would  be  submitted  following  the
preliminary consideration of this subject during the operational  activities
segment of  the Council and  that the interim  report would  be finalized in
time for the triennial comprehensive policy review.

2.   Accordingly, the Secretary-General  is submitting his  recommendations,
taking  into account the  discussions on  this subject  during the Council's
substantive  session  of  1995,  the  additional  information  provided   by
countries  since the interim report, and the views of the appropriate inter-
agency  bodies.  The  updated   interim  report,  which   takes  account  of
additional questionnaire  responses submitted by  Member States, appears  in
the annex.
 3.   The findings and  recommendations that follow take  as their starting-
point the position enunciated  by the Secretary-General in his report on  an
agenda  for  development with  respect  to  operational  coordination  which

stated that:

  "Efforts to  enhance operational  coordination within  the United  Nations
should  endeavour  to  achieve  the  benefits  of  a  unified  system, while
preserving the strength of the current approach.

  "Such efforts should be aimed at  the following objectives, among  others:
building a more integrated, efficient and  effective framework through which
the  United  Nations   can  better  assist  countries  in  realizing   their
development objectives, including clearer  and more complementary definition
of  the  roles   and  missions   of  the  various  components;   eliminating
duplication  and fragmentation; strengthening leadership  and cooperation at
country,  regional  and  headquarters levels;  strengthening  United Nations
capabilities in  the coordination and  delivery of humanitarian  assistance,
the linking  of emergency relief  and development, and  in the promotion  of
preventive  and curative  development; mobilizing  analytical and  normative
capacities and strengthening  the role of  the Organization  in interrelated
areas  such as  trade and  access to  technology, in  support of operational
activities;   defining  the   appropriate  level   -  country,   region   or
headquarters  - for  activity  on various  issues; integrating  the regional
commissions with  the  development work  of  the  Organization as  a  whole;
strengthening  the  resident  coordinator   and  country-driven  approaches;
streamlining  the delivery  capacity of  the United  Nations through  common
premises,  the  programme  approach  and  common  programming  cycles;   and
achieving  more rapid  and  aggressive implementation  of  General  Assembly
resolutions 44/211  and  47/199, including  the  country  strategy note  and
other tools,  for  a more  integrated  United  Nations response  to  country
priorities" (A/49/665, paras. 86-87).


A.  Context

4.  The fiftieth anniversary celebration  provides an opportunity to reflect
on  the  future  scope  and  nature   of  the  operational  activities   for
development within the United Nations system  and to give further impetus to
the reform  process already  under way, particularly  in the  interconnected
areas of  governance and  resources - carried  out within  the framework  of
General Assembly resolution  48/162 - and enhanced coherence, efficiency and
effectiveness - promoted by General Assembly resolution 47/199.

5.  The  outcome of the current  intergovernmental discussions on  an agenda
for  development  will  undoubtedly  have  a   bearing  on  the  future   of
operational  activities.   This  process  should provide  an opportunity  to
reaffirm  the commitment  to and  recognition  of  the unique  advantages to
Member States both individually and collectively of development  cooperation
provided through the United Nations system.

6.   The  contemporary development  context  includes  a greater  degree  of
heterogeneity  not only in  the levels of development  of countries but also
in  their perceptions  of the  role of  external aid  in general  and,  more
particularly, in the use of United Nations development resources.

7.    Official  development  assistance  in  general,  and  the  development
activities  of the  United Nations  system  in  particular, are  affected by
stagnant and, in some  cases, declining resources in real terms.  There have
also been repeated calls  to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the
United Nations system development assistance  within existing resources.  At
the same time, the increase in humanitarian emergencies  during the past few
years  has  led  to  renewed  attention  being  given  to  linkages  between
development and  emergency assistance.   These developments raise  questions
as to how best  to put to  use United Nations system operational  activities
so as to yield optimum results and maintain the attention and commitment  of
donor countries.

8.   The United Nations system  is being asked  to help Governments  address
major development problems that go far  beyond the financial resources  that

the system can make  available.  For operational  activities the gap between
what Member States seek and what can be responded to by the system is  large
and widening.

9.   Within this changing environment,  operational activities are  adapting
to new requirements of recipient countries.  As  shown in the annex,  demand
for the  development  services provided  by  the  United Nations  system  is
increasing in  scope and volume both in traditional and in new areas.  These
resources  are increasingly  used by  some Governments  to support  national
reconstruction,  relief and  development,  administrative  and institutional
reform, disaster management,  drug control  and activities related to  human
rights.    At the  same  time,  programme  resources  are becoming  scarcer,
requiring an increased attention to priority-setting.


B.  Implementation of resolution 47/199

10.   The preparatory process  for the  present report followed  a two-track
approach:   detailed questionnaires sent to Governments and organizations of
the United  Nations system  and the  resident coordinator  system, and  case
studies drawn  up on  the basis  of country  missions.  While  the annex  is
based  primarily  on  the  analysis  of  data   collected,  especially  from
Governments,   the   policy  recommendations   have   benefited   from   the
deliberations and  resolutions of  the Economic  and Social  Council at  its
substantive  session of  1995.   The  principal  findings emerging  from the
addendum are described briefly below.

11.  The annex  lays out the  changing trends in operational activities  and
deals  with the  broad themes  of programme  development and implementation,
United  Nations  system  coordination  mechanisms  at  the  global  level in
support of country actions,  the resident coordinator  system and  programme
support.   It  provides a  summary analysis  of the  results of  the  review
noting  the directions and  demands, the  shift from  individual projects to
support of and inputs  to national goals and strategies, the broadened reach
and range, the growing importance of  humanitarian aid and the imperative of
enhanced cooperation with the Bretton Woods  institutions (BWIs).  It  deals
with  the  growing upstream  role  of  the United  Nations  system  in  some
countries; the  increasing specificity  of country  contexts; the  differing
perceptions of how  and where  United Nations system  assistance can make  a
development difference;  evaluation, monitoring and  review; and the  cross-
cutting nature of capacity-building.

12.   There  is a  broad  consensus  that developing  countries'  capacities
require selective strengthening  in order to achieve greater  self-reliance.
This  needs  to  be  done  in  new  and more  effective  ways  to  promote a
coordinated response which is effectively integrated into national  priority
programmes.

13.   The annex reviews  a number of coordination mechanisms and operational
modalities  such  as  the  country  strategy  note,  harmonization  of   the
programming cycles,  the  programme approach  and national  execution.   The
country strategy note has been generally welcomed  as a promising basis  for
better and more coordinated United Nations  system operational activities in
support of national plans, strategies and  priorities.  The report indicates
the  current  status of  the  adoption  and  implementation  of the  country
strategy note  in  Member States.  Six  States  have completed  the  country
strategy  note and a total of 85 States are in  the process of preparing it.
Six  States have formally  decided that  they do not wish  to implement this
measure.   The  United Nations  system  and  resident coordinators  are also
playing a strong and active supporting role.

14.  Increasingly, developing countries are  shifting from project technical
cooperation  towards   modalities  that  emphasize   support  for   national
programmes, around which the United Nations  system inputs are mobilized  in
a flexible manner, and often linked to other sources of external  financing.
There are  more requests for upstream  policy advice  and technical support,

with  the  result  that  policy-making,  normative  analysis  and  technical
assistance are being brought together.

15.  National execution  has been widely welcomed by recipient countries  as
a  major  means of  promoting  the  national  management  of United  Nations
development assistance  and is  increasingly the  preferred modality by  the
United Nations  system operational  activities.   While traditional  agency-
executed activities have markedly diminished, as concerns their  involvement
in  nationally executed activities the  trend appears to be  to obtain their
technical  services  more  selectively,   particularly  through   short-term
expertise.   Adjustment by  the organizations to  the new situation  has not
been without difficulty in several instances.

16.  The  annex provides a  broad overview  of the work of  the Consultative
Committee  for   Programme  and   Operational  Questions   (CCPOQ)  of   the
Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC).   Under the guidance of ACC,
CCPOQ has  made important  contributions to  the  implementation of  General
Assembly  resolution 47/199,  in  particular  to the  strengthening  of  the
resident coordinator system,  by agreeing  to a  statement on  the role  and
function of the  resident coordinator  system, developing guidelines on  the
country    strategy    note    process,   developing    common   system-wide
interpretations of the programme approach, and promoting national  execution
and common operational activities training.  The Inter-Agency Working  Group
on Monitoring and Evaluation has prepared  proposals on the harmonization of
monitoring and  evaluation as  a step  towards developing  common principles
and policies for the programme approach.

 17.  The Joint  Consultative Group on Policy  (JCGP) and its working groups
and committees  have devoted much of  their attention  to the implementation
of resolution 47/199.  Significant progress has  been achieved in areas such
as   the  harmonization  of  programme  cycles  and   harmonization  of  key
terminology  in the United  Nations development  system and  the planning of
common premises. Concerning  the harmonization of programming cycles,  those
JCGP   organizations   which   have  programming   cycles   (United  Nations
Development Programme,  United Nations  Children's Fund  and United  Nations
Population Fund)  have  achieved about  80  per  cent harmonization  in  all
countries or  expect to  do so  in preparing  the next country  programme or
similar instrument.

18.   The  resident  coordinator  system,  over the  last  three years,  has
undergone  considerable  strengthening  and  enhancement  in  a  number   of
substantive  areas,  involving  subjects  such  as the  preparation  of  the
country strategy  note and  the application  of the  programme approach  and
national  execution.    The  procedure  for  selection  and  appointment  of
resident  coordinators has been  improved.   Steps were  taken to strengthen
the resident coordinator system which are  described in the annex, including
the  widening  of   the  pool  for  recruiting  resident  coordinators,  the
development of a new statement on the role  and functioning of the  resident
coordinator  system,  the provision  of  substantial  financial  support  by
decision of  the Executive Board of  UNDP in June  1995 and by  intensifying
the number and frequency of training workshops and other measures.

19.   Many United  Nations system  organizations have  introduced, over  the
last three years, changes in their organizational and management  structures
and practices,  not only  in response  to General  Assembly resolutions  but
also as  an ongoing process of  streamlining, simplifying  and enhancing the
impact  and effectiveness  of their  activities,  as  directed by  their own
governing organs. Decentralization and empowerment of field  offices are key
elements in these efforts.

20.   The annex  also provides  information on other issues,  such as common
premises and  common  services, accountability,  monitoring, evaluation  and
audit.


C.  Recommendations

1.  Role of the Economic and Social Council

21.     General  Assembly  resolution   48/162  on   the  restructuring  and
revitalization  of the United  Nations in  the economic,  social and related
fields  envisages that  the General  Assembly  and  the Economic  and Social
Council should  supervise the  activities of  the United  Nations funds  and
programmes  and provide overall  policy guidance  to their executive boards,
which will  be subject to the  authority of ECOSOC.   The role  of ECOSOC in
ensuring coherence in the policy approaches of the United  Nations funds and
programmes is  critical to enhance the  collective efficiency  and impact of
operational  activities at  the  country level.   The  Secretary-General has
made recommendations on this topic separately  in his reports concerning  an
agenda for development.

22.    ECOSOC's relationship  to  the  Executive Boards  of  the  funds  and
programmes needs further consideration.  Building  on the experience of  the
past  three  years,  greater  efforts  need  to be  made  to  bring  country
experience to bear  on the policy role of  ECOSOC.  As  a means of providing
substantive  support to  ECOSOC in monitoring the  implementation of General
Assembly resolutions,  consideration should  be given  to strengthening  the
capacity of  the  United Nations  system  to  undertake evaluations  of  the
impact and effectiveness of operational activities.

23.  Concerns about the efficiency  and effectiveness of the  United Nations
system  operational activities  have been  addressed both  individually  and
collectively  by organizations,  intergovernmental bodies  and  inter-agency
bodies as detailed in the annex  and the Secretary-General's annual  reports
to  the Council  in  1993  and 1994  on operational  activities.   In future
renewed  efforts need  to be  made to  ensure consistency  in the individual
actions  taken by all  bodies and organizations  with the  provisions of the
relevant  General  Assembly   resolutions.    Improved  monitoring  of   the
implementation of policy guidelines emanating from the comprehensive  policy
review is  necessary to  ensure more  effective and  coordinated support  of
country-level action.

Recommendation 1

24.  ECOSOC, in reviewing the annual reports of  the Executive Boards of the
United Nations funds and programmes, should  ensure that the activities  and
operational strategies  of each fund or  programme are  consistent with each
other  and mutually supportive,  within the  overall policy  guidance of the
General Assembly  and  ECOSOC; that  the  results  and impact  achieved  are
commensurate with the  resources and efforts devoted  to them; and that  the
provisions contained in  any future triennial  policy resolutions  are being
implemented fully and consistently.

Recommendation 2

25.     Additional  practical  steps   to  facilitate  greater   operational
coordination are  needed.  Building on  recent experience,  joint reviews of
country  strategy  notes  and country  programmes  by  the Executive  Boards
should be further developed, in order to  improve the linkages between them.
Consideration  might  be  given  to  utilizing  these  reviews  to  identify
shortfalls  in the  resources required  to  carry out  principal  activities
identified in the programming process.

Recommendation 3

26.  A common approach  to the undertaking of country  visits by members  of
the  various  Boards  and intergovernmental  bodies  of  the United  Nations
system  dealing with  operational  activities  should be  instituted.   More
systematized  informal exchanges  in  connection with  Board  meetings  with
senior  representatives of the  United Nations  system at  the country level
and with national officials responsible for development coordination  should
be established in the context of  Board meetings and other intergovernmental
sessions.

 Recommendation 4

27.     Specific  areas  falling   within  the   responsibility  of  various
organizations and intergovernmental bodies such as common premises,  sharing
of  services,  simplification and  harmonization  of  procedures  and  other
management action  to enhance efficiency  should be reviewed periodically by
relevant  subsidiary bodies  of ECOSOC  and  other  governing bodies  of the
United  Nations  system and  simple  reports  following  the same  structure
detailing specific  management and  Board action  over a  given time  period
should be submitted to ECOSOC.


2.  Improved substantive dialogue at country level

28.   Over  the  last decade,  much  development assistance  has  gone  into
efforts  to adjust economies to  the effects of world recession, to evolving
concerns   about  governance,   equity   and   environmental  and   economic
sustainability,  and to  continuing concerns  over poverty  and  demographic
issues.

29.   Short-run, macroeconomic stability,  a necessary  foundation for long-
term development,  has been  achieved in many  developing countries.   It is
necessary  for countries  to go  beyond  adjusting to  relatively  short-run
shocks,  and to  formulate the  longer-term  vision  and strategy  needed to
mobilize their societies for  their own development.   In order for them  to
do so, there is an identified need to strengthen the policy dialogue  within
the country.

30.   The  resident coordinator  system  should be  an important  vehicle in
supporting,  within the  framework  of national  priorities  and  management
arrangements, this policy dialogue as well  as processes which facilitate  a
clear dialogue between Government and its  external partners.  The objective
should be  better mutual understanding both of the country's problems and of
proposed solutions,  including the international community's contribution to
them.

31.   The increased  use of  global conferences  by the  world community  to
address problems and  issues that are of genuine  concern to all nations  is
making  an important  contribution  to  operationalizing  the concept  of  a
global compact  and  creating  a  body  of  global priorities.    While  the
principal  responsibility for  the implementation  of the  outcome of  these
conferences rests  with each  country, the  United Nations  system has  been
mandated  by governing  bodies  to  support national  efforts utilizing  the
country strategy note,  the resident coordinator  system and  other relevant
mechanisms and tools.

32.   The United Nations system  is organizing itself  to respond to  cross-
cutting issues  emerging from these mandates  by means  such as inter-agency
bodies  and task  forces led by  different lead agencies.   The Inter-Agency
Committee on  Sustainable Development  for the implementation  of Agenda  21
and the Inter-Agency Task Force  for the implementation of  the Programme of
Action of  the International  Conference on  Population and  Development are
examples  of such  arrangements.   In this  way, it  seeks to  optimize  its
collective  support  for  the implementation  of  global  compacts  and  the
commitments contained within them agreed upon at global conferences.

 33.  At its substantive session of 1995,  ECOSOC addressed the question  of
the coordinated  follow-up to, and implementation  of, results  of the major
international conferences  in the economic, social  and related  fields.  In
section II of its agreed conclusions the Council  stated that "in line  with
General  Assembly   resolution   47/199   the   resident   coordinator,   in
consultation with  the Government and in  the light  of national priorities,
could  utilize thematic groups  composed of  the agencies  concerned, with a
designated lead agency or task manager under his or  her overall leadership,
to  serve  as   the  coordination  mechanism   with  the  responsibility  of
developing  integrated  approaches for  the  realization  of  common  goals,

including,  where appropriate, the  development of  a common  data system at
the  national level to  facilitate reviewing  and reporting  on the progress
achieved".

34.  The United Nations provides  support to national programmes,  including
supporting governmental  efforts to  mobilize the required resources  from a
variety  of  donors.    A   delicate  balance  exists,  in  the  context  of
operational activities, between  advocacy of internationally  agreed targets
and respect of the  prerogative of each country  to establish its  goals and
priorities.     The  time-tested   comparative  advantages   of  operational
activities - flexibility,  neutrality and national prerogative to choose the
areas of United Nations system support - need to be recalled.

35.  Under the  leadership of the resident  coordinator, thematic teams  are
being organized with designated lead agencies and task managers.  They  help
to  develop and  implement  common  approaches in  accordance with  national
priorities, taking  into account the country  strategy note  where it exists
and the  framework designated by  Government where  it does not.   Follow-up
will be more  effective if the common  approaches and programmes  agreed for
the country  in  these areas  are  reflected  systematically in  the  policy
framework papers agreed with the World Bank and  the letter of intent agreed
with  the IMF.   The resident  coordinator system at the  country level will
set up a  common data system to facilitate  monitoring of progress in  these
areas.

Recommendation 5

36.   Recipient countries  should be  encouraged to  establish or strengthen
the appropriate forums and mechanisms that  facilitate and guide the  policy
dialogue  among  the  different  partners  in  the  development  process  in
consultation  with the local  representatives of  the donor  community.  The
United Nations system should  be ready to support this process as  requested
by Governments.  It should equip and staff itself accordingly.


3.  Resources

37.   The funding of  operational activities is the subject of consultations
as provided for in General Assembly resolution 48/162,  annex I.  In support
of  these consultations,  the Secretary-General  has submitted  two  reports
(A/48/940 and  A/49/834) containing options to  improve the current  funding
system.    This subject  was  also  dealt  with  in the  Secretary-General's
recommendations on an agenda for development (A/49/665).  Addendum 1 to  the
present document  provides the  most recent data  on resources of  the funds
and programmes  of  the United  Nations  and  addendum 2  provides  detailed
income and expenditure figures up to 1993.

38.  These reports illustrate that,  while demand for operational activities
of  the United Nations system has expanded,  programmable, central resources
have  declined.    Significant  increases  in  non-core,  supplementary  and
emergency resources  have altered the  composition of resources.  Volatility
in contributions and the stagnation in resources,  and in some cases  actual
reductions, are having serious consequences.

39.   The review  confirms that more  predictable funding would  promote the
efficiency  and  the  impact  of  operational  activities.   Proposals  have
already been made for a "mixed"  system, which would include  assessed dues,
negotiated  pledges and  voluntary contributions.   Since  sufficient  grant
resources have not been forthcoming on  a voluntary, predictable and assured
basis   to  support   operational   activities  at   the   level   required,
consideration needs  to  be  given to  a funding  system  which would  place
operational activities on a more viable basis.

Recommendation 6

40.   The  negotiations on  a new,  improved  funding  system should  be re-

energized  by  all  parties  to  achieve   a  better  system  which  ensures
"mechanisms   for  all   participating   countries  to   demonstrate   their
responsibility  and  commitment  to  the  programmes  and  funds"   (General
Assembly resolution 48/162, annex I, para. 32).

Recommendation 7

41.  The  triennial review process should  be linked with  the consultations
on a  new funding system  carried out  within the  framework provided  under
General  Assembly  resolution  48/162,  annex  I,  paragraphs  31-34.    The
consultations should  lead to an improved  funding system  that would ensure
predictable resources. Further consideration should  be given to the options
presented in the Secretary-General's reports cited above.


4.  Resident coordinator system

42.   The resident coordinator  system has been  assigned a  central role in
enhancing the  United Nations system coordination  at the  country level and
in integrating it into the national  development process.  General  Assembly
resolution 47/199 has elaborated the  functions of the  resident coordinator
system and there has been a system-wide effort to put it into effect. 

43.   As part  of  this effort,  the  Secretary-General,  in July  1994,  in
addition  to requesting the Administrator of UNDP to  assist him in ensuring
policy  coherence and enhancing  coordination within  the United  Nations in
the economic,  social and related fields,  entrusted the Administrator  with
overall  responsibility for  assisting him in improving  the coordination of
operational activities for  development, including the strengthening of  the
resident coordinator system; subsequently, a series  of steps were taken  to
implement  this decision.   Recently the  UNDP Executive  Board approved the
use of 1.7 per cent of UNDP's resources to support the resident  coordinator
function.

