New Way of Working Workshops

Multi-Stakeholder Regional Workshop on the New Way of Working for West and Central Africa (31 May and 1 June, Dakar)

From 31 May to 1 June, OCHA and UNDP co-organized the second regional multi-stakeholder workshop (PDF) on the New Way of Working (NWOW) in Dakar, Senegal, for West and Central Africa with participation from a broad range of stakeholders. The NWOW is grounded in the Secretary-General’s Agenda for Humanity and the Commitment to Action, signed at the World Humanitarian Summit in 2016. The workshop further built on previous regional workshops in Dakar, Senegal, and Entebbe, Uganda, as well as events at the global level in Istanbul, Copenhagen and Washington which contributed to filling the concept with life.

More than 120 participants took part in the workshop, including government representatives, international and national NGOs, UN Agencies, Funds and Programmes from both regional and country level, UN mission representatives, donors and other key stakeholders including OECD, the World Bank and a number of regional organizations including ECOWAS. The attendance covered a total of 10 countries in West and Central Africa. Government representatives from seven countries and eight donors participated. From the UN system, the following entities participated from across country, regional and HQ level: UNOWAS, UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, WHO, FAO, IOM, MPTFO, OCHA and UNDP. Participation included the Secretary-General’s Special Advisor for the Sahel, several RC/HCs, OCHA Heads/Deputy Heads of Offices, global and regional directors from several UN entities, a Chief of Staff and Programme Management Officer from Peacekeeping Operations in CAR and Mali as well as a direct video link with the Executive Office of the Secretary-General (EOSG) in New York. The workshop format included a mix of panel discussions and break-out groups.

The workshop was preceded by a smaller practitioners’ support network meeting, organized by the IASC. The findings of the practitioner’s meeting which focused on country level experiences around the implementation of the Nexus were incorporated into the discussion of the multi-stakeholder workshop. Feedback from participants on the relevance of the workshop was overwhelmingly positive. Sessions with a focus on country-level experiences as well as the panel discussion on financing the NWOW were ranked highest by participants. Several participants felt encouraged by the progress made by a number of countries in implementing the NWOW. Responders highlighted the need to focus on country-level implementation and to enhance shared understanding of key concepts underpinning the NWOW. 

High-Level Workshop on Operationalizing and Financing Collective Outcomes (8 March 2018, Washington, DC)

On 8 March 2018, OCHA, UNDP and the OECD Secretariat, in partnership with the World Bank, co-hosted a workshop (PDF) in Washington DC bringing together development donor members of the OECD International Network on Conflict and Fragility (INCAF) as well as a group of humanitarian donors committed to advancing the New Way of Working.

The objectives of the workshop were twofold:

(i) Identify and clarify how donors can contribute towards the operationalization and financing of collective outcomes and understand in what way collective outcomes need to be presented to donors to allow for donors ‘investibility’;

(ii) Identify key outcomes from the discussion to inform the proposed OECD-DAC High-Level Roundtable, tentatively scheduled for November 2018.

The event was an opportunity to discuss about modalities and approaches for unpacking the process of articulating and operationalizing collective outcomes. It built on experiences from countries such as Somalia and Chad, where new approaches to joint analysis, joined-up planning and programming are being implemented. It was stressed that the challenge for donors is not necessarily to provide more money, but how existing financing flows from both humanitarian, development, climate and peace streams can be better aligned and provided in a sequential way towards the achievement of collective outcomes. This would contribute to overcoming fragmentation and demonstrate that humanitarian financing can have a catalytic effect for sustainable solutions if allocated in connection with other financing streams.

Multi-Stakeholder Regional Workshop on the New Way of Working for East/Southern Africa (30 November - 1 December 2017, Entebbe)

Between 30 November and 1 December 2017, OCHA and UNDP co-organized a regional multi-stakeholder workshop (PDF) on the New Way of Working with senior representation from country teams and partners in Eastern and Southern Africa. With thanks to the Government of Uganda and support from the UN Resident Coordinator, Rosa Malango, and her team, the workshop was hosted in Entebbe, Uganda. The objective of the workshop was to i) enhance awareness and ensure a common understanding of core NWOW elements among participants, including its operationalization in different types of contexts; ii) foster peer-to-peer exchange on implementation, operational solutions, tools and modus operandi, in support of best practices at country level; and iii) identify gaps and bottlenecks that hinder NWOW implementation, and identify additional tools and support needed.

