UNDG Aid Effectiveness Reference Guide

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Better Aid for Development Effectiveness
Reference Guide for UN Country Teams
Advance DRAFT
UN Paris Declaration Survey Workshops
November/December 2010
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Better Aid for Development Effectiveness: Reference Guide for UN Country Teams
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
This reference guide was prepared by the UN Development Operations Coordination Office (DOCO)
under the auspices of the UNDG Working Group on Programming Issues.
The guide is based on draft guidance that was presented at the UNDG workshop “From Paris to Accra
and Beyond – UN Country Team Engagement in the Changing Aid Environment” (2009) and that was
subsequently further developed by UNDP. The present guide reflects relevant lessons learned and draws
on a range of existing policies, tools and guidelines of the UN development system. This document also
benefits from the insights of an inter-agency mission to Malawi in December 2009.
Particular thanks are due to the following UN country teams that provided a critical “reality check” by
commenting on the early draft: Albania, Bolivia, Cap Verde, Indonesia, Jordan, Malawi, Moldova,
Mongolia, Syria, Viet Nam and Zambia.
EDITORIAL NOTE
In recognition of the fast-paced and complex aid environments at country level, this guidance note will be
continuously updated to respond to new developments and reflect feedback from practitioners. The latest
version is available for download on the UNDG website: www.undg.org/effectiveness
We welcome your comments on the usefulness of this guidance note and suggestions for improvement.
Please contact us at: [email protected]
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Better Aid for Development Effectiveness: Reference Guide for UN Country Teams
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Acknowledgements .......................................................................................................................................................II
Editorial Note.................................................................................................................................................................II
Acronyms ..................................................................................................................................................................... IV
Introduction ...................................................................................................................................................................5
UNDG Commitment to Aid and Development Effectiveness ........................................................................................8
Role of the United Nations System in the Country Aid Environment ..........................................................................12
Supporting Inclusive National Ownership ...................................................................................................................15
Aligning with National Priorities, Strategies and Systems ...........................................................................................28
Harmonizing Assistance and Forging Partnerships ......................................................................................................32
Managing for Development Results ............................................................................................................................40
Fostering Mutual Accountability and Transparency ....................................................................................................43
Promoting South-South Cooperation ..........................................................................................................................46
Strengthening Aid Effectiveness in Post-Crisis and Transition Settings .......................................................................56
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Better Aid for Development Effectiveness: Reference Guide for UN Country Teams
ACRONYMS
AAA
CCA
CSO
DaO
DCF
DDR
EU
ExCom
JAS
JCSS
JNA
M&E
MDGs
MDG-F
MDTF
MIC
MTR
NCC
NDS
NRA
ODA
OECD/DAC
PD
PRS(P)
QSA
RBM
RC
TCPR
UNDAF
UNDG
UNCT
Accra Agenda for Action
Common Country Assessment
Civil Society Organization
Delivering as One
Development Cooperation Forum
Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration
European Union
Executive Committee agencies
Joint Assistance Strategy
Joint Country Support Strategy
Joint Needs Assessment
Monitoring & Evaluation
Millennium Development Goals
Spanish MDG Achievement Fund
Multi-Donor Trust Fund
Middle Income Country
Mid-Term Review
Net Contributing Country
National Development Strategy
Non Resident Agency
Official Development Assistance
Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development/Development Cooperation Directorate (DAC)
Paris Declaration
Poverty Reduction Strategy (Paper)
Quality Support and Assurance system
Results-Based Management
Resident Coordinator
Triennial Comprehensive Policy Review
United Nations Development Assistance Framework
United Nations Development Group
UN Country Team
INTRODUCTION
Purpose of the reference guide
This reference guide seeks to support United Nations country teams (UNCTs) in delivering
development assistance more effectively. It advises on ways to position the UN at country level in
a rapidly changing aid environment that is characterized by a diversity of development assistance
providers, increasing aid fragmentation and use of programme-based approaches and budget
support.
The guide seeks to support UNCTs in implementing the commitments and recommendations of
the Triennial Comprehensive Policy Review 1 for more effective development. It complements and
builds on the UNDG position paper “Response to the Changing Aid Environment” (2008) and
supports UNCTs in implementing the UNDG action plan “Better Aid for Development
Effectiveness 2009-2012.”
In doing so, it draws on existing guidance and tools to the extent possible by referring to the
updated UNDG toolkit for improved functioning of the United Nations development system at the
country level.
The reference guide has the following specific objectives:
 Place existing United Nations guidance and tools within the context of aid and
development effectiveness. UNCTs have access to a large volume of guidance on a
range of thematic and programmatic issues. Rather than presenting an entirely new set
of guidance, this guide seeks to demonstrate how existing tools contribute to aid and
development effectiveness.
 Provide complementary guidance for areas where accelerated progress is needed.
Where necessary, this guide seeks to close gaps in existing guidance and meet UNCT
needs for more specific advice in areas where the UN development system has not yet
made sufficient progress.
 Support UNCTs with checklists and indicators for good performance. This will help
UNCTs to assess their current performance and facilitate continuous monitoring of
effective aid delivery independently of the OECD Paris Declaration Monitoring Surveys.
 Link guidance to country experiences and practical examples. While there is no “one
size fits all” approach and good practices are continuously evolving, examples of applied
guidance provide concrete entry points for taking action.
The guide takes into account the core competencies, mandates and comparative advantages of
the UN development system at country level and recognizes the diversity of UN organizations. It
1
UN General Assembly resolution A/RES/62/208: Triennial comprehensive policy review of operational
activities for development of the United Nations system (TCPR). The TCPR was adopted on 19 Dec. 2007
and covers the exceptionally long period 2008-2012. In its resolution A/Res/63/232 the UN General
Assembly decided to change the comprehensive policy review from a triennial to a quadrennial cycle. The
first quadrennial comprehensive policy review (QCPR) is expected to be adopted in 2012 to cover the
period 2013-2016.
