Guiding Operational Activities for Development

Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review

The QCPR is the mechanism through which the General Assembly assesses the effectiveness, efficiency, coherence and impact of UN operational activities for development and establishes system-wide policy orientations for the development cooperation and country-level modalities of the UN system in response to the evolving international development and cooperation environment.

The QCPR is the primary policy instrument of the General Assembly to define the way the UN development system operates to support programme countries in their development efforts.

The QPCR is adopted every four years in the General Assembly. The most recent review took place in 2020, culminating in the adoption of the 2020 QCPR resolution, which builds upon the 2016 QCPR and the recent UN development system reform and places increased emphasis on demonstrating tangible results.

The UN Secretary-General leads the preparation for the QCPR resolution, with his report on its implementation, and a body of analytical work as background information in support of Member States’ deliberations. Starting in 2019, the Secretary-General’s annual review of the implementation of the QCPR includes a review of the mandates contained in the resolution on the repositioning of the UN development system (GA resolution 72/279). 

The QCPR process was envisioned as a shared responsibility of the GA & ECOSOC, with ECOSOC conducting the informed review and the GA issuing the respective resolution to evaluate UN effectiveness, efficiency, coherence and impact and guide the system in supporting developing countries in implementing the 2030 sustainable development agenda.

The implementation of the QCPR is reviewed annually through the ECOSOC segment on Operational Activities for Development.

ECOSOC Operational Activities Segment

Each year, ECOSOC’s Operational Activities for Development Segment reviews UN policies, including the implementation of the General Assembly’s quadrennial comprehensive policy review, which guides the UN development system’s work with countries around the world in making progress on all dimensions of sustainable development. Starting in 2019, the Segment also reviews the implementation of General Assembly resolution 72/279 on the repositioning of the UN development system.

Governing boards of each entity manage their operations and they report to ECOSOC. In turn, ECOSOC provides overall guidance on system-wide issues to the UN development system, recognizing that poverty eradication and sustainable development issues are complex and interrelated, and the most effective responses are well coordinated. 

The 2020 Segment was held virtually from 19 to 22 May and on 27 May. The 2021 Segment will be held from 18 to 20 May, 2021.