44.  At the country level,  the Government, as part of the management of its
own development, has  the primary responsibility for coordinating all  types
of external assistance on the basis  of national priorities and  strategies.
The  resident  coordinator  system  seeks  to  facilitate  and  support  the
exercise by Government  of this  coordination responsibility.   The  support
given  by the resident  coordinator is  more effective  where the Government
has clearly articulated its policies and programmes  and defined the role it
expects of  the  resident coordinator  system  in  support of  its  national
objectives.

45.   In his  recommendations the  Secretary-General has been  guided by the
following approach  to how the current  system could operate  at the country
level:  (i)  the  country team  would  be  endowed  with  as  many technical
capacities  as  resources permit;  (ii)  its  composition would  reflect the
needs that the country  has defined and which  the Government and the United
Nations system have  mutually decided  to be the  most pertinent; (iii)  the
United  Nations  system  representatives  would  work as  a  team  stressing
collaboration  rather than control  with due  respect for different mandates
and the  advocacy responsibility associated with  them; (iv)  the team would
keep  in  view   these  mandates  in  pursuing  government  priorities   and
supporting  the  Government  in  solving the  development  problems  of  the
society; (v)  the team would support  the Government's  efforts to implement
its programmes and its task of  coordinating other external inputs  into its
programmes; and (vi) they would also  help support nationally led monitoring
and evaluation of national development programmes.

46.   Important cooperative  initiatives have  been launched  by the  United
Nations system in many countries.   In some countries, resident coordinators
were called upon  to provide substantive leadership in cross-cutting  issues
such as  human  immunodeficiency  virus/acquired  immunodeficiency  syndrome
(HIV/AIDS) or follow-up to the United  Nations Conference on Environment and
Development (UNCED).    In others  they have  been asked  to play  important

roles  in post-conflict peace-building and in meeting humanitarian crises in
several countries.

47.    While  there  has  been  a  great  deal  of  focus  on  the  resident
coordinators and  the need for them  to have an  appropriate mix of  skills,
there  has been less  consideration of  the resident  coordinator system and
the  requirements  needed  to  make  it  work  effectively  particularly  in
substantive programme areas.

48.   The  use  of workshop  training  techniques in  team-building  at  the
International Training  Centre of  the ILO  at Turin,  Italy, has  generated
improved  cooperation  at the  country  level,  and these  techniques should
continue  to  be  used.    Furthermore,  the  training  course  for resident
coordinators initiated  in September 1994 should  be expanded  and become an
integral part of the assignment of new resident coordinators.

49.   As  regards a  unified approach  in accordance  with paragraph  49  of
General  Assembly resolution  47/199, the  experience with  the new  offices
that have  been established  is still  too fresh  for a  full assessment  of
their  impact and  effectiveness but  the  limited  data available  from the
country missions  do suggest that the  United Nations  development system is
more effective the more integrated its presence is.

50.   The resident  coordinator system  should be  seen to  function as  the
extension  of  the  United  Nations  system  operational  activities at  the
country level  with the  resident coordinator  serving as  the team  leader.
Given  their  increasing  responsibilities in  coordinating  the operational
activities of the  United Nations system, the priorities to which a resident
coordinator should  devote his/her time will  be clearly  delineated in each
country based on national priorities and  the programmes and strategies  for
which the United Nations system has a mandate and a capability.

51.    The  resident  coordinator  system  function  will  be  reinforced by
appropriate  administrative  and  financial decentralization  of  all United
Nations system activities to enhance efficiency,  ensure output and  results
and strengthen substantive accountability.

52.   Arrangements will be made  to ensure that  all representatives of  the
United Nations  system  at  the country  level are  more  active and  fuller
participants in the resident coordinator system.   Moreover, ACC has  agreed
in  its statement on  the role and  functioning of  the resident coordinator
system on  a series  of  steps to  deal  with  organizations of  the  system
without field  representation.   Both  the resident  coordinator and  agency
representatives will be  held accountable by their respective  organizations
for the  effective and  coherent functioning  of the  system at the  country
level.

53.  The United Nations system will strive  to utilize more effectively  and
efficiently available  resources in  support of  operational activities  for
development.    The United  Nations  system  will  use  the new  information
technologies  to   enhance  the  efficiency   of  internal  operations   and
management in support  of operational activities as  well as to  improve the
effectiveness of coordination within the system as a whole.

54.     Steps will  also be  taken to  ensure that the  resident coordinator
system  at  the  country  level  will   be  endowed  with  the   information
technologies, staffing and access to the  analytical capacity of the  United
Nations  development system in order to facilitate  efficient and up-to-date
access to all the services and capacities of the United Nations system.

Recommendation 8

55.  Given the growing responsibilities of  the resident coordinator, it  is
important that, in addition to the resources provided by  the UNDP Executive
Board, the resident coordinator system should have supplementary  resources,
either financial or in kind, drawn from the  entire United Nations system to

support system efforts.

Recommendation 9

56.   In  accordance with  paragraph 39 (g)  of General  Assembly resolution
47/199, the  responsibility and authority of the resident coordinator should
be enhanced  for the planning  and coordination  of programmes and  to allow
him or  her to  propose, in full  consultation with the  Government, to  the
heads of  the funds, programmes and  specialized agencies,  the amendment of
country  programmes and  major projects  and programmes, where  required, to
bring them into line with the country strategy note.

Recommendation 10

57.  The United Nations system country team  should be requested to organize
a  single  review  committee   for  the  purpose  of  reviewing  substantive
activities prior  to  their approval  by  individual  organizations and  for
considering  the results and  lessons learned  from any  periodic reviews or
evaluations and feeding them back into operations.


5.  Country strategy note

58.  The country strategy note is a  major step towards achieving conceptual
and  operational coherence at the country level.   As established in General
Assembly resolution  47/199, it is designed  to harmonize  and integrate the
United  Nations  system  activities  at  the  country  level  into  national
priorities and to provide a basis for their monitoring and evaluation.

59.   The  progress achieved  in the  extent  of  its use  has been  uneven,
reflecting  its  optional  nature and  varying  perceptions  of  its utility
relative  to existing  processes and  national mechanisms.   The  experience
gained  so  far  suggests that  the  success of  the  country strategy  note
depends on the interest and involvement of national authorities.

60.    The  review  found  that  the  United  Nations  system  welcomes  the
formulation of the  country strategy note as  a strategic tool to  harmonize
national priorities with the United Nations system's comparative advantage.

61.  The analysis  of the country  strategy note process in countries  where
the  country strategy note  is under  implementation shows  that the process
requires  a   period   of  preparation   to  ensure   broad  and   effective
participation.   The drafting of  the country strategy  note can be  complex
and time-consuming, but  the consultative process  both with  the Government
and within the country team has proved to  have intrinsic value.  Experience
shows  that a  number of  conditions  have  been crucial  for its  effective
progress:

  (a)  Full participation and leadership of the Government;

  (b)  Effective information sharing;

  (c)  Adequate support to country teams from the United Nations system;

  (d)     Full  participation   of  the   United  Nations   system  and  its
organizations (including those not represented in the country).

 Recommendation 11

62.  Each Government should continue to decide  whether to proceed with  the
country strategy note in  consultation with the resident coordinator system,
and  on  the  form as  well as  on  the process  to be  established  for its
formulation.  All  concerned  United  Nations  system  organizations  should
provide  in-kind  and/or  financial  support, as  required,  to  the  common
initiatives promoted to  assist the Government in formulating and monitoring
the  country strategy  note, including  training activities  and  background

analysis.

Recommendation 12

63.  The  country strategy note should be  the common country framework  for
country  programmes  of  United Nations  system  organizations  and the  key
framework  for   both  the   Government  and   the  United   Nations  system
organizations  in  programming,  monitoring  and  evaluating United  Nations
system operational activities for development in  the country.  The document
should outline the contribution  that the United Nations system can make  to
responding to the  requirements included therein, including an indication of
the level of  resources needed.   Broad,  well-defined, monitorable  targets
should be a part  of the country  strategy note.  Monitoring and  evaluation
of the  impact of operational activities  should be a  standard part of  the
follow-up of the country strategy note process. 

Recommendation 13

64.  Governments should  consider using the country strategy note as a basic
input to  the Consultative  Group and  Round Table  processes.   Governments
should  also consider  the country  strategy  note as  a tool  for  resource
mobilization,  with  the  support of  the  resident  coordinator  system, to
achieve  national  priorities  that  are  receiving  United  Nations  system
support.

Recommendation 14

65.   The  Bretton Woods  institutions should  be encouraged to  be actively
involved in the formulation of  the country strategy note  if the Government
so decides. Clear  links between the country  strategy note process  and the
planning  and  programming  processes  and  instruments  adopted  by   those
institutions should be established.


6.  Programme approach

66.  Significant progress  has been made  by the system in implementing  the
programme  approach.   Given the  diversity of mandates  and the  variety of
countrylevel activities, operational interpretations of the approach and  of
the  guidelines vary.  There is  a need to  analyse the experience gained to
date and to feed it back  into operations, improving guidelines continuously
in the light of best existing practices.

67.    Resolution  47/199  envisages  that  where  Governments  do  not have
programmes  the  United  Nations  system  should  help  to  formulate  them.
Accordingly, in  certain cases, the United  Nations system  has proceeded to
support the formulation of  such programmes.  In  some instances the  United
Nations system has prepared programmes but  these have not necessarily  been
fully transformed into specific  elements or inputs  into coherent  national
programmes,  owned  and  managed  by  Governments  as  contemplated  in  the
programme approach.   The  programme approach remains an  important element,
none the  less, in  better integrating  United Nations  system efforts  with
national priorities and plans.

68.   Smaller  specialized agencies  have  pointed  out that  the  programme
approach tends  to  focus  on  broad thematic  issues  while they  are  more
concerned  with  highly focused  subsectoral  issues  and  that  operational
activities should  remain flexible to  meet requirements  in these  specific
technical areas.

69.  The programme approach is not an  end in itself.  It is a tool designed
to integrate operational activities more effectively into national  efforts.
As  such,   given  the  diversity  of   countries'  development  needs   and
circumstances,  there  will remain  occasions  when  a  project  may be  the
appropriate vehicle for United Nations system support.

Recommendation 15

70.    The United Nations  system organizations  should continue  to play  a
strong role  in helping  countries, at  their request,  to prepare  coherent
national  programmes, to implement  them and  to monitor  and evaluate them.
Care  should continue  to be  devoted to  seeing that United  Nations system
substantive and  technical inputs  are fully  integrated into  such national
programmes and that the United Nations  system, as appropriate, assists  the
Government in  mobilizing resources from a variety of sources  in support of
these programmes.


7.  National execution

71.   National  execution has  proved to  be a  valuable and  cost-effective
modality  involving  national  management,  the  creation  of   self-reliant
capacity  and  the  close  integration  of   the  United  Nations   system's
development cooperation into national activities.   Its use as an  executing
modality has significantly increased since the last triennial  comprehensive
policy review  of operational activities,  most noticeably in  UNDP-assisted
programmes and projects.  Owing to the nature  of their operations the other
JCGP agencies already employ national execution extensively.  

72.    The  operational activities  financed through  other sources  such as
multi-funding  and funds-in-trust  arrangements and  carried out  by  United
Nations specialized agencies  continue to be  agency executed  in conformity
with  the  wishes  of  the funding  source  concerned  and  to  reflect  the
substantive accountability requirements of the donor.

73.  The shift to national execution  in UNDP-supported projects has reduced
the   executing  role   of  some   United  Nations   system   organizations,
particularly those without field presence.   The involvement of some  United
Nations  specialized agencies  as implementing  or cooperating  agencies  in
national execution  projects providing technical  support has not  developed
as expected.  National execution is  still largely Government execution  and
the use of non-State organizations as executing agencies is limited.

74.   Although national execution  is accepted as the preferred modality and
is widely adopted,  the extent of its application in individual countries is
not  a simple  function  of  the national  capacity for  execution and  is a
reflection  of  a  range  of  factors.    Administrative  burdens  placed on
countries, particularly  reporting requirements, continue  to constitute  an
obstacle.   Reporting requirements  should  be simplified  and brought  into
line  with  national financial  management  and  audit  systems  as long  as
internationally accepted  standards of  accountability are  observed.   None
the less, there is  general agreement that it is effective and responsive to
national needs  and  resources,  and there  is increasing  evidence  through
evaluation to substantiate this conclusion. 

Recommendation 16

75.    The  expansion  of  national  execution  should  be  continued  on  a
situationspecific basis.    Mechanisms currently  in  place  to finance  and
ensure  more  effective  and  systematic  support  by  the  United   Nations
specialized  agencies   to  UNDP-funded  projects  should  be  strengthened.
Special attention  needs to  be paid  to accountability  issues.   Reporting
requirements  should be  simplified  and  brought  into line  with  national
systems.


8.  Harmonization and simplification of rules and procedures

76.     General  Assembly   resolution  47/199  emphasized   the  need   for
harmonization  and simplification  of the  rules, procedures and  formats of
the  United Nations  system organizations  so  as to  reduce the  burden  on
Governments  and to  enhance the  effectiveness of  operational  activities.

Progress has been made  in the harmonization of the programme cycles of JCGP
organizations  with those  of national  plans.    The United  Nations system
organizations have  initiated several measures,  both at their  headquarters
as well as in  the field, to  simplify their procedures and to  decentralize
and delegate greater powers and authority to the field.

77.  The degree  of harmonization still remains  a problem.  Little progress
was made in the  preparation of a system-wide common manual as requested  in
paragraph 33  of General Assembly  resolution 47/199.   In view  of the fact
that the diversity of  rules and procedures continues to pose a problem both
for recipient  countries  and for  the  full  and effective  United  Nations
system  cooperation  at  the  programme  and  project  level,  much  greater
priority must be accorded to this matter than hitherto.

78.  Some progress  has been made in  delegating greater authority  to field
representatives.   The degree of this delegation has not been harmonized and
wide discrepancies and disparities exist within  the United Nations  system.
Additionally,  the  heterogeneity  of  rules,  procedures  and  formats   is
retarding  progress  on  important  issues, such  as  coordination  and  the
programme approach. It also places an unnecessary burden on Governments.

Recommendation 17

79.  The United Nations system  organizations should intensify their efforts
to  simplify,   streamline  and  harmonize   their  rules  and   procedures,
particularly those  that have a bearing  on their  programming processes and
delivery systems.  An important  criterion in deciding  which procedures  to
simplify first should be the burden they place on recipient countries.

Recommendation 18

80.    A time-bound targeted  programme of  simplification and harmonization
should be  submitted to  ECOSOC  in 1996  and  the  system should  submit  a
progress report  to ECOSOC  on this  issue in  1997.  This  programme should
include  the  specific elements  of  a  system-wide  common  manual and  the
schedule for  completing it.  The  views of key staff  and officials at  the
country level should be  obtained in this process.   The introduction of the
manual and agreed  common interpretations of key operational concepts should
be undertaken in conjunction with joint training programmes and workshops.


9.  Staffing at the country level

81.   Paragraph 38  (b) of  General Assembly  resolution 47/199 specifically
stated: "The United Nations  system at the country level should be tailored,
taking into account the views of  the recipient Government, to  the specific
developmental needs  of the country in  such a way  that they correspond  to
the  ongoing and  projected  programmes  rather  than to  the  institutional
structure of  the United Nations".   Steps still  need to be  taken to  give
effect to this provision of the resolution. 

82.   The representation, structure and  capacities of the organizations  of
the United Nations system at the  country level are determined  autonomously
by  the governing  bodies and  headquarters of  the concerned  organizations
without communication  between organizations based  on a system-wide  review
of expected  programme requirements.   The  overall capacity  of the  United
Nations system at the country level  to provide substantive services  to the
country is not assessed at present.

83.   As a  result the  United Nations  system presence and  profile in  the
field are  not always sufficiently focused  to meet  the specific technical,
technological  and managerial needs  of a  country, particularly  in view of
the emergence  of new  demands, new dimensions  and integrated  development.
Some country teams seem insufficiently equipped  with staff and resources to
respond  to the  specific context  and contemporary  needs in  a speedy  and
effective manner. 

84.  In the  interest of fostering a strengthened team approach and ensuring
the appropriate  balance of technical skills  required to  address the needs
of the  country, it  is important  that a  process of  consultations on  the
composition of the  United Nations system country  team be initiated.   This
requirement  will be actively pursued  at the inter-agency level with a view
to the dovetailing of agencies' technical capacities and "skills-sharing".

  10.  Regional coordination

85.  The  capacities of the regional  commissions and the smaller  technical
agencies can  be  used particularly  effectively  to  address issues  of  an
intercountry and  regional character.  Their  capacities should  be used, in
particular  with the  involvement  of other  relevant  organizations  of the
system, to  address the  regional dimension  of development  problems as  an
integral part of the country strategy note process.

Recommendation 19

86.      Bearing  in  mind  recommendation  12,  regional  and  intercountry
dimensions should be considered during the country strategy note process.

Recommendation 20

87.  There should  be a regional  strategy note to serve as a  framework for
regional cooperation.   A  regional strategy  note can  also be seen  as one
means  of  linking  national  processes,  regional  obligations  and  global
priorities.   The regional  commissions should  be invited  to consider  the
preparation of a regional strategy note  in consultation with other relevant
bodies.  Where  required, substantive support  should be provided, including
through  subregional  workshops,  to  facilitate  the  preparation  of   the
regional strategy note.   Resident coordinators in  the countries  concerned
should support such regional initiatives.


11.  Capacity-building

88.   There  is continuing  confirmation that the  efficiency, effectiveness
and impact  of  development  cooperation and  operational activities  are  a
function  of the  capacity of  a country  to manage the  development process
effectively and integrate external development assistance into the  national
context.   The  United Nations  system  continues  its traditional  role  of
helping  to  construct  or  strengthen  key  national  institutions.    This
includes  helping   countries  to  strengthen   their  capacities  for   aid
coordination and the managerial capabilities of the coordinating  ministries
or  similar   organizations  as   a  contribution   to  better   development
management.

89.   Support for capacity-building is  now undertaken  mainly by individual
organizations in their  respective fields of competence, focusing  primarily
on their domestic counterparts and strengthening both public  administration
and  civil society.    Many parts  of  the  United  Nations system  are  now
involved  in  capacity-building at  the  community  level,  promoting  broad
participation in development activities.

90.   Capacity-building is  a major  factor both in the  follow-up of global
conferences and in the  achievement of national requirements, and there is a
consensus that operational activities should  address it as  a cross-cutting
issue.    The essential  lessons  of  the  different  United Nations  system
organizations  should be  collected and  synthesized  as a  contribution  to
fostering the  understanding of capacity-building as a discipline within the
United Nations system.

Recommendation 21

91.  Capacity-building in priority areas should continue to be an  essential
part of  the  operational activities  of the  United Nations  system at  the

country   level.  A  more  systematic  and  sustainable  process  should  be
launched, tailored  to  each  country's strengths  and weaknesses,  to  help
integrate  the different  dimensions of  development  and design  and manage
complex programmes and projects.

Recommendation 22

92.    Where the Government so  desires, the United Nations system should be
ready  to  engage  in  building  and  strengthening  the  capacities  of the
constituencies of civil society  and national non-governmental organizations
which are involved in key development activities.


12.  Evaluation, monitoring and review

93.  There have  been external evaluations of  five agencies during the last
three years:    the International  Fund  for  Agricultural Development,  the
United  Nations Conference  on Trade  and  Development, the  United  Nations
Children's  Fund, the  United Nations  Population  Fund  and the  World Food
Programme.    They   contain  a   variety  of  substantive  and   managerial
conclusions and recommendations.  There have  been no global evaluations  of
operational activities carried out  by the system as a whole.  However, some
initiatives have  been undertaken  at the  country level  including, in  one
case, a  review of operational activities  in which  the Government included
the programmes of the World Bank.

94.     An  evaluation  of  the  impact  of  selected  major  components  of
operational activities  will  be an  integral  part  of the  next  triennial
policy review.  The various parts of the United Nations system will  consult
on its  scope  and methodology  and  establish,  as  soon as  possible,  the
essential  baseline data needed and  the mechanisms to collect  the data, so
as to permit successful  completion of the evaluation.  Greater use will  be
made by  the United Nations system,  as appropriate, of joint evaluations to
assess results and impact.

Recommendation 23

95.   Periodic evaluations of the impact of operational activities should be
organized and  should normally be  nationally led  processes.  Organizations
of  the  United  Nations  system  operating  at  the  country  level  should
endeavour to ensure that the periodic  programme reviews and evaluation they
conduct are timed and organized in a coordinated fashion.   Where necessary,
the United  Nations system  should be ready  to support  the development  of
national evaluation capacities and to support  nationally led evaluations of
specific programme  or cross-cutting  thematic areas.   The lessons  learned
should be  systematically fed  back into  the programming  processes at  the
appropriate level.


 13.  The Bretton Woods institutions

96.    Cooperation  between   the  Bretton  Woods   institutions  and  other
organizations of  the  United Nations  system  in  the area  of  development
cooperation has been  given special attention in  the recent period at  both
the  inter-agency and  intergovernmental level, including in  the context of
the discussions on an agenda for development.