More than 120 participants from the UN, NGOs, donors and IFIs attended the workshop. The attendance covered a total of 15 countries in Eastern and Southern Africa. Seven donors participated, national and international NGOs, the Red Cross family, the World Bank, African Development Bank and OECD. From the UN-system the following entities participated from across country, regional and HQ level: UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, WHO, FAO, UNFPA, UNWOMEN, IOM, EOSG, MPTFO, OCHA and UNDP. Participation included a DSRSG/RC/HC, RC/HCs, OCHA Heads/Deputy Heads of Offices, Heads of Resident Coordinator’s Offices, global and regional directors from several UN entities, as well as a Peace and Development Advisor and strategic planners from Peacekeeping Operations from CAR and Mali.

The workshop was preceded by a technical level peer-to-peer session where practitioners from some countries leading on NWOW implementation were brought together by the IASC Task Team on the Humanitarian-Development Nexus in Protracted Crises, to discuss best practices and operational challenges in strengthening collaboration across sectors, and establish a community of practice. The findings of the peer to peer session were fed into the discussion of the multi-stakeholder workshop.

The Entebbe Workshop followed a series of high level events on the New Way of Working at the global and regional levels in 2017, including a multi-stakeholder workshop for western Africa in Dakar in January, a high-level meeting hosted by the Danish Government, the World Bank, OCHA and UNDP in Copenhagen in March and the WHS Anniversary in Istanbul co-organized by OCHA, UNDP and the Government of Turkey, among others.

The workshop format included a mix of panel discussions and break-out groups. Discussions were clustered around the key elements of the New Way of Working: joint analysis; planning and programming; leadership and coordination; financing; and collective outcomes, with an overall focus on identifying and discussing the “barriers” and “enablers” for further advancing the NWOW. A number of recommendations were put forward to be addressed at country, regional and HQ-level.

WHS High-level Anniversary event: Advancing the New Way of Working (18-19 May 2017, Istanbul)

On May 18-19, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkey in partnership with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) hosted an event (PDF) in Istanbul marking the one-year anniversary of the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) with the participation of a diverse group of senior field leaders, including representatives from affected governments, donors, UN field leaders, representatives from UN Agencies, Funds and Programmes, other international organizations and financing institutions as well as NGOs.

The event consisted of a high-level panel and a senior operational workshop focused on assessing progress to date on one of the WHS’s key outcomes: the New Way of Working (NWOW). It followed a series of high-level events over the past year, from ECOSOC to a high-level meeting on the NWOW hosted by the Government of Denmark in March 2017, to discussions held at the World Bank Spring meetings in 2017. The NWOW has the potential to be a key accelerator of advancing SDG implementation in crisis affected contexts, providing a clear coherent roadmap agreed by all key humanitarian and development actors to move from delivering aid to reducing risk, vulnerability and ultimately ending humanitarian need. As the UN Secretary-General noted in his statement marking the anniversary of the WHS, the Agenda for Humanity and the NWOW are key elements to advance his UN reform agenda. The event was therefore also an opportunity for a wide range of partners to make proposals accordingly.

High-Level Workshop on the New Way of Working – Advancing Implementation (13-14 March 2017, Copenhagen)

Bringing together participants from Member States, UN entities, multilateral and bilateral donor agencies and NGOs, totaling 120 people, the workshop (PDF) demonstrated high-level commitment to provide the necessary political, operational and financial support to enable progress and overcome barriers to implementation of the New Way of Working. The overall focus of the workshop was on achieving collective outcomes that will reduce needs, risks and vulnerability, particularly in settings affected by fragility, conflict and displacement.

Discussions highlighted the wealth of experience and initiative at the country level and globally – including governments, the UN system and NGOs, the World Bank, and bilateral partners – the event focused on ongoing implementation in four country contexts - Yemen, Somalia, Ethiopia and Uganda - to draw out operational lessons. 

West/Central Africa Regional Policy Dialogue: The New Way of Working - from delivering aid to ending need (January 2017, Dakar)

On 18-19 January 2017, seventy participants from across the humanitarian and development sectors in West and Central Africa including UN Resident and Humanitarian coordinators, representatives of UN entities, the OECD, the World Bank, donors, NGOs and members of the West and Central Africa Regional Steering Group for the WHS, gathered together in Dakar to reflect on ways to operationalize (PDF) the policy shifts emanating from the commitments to the New Way of Working made at the Summit.

This was the first of a series of policy dialogues organized jointly by OCHA and UNDP with an aim of gathering local, national, and regional voices to explore measures to strengthen the humanitarian-development nexus.