97.  While the importance of closer collaboration  between the Bretton Woods
institutions, particularly  the World Bank, and  other organizations of  the
United  Nations  system  is  generally  appreciated,  some  countries   have
cautioned that programme cooperation between the Bretton Woods  institutions
and  other organizations  of the  United Nations  system should  not lead to
"new conditionalities"  and make the United  Nations system grant  resources
more  vulnerable  to the  restrictive policies  normally attached  to loans.
Other countries  consider that  efforts to  enhance complementarity  between
the  programmes and resources of the  World Bank and  the rest of the United

Nations system  should  be  given  high priority.    In some  countries  the
relationship between United  Nations programmes  and other agencies and  the
Bretton Woods institutions is already  very close and includes complementary
and  mutually supportive roles in critical areas  like capacity-building and
poverty elimination.

98.   Many  countries indicated  that they  favour closer  links between the
United  Nations  system's  technical  cooperation  and  the  Bretton   Woods
institutions'   technical   assistance,   particularly   for   free-standing
technical  assistance unrelated  to  specific  capital investment  projects.
The Bretton  Woods institutions  have indicated  that they  are prepared  to
cooperate with the United  Nations system in the  preparation of the country
strategy note.

Recommendation 24 

99.   A more  focused policy  dialogue encompassing  the system  as a  whole
should be  promoted at  the  Headquarters  level.   This dialogue  could  be
pursued within the framework of ECOSOC, within  the governing bodies of  the
Bretton  Woods institutions,  between  the Bretton  Woods  institutions  and
other organizations of the United Nations system and within the ACC.

Recommendation 25

100.    In consultation  and  agreement  with  Governments,  efforts by  the
resident coordinator  system to  promote harmonization  between the  country
strategy  note and  the World  Bank's policy framework  paper and  the IMF's
letter of intent  should be encouraged.   The operational conclusions of all
three instruments should contribute to the  improved dialogue on policy  and
substantive issues at country level proposed in paragraph 36.

Recommendation 26

101.   Collaboration with  the  Bretton Woods  institutions in  programming,
monitoring and evaluation should be actively sought at the country level.

  14.  Strengthened national coordination

102.  Efforts at improving  coordination and cooperation among organizations
of  the United  Nations system  in  the area  of operational  activities for
development are  mostly pursued  at the  country level  or at  the level  of
central intergovernmental bodies, particularly the General Assembly and  the
Economic  and  Social Council.    Little  attention has  been  paid  to  the
objective of ensuring  consistency in decision-making  on related  issues at
the level  of the governing  bodies of the  specialized agencies.   There is
growing  evidence to support  the view  that efforts  to promote coordinated
approaches by secretariats, whether at headquarters  or in the field,  would
be enhanced  if Governments  took more  consistent positions  on similar  or
related  issues  in the  various  governing  bodies  of  the United  Nations
system.

Recommendation 27

103.   Governments should be invited  to review  their internal coordination
processes  in order  to ensure consistent and  compatible decision-making at
all  levels  throughout   the  United  Nations   system.    Secretariats  of
organizations should be invited to  support this endeavour by systematically
drawing  the  attention  of  their  governing  bodies   to  decisions  under
consideration  which are  at variance  with  decisions on  related  subjects
taken at the central intergovernmental level.


15.  Common premises and shared services

104.  Some agencies have pointed out that they currently benefit from  rent-
free accommodation  in their  host countries, often  in the premises  of the

concerned ministry.   They  argue that  common premises  could thus lead  to
additional expenses  for them,  regardless of  potential savings  elsewhere.
However, the experience with  premises and services shared  by parts of  the
system suggests a considerable potential for savings.

Recommendation 28

105.  Building on previous resolutions  the General Assembly might recommend
that  United Nations  system  organizations  should normally  be  housed  in
common premises  at the country level,  wherever economically  feasible.  It
might further  recommend  that every  effort  should  be made  to  institute
shared services in the field.

Annex

CONTENTS

  Paragraphs  Page

A.  Introduction .........................................  1 - 322

B.  Changing trends in operational activities for
  development ..........................................  4 - 3822

C.  Programme development and implementation .............  39 - 10933

  1.  Country strategy note ............................  39 - 6533

  2.  Harmonization of programming cycles ..............  66 - 6942

  3.  Programme approach ...............................  70 - 8943

  4.  National execution ...............................  90 - 10948

D.  United Nations system coordination mechanisms at the
  global level in support of country action ............  110 - 13053

  1.  Consultative Committee on Programme and
    Operational Questions ............................  110 - 12153

  2.  Joint Consultative Group on Policy ...............  122 - 13055

E.  Resident coordinator system ..........................  131 - 16057

F.  Programme support ....................................  161 - 20164

  1.  Decentralization and delegation of authority .....  161 - 16864

  2.  Simplification and harmonization of procedures ...  169 - 17366

  3.  Accountability:  monitoring, evaluation and audit  174 - 19066

  4.  Common premises and common services ..............  191 - 20169


A.  Introduction


1.  The  present annex contains the results  of a comprehensive analysis  of
the  implementation of General Assembly resolution 47/199.  It is an updated
version  of the interim  report (E/1995/98,  annex) which  was considered by
the Economic and Social Council at its substantive session of 1995.

2.  A particular  concern in preparing this annex  was to use  a methodology
which  would lead  to an  objective,  factual and  accurate picture  of  the
implementation  of General  Assembly  resolution  47/199.   To  ensure  that

coverage was as broad as possible  and to have views from  all the principal
partners, heavy reliance was placed on  the mailed questionnaire method.  On
the basis of the provisions of  resolution 47/199, four questionnaires  were
prepared,  in consultation  with  the organizations  of  the  United Nations
system,   targeted  at,  respectively,  recipient   countries,  major  donor
countries, the  resident coordinator  system at  the country  level and  the
organizations of the United Nations system at their headquarters.
3.   The  annex is  based on  109 responses  from the  resident  coordinator
system  (stress was placed on  ensuring that the responses  were prepared in
consultation  with   United  Nations   system  field   representatives),  24
responses from recipient  countries, 8 responses from major donor countries,
and  26 responses  from  organizations  of the  United Nations  system.   In
addition, country review  missions were carried  out in  14 countries.   All
organizations of  the United Nations system  were invited  to participate in
these review missions.  In addition to the United Nations, various  missions
were  composed  of  representatives  from  the  United  Nations  Development
Programme (UNDP), the International Labour Organization  (ILO), the Food and
Agriculture Organization  of the  United Nations (FAO),  the United  Nations
Educational,  Scientific  and  Cultural  Organization  (UNESCO),  the  World
Health  Organization,   and  the   United  Nations  Industrial   Development
Organization (UNIDO). 


                   B.  Changing trends in operational activities
                       for development                         

Reach and range of operational activities

4.    In  the  past  five  years,  the  United  Nations  system  operational
activities  have   extended  their   geographical  reach   to  include   the
Commonwealth of Independent States and Central  Europe.  UNDP, for  example,
now operates in  170 countries and territories with  over 130 offices.   The
functional  ambit  of  operational activities  has  widened  in response  to
requests by recipient countries,  involving in addition  to the transitional
concerns   of   operational  activities,   greater   support   in   national
reconstruction,   the   continuum   of   relief   and  development,   public
administration reform, disaster  management, drug control, human rights  and
support  for  institutional  reforms.    The  changing  reach  and  range of
operational activities is a reflection of  the changing demands of recipient
countries.

 New directions and new demands:  a changing portfolio

5.    Increasingly, developing  countries  are  shifting  their demands  for
United Nations system  help from technical assistance for isolated  projects
towards programme  modalities that emphasize  United Nations system  support
for national  goals and strategies, around  which the  United Nations system
inputs are  mobilized in  a flexible  manner.   The new  demands also  bring
together policy-making, normative analysis and technical cooperation.   They
require both capital and technical cooperation  and blur the borders between
economic, social and environmental factors.

Recent shifts in operational activities

6.    Many United  Nations system  organizations  and resident  coordinators
indicated  that  there   are  more  requests  for  upstream  policy  advice,
strengthening the  utilization of  human resources,  facilitating access  to
foreign skills  and technology,  help in  the design  and implementation  of
programmes, and projects  in areas identified jointly with the  Governments.
Demands  for  upstream  interventions in  such areas  as  governance, public
sector reform, the  electoral process,  management/coordination of  external
cooperation,  strengthening  key  development institutions,  and  support in
emergency/relief situations have shown a marked increase.

7.   The United  Nations system continues to play  an important role in many
traditional areas  of operational activities  in several  countries:  nearly

all  developing  countries  cited  technical  and technological  assistance,
social  development, poverty  alleviation,  health and  education,  and  the
improvement  of  human resources  as  continuing  priorities for  the United
Nations system.  The United Nations system is  asked to provide support in a
wide  range  of  new  areas  as  well.    Developing  countries increasingly
emphasize infrastructure  development, reinforcement  of national capacities
for  research and  development, environmental  regeneration and  sustainable
development,  and  capacity-building  to  increase  competitiveness  in  the
global  economic environment.   In  addition,  Latin American  countries  in
particular see the United  Nations as playing an active role in  governance,
national reconstruction,  modernization of the  State and the  strengthening
of State services.

8.   The resident coordinators' assessments  of future operational  activity
needs are similar to  those of the recipient  countries.  Nearly  two thirds
of the responses of  resident coordinators singled out public administration
reform and  governance issues.  This  covers requests  for the establishment
of  institutional capacity  within the  public sector,  decentralization  of
public administration, legal reforms and judiciary  reforms.  Forty per cent
of the  resident coordinators, on  the other  hand, also  cited an  emerging
demand for support in areas of  social development including human  resource
development,  protection  of   initiatives  of  vulnerable  groups,  poverty
alleviation, development  of social services and  HIV/AIDS.  Lastly,  almost
as  many resident  coordinators  cited human  rights  protection,  including
police training and assistance in legislative  development, as new areas for
operational activities.

9.    Increasingly,  the  United  Nations  system is  being  asked  to  help
Governments solve major problems that go  far beyond the financial resources
that it can  make available.   For  operational activities  the gap  between
aspiration and reality is large and widening.  This leads, on the one  hand,
to calls from those Member States  which finance operational activities, for
a process of prioritization and, on the other hand, to  calls from those who
need  and  benefit directly  from  operational  activities,  for  additional
resources  and  continued  flexibility  in  resource  allocation  so  as  to
maintain the system's responsiveness to national priorities.

10.   Few of  the new  tasks the  United Nations  system has  been asked  to
address are exclusively  "sectoral" in nature,  and as such they  are beyond
the  capacities of  any one part  of the system.   So the new  tasks tend to
demand  continued  progress  towards greater  coherence,  at  least  at  the
country level.

11.   Resident coordinators indicated  that, although technical  cooperation
is still  the most  important component  of operational  activities, it  has
shown  a relative decline  from 56 per cent in 1990  to 53 per cent in 1993-
1994.   The current percentages  of technical cooperation  as part  of total
operational  activities in  each region  are:   Latin America,  over 70  per
cent; Africa, 40 per cent; Asia  and Eastern Europe, 58 per  cent and 53 per
cent, respectively.

12.    Based  on  the  analysis  of  information  provided  by  the resident
coordinators,  table  1   indicates  the  expected  trends  in   operational
activities.

13.    Resident  coordinators  have  also  given  their  assessment  of  the
principal current problems  that would  continue to  require United  Nations
system support. The relevant data are summarized in table 2.


               Table 1.  Trends in the main purposes of operational
                         activities for development               

(Percentage of resident coordinators that have indicated
expectations for the specific trend)

Main purpose of operational activities
Likely to increase
Likely to stay constant
Likely to decreaseProvision of upstream technical and policy advice

73.3

24.8

1.9Catalytic role in mobilizing resources for development cooperation

78.1

16.2

5.7Provision of emergency food and other relief assistance

14.3

43.9

41.8Strengthen key political institutions
55.3
40.8
3.9Strengthen key economic and social institutions

77.4

22.6

0.0Strengthen and utilize national human resources

75.2

22.9

1.9Provide direct and budgetary support for national programmes

24.8

33.7

41.6Facilitate access to foreign skills and services

33.7

50.0

16.3Facilitate access to technology
50.5
45.6
3.9Strengthen development programming and management practices

77.4

17.4

4.7Design and implement programmes and projects in  areas identified jointly
with the Government

66.3

29.8

3.8Provide analytical and assessed information (statistical data,  research,
etc.)

64.4

31.7

3.8

Table 2.  Principal current problems that require
          United Nations system support         

(Number of countries for which the corresponding
                           type of problem is relevant)

Type of problems
Africa
Asia
Latin America
Eastern Europe
Other region
LDCs
NonLDCs
TotalLimited productive capacity and need for economic reforms


25


22


9


7


1


20


44


64Poverty and social development needs

36

31

19

5

2

30

63

93Environmental degradation

9

14

8

2

0

8

25

33Inadequate institutional capacity


31


18


14


5


1


26


43


69Support for national reconciliation processes


8


7


5


3


0


11


12


23Other
0
1
3
0
0
0
4

4Total number of countries in each region


45


34


20


8


2


37


72


109

Least developed countries

14.  A significant part  of the operational activities  are oriented towards
the least  developed countries in  accordance with  the criteria established
by various intergovernmental bodies.   Thus, for example, 55 per cent of the
programmable resources of UNDP were oriented  to this category of  countries
in  Governing  Council  decision  90/34.    The  requirements  of  the least
developed countries received special attention in  the analysis of the data;
all data  were thus  grouped into  least developed  countries and  non-least
developed countries  as indicated throughout the  report in the  appropriate
sections.

Economies in transition

15.  The economies in transition have emerged as new recipients of  external
assistance.   For these countries,  the key areas for  United Nations system
support  are technical cooperation  and policy  advice for systemic reforms,
the  promotion of  economic and  human  development,  the protection  of the
environment, as  well as the  growth of the  energy sector.   These requests
necessitated   new  approaches   suited  to  their   particular  development
contexts.  In  some countries, the United Nations  system has played a  more
central  role mainly  in  the broader  systemic  transformation  (democracy,
governance, human  rights, electoral process).   In  others, United  Nations
system support is  requested in all  areas directly related to  economic and
social development.   Over  62  per  cent of  the resident  coordinators  in
Eastern Europe  (more than  in other  regions) identified  issues in  public
administration and human rights as areas  for United Nations system support;
12.5 per cent identified economic reforms; and 25  per cent chose support to
the electoral process.

Humanitarian aid

16.    Complex  emergencies  are  part  of  the  challenges  of  development
cooperation. According  to data  from the  Development Assistance  Committee
(DAC) of the Organisation  for Economic Cooperation  and Development (OECD),
emergency  assistance and disaster  relief, which  consumed less  than 3 per
cent (US$ 300 million)  of bilateral aid  in the 1980s, consumed 8  per cent
(US$  3.2  billion)  in  1993.    According  to  the  resident coordinators,
emergency  assistance increased from  20 per cent in 1990  to 25 per cent in
1994 in  terms of expenditure in  operational activities,  the main increase

occurring  in Africa. Developing  countries reported that the United Nations
system provided  assistance  in  designing and  setting in  motion  national
systems for monitoring and preventing  disasters; workshops and  seminars on
management of  natural  disasters held  under  the  auspices of  the  United
Nations  system have  also been useful.  Some noted that  the United Nations
system  contributed  to  the creation  of national  capacities  to integrate
relief, rehabilitation, reconstruction  and development and the  utilization
of external aid in this field.

Relationship with the Bretton Woods institutions

17.    An  important  development  is   the  trend  towards  enhancing   the
cooperation between the  Bretton Woods institutions and other  organizations
of  the  United  Nations system,  in  particular,  in  the  areas  of social
development,   environment  and   poverty  elimination.     The  operational
activities  of the  World Bank are  now more focused  on poverty elimination
and increasing lending  to the social  sectors.  UNDP and  the International
Monetary Fund (IMF) cooperate in the area of capacity-building.

18.   The World  Bank involvement  in technical  cooperation activities  has
steadily increased  over the years and, in  1993, amounted to a total of US$
3.1  billion, of  which  free-standing loans  constituted  US$  646 million,
rising from US$ 22  million in 1989.   Technical assistance financed through
the administrative budget  rose from US$  47 million  to US$  66 million  in
1993.   As  an executing  agency of  UNDP,  World  Bank supported  technical
assistance increased from US$ 56 million in 1989 to US$ 64 million in 1993.

19.    The  importance  of  closer  cooperation  between  the  Bretton Woods
institutions, particularly  the  World Bank,  and  the  rest of  the  United
Nations  system  has  been  emphasized  by  both  developed  and  developing
countries. According to developed countries, the  key to this cooperation is
complementarity,   with  the   United  Nations  system   providing,  through
technical cooperation,  added value  to the  major resource flows  available
from  international financial institutions.   The  better developed and more
experienced  field  presence of  the  United  Nations  system could  provide
valuable help  to the international financial  institutions in the  planning
and implementation of their programmes.
  20.   The  views  of  developing countries  are  more mixed.    While  all
countries desire and encourage greater  cooperation, some countries are more
sceptical than  others about the  programme cooperation  between the  United
Nations system and the Bretton Woods institutions  and are concerned that it
might lead to new conditionalities and make the United  Nations system grant
resources more vulnerable to  the restrictive policies  normally attached to
loans.   Other countries  are in  favour of closer  cooperation between  the
programmes and resources of  the World Bank  and the United Nations  system.
They see them as complementary and  mutually beneficial.  In  some countries
the  relationship between the  United Nations  system and  the Bretton Woods
institutions  is close  and includes  complementary  roles in  such critical
areas as capacity-building and poverty elimination.

21.   Some Governments  have suggested establishing closer  linkages between
technical cooperation  and financial  assistance  by setting  up a  modality
whereby  the United  Nations system  can  become  involved in  the technical
cooperation  needs of  infrastructure  projects.   They  also  believe  that
closer   cooperation   between   representatives   of  the   Bretton   Woods
institutions   and  the   resident  coordinators   could  lead   to  a  more
multidisciplinary approach to development issues.   In their responses, 9 of
15  developing  countries  indicated  that  there  is  a  need  for  greater
integration of  United Nations system technical  cooperation and World  Bank
technical assistance,  particularly for  free-standing technical  assistance
unrelated to specific  capital investment projects.  With regard to the need
for more substantive cooperation between the  Bretton Woods institutions and
the United Nations system, one country considered  it to be essential, seven
considered it to be useful and five to be of marginal utility.

22.   Over 60 per cent  of the resident  coordinators emphasized the need to

make fuller use of inputs of  the United Nations system in the activities of
the Bretton Woods institutions and of  the activities of these  institutions
in programming operational activities.  Sixty-two  per cent of the  resident
coordinators indicated that there should be closer  consultation between the
Bretton Woods  institutions and  the United  Nations system  at the  country
level; 50  per  cent  were in  favour of  joint  assessments and  evaluation
missions; 54 per cent favoured  joint meetings with Governments;  and 43 per
cent supported formal memoranda of understanding between the organizations.

23.  The World  Bank has indicated that it is prepared to cooperate with the
United  Nations system  in the  preparation  of  the country  strategy note.
According  to the  replies received  from  the resident  coordinator system,
close to  60 per cent identified  close cooperation on  the country strategy
note and policy framework paper:   77 per cent from Africa, 47 per cent from
Asia, 55 per cent from Latin America and 25 per cent from Eastern Europe.

24.   An issue  raised by some  United Nations system  organizations is  how
best to utilize  their technical expertise in World Bank-assisted  technical
assistance.  In  this regard,  26  per  cent  of  the resident  coordinators
considered  interfacing  between the  Bretton  Woods  institutions  and  the
resident  coordinators  as   "significant"  in  technical  cooperation,   as
compared to 58 per cent who considered  it as "of some significance"  and 14
per cent as "of little significance".

            Table 3.  Interface between the resident coordinator system
                     and the Bretton Woods institutions              

(Number of countries for which the resident coordinators
expressed its significance and percentage of frequency)


Interface areas
Relevance
High
Medium
Low
Policy advice (public administration)

    24
  (25.8%)

   39       (41.9%)

    30
  (32.3%)Policy advice (economic and social issues)
    37
  (38.9%)
   39
 (41.1%)
    19
  (20%)External assistance coordination
    33
  (34.4%)
   43
 (44.8%)
    20
  (20.8%)Programme and project formulation
    14
  (14.6%)
   51
 (53.1%)
    31
  (32.3%)Resource mobilization
    14
  (15.9%)
   34

 (38.6%)
    40
  (45.5%)Security issues
    34
  (42%)
   18
 (22.2%)
    29
  (35.8%)Emergency relief and humanitarian assistance
     5
  (6.8%)
   19
 (25.7%)
    50
  (67.6%)Technical cooperation
    26
  (28%)
   54
 (58.1%)
    13
  (14%)Programme and project implementation (including disbursement issues)
    15
  (17.2%)
   39
 (44.8%)
    33
  (37.9%)




Impact of adjustment programmes

25.    Many recipient  countries  are  undergoing  some  type of  structural
adjustment and  this  has influenced  the  role  of operational  activities.
There is  growing  recognition of  the  need  to consider  the  distribution
impact  of these programmes  and draw  attention to  their negative effects.
Thus,  over 80 per cent of resident coordinators indicate that the countries
in which they  serve have  undertaken an integrated  set of policy  reforms.
Of these  responses, 51 per  cent consider  that the global  orientations of
operational  activities  have  been significantly  influenced  by structural
adjustment  policies and similar reforms.  In terms of their  impact, 62 per
cent  of resident  coordinators  consider that  operational  activities  are
complementary  to adjustment programmes,  whereas 58  per cent  view them as
mitigating and alleviating the spin-off from these policies and  programmes.
Some  United  Nations system  agencies have  indicated  that they  formulate
specific programmes at the request of Governments to  offset some effects of
structural adjustment and other  similar reforms.  Yet, as discussed in  the
previous paragraphs, the vast majority of  recipient countries feel that the
United  Nations system  has  been "informed  of" but  not "involved  in" the
preparation,  coordination   and  implementation  of  structural  assistance
schemes.

Upstream role

26.   Some Governments,  particularly in  Latin America,  Africa and Eastern
Europe,  are seeking  support from  the  United  Nations system  on upstream
matters.   This  trend  appears  to be  influenced by  a recognition  of the
interconnection  of   policies  and   programmes  of   assistance  and   the
realization that  a good policy framework  is indispensable  to the delivery
of  good  projects.    There  is  now a  closer  intersection  of  policies,
normative  analysis and  technical cooperation,  issues which  were  earlier
considered  as  distinct.   Countries  are  seeking  United  Nations  system
support to  enable them to participate more actively in  the global economic
process, as well as to address their specific economic and social  problems.
Some of  these countries face  a plethora of problems  arising from systemic

transformation.  They look  to the United Nations  system as a multilateral,
neutral partner without an agenda of its own, which can provide policy  help
suited to their requirements.

27.    The  United  Nations  system's  contributions  in  other   countries,
particularly in Asia and in more  industrially advanced countries, is  still
focused  on  technical,  increasingly  technological,  cooperation.    Those
countries perceive the  United Nations system as  a means to  fill strategic
needs to  accelerate economic growth and  to enhance  competitiveness in the
global market-place.

28.  Some global  objectives have been translated  into national targets and
goals  by Governments  in cooperation  with United  Nations  system support.
Developing  countries  have  indicated  that  they  are  introducing  global
targets  and plans into  their sectoral  policies and  that concerned United
Nations system organizations were helpful in  this respect.  Some  countries
and United Nations system representatives have  noted that certain plans  of
action contain  similar provisions and  their coherent implementation  might
require  greater  harmonization  and  prioritization.    Representatives  of
United Nations agencies  in some  countries have suggested that  coordinated
support  for the implementation  of these  plans of  action and facilitating
their  integration into  the  national  context  should  be  the  collective
responsibility  of  the  resident  coordinator  system  in  support  of  the
Government.

Role of science and technology

29.  Some developing countries and  most United Nations system organizations
noted  the  growing  importance  of science  and  technology  to development
cooperation,  particularly  transforming  technologies  such as  information
technology  and  new materials.    They expressed  the  view  that  the full
potential of technology as an instrument  of sustainable development had not
been realized  and  that the  tool of  technology could  help overcome  such
chronic problems  as  poverty, illiteracy  and  ill  health.   The  resident
coordinators have indicated that a slight  increase in demand is expected on
facilitating access  to technology through the  United Nations system;  Asia
appears to have  the highest prospects in  this regard, followed by  Africa.
Some  United Nations  system agencies,  particularly the  smaller  technical
agencies,  have  noted  that  the  shift  towards  modalities  such  as  the
programme approach and  national execution is diminishing opportunities  for
them to help to build the  technological infrastructure which the  countries
need and which no other external sources are supporting.

Capacity-building

30.  There  is a growing  awareness that  efficiency, effectiveness and  the
impact of development  cooperation and operational  activities are largely a
function of the capacity of a country to  manage the development process and
integrate  development assistance  into the  national context.    The United
Nations system  operational activities in many  countries include a  variety
of capacity-building  programmes and projects,  from public sector reform to
project implementation.

31.  The  United Nations system in some countries is helping  to construct a
functioning  Government  and  a  coherent  civil  society.    In  some other
countries, the  United Nations  system is  engaged in  helping countries  to
strengthen  their capacities  for  aid coordination  and  strengthening  the
managerial   capabilities  of   the  coordinating   ministries  or   similar
organizations.  Nearly half  of the developing countries called for an  even
greater  emphasis  on promoting  internal  managerial  skills  and  training
indigenous counterparts to United Nations experts.

32.   In  the context  of the  new  demands  on operational  activities, the
capacity  for policy connections between the different strands of political,
economic,  social  and  environmental  factors has  become  important.   The
United  Nations  system's effort  at  capacity-building  is  now  undertaken

mainly  by individual organizations in relation to their respective mandates
and focused  primarily on  their domestic  counterparts.   It includes  both
strengthening public administration and nurturing  the civil society.   Many
parts of the United Nations system are now involved in capacity-building  at
the   community  level,   promoting  broad   participation   in  development
activities.

Resource situation

33.   Official development assistance  (ODA), which over  the past 20  years
had remained  stable, sharply  declined for  the first time,  from US$  60.8
billion in 1992 to US$ 55.9 billion in 1993.   This trend probably continued
in 1994, with serious  implications for development  cooperation in  general
and the  United  Nations development  system  in  particular.   Within  this
context,  while, on  the one  hand,  demand for  the United  Nations  system
assistance  has increased  dramatically,  programmable funds  available  for
supporting  development  cooperation  activities   have  shown  a   decline,
particularly  for technical  cooperation.   As  reported in  the  Secretary-
General's  report on  funding  of operational  activities  (A/48/940),  core
contributions to UNDP over the past 20 years have remained stagnant in  real
terms.  More recently, Governing Council decision 90/34  called for an 8 per
cent annual  increase in contributions to  UNDP core resources for the 1991-
1995 period.   Although this target was almost  achieved in 1992, the  first
year of  the fifth  cycle, resources  pledged for  the following  years have
seen drastic cuts, and  the shortfall of the 1991-1995 cycle is estimated at
US$  1.4 billion.  As a result of the decline, programme allocations for the
fifth cycle  have had to  be reduced by 30 per cent,  from US$ 4,163 million
to US$ 2,972 million.

34.  The shortfall in meeting the "core"  targets is accompanied by a  clear
shift by donor countries towards funding  specific thematic areas which  are
deemed to  be consistent  with their particular  interests.   Of total  1994
contributions to  UNDP, non-core resources  accounted for US$ 763.6 million,
as compared  with US$ 930.0 million for central funding.  It should be noted
that cost  sharing for 1994 stood at  US$ 583.9 million,  most of which came
from developing countries (for further details see addendum 1). 

35.    Given the  central  role of  UNDP  in extrabudgetary  financing,  the
adverse  impact of  the  fall in  its core  resources has  been system-wide.
United  Nations system executing agencies traditionally relied  upon UNDP as
the  central   funding  organization  to   finance  and  support   technical
cooperation (see also General Assembly resolution  44/211, para. 12).   This
role is being compromised  by recent resource trends and shifts to  national
execution in  many countries.  The  specialized agencies have drawn about 40
per cent  of  their  operational  resources from  UNDP  and UNFPA.    United
Nations  system executing  agencies have  stated  that  the decline  in UNDP
funding, coupled with the increase in national execution,  has had a radical
effect on their technical cooperation  activities, amounting, in some cases,
to a reduction of  approximately 50 per cent  in recent years. They consider
that  this  trend  compromises their  capacity  to  contribute  to  national
development.  At a time when funding from UNDP  has declined, there has been
an increase  in assessed contributions  and extrabudgetary contributions  to
the operational activities of the specialized  agencies from other  sources,
from US$ 783 million in 1987 to US$ 1,052 million in 1993.

36.  Reflecting the  ODA decline in  1993, contributions to UNICEF  declined
from US$ 918.5 million in 1992 to US$ 793.7 million in  1993 but rose to US$
937.6 million in 1994,  of which US$ 535  million were general resources and
US$  471 million  were supplementary  funds.   Similarly,  contributions  to
UNFPA declined  from US$ 293.8 million in  1992 to US$ 265.1 million in 1993
but rose to US$ 340.7 million in 1994.

37.  The contributions  to WFP declined from US$  1,722.4 million in 1992 to
US$ 1,421.1 million in 1993  but rose in 1994 to  US$ 1,515.8.   However, an
important trend  in WFP contributions is  that the  proportion of assistance
given  for development  and emergency  activities  has  inverted.   While in

1990, relief activities accounted  for US$ 258 million  (i.e. 34 per cent of
food aid),  in 1993 emergency deliveries  amounted to US$  865 million (i.e.
68 per cent).

38.  Volatility in contributions has  made realistic long-term planning more
difficult  and reduced effectiveness  and impact.   For  example, during the
past five  years, while  UNFPA income  increased, on  the average, by  8 per
cent  per  annum,  varying from  5.6  per cent  to  20.8 per  cent,  it also
absorbed a one-time reduction of 7.8 per cent.


 C.  Programme development and implementation

1.  Country strategy note

Background

39.   The concept  of  a country  strategy  note  (CSN) was  established  in
paragraph  9 of General  Assembly resolution 47/199.   The  main elements of
the CSN process are that:

  (a)   The  CSN should  be a  policy statement  which establishes  national
priorities  to be supported  by the  United Nations system  and represents a
broad frame  of reference  for United Nations system  operational activities
for development;

  (b)    The CSN  should outline  the contribution  that the  United Nations
development  system can make  to respond  to the  requirements identified by
recipient countries in their plans, strategies and priorities;

  (c)  The CSN  should be a Government document prepared with the assistance
of  and  in collaboration  with  the  organizations  of  the United  Nations
system;

  (d)    The  resident  coordinator  system,  under  the  leadership  of the
resident coordinator, should assist and contribute to the CSN process;

  (e)   The  CSN should  be the  outcome of  a  process of  consultation and
collaboration between the Government and  the United Nations  system, within
the United  Nations system, and  between the  United Nations system  and the
rest of  the  international donor  community;  it  should normally  cover  a
period of four to five years;

  (f)   The specific activities  of each funding organization  of the United
Nations  system should be  outlined in  a specific  country programme within
the broad  framework of the CSN,  prepared by the  recipient Government with
the assistance of the funding organizations;

  (g)  The CSN should  be transmitted to the governing body of each  funding
organizationasareferenceforthe considerationofitsspecific countryprogramme.

Guidelines

40.   To  assist Governments  and  the  resident coordinator  system,  CCPOQ
developed  guidelines   that  were  issued  in   May  1993.    In  order  to
operationalize the basic notions and principles  and to support the  efforts
of the countries that had started  implementing the CSN, a  country strategy
workshop was held at Turin, Italy from 11 to 14 October 1993.  The  workshop
involved national officials, resident coordinators and other United  Nations
system  officials drawn from 11  countries.  It built on national experience
and clarified some  practical questions.  As a consequence of that workshop,
further "guidance  elements for the  preparation, design and  implementation
of the CSN"  were developed in consultation  with the United  Nations system
and issued to all  recipient countries in March  1994 in English, French and
Spanish.    These   guidance  elements   clarified  the  purpose  and   main
characteristics  of the CSN,  suggested a  possible structure  or outline of

the CSN  document  and suggested  suitable  ways  to organize  the  process.
Subsequently, at  the  request  of countries  and resident  coordinators,  a
number of national workshops were organized.

41.   On the basis  of the actual use of  the United Nations system guidance
elements in concrete country operations, and  the responses by the  resident
coordinators  to the  questionnaire for  this  review,  it appears  that the
current guidance elements provide adequate assistance  to the United Nations
system country  teams and to  Governments for  the preparation  of the  CSN.
The  combination of detailed operational guidelines, and global and country-
level workshops to support their development  and application, proved to  be
an important step in initiating the process in most instances.

Status of the CSNs

42.   The  status of implementation  of the CSN as  of May 1995  is shown in
tables  4a and 4b.   Thus,  of the  131 countries  for which  information is
available,  84 Governments  (64.1 per  cent) have  formally indicated  their
interest  in  pursuing  the  CSN.    In six  countries  (4.6  per  cent) the
Governments have explicitly  declared that they  do not wish  to pursue  the
CSN process  at the present stage.   In another 41 countries (31.3 per cent)
Governments have not yet made a formal decision.


Table 4a.  CSN:  summary of status

Country typology
Number of countries
Countries where the Government either has  expressed its intention to pursue
the CSN or is pursuing it

(a)The CSN is completed and has been adopted by the Government


8(b)Final  draft  of the  CSN  is  being  considered by  the  Government for
approval


6(c)Preliminary drafts of the CSN are prepared

7(d)Other countries where the CSN is expected to be completed by  the end of
1995


21Countries where the CSN  is expected before the  end of 1995  (subtotal of
(a) to (d)


42
Countries where the CSN process is at a very initial stage

44
TOTAL NUMBER OF COUNTRIES WHERE THE CSN IS ACTIVE


86Countries where the Government does not intend to pursue the CSN


6Countries where the Government has not yet made a final decision


39TOTAL NUMBER OF COUNTRIES

131

Table 4b.  CSN:  status by country

Country typology
Number of countries
Countries where the CSN  is either complete or  expected to be  completed by
December 1995

(a)The CSN is completed and has been adopted by the Government:


81.   Bolivia,  2. Costa  Rica, 3.  Ghana,  4.  Indonesia, 5.  Mauritius, 6.
Thailand, 7. Turkey, 8. Viet Nam

(b)Final  draft  of  the  CSN  is  being considered  by  the  Government for
approval:


61. Kenya,  2.  Mozambique, 3.  Syrian  Arab  Republic, 4.  Philippines,  5.
Ukraine, 6. Zambia

(c)Preliminary draft of the CSN has been prepared:

71. Chad, 2. Djibouti, 3. Honduras, 4. Namibia,  5. Nicaragua, 6. Niger,  7.
Pakistan

(d)Other countries where  the CSN is  expected to  be completed by  December
1995:




21Countries where the outline of the CSN has  been formulated and the  first
draft is in preparation:

1. Benin, 2. Botswana, 3. Comoros, 4. Ecuador, 5. Sudan

Countries where thematic groups have been  established but the participation
has been limited to United Nations members:

1. Cambodia, 2. El Salvador, 3. Uzbekistan

Countries  with an  agreed  work programme  and  established  joint drafting
committee and/or thematic working groups:

1. Barbados, 2. Bolivia,  3. Burkina Faso,  4. Cote d'Ivoire, 5. Gambia,  6.
Jordan, 7.  Lebanon, 8. Malawi, 9. Maldives, 10. Mauritania, 11. Republic of
Moldova,
12. United Republic of Tanzania, 13. Zimbabwe

 Subtotal ((a) to (d))
42Countries where the CSN process is at an initial stage:
44
1. Angola, 2. Armenia, 3. Azerbaijan, 4. Belarus,  5. Brazil, 6. Burundi, 7.
Cameroon,  8.  Cape Verde,  9.  Central  African  Republic,  10. Chile,  11.
Colombia, 12.  Dominican Republic,  13. Egypt,  14.  Equatorial Guinea,  15.
Fiji, 16. Gabon, 17. Guatemala, 18.  Guinea-Bissau, 19. Guyana, 20. Jamaica,
21.  Lao  People's Democratic  Republic, 22.  Lesotho,  23. Madagascar,  24.
Mali, 25. Mexico, 26.  Mongolia, 27. Morocco,  28. Nigeria, 29. Panama,  30.
Papua New Guinea, 31.  Paraguay, 32. Samoa, 33.  Sao Tome and  Principe, 34.
Senegal, 35. Sierra Leone,  36. South Africa,  37. Sri Lanka, 38. Togo,  39.
Trinidad and Tobago, 40. Tunisia, 41. Uganda, 42. Venezuela, 43. Yemen,  44.
Zaire

TOTAL NUMBER OF COUNTRIES WHERE THE CSN IS ACTIVE

86Countries where the Government does not intend to pursue the CSN:

61.  Bhutan, 2. Cuba,  3. Democratic  People's Republic of  Korea, 4. Libyan
Arab Jamahiriya, 5. Saudi Arabia, 6. Uruguay

Countries where the Government has not made a final decision on the CSN:

39
1.  Afghanistan,  2. Albania,  3.  Algeria,  4.  Argentina,  5. Bahrain,  6.
Bangladesh, 7. Bulgaria,  8. China, 9. Congo,  10. Cyprus, 11.  Eritrea, 12.
Estonia, 13.  Ethiopia, 14. Guinea, 15. Haiti, 16. India,  17. Iran (Islamic
Republic  of), 18.  Iraq, 19.  Kazakstan,  20.  Kuwait, 21.  Kyrgyzstan, 22.
Latvia, 23.  Liberia, 24. Lithuania, 25.  Malaysia, 26.  Myanmar, 27. Nepal,
28. Peru,  29. Poland, 30.  Qatar, 31. Republic  of Korea,  32. Romania, 33.
Russian Federation, 34. Rwanda, 35. Somalia,  36. Swaziland, 37. United Arab
Emirates, 38. Tajikistan, 39. Turkmenistan

TOTAL NUMBER OF COUNTRIES ON WHICH INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE
131

The process

43.   Most Governments  of the 85 countries  where the CSN process  is under
some stage  of  implementation took  the decision  to start  the process  in
1993.    One  third  made their  decision  in  1994,  and  a  few  in  1995.
Experience shows  that  the process  requires  a  period of  preparation  to
ensure  broad and  effective participation  of  all  concerned.   After this
initial  period,  the preparation  of  the  CSN is  now  accelerating.    In
addition to the 7  countries where the CSN  has been completed  and adopted,
and another group of 6 countries where a final draft has  been submitted for
approval  to the Government, there  are at least  another 29 countries where
the joint  teams (Government/United Nations  system) are  at present working
intensively,  either to  finalize the  various  sections  or to  prepare the
first  comprehensive  draft  of  the  CSN.    In  these  countries, sectoral
workshops are  being held  and background documents prepared  and discussed.
It can  therefore be  expected that  the final  drafts of the  CSNs will  be
available in those countries before the end of 1995.

44.  Effective information-sharing, including information from  headquarters
to the country level,  on the purpose, value and  nature of the  CSN process
is seen as crucial for launching this new initiative. 

Support to the process

45.   Representatives  of the organizations of  the United Nations system at
the  national level received  information on  the CSN  from various sources:
in addition to  the instructions received from the respective  headquarters,
workshops were  conducted with the participation  of all  the United Nations
organizations represented  in the country.   Care was  taken to  explain the
purpose and the added value to  senior national officials through workshops,
seminars, conferences  and meetings with the  senior officials  in charge of
external  assistance.   Some  national  workshops were  organized  with  the
support of the International Training Centre of the  ILO at Turin, and  with
the substantive support of  the United Nations  in a number of countries  in
Africa and  Asia.  Further workshops  are  scheduled  in several  countries.
Other initiatives  were carried out locally  by the country  representatives
of the United Nations system and the Government.

46.  The  most frequent modality adopted for  the preparation of the CSN  is
the  establishment  of  thematic working  groups,  normally  with  the joint
participation   of   government   officials   and   United   Nations  system
representatives.  In some cases, the leadership of  working groups is in the
hands of a  Government official  or is co-chaired  by a government  official
and  a United Nations  system official.  In other  cases, representatives of
various United Nations system
organizations chair thematic  working groups under the resident  coordinator
system, taking  assignments according  to their  organization's mandate  and
competence.   In  some cases,  the  working  committees function  under  the

authority  of  a  steering  committee  or  a  joint  task  force,  with  the
government officials charged  with coordinating external assistance.   These
working groups  collect basic documentation,  carry out situation  analyses,
prepare   discussion  papers,   formulate  outlines,  draft   documents  and
contribute  to the  finalization of  the CSN.   In  a number  of  countries,
resident  coordinators  established  thematic  working groups  and  prepared
preliminary background documentation.  In order  to ensure the leading  role
of  the  Government in  the entire  process,  it  became necessary,  in some
cases, to extend the preparatory phase. 

47.  Care was  taken to use existing mechanisms whenever available.  In some
cases, tasks  were entrusted to national  consultants working  with both the
Government and the various United Nations system organizations.

48.  Experience shows that the drafting of the CSN  can be complex and time-
consuming, because it involves  many organizations and  officials.  Attempts
were made  to simplify this task  by engaging consultants  in charge of  the
preparation  of preliminary versions  of the  CSN.   Although this sometimes
accelerated the process, this  result has been at  the expense in some cases
of full participation  of government officials  and/or United Nations system
officials.  There are examples of countries that  are proceeding at a  lower
speed but which achieve a fuller participation of all concerned.

49.   The reasons  given by  the six  Governments that  have decided not  to
launch the  CSN  process differ.    The CSN  is  either  seen as  not  being
applicable to their countries, or a  similar, national development  strategy
already  exists.  Moreover,  the CSN  is  not  perceived by  some  of  these
countries  as generating  significant  additional benefits  beyond  existing
planning tools.

50.   The  lack  of  human resources  available  in  the public  sector  was
indicated  by one  Government as  a  reason for  not starting  the  process.
While the use of external consultants or greater  reliance on the support of
United Nations  system organizations can  mitigate these constraints,  these
measures  were  considered  as  a  potential   abdication  of  the  required
leadership of the process by the Government.

51.  In  some cases, alternative exercises started  with the support of  the
United  Nations system  - for  example,  the national  technical cooperation
assessments  and programmes  (NaTCAP)  -  were  given as  a  reason for  not
proceeding.  In some countries, the CSN has been accepted in principle,  but
its actual start has been delayed until other exercises  could be finalized.
In these  cases, the following competing  exercises were  mentioned:  NaTCAP
(promoted with  UNDP support),  the country  assistance  strategy (with  the
World Bank)  and national  schemes of  development policies.   Although  the
need to harmonize the CSN and  these exercises involves delays, this appears
justified.  Governments  and United  Nations country teams have  recommended
that a  coordinated methodology should  be introduced as  a bridge to  these
similar exercises, particularly the NaTCAP and CSN processes.

52.   A view  voiced by  some resident  coordinators in  countries where  an
official answer on the  CSN is still pending  is that the Government remains
indifferent towards  the concept.   This is  also the  situation in  several
countries that have officially  accepted the CSN but  have not yet  given it
the required  support.   It  should be  pointed out  that this  indifference
seems limited to countries  where per capita income  is relatively high, and
the role of the United Nations system as  a provider of development  support
is  small in financial  terms.   A considerable  number of  other countries,
particularly  the least  developed countries  in  Africa, have  expressed  a
stronger interest in the potential contribution  that this tool can provide,
especially at a time of declining ODA.

National leadership in the CSN process

53.   Effective  national leadership  is  essential to  the success  of  the
process  and  for  ensuring  the   authoritative  nature  of  the  resulting

document.  Experience acquired  so far shows  that in the great majority  of
cases a  significant role  was played  by  national authorities  in the  CSN
process.  Data on  national roles show that in  78 per cent of the countries
in  Africa, 64 per  cent in Asia and  40 per cent in  Latin America, the CSN
involves  different   levels  of   officials,  from   the  political   level
(ministerial)  to   the  technical  level,   the  latter  including   either
coordinating authorities  or sectoral ministries.   National involvement  in
the process also includes non-governmental components,  such as the  private
sector,  private  voluntary  organizations,  academic  groups  and   special
purpose organizations.

Participation of the organizations of the  United Nations system and support
to the CSN process

54.   The involvement of the  entire United Nations system in  all phases of
the CSN process is  considered essential to ensure  their full support to it
as  a frame  of  reference for  their main  activities.   Some  concern  was
expressed that in some instances  advice and inputs from  the various United
Nations  system partners  were not  always obtained  from  the start  of the
process but only after a first draft had been prepared.

55.   Fifty-one  responses from  the resident  coordinator  system confirmed
that adequate support to  the CSN process was  provided by the organizations
of the United Nations system, whereas in 12  countries where the CSN process
had started, limited involvement by United Nations organizations was noted.

Regional dimension

56.    Regional  commissions  and several  smaller  technical  agencies have
underlined the need  to assess the experience  gained in the  preparation of
CSNs  in  order to  identify  regional  dimensions  that  have not  received
sufficient attention so  far. It is important, in  their view, that the  CSN
be used as a tool  to give national authorities access  to the potential  of
some of the more specialized agencies,  using a regional perspective  rather
than being  limited to a purely country  approach.  Given  the nature of the
CSN  as  a  country  level  tool,  some  issues   that  relate  to  regional
cooperation may not have received adequate consideration.

CSNs and United Nations system programmes

57.    The  CSN  process  affects  some  aspects  of  United  Nations system
programmes and activities  in a country  by providing a  strategic frame  of
reference.  Thus, 44 per cent of the resident coordinator responses  confirm
that the CSN  process provides a frame of  reference for the formulation  of
new programmes. Twenty-two per  cent of the responses  indicate that the CSN
provides a frame of reference on the occasion of mid-term  reviews.  Only 11
per cent  of  responses indicate  that  amendments  to the  current  country
programmes and other activities  now under way result from the CSN  process.
Of  the 41 countries where the  CSN has been  completed or is expected to be
completed by  the  end  of 1995,  the programming  cycles  are either  fully
harmonized  or are  planned for  the near  future  in  31 countries  (76 per
cent).

The value of the CSN

58.  Given the early stage  of the implementation of the CSN process in many
countries, the assessment of its full value is  not possible.  However,  the
experience gained so far suggests  that the success of the CSN depends, to a
large  extent,   on  the   interest  and  involvement   shown  by   national
authorities.  Furthermore,  the  CSN  appears  to  be  more  central  to the
concerns  of the  United Nations  funds and  programmes, as compared  to the
specialized agencies of the United Nations system.

59.   Many recipient  Governments, especially  in Latin  America and Africa,
expressed  the  view that  the  CSN  is a  valuable  tool  for  coordinating
external  aid;  it  also  serves  as a  reference  document  for  all  donor

agencies.  One country  even indicated that  the CSN specifically should  be
part of  the national programme of  technical cooperation.   A few countries
highlighted the  potential  value  of  the  CSN  as  a  vehicle  for  closer
collaboration  between  the  United Nations  system  and  the  Bretton Woods
institutions.    None the  less, another  country stressed  that the  CSN is
primarily focused on  United Nations assistance to the country, and while it
is a  useful framework document for all aid agencies, it  is not intended to
serve  as a basis  for the assistance  programmes of  all external agencies.
Similarly,  a  few  countries indicated  that  the  CSN  duplicated  ongoing
planning  and  prioritization efforts  within their  own Governments.   Some
recipient Governments  expressed the view that  the CSN  does not contribute
to additional  resource  mobilization nor  does  it  directly add  value  to
existing modalities.

 60.   Some  donor countries  have expressed  their concern  about the  slow
introduction  of the CSN.   Therefore, these donors  suggest that efforts be
made to  assist the  countries that have  already decided to  start the  CSN
process in order to facilitate the preparation and speed up its completion.

61.   The  responses of  resident  coordinators  and United  Nations  system
colleagues contain the following suggestions:

  (a)  Forty-nine  per cent suggest modifying the  CSN so that it can  refer
to the level  of financial resources  made available  by the United  Nations
system  to a country, consistent with the rules  of the respective governing
bodies.  This view is particularly supported by responses from Africa  (64.4
per cent) and Eastern Europe (62.5 per cent),  whereas it corresponds to  50
per cent of the response from  Latin America and only 23.5 per cent of those
in Asia;

  (b)  Better relating the  CSN process to the activities of the World  Bank
and IMF is mentioned in 40 per cent of the responses - 51 per cent of  those
from Africa, 50 per cent of those from Eastern Europe, 40 per  cent of those
from Latin America, but only 21 per cent of those from Asia;

  (c)   Of the responding  resident coordinators 36.7  per cent  support the
idea of  modifying the  CSN so  that it can  better describe the  links with
existing   programmes   and  projects   of   the   United   Nations   system
organizations.   This especially  reflects the  views of  those from  Africa
(46.7 per cent) and from Eastern  Europe (50 per cent), whereas  30 per cent
of  those from Latin America and  23.5 per cent of those  from Asia conveyed
this view;

  (d)  The idea of  relating the CSN to all external assistance, and not  to
the United  Nations components  only, is  supported by  22 per  cent of  the
resident coordinators.

62.  Suggestions to improve  the quality of the CSN as  a document and  as a
process  were formulated  by other  resident coordinators.    Some expressed
concern about the  fact that the CSN is  a government document, which  means
that the pace  of preparation is  subject to  the degree  of commitment  and
available resources. On the other hand,  according to several United Nations
organizations, the  CSN process is seen  as not  reflecting sufficiently the
country's priorities  because it is overly  driven by resident  coordinators
and, in some cases, by UNDP priorities. 

63.  Some United Nations system  organizations have expressed the  view that
the scope of  the CSN  should be  extended to include  other areas, such  as
relief, rehabilitation,  reconstruction and  the work of  the Bretton  Woods
institutions. In  their view,  the substantive participation of  many United
Nations  system  organizations  in  the  preparatory  process  needs  to  be
significantly strengthened.

64.  Views have  been requested from the  resident coordinator system in all
recipient  countries on the value of the CSN process to date.  The responses
indicate the following:

   (a)  Seventy-three per  cent indicate that the CSN process establishes an
effective strategic  framework  for  United Nations  system support  at  the
country level in harmony with national priorities;

  (b)  Sixty-three per  cent support the view that the CSN process  enhances
substantive  consultation between  the  Government and  the  United  Nations
system and among the organizations of the system on issues of priorities;

  (c)  Fifty-seven  per cent indicate  that the CSN  process can  strengthen
the Government's capacity to coordinate United Nations system support;

  (d)  Fifty-six per  cent confirm that the CSN enhances the complementarity
of country programmes of the United Nations system.

65.   There is  a broad recognition,  both among  Member States  and in  the
United  Nations system, that  the concept of the  CSN represents a promising
new  development  for better  and  more  coordinated  United Nations  system
operational  activities  in  support  of  national  plans,  strategies   and
priorities.  Donor countries expressed the  expectation that the CSN  should
become an important  instrument in achieving better relevance,  coordination
and impact of United Nations  system operational activities.   Organizations
of  the United  Nations  system  welcome the  formulation  of the  CSN as  a
strategic  tool   to  harmonize  national   priorities  with  the   system's
comparative advantage.


2.  Harmonization of programming cycles

66.  In paragraph 10  of resolution 47/199, the  General Assembly reaffirmed
that  funds and  programmes of  the  United  Nations should  harmonize their
cycles and adapt them  to national budget cycles, plans and strategies.  The
Joint  Consultative  Group on  Policy's  (JCGP)  Subgroup  on  Harmonization
guides the  implementation of this provision through regional working groups
headed by a designated  agency (UNDP for Africa,  UNICEF for Asia, UNFPA for
Latin America and the Middle East).

67.   As part  of the process  of implementing  General Assembly  resolution
47/199, the  executive heads of the  three JCGP  member organizations (UNDP,
UNICEF and UNFPA)  sent a joint letter to all resident coordinators, country
directors and representatives on steps to  be taken to achieve harmonization
of  programme  cycles.    To  harmonize  programming  cycles  in  Africa, an
additional memorandum, co-signed by UNFPA and  UNICEF and UNDP, was  issued,
requesting  their  representatives  in  Africa  to  reach  agreement on  the
preferred timing for harmonization.

68.   As reported  to the  Economic and  Social Council  at its  substantive
session of  1994, "there  is now  a plan  in place on  the harmonization  of
programming cycles for all countries except  where local conditions are  not
conducive to  such an approach.   It will be implemented  with the start  of
the new programme cycles"  (E/1994/64, para. 21).  The latest status of  the
harmonization of programme cycles is given in table 5 below.

               Table 5.  Status of harmonization of programme cycles
                         by region





Region
List A
(Countries with fully harmonized cycles)
List B
(Countries where harmonization will occur by 1999)
List C
(Countries where harmonization is possible)

List D
(Special cases)Africa
12
16
16
2Asia
9
7
3
4Latin America and the Caribbean


4


16


2


1Middle East and Northern Africa


2


6


3


1Total (all regions combined)


27 (25%)


45 (43%)


24 (25%)


8 (7%)

69.    Working  groups  composed   of  representatives  of   the  geographic
sections/bureaux  of the three organizations are monitoring  the process and
have  proposed  steps  to  coordinate  and  expedite  harmonization.    Four
categories of countries have emerged  for each region:   (i) countries which
have  already achieved  harmonization of  programme cycles;  (ii)  countries
where  harmonization is  agreed upon  for  the  next cycle;  (iii) countries
where  harmonization   is  possible;  (iv)   special  cases  consisting   of
essentially  emergency-type   countries  which   are  unlikely  to   achieve
harmonization in the near  future.  Available information  shows that 80 per
cent of the countries have either  already harmonized their programme cycles
or expect to do so in preparing the next programme.


3.  Programme approach

Background

70.   In reporting  to the Economic  and Social Council  at its  substantive
sessions  of  1993  and  1994  on  the  implementation  of  General Assembly

resolution 47/199, detailed  information was provided on the  implementation
of the  programme approach by the  United Nations system  in accordance with
the provisions of the resolution.

71.  In 1993, the results of the CCPOQ agreement on a common  interpretation
of the  programme approach were transmitted  to the  Council (see E/1993/73,
paras.  37-41  and  annex  III).    Annex III  contained  an  agreed  set of
definitions of the programme approach.  The  following year, progress in the
application of the common interpretation at  the country level was reported,
including that  made in  developing a common  understanding of  how best  to
conduct  monitoring  and evaluation  under  this  approach  (see  E/1994/64,
paras. 22-45).   In  this connection,  the report  stated that  "there is  a
strong commitment  at all levels to  using the programme  approach; there is
agreement on the basic principles for its application  at the country level;
there is  an emergence of  a programme approach  logic, which coexists  with
the   adoption  of   the   project  modality,   particularly   among   those
organizations that have  recently adopted this  approach; a  more systematic
and widespread use  of the programme  approach is  taking place  by using  a
variety of techniques; when effectively applied,  the approach has proved to
be  a  useful  tool  in  improving  substantive collaboration  among  United
Nations system  organizations" (E/1994/64, para. 23).   It  was also pointed
out  that further steps  needed to  be taken to achieve  further progress at
the country level.

72.  The core  of the programme approach implies  the use of  external funds
in a form that  is best suited to supporting national programme  objectives.
United  Nations system  support should  be  merged  with national  and other
external support, no longer structured in  separate projects but targeted to
national objectives.    These and  related  concepts  were reviewed  in  the
above-mentioned report, and  they command  broad support  within the  United
Nations system.  It  is a modality  which facilitates support by the  United
Nations system to upstream activities.

Status

73.   The current review provides  additional insights  into the utilization
of this approach.  Responses to  the resident coordinator questionnaire show
that concerning a  common understanding  of the concept among  organizations
of the United Nations system and Governments at  the country level nearly 55
per cent of the  respondents consider there to be difficulties in this area.
It is therefore  understandable that almost 80  per cent of  the respondents
recommend that training for government officials  should be promoted to help
disseminate the  concept and  methodologies  of the  programme approach  and
that  70  per  cent of  respondents  call for  similar  training for  United
Nations system  personnel. Fifty-four per cent  of respondents suggest  that
clearer  and  better  coordinated  guidelines  should  be  developed.    The
majority of  responses indicate that  the use of  the programme  approach is
growing rapidly,  and almost  the same number  indicate that  it is  growing
moderately.   A  much smaller  number  indicate  that organizations  are not
using the approach at the country level.

74.  Given  the variety of operational  contexts, the programme  approach is
being applied in different forms.  Forty-one per cent of the responses  from
the  resident  coordinator  system  express  the  view  that  the  programme
approach  is  used  in  reference  to  broadly  defined  global  development
policies or strategies, consisting of loosely  linked projects that are  not
fully integrated  into programmes.  Fifty-seven  per cent  indicate that the
programme  approach  involves participation  in  national  programmes,  with
national  objectives,  time-bound  targets,  and  groups  of  projects   and
activities  to  achieve  them.  Thirty-nine  per  cent  of  the  respondents
indicate that  the implementation of the  approach is  done through umbrella
projects or clusters of projects, by  regrouping individual projects under a
common framework.

 75.  In assessing  the results achieved through the programme approach,  64
per cent of respondents said that as a  consequence of the approach,  United

Nations  system  organizations   are  increasingly  involved   in  providing
strategy advice, aid coordination, and upstream  policy support and that the
orientations of United Nations country  operations are being  streamlined to
better  address  development  objectives.       Fifty-seven   per  cent   of
respondents consider  that collections of isolated  projects are giving  way
to new,  comprehensive approaches as  a result of  the use  of the programme
approach.  Another 38  per cent report  that programming of new and  current
activities are being assessed for their  impacts on development rather  than
for  the inputs made into  these activities (control of  disbursements) as a
benefit arising from the  approach.  Twenty-two per cent find that  resource
allocations respond  more easily to  changing conditions as a  result of the
greater  flexibility in  financial  management ensuing  from  the  programme
approach.

76.    When  asked  whether  monitoring  and  evaluation  presented  special
problems  in implementing the  programme approach,  60 per  cent answered in
the negative, while 22  per cent noted that it  was sometimes a problem.  As
concerns  arrangements made  for  monitoring  and evaluation,  44  per  cent
indicated  that the  Government made  use of  the  procedures of  the United
Nations  system  organizations,  while  under  20  per  cent  reported  that
national  efforts were under  way to  establish a  monitoring and evaluation
approach in this area.

77.   Eighty-four responses  revealed that  increased field  capacity of the
United  Nations system organizations  is required  to introduce the approach
effectively (34 in  Africa, 24 in Asia, 18 in Latin America and  the rest in
other parts).

Assessment

78.   There is  a widely  held view within  the United  Nations system  that
significant  progress  has been  made  by  the  system  in implementing  the
programme approach.   The  guidelines formulated by CCPOQ  mentioned earlier
have been  made available to the system  as a frame of reference.  Given the
diversity of  mandates  and the  variety  of  country-level activities,  the
operational interpretations of the approach and  of the guidelines can vary.
Some  United  Nations  system  organizations agree  with  reports  from  the
countries that  there is  a need  for more  practical guidelines  on how  to
adopt and apply  the programme approach.   Furthermore, the need for greater
clarity and consistency in what constitutes  a "national programme" in  this
approach has been noted by some.

79.   In other words,  the United Nations  system has prepared  "programmes"
instead of "projects", but  these have not yet been, as contemplated in  the
programme approach,  fully transformed into specific  elements of or  inputs
into   coherent  national   programmes  that   are  owned  and   managed  by
Governments.    General Assembly  resolution  47/199  envisages  that  where
Governments do  not have such programmes,  the United  Nations system should
help  to formulate  them.   Accordingly, in some  cases, the  United Nations
system has proceeded to support the formulation of such programmes.

80.  UNDP has,  in many countries, made significant advances in shifting the
bulk  of  its  resources  from  numerous   small  projects  into  far  fewer
programmes  under  its  country  programmes.    This  shift  has  also  been
influenced by the decision  of the Executive Board of UNDP, in the framework
of sustainable  human  development,  to concentrate  its resources  on  four
areas:   (i) poverty  eradication; (ii)  environment; (iii)  women; and (iv)
job creation.

81.   It  is the  policy of  UNICEF  that  all of  its assistance  should be
provided through  the programme approach.   Virtually all  of its programmes
have been evaluated, reinforcing its conviction  that the programme approach
is  the most  effective  and  sustainable method  of  providing  development
assistance.  All inputs are jointly identified and determined  by UNICEF and
the Government within the programme preparation  cycle, which is the primary
strength of the programme approach. 

82.   WFP  has  formulated  specific proposals  to  shift from  the  current
project approach  to a  programme approach  and  the Committee  on Food  Aid
Policies  and Programmes,  at its  session  in  December 1994,  endorsed, in
principle, the  gradual introduction  of the  programme approach,  beginning
with a  limited number of programmes  to be submitted  to the Committee  for
Food Aid (CFA)  in November 1995. UNFPA has communicated instructions to its
country support teams to  extend the programme approach; additional step-by-
step practical procedures  will shortly be sent to  all field offices.   The
general attitude  of the specialized agencies  is that,  although they fully
subscribe to the concepts and underpinnings  of the programme approach,  its
actual implementation  is largely governed by  the fact that, in some cases,
such as UNESCO, the  bulk of the resources  for operational activities (over
90  per  cent)  come  from  extrabudgetary  sources  and  are  thus  heavily
influenced by the policies of the funding body.  

83.    Concerning  the   evaluation  of  programmes  formulated  under  this
approach, many organizations  and agencies indicate  that it is too  soon to
make such  an evaluation, as  the programmes are  largely in  the process of
being formulated  or are  in an  initial stage  of implementation.   In  its
guidelines  on the  programme approach,  UNDP has  introduced principles for
monitoring and evaluation, which have been  used by the Inter-Agency Working
Group on  Evaluation and  subsequently endorsed  by CCPOQ.   United  Nations
system  organizations have also  made efforts  to increase the  use of local
resources,  expertise  and   capacities  in  the  delivery  of   operational
activities, particularly through  modalities such as the programme  approach
and national  execution.   FAO suggests that  more efforts  are required  to
utilize  the experience  of agencies  systematically  in the  evaluation  of
programmes, which should be built into the design and approval stages.

84.    Smaller  specialized  agencies  such  as  the  International Maritime
Organization (IMO) and  the International Telecommunication Union (ITU)  and
organizations such as the International Trade  Centre (ITC) have pointed out
that the  programme approach tends  to focus on broad  thematic issues while
they  are  more concerned  with  the  development  of  policy and  technical
options in  highly focused  subsectoral issues  and  that assistance  should
remain  flexible to meet needs in specific areas.   The International Atomic
Energy  Agency  (IAEA)  has  introduced  new  programming  modalities   that
incorporate characteristics of the programme approach and sustainable  human
development objectives in 12 "model  projects", which were first implemented
in 1994.  The 1995-1996  programme includes an additional  11 model projects
that demonstrate the  variety of socio-economic benefits from  nuclear-based
technology in national development.

 85.   Most Governments  have welcomed  the shift  from the  project to  the
programme approach as a  means of bringing about  a greater concentration of
resources  on a few  priority programmes.   Some  Governments have expressed
the  view that, while  they fully  subscribe to  the programme  approach and
national execution, these modalities should not  be applied rigidly and that
decisions  should  be  taken  on  a  case-by-case   basis,  the  overarching
objective being  to obtain  optimum results.  Furthermore, some  Governments
and  some  United  Nations  agencies,  particularly  the  smaller  technical
agencies, have also expressed  concern that the programme approach, designed
to  bring about  greater focus  and  to  bring different  elements together,
should not lead to the neglect of specialized  sectors.  Activities in  such
areas, by  their very  nature, can be  better implemented through  a smaller
and more sharply focused "project approach".   Given sufficient resources it
appears  possible  to integrate  such  specialized  inputs within  a broader
programme approach.

86.  Donor Governments have indicated  that the programme approach  modality
is a  central  instrument  in  focusing United  Nations  system  development
activities on  critical areas, helping to  facilitate a  clearer division of
roles  and   the  integration  of   development  activities  into   national
development  programmes.  There is  therefore  a  need  to  ensure the  full
realization of the  programme approach as a  true change in programming  and
implementation  of operational  activities; this  should involve  more  than

merely a clustering of individual projects.   Donor Governments place stress
on  the  fact  that  the  programme   approach  is  closely  linked  to  the
preparation of the CSN.

87.   Donor  Governments express  support for greater  use of  the programme
approach, as a means  of ensuring that the  inputs of United  Nations bodies
are better integrated into national programmes.   Ideally, this should  also
involve other donors, both bilateral and  multilateral.  According to  these
Governments the use of the programme approach can  help improve the focus of
many  United  Nations  system  programmes  and  can  overcome  the  lack  of
coordination and  the overlap of projects  and programmes.  They stress that
emphasis should be placed  on effective guidelines and  training to ensure a
full  and common  understanding and  application of  the  programme approach
concept.

88.   The country review missions have confirmed that the programme approach
has begun to take hold.  It has  yet to be fully implemented in  many of the
countries visited, usually because adoption of  such an approach takes  some
time,  and because many  agency programmes have  already been  approved.  In
one  country,  the  Government  has  systematically  adopted  the  programme
approach  in managing  the  international development  cooperation  that  it
receives, employing  the  United  Nations system's  conceptual  methodology.
Integrated national programmes  have been formulated around clearly  defined
target groups  and priorities.   In  another case,  that approach  helped to
integrate  a   multiplicity  of  agricultural   projects  in  a   harmonized
framework; in another, it provided a global framework within which both  the
Government's action and the support from  the donors to strengthen  economic
management were consistently rationalized.
 
89.  The country  missions found that the  introduction of the  approach had
not  yet led to  greater cooperation  within the United Nations  system.  It
was found that  there still existed a  need for further technical  expertise
that was essential for  greater use of the  programme approach at  the local
level.    In  some  countries,  the  missions  and  responses  from resident
coordinators indicated  that the United Nations  system had  not yet arrived
at a  full common  understanding. Some  United Nations  system agency  field
staff  were  critical  of  the  lack   of  practical  guidance  from   their
headquarters on issues such as the programme approach. 


4.  National execution

Background and status

90.  In  reporting to the  Economic and  Social Council  at its  substantive
sessions  of  1993  and  1994  on  the  implementation  of  General Assembly
resolution  47/199, a  considerable  amount of  information was  provided on
national  execution.   In 1993,  the results  of  the  CCPOQ agreement  on a
common  framework for  national execution  were transmitted  to  the Council
(see E/1993/73, paras. 42-47  and annex IV).  In 1994, progress in  adopting
the  modality  of  national  execution  was  reported  to  the  Council (see
E/1994/64, paras.  22-45).  The report  pointed out  that the implementation
of national execution by  the United Nations system, in terms of the  common
interpretation formulated by  CCPOQ, was characterized by broad  acceptance,
although there  were wide  disparities in extent  (5-100 per cent)  and wide
disparities  in  approaches.    Since  then,  there  have  been  significant
developments  and  more  information  on  the  trends  in  and  processes of
national execution, particularly for UNDP and UNFPA.

91.   There is now an increasing body of experience and evidence with regard
to  the practice and  performance of  national execution.   Some preliminary
efforts have  been made  to survey  and collate  such experience,  including
missions  to  selected  countries by  the  United  Nations;  United  Nations
questionnaires and  responses from Governments  and United Nations  resident
coordinators; surveys conducted  by UNDP, especially on national  execution;
the report of the  Joint Inspection Unit of  the United Nations  on national

execution;  and the  observations of  the United Nations  system specialized
agencies. 

92.   The  adoption of  national  execution  for United  Nations operational
activities has resulted  in a significant change in  the role of UNDP  (and,
to a  lesser extent, of  UNFPA), which  has in the past  primarily relied on
United  Nations   system  agencies  to   undertake  project  and   programme
execution, a function now being transferred  to government entities.  UNICEF
and WFP  have in any  case already conformed  to the  definition of national
execution and  established long-standing  implementation relationships  with
Governments,  so that their  practices have  not changed  in any appreciable
degree  in recent  years.   The  specialized  agencies have  maintained that
their  activities  conform  in  practice  to  the   definition  of  national
execution  as  laid  down  in  the   common  framework,  and  that   overall
responsibility  and  accountability   for  formulation  and   management  of
programmes  are  with  Governments.    They  have  supported Governments  in
establishing implementation  arrangements through  technical and  managerial
inputs, utilizing  local technical  resources extensively.   The World  Bank
also conforms generally to the common framework for national execution.

93.  Available statistics indicate  that national execution  is increasingly
becoming  the norm  in  implementing operational  activities  of  the United
Nations  system.    A  significant  change  in  the  magnitude  of resources
channelled through  projects and programmes that are nationally executed can
be observed.  As  to UNDP, in 1990  resident coordinators  in a total of  60
countries indicated that  20 per cent or  less of resources were  channelled
through nationally  executed projects  and programmes, and  in 19  countries
there  was no  national execution  at all.   As  to UNFPA,  of  68 reporting
countries in  1990, 32  countries channelled 20  per cent or  less of  their
resources through  nationally executed projects,  and 20  of those countries
had no national  execution at all.  Only  24 countries reported that 50  per
cent or more of their projects were being nationally executed. 

94.  That situation  has changed significantly:   by 1994, UNDP could report
that of 95  reporting countries only  24 countries  channelled less than  20
per cent  of  their  resources through national  execution and  18 countries
had  a share  of between 20  and 50  per cent.   In 50 countries  that share
exceeded 50 per cent  and in 18  of those countries it exceeded 80  per cent
national  execution.   UNFPA reported  that  of  74 reporting  countries, 31
countries were  adopting national execution  for over  80 per cent  of their
projects and  13  of those  countries  had  adopted  100 per  cent  national
execution.  In  another 13 countries,  the share of  national execution  was
between  50 and 80  per cent; only in  17 countries was it  less than 20 per
cent.

95.   When the  1994 figures  for  least developed  countries and  non-least
developed countries are considered separately and  on a regional basis, some
important  variations  appear.   For  UNDP  in  1994,  the  figures  for  30
reporting  least developed  countries were  as follows:   below 20  per cent
national execution, 10 countries; 20 to 50 per cent, 11 countries; above  50
per cent,  9 countries. For non-least developed countries, the corresponding
figures  were:   below  20  per cent,  14 countries;  20 to  50 per  cent, 8
countries; above 50  per cent, 43  countries.   While only one third  of the
least developed countries reported over 50  per cent national execution, two
thirds of  the  non-least developed  countries  reported  that level.    For
UNFPA,  11  of  27  least  developed  countries reported  over  50  per cent
national execution,  while 31 of  47 non-least  developed countries reported
that level, a ratio that closely resembles the UNDP ratio.

96.  For  UNDP, in 1994 less than  50 per cent  of resources were channelled
through national execution in  20 of 40 reporting countries in Africa, 19 of
28  countries  in  Asia, 1  of 19  countries  in Latin  America and  3  of 6
countries  in Eastern  Europe.   The Asian  region,  in  terms of  number of
countries, appears to be  the lowest on the  scale of national execution and
Latin  America has a significant lead  over the other areas.  For UNFPA, the
corresponding figures are 19 of 33 reporting countries  in Africa, 11 of  22

countries  in Asia,  none in  Latin  America  and 2  out of  5 countries  in
Eastern Europe.  While  the level of national execution in Latin America  is
the highest on the regional scale, it is higher in Asia than in Africa. 

97.  Recent  analysis by UNDP also attests  to the significant changes  that
have occurred.  In 1983,  the share of national execution in the total value
of approvals was  about 10 per  cent; by  1990, it was  nearly 25 per  cent.
That share  increased still further  to nearly 44 per cent  in 1991 and over
50 per cent in 1992 and 1993.   Looking only at country  indicative planning
figures,  the share of  national execution  as a percentage of  the value of
approvals increased from 4.5 per cent  in 1982 and 18 per cent in 1986 to 30
per cent in 1990, 53 per cent  in 1991, 73 per cent in  1992 and 77 per cent
in 1993.   In 1993, of the  number of projects approved (nearly 800), 76 per
cent were nationally executed.   Approvals in terms of the value and  number
of projects have moved in conformity towards greater national execution.

98.  What is  abundantly clear is the diversity in the practices  associated
with national  execution.   Country-specific arrangements  have emerged  and
there  is a healthy  lack of standardization, enabling country circumstances
to  be  taken into  account.   New  relationships  can  be  observed between
country  offices of  UNDP and  Governments in  the context  of projects  and
programmes that  are  increasingly nationally  executed.    In at  least  28
countries (16 non-least developed countries, 12 least developed  countries),
national  support  services  units  have  been  established  to   facilitate
national execution.  In 80 countries  (55 non-least developed countries,  25
least developed countries) country office support  to entities in charge  of
national execution has been extended. Governments themselves have  developed
varied  arrangements  to  enable  the national  execution  of  projects  and
programmes.  In one country,  for example, there is  a central organization,
the counterpart  agency  of UNDP,  which  also  functions as  the  executing
agency  for all  UNDP  projects  and  programmes  and  assists  implementing
agencies.   In  several other  countries,  there are  central  UNDP-financed
units within  government administrations to  support national execution.  In
still  others,  there  are  varying  kinds  of  central  support  units  and
programme and project support units.

99.  National execution  has led to new functions for the country offices of
UNDP,  undertaken primarily  at the request  of Governments.   Thus, in many
countries both least developed countries and non-least developed  countries,
UNDP  country  offices   provide  necessary  support  to  national   project
directors  in areas  of administrative  and financial  management for  which
those directors remain accountable, resulting in  new types of skills  being
required in  country  offices and  also  resulting  in the  reallocation  of
functions.

100.  While it is  clear that the increasing use  of national execution  for
UNDP-supported  activities has  been primarily  due to  UNDP policy mandates
and the  consequent advocacy of  national execution by  UNDP, there is  also
increasing evidence  that Governments are  committed to national  execution.
Of  109  responses,  50  per  cent  show a  strong  commitment  to  national
execution, which  is strongest in  Latin America  (74 per cent),  Africa (51
per cent) and Asia  (45 per  cent).  The same  degree of commitment was  not
evident in Eastern  Europe, where 43  per cent of  the Governments  surveyed
indicated a  lower level of  commitment.  Responding  to a question  whether
countries  had a systematic  policy for strengthening national execution, 54
per cent of  resident coordinators serving  in non-least developed countries
and 81 per cent from least  developed countries answered in the affirmative.
Most  resident  coordinators  consider  that  some  United  Nations   system
organizations  have  been  actively  promoting  national  execution  through
training and advocacy.

101.   With  the increasing  adoption of  national execution,  the degree of
intensity  of the engagement  of specialized  and technical  agencies of the
United  Nations system in  operational activities  at the  country level has
declined.   In  responding  to  a question  on  the use  of  United  Nations
technical expertise in activities that are  nationally executed, only 15  of

95  resident coordinators  considered it significant.   Fifty other resident
coordinators stated  that some use was  being made of  United Nations system
technical  expertise and  30 stated  that it  was  little  used.   The trend
appears to  be to  obtain the technical  services of  United Nations  system
agencies  more  selectively  through  short-term  expertise  and  to   avoid
managerial and  administrative inputs.   United  Nations system agencies  in
several  instances are  finding it  difficult  to  adjust from  an executing
agency  role  to the  new  situation  of  supporting  the implementation  of
activities on a more selective basis.

102.   The great majority  of the recipient Governments  have indicated that
they would  welcome the  expansion of  the national  execution modality,  as
they  believe  that  national  execution  should   be  the  norm  for  their
operational  activities.  They  consider  that  national  execution  is   an
important  means  by  which  they  can  acquire  expertise  to  manage  more
effectively  development   cooperation  activities.   Most  Governments   of
developing countries have stressed that national execution has  strengthened
capacity-building,  especially in  designing and formulating  programmes and
projects, as well as assembling and managing different inputs. 

103.   Many United  Nations system  agencies have  expressed serious concern
about  the  manner of  implementation  of  programmes  and  projects in  the
context  of national  execution and  the  reduced opportunities  for  making
technical contributions  through system-supported  projects and  programmes.
They are  particularly concerned  with  the pace  of implementation  without
regard to national  capacities, the de-linking of execution,  implementation
and  technical advice,  the  creation  of units  outside  normal  government
structures  that contribute to  the marginalization of United Nations system
agencies,  and the  increasing engagement  of  the  UNDP Office  for Project
Services (OPS).   Smaller technical agencies  feel particularly  left out as
they  have no  field  representation.   They are  also  concerned  about the
involvement of  outside agencies in highly  specialized fields where  United
Nations  system  agencies  have  comparative   advantages  (civil  aviation,
telecommunications,   transportation  and   nuclear   technology)   and  the
limitation  of  opportunities for  developing  countries  to  harness  their
technical capacities.   The capacity to undertake such technical  activities
often requires extensive institutional capacity-strengthening. 

National capacity

104.  National  execution has  led to  greater use  of national  capacities,
especially the  increased use of national experts and national institutional
resources.   Where  national capacities  are weak,  Governments  appreciated
United  Nations system support  to establish  the necessary  capabilities to
carry out  national execution.   A concern none  the less  expressed by some
recipient countries is in  regard to the  need for sustained efforts by  the
United  Nations system  to  establish and  strengthen  systemic  broad-based
national  capacity.    Of  95  responding  resident  coordinators  (30 least
developed countries, 65  non-least developed countries), 51 considered  that
the contribution of  national execution to the  use of national capacity was
significant.   Forty-four  resident  coordinators considered  that  national
execution was making only  some or little contribution.  The reasons for the
varied pattern  of  national capacity  use  cannot  be clearly  established.
Countries higher up on the income scale are  inclined to use such capacities
more than  others.  Many  responses from the field  considered that national
execution  created more  opportunities  for the  use of  national capacities
than agency execution.

105.   While  only  a few  instances  can be  observed  of  non-governmental
entities  executing  projects  and programmes,  there is  evidence  of their
extensive   use  in  various  implementational   roles,  especially  through
subcontracting   arrangements.   According  to   responses   from   resident
coordinators, 90 per  cent of countries  in Latin  America, 83  per cent  in
Africa,  73 per cent in Asia and 43 per cent  in Eastern Europe had utilized
the  services of  non-governmental  organizations to  execute  or  implement
operational  activities.   Some  United  Nations  system agencies  were more

inclined to  utilize  non-governmental  organization services  than  others,
which has more to  do with the sectoral  focus of an  agency, social  sector
agencies  having more  opportunities  to  tap non-governmental  organization
capacities than some others.

Accountability

106.  The increasing adoption of  national execution has major  implications
for the processes of accountability, both financial and substantive.   It is
also a  relatively  new area  for  Governments,  especially with  regard  to
technical cooperation.   Resident coordinators  indicated that about one  in
three  countries  felt  that  the  issue  of  accountability  was adequately
addressed,  while  most  countries  felt  that  it  was  at  least partially
addressed; however, about 15 to 20  per cent felt that it was not adequately
addressed.   The difficulties in  accountability arrangements were  reported
by  resident  coordinators  to  be  primarily  attributable  to a  disparity
between  government  and  United  Nations  system   procedures,  a  lack  of
transparency  in financial accountability, inadequate capacity in accounting
practices  and   excessive  focus  on   financial  instead  of   substantive
accountability.

107.   Current practices in many countries where UNDP country offices assist
national  project directors  with  administrative and  financial  management
proved to  have important  implications for  financial accountability and  a
type  of joint  responsibility, particularly  when Governments  and  country
offices  had developed  mechanisms to  facilitate financial  accounting  and
reporting.  In  many countries, substantive accountability has been  lacking
and  prevailing mechanisms  to ensure  substantive accountability,  such  as
tripartite reviews and  programme review  committees, are seen as  primarily
concerned  with  administrative and  managerial  issues  and  provisions  of
inputs.
 
108.   Many types of difficulties in national execution have been identified
in the  country responses to the questionnaire.  While 9 out of 10 responses
from resident coordinators from Africa, Asia  and Eastern Europe encountered
difficulties,  only  1  in  2  respondents   from  Latin  America  had  such
difficulties. Among the difficulties reported by resident coordinators  are:
constraints due  to national capacity  (65); accountability (52);  financial
rules and  audit (50);  complexity of  United Nations  rules and  procedures
(49); government policy towards  national execution (29)  and inadequacy  of
guidelines  for  national  execution  (20).    Many  of  the  109  reporting
countries  identified  more  than  one  difficulty.   Two  thirds  indicated
specifically that the diversity and complexity  of the rules and  procedures
of United Nations organizations were a source of difficulty. 
  109.   In  conclusion,  national  execution is  now becoming  the  norm in
United Nations  system technical cooperation,  with agency execution  having
diminished and becoming the exception in most countries.  There are still  a
few  countries in  which  UNDP-supported activities  are  mainly  undertaken
through  agency execution.    The  qualitative  aspects  involved  in  these
changes cannot be  judged adequately from  current evidence.  As  the common
framework  established by CCPOQ has  stated, the essence  of the transfer is
know-how  and not financial  resources. Among  other objectives  is also the
need to achieve greater cost effectiveness  in operational activities and to
ensure that  the comparative  advantages of  the United  Nations system  are
fully available  to  recipient countries.    The  extent to  which  national
execution achieves these objectives requires further exploration.


               D.  United Nations system coordination mechanisms at
                   the global level in support of country action

                     1.  Consultative Committee on Programme
                         and Operational Questions

110.  Throughout the period under review, the ACC Consultative Committee  on
Programme  and Operational  Questions  (CCPOQ) continued  to  give  priority

attention to  the enhancement  of the  efficiency and  effectiveness of  the
operational activities for  development of  the United Nations system,  with
particular reference to General Assembly resolutions 47/199 and 44/211.

Resident coordinator system

111.  In 1995, CCPOQ  adopted on behalf of ACC  an updated and  consolidated
statement on  the role and functioning  of the  resident coordinator system.
Taking into  account the  earlier principles  on coordination  in the  field
adopted  by   ACC  in  1961,  1967,   1979  and   1989-1990,  the  statement
incorporated the provisions  of resolution 47/199 aimed at the strengthening
of the resident coordinator system.

112.   Action has been taken  to improve the  response of the United Nations
system  to  concerns  and suggestions  raised by  resident  coordinators and
their  colleagues, notably through  the analysis and review  by CCPOQ of the
resident  coordinators'  annual reports  and  the  improvement  of  briefing
arrangements  at  headquarters  locations  on  the  occasion  of  visits  by
resident coordinators.

Country strategy note

113.  The adoption by CCPOQ, at its first regular session of 1993, of  basic
principles and  procedures for  assisting Governments in the  preparation of
country strategy notes (CSNs)  was followed up in October 1993 by a workshop
of selected country teams and national  government participants to  identify
more substantively  the possible structure and  content of country  strategy
notes.    The resulting  guidance  notes  for  the  preparation, design  and
implementation  of country strategy  notes were  reviewed by  CCPOQ in early
1994 and distributed to all resident coordinators and country teams.

Programme approach

114.   At its first  regular session of 1993, CCPOQ  agreed on a system-wide
common interpretation  of the programme approach  and developed  a number of
considerations for  its implementation.   These  were followed  up in  April
1994 by an  inter-agency workshop to assess  the state of implementation  of
the programme approach and national execution,  based on reports of missions
to  eight developing  countries.   The  subsequent review  by CCPOQ,  at its
first regular  session of  1994, confirmed  the progress  in the use  of the
programme approach at all levels and identified  a number of modalities  for
its further development, particularly through training.

115.    In  accordance  with  paragraph   13  of  resolution  47/199,  CCPOQ
furthermore  approved,  at  its  first  regular  session  of  1995,  guiding
principles  for a monitoring  and evaluation  methodology in  the context of
the  programme   approach.  Those   principles  were   developed  in   close
consultation with the Inter-Agency Working Group  on Evaluation and seek  to
ensure the incorporation of monitoring and evaluation  considerations in the
programme   approach,   joint   government   and   United   Nations   system
responsibility for  delivery  of the  United Nations  system component,  and
action to strengthen national monitoring and evaluation capacities.

116.   Based on  the lessons learned  from the  above-mentioned exercise,  a
further workshop  is planned for  later in 1995 to  clarify certain concepts
of  the  programme  approach;  develop  operational  instructions  for   the
application of the  above-mentioned principles, including their relationship
to accountability; and develop related training modules.

National execution

117.  In accordance with  paragraph 22 of resolution 47/199, CCPOQ developed
and approved, at its first regular session  of 1993, a common interpretation
of national execution and implementation arrangements  to be applied by  the
United  Nations   system.    In   April  1994,  inter-agency   consultations
highlighted the  extent to which national  execution has been adopted as the

norm for delivery of United Nations  operational activities.  Ongoing  CCPOQ
reviews  have  focused on  the  means  of  ensuring the  involvement  of the
specialized   and  technical   agencies   in   the  planning,   formulation,
implementation  and evaluation  stages, through,  inter alia,  an  effective
functioning  of  the  resident  coordinator  system  and  the  provision  of
corresponding resources.   The  need to  strengthen national capacities  for
national  execution  has  been  identified  as   a  key  objective  of   the
operational activities training programme.

Operational activities training

118.  The further development and  implementation of training programmes for
operational activities has remained a constant  preoccupation of CCPOQ.  The
Committee is assisted in  this regard by its  Advisory Panel on  Operational
Activities  Training,  which  comprises  not  only CCPOQ  members  but  also
representatives of  the Consultative Committee  on Administrative  Questions
(Personnel and General Administrative  Questions (CCAQ(PER)) Subcommittee on
Training,  the  Joint  Consultative  Group  on  Policy  (JCGP)  Subgroup  on
Training and individual experts. 

119.   The  programme on  the management  of field  coordination for  senior
United  Nations system  representatives  has  been  actively  pursued:    14
workshops  involving  66  country  teams  and  over  400  participants  were
organized between March 1991 and March 1995.   The structure and contents of
the  workshops  are constantly  reviewed  in  order  to  reflect the  latest
challenges facing the United Nations system  - for example, on  coordination
in humanitarian  and emergency  relief situations.   In  September 1994,  an
extensive  evaluation  carried out  by  the  Advisory Panel  underlined  the
contribution  of  the  workshops  to  the  process of  ensuring  substantial
progress  in  field  coordination  and  thereby  in  the  effectiveness  and
efficiency  of  United  Nations system  operations  in  support  of national
development.

120.  The Advisory  Panel evaluation further emphasized the need for greater
follow-up  at  the  country  level,  notably  in  the  context  of  national
workshops consisting  of both the United  Nations country  team and national
officials, as soon as  possible after a Turin workshop.  The introduction of
the  country strategy note  process has  given particular  relevance to that
process:   workshops  were organized  in 1994  in the Syrian  Arab Republic,
Ghana, Pakistan and Mauritania.

121.   The major innovation in operational activities training  has been the
development of the national  capacity training programme,  mandated by CCPOQ
in  1992.    The programme  targets the  training  of trainers  in programme
formulation and  management and  includes training  modules in  a number  of
areas,  such as policy  analysis and planning, budgeting, procurement, staff
management and donor relations.  Six workshops of  four weeks' duration each
were conducted at Turin between September 1993 and March 1995, involving  21
country teams and 135 participants, mainly from national institutions. 


2.  Joint Consultative Group on Policy

122.  Throughout the  period under review, JCGP  and several of  its working
groups   and  subcommittees   devoted  much   of  their  attention   to  the
implementation of General  Assembly resolution 47/199.  The specific results
achieved  are reviewed in  the various  substantive sections  of the present
report.   Significant work has  advanced in  a number of areas,  such as the
harmonization of programme  cycles and the harmonization of key  terminology
in  United  Nations  system  development  activities.   In  accordance  with
paragraph 39  (d) of resolution 47/199,  the pool  for resident coordinators
was  widened and a modified  system for their  selection and appointment was
adopted.

123.     JCGP  continues  its  work   on  monitoring   and  evaluation,  aid
accountability and management audit systems, common premises and services.

Harmonization of key terminology in United Nations development activities

124.  The common interpretation of  programme terminologies used within  the
United Nations system of development assistance  is a step towards achieving
greater harmonization  and simplification in  the procedures of  operational
activities of the United Nations  system.  The results of  that work by JCGP
is  contained in  a report  on  harmonization of  key terminology  in United
Nations  development  activities,  which  has  been   sent  to  all  country
representatives and JCGP staff.

Aid accountability

125.   In  response to  requests  contained  in General  Assembly resolution
44/211 and 47/199 to enhance accountability,  JCGP, through its Subgroup  on
Harmonization,   initiated   a    comparative   study   of   the   financial
accountability requirements  of UNDP, UNFPA and  UNICEF; that  work is still
continuing.

Monitoring and evaluation

126.  The Working  Group on Monitoring and  Evaluation of the  JCGP Subgroup
on Harmonization  has issued  a report  on harmonization  of monitoring  and
evaluation  as a  step towards  developing common  principles and  policies.
The  report  recognized that  there  was  already  a  substantial degree  of
harmony between the evaluation  system of JCGP members.  It presented a list
of common  principles and definitions as  well as  alternative approaches to
the  harmonization of monitoring  and evaluation.   It  also emphasized that
the exercise  should start with a  harmonization of  terminology and product
formats;  that  would   ensure  a  common   understanding  of  concepts  and
facilitate the sharing of information.

127.  The next phase of the exercise will include:

  (a)  Project evaluation policies, procedures and products;

  (b)  Programme evaluation policies, concepts, terminology and products;

  (c)  Monitoring products for both project and country programmes.

128.  Among the measures being pursued are the following:

  (a)   Establishment of a  system that would give  each agency computerized
access to the evaluation databases of the other agencies;

  (b)  Establishment of a joint consultant roster;

  (c)  Holding of a joint training in evaluation techniques;

  (d)  Holding of joint evaluation missions.

Management audit systems

129.   A Working Group on  Management Audit Systems  of the JCGP Subgroup on
Harmonization  composed   of  the  internal   audit  systems  reviewed   the
implementation  of  resolution 47/199.    In  that connection,  the  Working
Group:

  (a)  Re-emphasized the audit standards;

  (b)  Exchanged information on computer-assisted audit techniques;
    (c)  Called for the use of  contractors to perform internal audits:  the
experience of  UNDP and UNFPA was discussed and it was found that the use of
commercial contractors  could be  a means  of enhancing  audit coverage  and
frequency;

  (d)  Noted that:  the harmonization of  procedures among agencies was seen

to be  an important  factor for  enhancing the  government capacities,  thus
enabling it to discharge effectively its functions and responsibilities;

  (e)  Planned to  undertake joint audits of programmes and projects:  while
the  need for  such an  undertaking was  recognized, it  was felt  that  the
matter required further discussion and analysis.

130.     Together  with   the  representatives   of  other   United  Nations
organizations  and multilateral  financial institutions,  the Working  Group
discussed  the  advantages and  disadvantages of  developing a  common audit
manual.  A consensus emerged that that was not practicable:  while  auditing
principles were  standardized, the practice  varied, given  the diversity of
mandates, profiles and portfolios. Nevertheless, it  should be noted that  a
common  set  of  auditing  standards  is  being  applied  by  all  concerned
organizations.



E.  Resident coordinator system

Actions at the global level

131.   General Assembly resolution 47/199  laid out some  of the tools  with
which the resident coordinator  system now works.   Some of those  tools had
existed  before but were put into a systematic  relationship with each other
for the  first time  in support  of more  effective operational  activities.
The principal tools are the programme  approach, national execution and  the
country strategy  note; experience  with these  tools is  assessed in  other
sections of the present report.
132.  The  principal actions  at the  global level  concerning the  resident
coordinator  system  were the  work  of ACC  and  its  subsidiary  bodies to
implement  General Assembly  resolutions 47/199  and  44/211.   In  order to
provide  more  coherent  support to  the  resident  coordinator system,  the
Secretary-General decided to entrust  the Administrator of UNDP with overall
responsibility  for   assisting  him  in   improving  the  coordination   of
operational activities for  development, including the strengthening of  the
resident  coordinator  system.  Subsequently,  the  Administrator  of   UNDP
established the  Office of the United  Nations System  Support and Services,
which  has as one of its  functions to provide management and support to the
resident coordinator function.

133.  As  mentioned in  section D above, a  statement on the functioning  of
the  resident coordinator  system was  adopted by  CCPOQ on  behalf of  ACC,
reflecting the results of inter-agency discussion  on strengthening the role
of  the  resident  coordinator.    The  role and  function  of  the resident
coordinator was agreed by CCPOQ in February 1995 in a  statement that is now
being applied.

Pool

134.  In accordance with  paragraph 39 (d) of  resolution 47/199, procedures
were approved by JCGP  in February 1994, the  details of which were reported
to the Economic  and Social Council in its  report on the implementation  of
resolution 47/199.   In addition to  JCGP organizations,  candidates for the
pool may  also be  drawn from  sources such  as other United  Nations system
organizations.  In addition, a process  was established for selecting  among
the candidates for those positions.  Progress is  being made in widening the
choice.   As  of May  1995,  45 of  115 resident  coordinators in  post come
directly from or  more frequently have worked in  one of the agencies  other
than UNDP.

Financial support

135.   In May 1994,  UNDP allocated $200,000 ($8,000-$10,000  per office) in
support  of the resident coordinator function.   As of May 1995, all of this
money had been committed.   In October, a  further $2 million  was confirmed

by  UNDP for 1994-1996.   The  UNDP Executive  Board at its  session of 5-16
June  1995 (see  decision  95/23, Successor  programming  arrangements)  has
endorsed the  Administrator's proposal to  earmark for  the 1997-1999 period
an allocation of  1.7 per cent to  provide support to resident  coordinators
and aid coordination.

Briefing

136.   Consultations have been held  with the  Geneva-based organizations to
improve the  briefing of resident coordinators.   Problems  still exist with
briefings with  respect  to  some agencies  located outside  of  established
headquarters.

Actions at the regional level

137.     Actions  at  the  regional  level  with  respect  to  the  resident
coordinator  system remain  embryonic.   However, certain  initiatives  have
emerged recently. The regional commissions  and UNDP have recently  set up a
task  force to deal  with coordination issues, including regional priorities
and the  involvement of  the regional  commissions in  the country  strategy
note process. 

Growth of role

138.  Both sources  indicate that the  role of the resident coordinator  has
grown  over the last three years,  not only in programme matters but also on
security,   humanitarian,   common   administrative  and   protocol  issues.
Resident coordinators reported that  they spent 39 per cent of their time on
resident coordinator work and 41 per cent of their time on UNDP  activities;
the remaining 20  per cent  was devoted  to representing  various funds  and
programmes  of the United Nations, including the  Department for Development
Support and Management Services (DDSMS) of  the Secretariat, WFP, UNFPA, the
United Nations International Drug Control Programme (UNDCP) and UNIDO. 

139.  Much  of the growth  of the  role has been  in substantive areas;  the
tools  provided via  the resident  coordinator  system  have helped  in that
growth.   For example,  the preparations for  a country  strategy note  have
been  a pole around which  substantive work has coalesced in some countries;
in others, that  pole has been  the programme  approach; in  others, it  has
been  the  preparation of  national  contributions  to  global  conferences.
Essentially,  the resident  coordinator  system provides  a  mechanism  that
permits shared objectives and implementation. 


            Table 6.  Percentage of time (average) devoted to resident
                      coordinator and resident representative functions

Function
Africa
Asia
Latin America
Eastern Europe
Total
Resident coordinator function

19

18

19

17

19Humanitarian assistance
8
6

3
10
7Common system administrative and protocol matters

6

8

6

11

7Security matters
8
5
5
4
6UNDP activities
39
42
46
38
41WFP activities
6
4
4
3
5UNFPA activities
6
5
6
4
6DDSMS activities
3
3
3
2
3UNIC activities
4
3
4
10
4Other United Nations department activities

  n.a.

  n.a.

  n.a.

  n.a.

  n.a.UNDCP
2
4
4
3
3UNIDO
4
3
3
3
3Other matters
4
6
9

5
5

  n.a. = not available through the answers to the questionnaire

  Note:   The  columns  do  not  add to  100  per  cent because  each  value
represents an average of resident coordinators' individual estimates.

Unified  approach  in  accordance with  paragraph  49  of  General  Assembly
resolution 47/199

140.   The experience with  the new  country offices  is still  too new  for
assessing lasting  impact but the offices  have worked well  where they have
been  set up.  The  limited data  available  from  the  country missions  do
suggest  that the United  Nations development  system is  more effective the
more integrated the presence.

 141.   Three new  offices  were  visited; each  has applied  the  programme
approach. It is somewhat early  to judge the impact but it appears that each
of  them  is  in advance  of other  offices  in that  regard.   There  is no
evidence that in those countries the  trend towards greater collaboration in
programmes  at the  country  level has  weakened  any  agency's programming,
implementation or  operational flexibility,  accountability arrangements  or
advocacy capacity.

Field-level committees

142.   In paragraphs  40 and  41 of General Assembly  resolution 47/199, the
Assembly  calls upon  resident coordinators  to establish,  in  consultation
with  the  host  Government,  an  appropriate  field-level  committee   with
advisory functions.   Just over one  half of the  102 resident  coordinators
who responded on this issue answered positively, more in Latin America  than
elsewhere.   About one fifth said  that regular  coordination meetings among
United  Nations system organizations  were held  for specific exercises even
though  the  establishment  of  the  fieldlevel   committee  had  not   been
formalized.

143.   Three quarters of the 59 responding resident coordinators agreed that
those committees  ensured that major programmes  and projects  of the United
Nations system organization were systematically reviewed to guarantee  their
complementarity, agency sector strategies and evaluation were reviewed,  and
guidance  and advice were  provided on  proposed programmes,  and that those
mechanisms allowed  the identification  of  programmes and  projects of  the
United Nations system organization for possible complementary financing  and
coordinated implementation.

144.  Nearly 10  per cent of the  responding resident coordinators  stressed
that  field committees did  not allow  the identification  of United Nations
programmes   and  projects   for  possible   co-financing  and   coordinated
implementation,  mainly   owing  to  the   critical  situation  that   their
respective country was facing:   since the Government was  not available for
this kind  of concertation, the United  Nations system  limited its internal
coordination to emergency assistance.

Thematic working groups

145.   Seventy-two  per cent  of  the  resident coordinators  confirmed  the
establishment of  thematic working  groups:   the highest  response is  from
Latin America (89.5  per cent), followed by Asia  (70 per cent), Africa  (69
per cent)  and Eastern Europe (57.1 per cent).  Seventy-five per cent of the
resident coordinators  in non-least  developed countries,  as compared  with
65.7 per cent of those  in least developed countries, confirmed the creation
of such groups.

146.   Some 4.6  per cent indicated that there  were plans to establish such
groups in  due course.   Eleven resident  coordinators (seven in  Africa and

four in Asia) declared  that the need for formal thematic working groups was
not felt, whereas one or more  informal thematic agency meetings  were being
held, as required.  Finally, another  group of  eight resident  coordinators
(7.3 per cent) reported  a lack of  interest of donors in the  establishment
of thematic working groups.

147.   The  data  suggest  and the  experience of  the missions  support the
inference that  the  record  of  field  programme  committees  and  thematic
working groups is uneven.  Where there  was a specific task or  event around
which to work, such  as the follow-up of a round table or a particular issue
that involved  several  agencies  and national  officials, then  the  groups
assembled for that purpose appear to  have worked substantively together and
the fact  of group  work has  strengthened  the system's  output.   However,
where   meetings  did  not  have  such  a  common   impulse  they  met  only
sporadically and with little evident value added.

Cooperation among United Nations system organizations

148.  Resident coordinators and other  country representatives were asked to
assess  the type of  cooperation among  United Nations  organizations at the
country level.  The number of countries reporting  the level of intensity of
each type of cooperation is given in table 7a.


               Table 7a.  Type of cooperation among United Nations
                          organizations at the country level


High
Medium
Low
Total
Ex-post sharing of information

47

51

6

104Sharing of information before action is taken

39

51

14

104Collaborative programming
26
56
22
104Coordinated funding of government programmes and projects

19

46

34

99Coordinated government programme and project implementation

14

54

33

101Others
11
5
2
18


149.  The  information reported is generally  uniform for all regions,  with
some exceptions.   For  example, the  exchange of  information among  United
Nations system organizations before action is  taken is significant for over
a  third  of  those  replying.    Significant  coordination  of  funding and
implementation of programmes and projects is, however, less frequent,  being
reported by less than 20 per cent of resident coordinators.

150.    The resident  coordinators  rated,  on  a  scale  of  1 to  10,  the
effectiveness of various pre-coded modes of inter-agency cooperation  within
the United  Nations system.  The  global results,  indicating average values
of those ratings, are given in table 7b.

Table 7b.  Effectiveness of inter-agency cooperation



Africa
Asia
Latin America
Eastern Europe
Total
Formal coordination meetings with structured agenda and follow-up



7.80



7.33



6.20



6.00



7.25Informal daily contacts at working level

7.30

7.56

7.15

8.00

7.41Joint United Nations and government meetings

5.66

5.78

4.21

5.33

5.39Thematic working groups with different lead agencies

6.76

6.48

7.11

6.17

6.69Exchange of documentation
6.69
6.72
6.00
5.25
6.49Others
6.15
7.67
7.00
10.00
6.75


151.  A consistently high rating was given, in all regions,  to the informal
daily  contacts among  United  Nations system  organizations at  the working
level.  A lower evaluation was given to  joint United Nations and government
meetings  and, to a certain  extent, also to the  exchange of documentation.
Participation  in formal  coordination meetings  appears  to have  a  higher
rating  in  Africa  and  Asia than  in  Latin  America and  Eastern  Europe.
Thematic working groups have  a higher rating in Latin America than the rest
of the developing world.

152.  Resident coordinators have taken a number of measures, such as:

  (a)      The   establishment   of   inter-agency   committees,   including
representatives of the Bretton Woods institutions;

  (b)   Consultations with  agency field  representatives concerning  common
contributions to  round tables, consultative  groups and national  technical
cooperation and assistance programmes (NaTCAPs);

  (c)  Performing joint situation analyses  and needs assessments to provide
common and consistent  data for  country strategy notes, country  programmes
and sectoral reviews. 

153.   Recently, UNDCP  and UNDP  came to an agreement  under which the UNDP
resident  representative  would  also  serve  as  the  UNDCP  representative
working  closely  with the  UNDCP  country  director  to  achieve a  unified
approach at the field level. Similarly,  UNDCP and UNICEF made  arrangements
to collaborate in programme activities. 

 Reactions of other stakeholders to the resident coordinator system

  Agencies

154.     Country  mission  reports  indicated  that  United  Nations  system
representatives at the country level were  concerned that many practices and
procedures of their respective organizations were  not yet fully harmonized.
They often see themselves as having a  common responsibility with respect to
United Nations system operations, apart from their agency  responsibilities;
as a  result, there is  a growing awareness  of intersectoral linkages  that
need to be established among United Nations programmes.

155.  Many agency  headquarters have also underlined the need to bring about
a  better balance  between  responsibilities and  resources and  mandate and
means. They have noted the fact that neither  staff nor resources sufficient
to  undertake system-wide functions  distinct from  those of  UNDP have been
designated.

  Recipient countries

156.  The country missions suggest  and the resident coordinators' responses
confirm  that most  Governments are  supportive of the  resident coordinator
system. The country  missions further confirm that the effective functioning
of the resident coordinator system has  a significant bearing on  government
perceptions of the  coherence of the  United Nations  system at the  country
level. 

157.   Most recipient  countries have  positive perceptions  of the resident
coordinator as a  means to coordinate  agency activity and mobilize  aid and
expertise.     Though  only  one  responding   country  sees  the   resident
coordinator  in a  leadership role  in  terms  of designing  the appropriate
development programme for  each country, all countries envision the resident
coordinator  working  in close  cooperation  with  the Government.   Several
advocated  strengthening the resident  coordinator to  act as  an adviser to
the Government  on  behalf  of  the United  Nations  system.   The  majority
agreed, however, that there would first  need to be greater consultation and
cooperation  across   agencies  to  make   the  resident  coordinator   more
effective.   Finally, countries  from all  regions called  for the  resident
coordinator to  be fully  cognizant of  the specific  cultural and  economic
contexts of the countries in which they worked.

  Donors

158.   While  good progress  has been  made in  the reforms  of  operational
activities  within  the United  Nations  system  initiated  through  General
Assembly resolutions 44/211 and  47/199, much remains  to be done.  The  new
system for selecting resident coordinators is  much more open and  gives the
other  funds  and programmes  a  clear  stake  in  the resident  coordinator
system.   The effectiveness  of other  measures designed  to strengthen  the
authority  of the  resident coordinator  has been mixed.   Concern  has also
been expressed about the disinclination  of certain United  Nations agencies
to become fully involved in the resident coordinator system.


 Improvements in the resident coordinator system

159.  The resident  coordinator system is important to United Nations system
efficiency   and  effectiveness   at  the  country  level.     The  resident
coordinator continues  to be  a key  person to  make the  activities of  the
system more coherent and useful for the beneficiary  countries.  The role  a
resident  coordinator  can play  still  depends  very  much  on his/her  own
personal qualifications.  There seem to  be different interpretations in the
field about  what coordination  should include.   Coordination is  sometimes
overtaken by umbrella donor groups in  which both bilateral and multilateral
donors participate.

160.    The  concrete  action  most  frequently  proposed  by  the  resident
coordinators (80 per cent)  was greater financial  and human support to  the
resident  coordinator system.   Seventy per  cent sought  greater clarity of
mandate and additional substantive support.


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F.  Programme support

1.  Decentralization and delegation of authority

161.   During  the past  three  years, most  (23) responding  United Nations
system organizations  have introduced  changes in  their organizational  and
management  structures and practices,  not only  in response  to the General
Assembly  resolutions  but  also  as an  ongoing  process  of  streamlining,
simplifying and enhancing  the impact and effectiveness of their activities,
as  directed   by  their  own   governing  organs.     Decentralization  and
empowerment of field offices  are key elements  in these efforts.  The  pace
and reach  of reforms, however, vary  from organization  to organization and
from  modality  to modality.    Details  on the  changes  made  and  results
achieved are provided below.

Structural and management changes

162.   The review found that there has been a  continuation of delegation of
authority to the field in  substantive, financial and  administrative areas.
Half  the  United  Nations  field  representatives  in  non-least  developed
countries and  nearly 65  per  cent of  those in  least developed  countries
report  receiving  increased  delegation of  authority in  the  period under
consideration.  The rate of delegation varies from agency to agency.

163.   UNDP has  strengthened its country-office  capacities by  introducing
specialist posts in selected fields in  some countries, such as  sustainable
development, HIV/AIDS  and macroeconomy in  Africa.  Organizational  changes
were also  introduced at its headquarters  to provide  policy leadership and
support to  country  and regional  programmes.    UNICEF has  shortened  the
country preparation cycle from 18 to 12 months and its country offices  have
made efforts  to involve  other agencies  in the  programme preparation  and
review processes (PPRPs).   A recent management  study conducted by a  major
international  consulting firm has  helped the  organization to  embark on a
process of further adapting its managerial  processes to refine its  ability
to support  this decentralized structure.   The number  of country directors
of UNFPA  has  been increased  from  53  in 1990  to  60 in  1994.   It  has
strengthened its  professional staff by  establishing eight country  support
teams, bringing multisectoral population advice  and technical back-stopping
closer  to  the field,  is undertaking  a  major  revision of  its programme
procedures  and  has  introduced changes  in the  modalities  of development
cooperation.   WFP has  restructured its  operations to  focus on management
and  programming,  policy and  support,  transport  and  logistics, and  has
delegated authority to  its country offices for project reformulation,  food
procurement and personnel administration.

164.    Several specialized  agencies  (UNESCO,  UNIDO,  ILO  and WHO)  have
changed their management structures and operational procedures.   UNESCO has
introduced  a Sectoral  Programme Evaluation  Unit  for the  monitoring  and
evaluation of operational activities and a  Division for Policy and Sectoral
Analysis  to provide  technical advice  to member  States  in the  fields of
policy,   institutional  reforms  and   management,  planning  and  resource
allocation.    A new  Unit  for  Private Sector  Funding  Sources  has  been
established.  In WHO,  efforts are under way to simplify structures and make
procedures more transparent.   ILO has taken  several steps to maintain  and
enhance its technical capacity, resource base and comparative advantage.

165.  UNIDO  has introduced a new  programme and project management  process
in the context of a major  organizational reform and restructuring  launched
in late 1993 and  approved at the  fifth session of the General  Conference.
The new  process  puts emphasis,  inter  alia,  on establishing  a  coherent
programming framework through country-specific, sectoral and thematic  UNIDO
support  strategies;  introduction   of  an  early  programme  and   project
screening mechanism; unified approval procedures covering different  sources
of  funds; and  the  decentralization  of  the quality  assurance  function.

Methodologies have been refined  and are increasingly applied with a view to
ensuring relevance, cost-effectiveness and sustainability of programmes  and
projects.

166.   Smaller technical  agencies (UPU, ITU and  ICAO) have also introduced
several  innovations,  such  as  the  programme  budget  system,   strategic
planning process  and new offices for  programme evaluation  and a Technical
Cooperation  Bureau.  One  agency also  strengthened its  regional presence,
resulting in 12 new field offices in four regions (ITU). 

167.    Regional  commissions  have  also  initiated important  reforms  and
strengthened their approach  to operational activities by the  establishment
of  a  multidisciplinary  regional  advisory  group.    The  Department  for
Development Support  and Management  Services has  reorganized its  internal
structure and  established  a Programmes  and Projects  Review Committee  to
review  its activities  in a more  substantive and holistic  manner, and has
placed evaluation functions in a more central position.

168.   The above-mentioned actions indicate how individual organizations are
responding to  the  new requirements  of  recipient  countries in  order  to
enhance their coherence in programming and resource utilization.


2.  Simplification and harmonization of procedures

169.   Most countries  were concerned  about excessive  rules and procedures
and a lack of transparency, and were also  concerned that information on new
procedures  was not transmitted  to Governments effectively.  Differences in
procedures limit  the use  of  local  resources and  skills and  reduce  the
impact of assistance. Rules, procedures and  programme cycles of the various
organizations change continuously but often the  changes were not made known
to users.

170.  Some Governments expressed concern  about the complexity of  financial
procedures for national execution.  They found that they had to satisfy  the
different demands of each  agency and in that  context recommended that  the
best   and  most   simplified  practices  of  each   United  Nations  system
organization  should be  identified and  agreed upon as  a basis  of action.
Reporting formats and procedures are  complicated and time-consuming.   They
also  pointed  out  that  the  lack  of  harmonization  prevented  them from
establishing more  integrated and  coordinated arrangements  at the  country
level.

171.  Donors agreed that simplification  and harmonization of procedures was
needed to  facilitate coordination  at  the country  level and  to make  the
United  Nations  system more  transparent for  both recipient  countries and
donors. Progress in that  area was important and  should be given  priority;
in  particular, common  approaches were  needed to  salaries/allowances  for
national expert/project  staff  in order  to  avoid  local brain  drain  and
unequal treatment of national staff.

172.  According to the country mission  reports, system-wide progress in the
last three  years  in  simplifying  and  harmonizing  rules  and  procedures
remains  difficult to  discern.   In  some of  the countries  visited,  both
government and United Nations system officials  pointed out that the  United
Nations system  rules and procedures were  a significant  barrier to greater
implementation  of projects by  the Government  and national  agencies.  The
many different rules and procedures of  the United Nations system  increased
the workload of the Government.   Some United Nations system representatives
pointed  out   that  the  simplification  and  harmonization  of  rules  and
procedures must be carried out at Headquarters level.

173.   At present,  a JCGP Subgroup  on Programming  Policies and Procedures
under  the chairmanship of UNFPA  is focusing on harmonization  in the areas
of  situation analyses,  country  strategy notes  and monitoring  and review
procedures. 


3.  Accountability:  monitoring, evaluation and audit

Changes  in organizational  and  reporting  status  of  the  evaluation  and
management audit functions

174.    Evaluation offices  or  units  report  to  senior management  either
directly  or as  part  of a  policy or  strategic  planning office.    Audit
offices remain  separate from evaluation offices  in most  organizations.  A
recent JIU report has recommended that  each organization establish a single
focal point unit under its executive  head dedicated to strategic  planning,
performance   management   and   maximally   effective  accountability   and
oversight.  It also recommended that organizations  consider combining their
oversight units, audit and evaluation.

Evaluation and related initiatives within the system

175.  In  1995, WHO updated its strategies  in the light  of its response to
global change  based on  agreed targets  and outcomes  and reorientation  of
resources  in  accordance   with  priorities.     Its  budgetary  rules  and
procedures are already oriented towards output/performance.

176.  The ILO has introduced a new reporting and evaluation system  designed
to ensure that  its programmes focus  on key  objectives.   A suitable  data
follow-up system  is currently  being developed.   The  ILO  is keeping  the
issue of impact-oriented  evaluation under review but  has not yet made  any
specific  changes.  It  is following the experience  of other United Nations
agencies in order  to assess the  implications of the programme  approach on
monitoring and evaluation procedures.

177.   The UNDP programme  approach uses  an output  budgeting strategy  and
format,  which   is  outlined  in   its  Programme  Support   Implementation
Arrangements  (PSIA)  instrument.    In  October 1993,  new  guidelines  for
evaluators were  introduced to clarify  concepts of impact,  sustainability,
institution-building  and  a  common  framework  for  evaluation  based   on
relevance, performance, outputs, outcomes and impact. 

178.     UNICEF  has  taken  specific  steps  to  harmonize  and  make  more
transparent its  procedures regarding  programme formulation, implementation
and evaluation, and has  introduced feedback mechanisms  that have  enhanced
its capacity to support more sustainable  programmes and to assess programme
impact.

179.  WFP  indicates that it has focused  on evaluation procedures that  are
oriented   towards   impact   assessment,  sustainability   and  comparative
advantage.  The Office  of Evaluation  has established a  comparative memory
facility in order to ensure better programming feedback.

180.   UNFPA  is reviewing  and revising its  guidelines for  monitoring and
evaluation in the  context of the programme  approach in order to streamline
and  harmonize the  guidelines with  those of  other agencies.   Efforts are
also under way to emphasize outputs and  achievements in its monitoring  and
evaluation processes.

181.   IFAD has  introduced a  new project  cycle, which  allows a  flexible
inception  of  project  ideas,  taking  into  consideration  programmes  and
strategies.    Its  evaluation  functions  have  been  updated  following an
external assessment and is now more focused on outputs and impact.

182.   ICAO  established a  new Office for  Programme Evaluation,  Audit and
Management Review, with  the responsibility of providing strategic  planning
and  accountability  and  as  an  appropriate   mechanism  for  judging  the
potential value of new and outgoing  programmes.  The Technical  Cooperation
Bureau of  ICAO is  being restructured  to make  it more  responsive to  the
needs of recipient countries.
  Streamlining and  rationalization of procedures  and practices within  the

United Nations system

183.    The  Inter-Agency Working  Group  on  Evaluation  was  set  up as  a
subsidiary body of ACC.   Initially, it helped to develop common  procedures
for  project  monitoring  and  evaluation;  these  have  been   supplemented
recently with  guidelines  for monitoring  and evaluation  of the  programme
approach.   The  CCPOQ  Subgroup  on Harmonization  found  that  substantial
degree  of harmony already  existed between  the evaluation  systems of JCGP
members.  The differences were mainly  ones of terminology, detail, emphasis
or institutional framework.

184.   The  Working  Group is  also  looking  at  mechanisms to  share  more
actively  databases as  well as  evaluation  reports  and to  strengthen the
system's understanding  of how  to build evaluation  capacity in  developing
countries.  Through  the ACC  Subgroup  on  Rural  Development,  a panel  of
experts  on evaluation led by  IFAD has initiated the development of guiding
principles  for monitoring and  evaluation on  gender issues.   Their future
work will  focus  on assessing  participation  in  evaluation and  on  rural
poverty alleviation.   As a result  of these  initiatives, harmonization has
been  strengthened   in  the   following  areas:  concepts,   methodologies,
programmes and themes.

Rationalization of accountability at the country level

185.    Aid  accountability  has  been  pursued  by  the  JCGP  Subgroup  on
Harmonization. The  Subgroup  is  developing  common  formats  in  order  to
facilitate reporting by recipient Governments.

186.   Over half of  all resident coordinators  report some strengthening of
government  capacity  in accounting  and  the  monitoring and  evaluation of
financial  and  programming   functions,  and  some  enhancement  in   their
accountability  as a result.   They  record considerable  activity by United
Nations organizations  in the  support of  government auditing capacity  and
strengthening  of accountability.  The number  of countries  reporting  such
support is given in table 8 below:


        Table 8.  Number of countries reporting support by United Nations
                  organizations in strengthening accountability

__________________________________________________________________________
____

                                                     Eastern     Latin
          Activity               Africa     Asia     Europe     America
__________________________________________________________________________
____

Strengthening institutions  80  59  75  80

Placing consultants  56  38  25  50

Providing methodologies  62  56  37  60

Training government staff  82  62  50  80
__________________________________________________________________________
____
 
187.  Nearly  60 per cent of resident  coordinators indicate that there  has
been little  harmonization of  United Nations  organizations at the  country
level  for meeting the  requirements of  strengthening accountability.  They
urged  (i) more  training for  government  officials  or for  United Nations
personnel charged with  providing technical support to the Government;  (ii)
simplified  procedures and  better  guidelines; (iii)  creation  of  support
units  within  the  Government;  (iv) additional  resources  and  staff; (v)
better access to qualified evaluators.

Global and country-level evaluations of operational activities

188.   In practice,  there have  been no  global evaluations  of operational
activities carried  out jointly  by the United  Nations system  as a  whole.
However,  at the  country level initiatives  have been taken.   The resident
coordinator  in one country  where the  country strategy  note was completed
has proposed  that the Government use  it as  a basis for the  review of all
operational  activities.   A  similar  review  was  carried  out in  another
country prior to completion of the country strategy note  and the Government
included  the World Bank  programme in  the exercise.  In  the same country,
the United  Nations system  (UNDP, UNFPA,  UNICEF, WHO)  initiated a  multi-
donor  evaluation  of  the  national  AIDS  programme  as an  input  to  the
formulation of the next medium-term AIDS plan.
Use of evaluation results by the United Nations system

189.  There have  been external evaluations of five agencies during the last
three years:  IFAD, UNCTAD, UNICEF, UNFPA and  WFP.  They contain a  variety
of  substantive and  managerial  conclusions and  recommendations,  some  of
which recognize the tensions within the system.

190.   For the purpose of  the present review,  it is pertinent to note that
the  actions urged by  an external  evaluation requested by one  part of the
system may well clash with the decisions of the General Assembly seeking  to
promote  a   more  unified,  cost-effective   and  integrated  approach   to
operational activities. 


4.  Common premises and common services

191.  JCGP has expressed strong support for  the proposal to colocate United
Nations organizations  and  services.   Moreover,  in  paragraph 49  of  its
resolution 47/199, the  General Assembly requested the Secretary-General  to
ensure that  the operational  activities of  the United Nations  development
system  carried out  in new  recipient  countries  were undertaken  from the
outset  on  the  basis  of  an   integrated,  unified,  cost-effective   and
innovative  approach  to   development  cooperation  and  presence  in   the
countries concerned.

192.  While welcoming  the decision of JCGP  to set  a target date for  this
exercise, the  General Assembly in  resolution 47/199  emphasized that  that
process  should be achieved  in cooperation with  host Governments  in a way
that  increased  efficiency,  such  as  by  means  of  the  consolidation of
administrative infrastructures of  the organizations concerned, and with  no
financial increase  in the cost  of operations either to  the United Nations
system or the host
developing country.  JCGP and its  Subgroup on Common Premises  and Services
have  taken the lead in developing and expanding  common premises and common
services.
193.   The  lack  of  progress in  achieving common  premises was  a concern
expressed by some donors  in reply to the review.  While they recognized the
practical and  logistical difficulties of placing all United Nations offices
in a single premise,  they noted that there was an unjustified reluctance in
some cases. They pointed out that the long-term benefits  of common premises
far outweighed the  apparent advantages of independence both for  individual
agencies  and for  the United  Nations system as  a whole.   They noted that
host countries  should take  a firmer  line with  the United Nations  system
regarding that  goal.  At  the same time,  they understood  that progress on
the matter of premises will depend on availability of financial resources.

194.   The current  situation on the use  of common premises as  reported by
the resident  coordinators shows  that  common premises  for United  Nations
system organizations are found in  47 per cent of the countries in Asia,  33
per cent in Eastern Europe, 21 per cent in Latin America  and 28 per cent in
Africa.   The situation  of common  premises for  JCGP organizations differs
only slightly: common premises have been achieved in 33 out of 92  countries
(36 per  cent). With  regard to regional  distribution, the figure  for JCGP

organizations in  Latin America  is 50  per cent,  with the figures  for the
other regions approximately the same as  the figures for common premises for
United Nations system organizations cited above.

195.   Moreover, the resident coordinator responses show that the sharing of
common services is more frequent than common premises,  since in 56 per cent
of the  countries there  is some  kind of  sharing of services  (with strong
geographical differences:   73 per  cent in Asia, 60 per  cent in Africa, 40
per  cent  in Eastern  Europe and  20  per  cent in  Latin America).   These
responses may be  less reliable than for  common premises, since the  nature
of the services shared may vary extensively from one country to another. 

196.   Asked whether there was  any evidence that  common premises increased
the efficiency  and coherence of the  United Nations  system performance and
led to financial savings, 26 per cent of the resident coordinator  responses
reported  that  sharing  of   common  premises  and  services  would  reduce
communication costs; 65  per cent expected that  it would yield economies of
scale;  18 per cent felt  that contacts among  United Nations agencies would
be easier; but only  10 per cent  believed that it would increase  security.
On that point, it should  be noted that the analysis  undertaken by JCGP  in
January  1994  demonstrated  a  significant  cost  benefit  when   comparing
expenses  for  consolidated   premises  against  expenses   associated  with
separately renting  field offices.  The  analysis showed  that JCGP agencies
could save an  estimated $1.3 billion  over the  period 1996-2013 if  United
Nations    system    common   premises    were    established   under    the
ownership/leasehold modality (free donation of land  by host Governments for
the  construction of such premises, a fixed-term lease to the developer and,
at the expiry of the lease, ownership of the premises by  the United Nations
system). In 1994, the Secretary-General,  in his report to  the Economic and
Social  Council  on  progress  on  the  implementation  of  General Assembly
resolution  47/199, informed  the Council  (E/1994/64, para.  105)  that the
JCGP high-level meeting held at  Dhaka, from 6 to 8 February 1994 had agreed
that United Nations system common premises  would be constructed under  that
ownership/leasehold modality. 

197.  As an initial approach, JCGP has agreed to establish a jointly  funded
unit. UNDP  will ensure  the day-to-day  operations of  the unit.   The JCGP
Subgroup  will provide  oversight.   The staffing of  the unit  and start-up
funds  will  be  provided  by  UNDP,  UNFPA and  UNICEF  initially.    Other
agencies, as and when  they participate, will be  expected to pay their pro-
rata share of the construction costs, including  start-up costs, such as the
preparation of space programme reports and site and soil surveys.

198.  The  General Assembly, in its resolution  48/209 of 21 December  1993,
stipulated that the  United Nations development system organizations  should
pursue the  establishment of common premises  at no additional  cost to host
Governments  on United Nations  organizations.   The JCGP  Subgroup has thus
decided  to focus  the reform  on the  establishment of  common premises  in
high-cost  countries,  where  new premises  would  result  in  lower monthly
charges and facilitate  the consolidation of administrative infrastructures.
To plan  the activities of  the Subgroup, a  list of  priority countries for
1995-1997  has been  drawn  up.   It  includes the  following:   (i) Africa:
Mozambique,  Namibia,  Senegal   and  South  Africa;  (ii)  Latin   America:
Bolivia,  Brazil,  Ecuador  and  Haiti;  (iii)  Arab  region:    Syrian Arab
Republic and Morocco; (iv) Asia and  the Pacific: Bangladesh, Pakistan,  Lao
People's Democratic Republic  and Cambodia;  (v) Europe and Commonwealth  of
Independent States (CIS):   Kazakstan.   In  other locations,  opportunities
for  economies of scale  will be  sought and  implemented on  a case-by-case
basis, whenever feasible.   All projects will be jointly funded and  private
sector funding  will be  sought using  the ownership/leasehold modality  for
the  construction  of new  United  Nations  system  common  premises or  the
rehabilitation/alteration of buildings provided by Governments.

199.   In the CIS countries, Governments, in compliance  with the provisions
of the  signed standard  basic agreement, have  each agreed  to provide  and
have identified  a building to  house the United  Nations system  on a rent-

free basis; however, the  costs of the renovation  to convert such buildings
into  functional  offices  will  have  to  be  borne  by  the  participating
agencies,  based on  the office  area to  be occupied.   Again, UNDP  as the
executing agency will oversee the implementation of each project. 

200.  Moreover,  UNDP, UNFPA and  UNICEF have  set up  capital reserves  for
office premises.   JCGP  members have  the option  to evaluate in  each case
whether funding  from their available  internal resources or  private-sector
funding is more advantageous.  WFP, which does not have such a fund, is  not
in a position to contribute to capital outlays but will participate  through
the payment of rent to meet its share of the costs.

201.  Some agencies  have pointed out that they currently benefit from rent-
free  accommodation in their  host countries  and are  often located  in the
premises of  the concerned  ministry:  common  premises could  thus lead  to
incurring  additional expenses.   Any move  to common  premises is therefore
being reviewed  to  ensure that  potentially  higher  costs are  matched  by
increased efficiency and other benefits.
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