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Better Aid for Development Effectiveness: Reference Guide for UN Country Teams
is informed by an understanding of the differing aid environments that UNCTs are faced with and
recognizes that their speed of change and complexity varies considerably between countries.
Target audience
The reference guide takes the TCPR as its overarching frame of reference for addressing key
issues of aid and development effectiveness. In doing so, it goes beyond the Paris Declaration on
Aid Effectiveness and its limited set of indicators. Consequently, this guide seeks to be relevant
for all UNCTs, regardless of whether they find themselves in low or middle-income country
contexts, post-crisis and transition settings or whether or not their host country adheres to the
Paris Declaration. However, the very essence of this guide and its emphasis of national
ownership and leadership demand that it be adapted to particular country contexts.
The development of the next generation of United Nations Development Assistance Frameworks
(UNDAF) presents UNCTs with a strategic opportunity to further harmonize their programming
and operations and to closely align their operational activities with national priorities, processes,
planning cycles and systems. This reference guide is therefore particularly relevant for the
90 UNCTs that will develop new UNDAFs in the next three years. At the same time, the guide
seeks to support UNCTs at all stages of their UNDAF cycle in making a step change in the
relevance and quality of their assistance.
The concise modular format of this guide supports senior managers in their task of ensuring that
the UNCT is overall well positioned to contribute to effective development. Complementary
technical guidance in each chapter intends to inform the daily work of UN staff at all levels.
Structure of the reference guide
The reference guide follows a format that can be readily updated as new experiences and
lessons emerge. The core chapters of this document follow the five partnership commitments for
more effective aid that underly the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness: Ownership, Alignment,
Harmonization, Managing for Results and Mutual Accountability. While the Paris Declaration itself
and particularly its set of progress indicators have been criticized for being too narrow and not
inclusive enough, the value of the partnership commitments are universally acknowledged and
emphasized throughout the TCPR.
The core chapters are complemented by two chapters dedicated to areas where the United
Nations development system has a unique mandate and potential comparative advantage for
increasing development effectiveness: South-South Cooperation and Post-crisis and transition
settings.
The guidance provided in each chapter is firmly rooted within the relevant TCPR mandate. Each
chapter is introduced by key information on the policy context followed by recommendations for
priority actions that UNCTs are encouraged to adapt to their particular country contexts.
Checklists with indicators for good performance help UNCTs to assess their current performance
and facilitate continuous monitoring of effective aid delivery. Each chapter further contains links to
a continuously updated selection of examples and country case studies. Links to relevant tools
and guidance materials conclude each chapter.
Introductory chapters on the UNDG commitment to aid and development effectiveness and the
role of the UN development system at country level provide the necessary context.
This document is structured along the following chapters:
UNDG Commitment to Aid and Development Effectiveness provides practitioners with a
frame of reference by outlining the key policy mandates and initiatives that define the UNDG’s
collective commitment to aid and development effectiveness.
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Better Aid for Development Effectiveness: Reference Guide for UN Country Teams
Role of the UN System in the Country Aid Environment provides suggestions for the effective
positioning of the UNCT in the face of a rapidly changing aid environment that is characterized by
a diversity of development actors and increasing use of programme-based approaches and
budget support.
Supporting Inclusive National Ownership shows how UNCTs can support broad-based
national ownership and leadership as the prerequisite for effective development in line with the
UN’s unique mandate and positioning vis-à-vis government, civil society and donors.
Aligning with National Priorities, Strategies and Systems outlines the area where UNCTs
need to make most progress by strengthening and using national systems and further reducing
transaction costs for partners.
Harmonizing Assistance and Forging Partnerships guides UNCTs in building on the
successes of enhanced UN coherence while at the same time increasing collaboration and
agreeing on an effective division of labour with development partners.
Managing for Development Results outlines how UNCTs can manage effectively for concrete
development results while strengthening national systems for doing likewise.
Fostering Mutual Accountability and Transparency guides UNCTs in their efforts to
strengthen their own accountability and transparency for mutually agreed development results as
well as to improve national accountability and transparency mechanisms.
Promoting South-South Cooperation outlines how UNCTs can use their unique mandate and
comparative advantage for facilitating dialogue and innovative approaches between developing
countries.
Strengthening Aid Effectiveness in Post-Crisis and Transition Settings provides specialized
guidance for UNCTs that are faced with post-crisis settings where traditional aid effectiveness
tools may not be applicable.
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Better Aid for Development Effectiveness: Reference Guide for UN Country Teams
UNDG COMMITMENT TO AID AND DEVELOPMENT EFFECTIVENESS
TCPR 2007
“We pledge to enhance the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, accountability and
credibility of the United Nations system. This is our shared responsibility and interest.”
(para.15)
“We further welcome recent efforts and initiatives to enhance the quality of aid and to
increase its impact, including the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, and resolve to
take concrete, effective and timely action in implementing all agreed commitments on aid
effectiveness, with clear monitoring and deadlines…” (para. 23c)
[This chapter will be updated in light of the UNDG preparations for the Busan High Level
Forum on Aid Effectiveness in 2011]
National ownership of development strategies, alignment of development assistance with national
priorities, and harmonization of development efforts all contribute to better, more sustainable
development outcomes. UNDG is committed to deliver effective development assistance in line
with the General Assembly’s triennial comprehensive policy review (TCPR) resolutions, the
Millennium Declaration and the MDGs and other internationally agreed development goals, the
2005 World Summit, the 2002 Monterrey Consensus, and the 2008 Doha Declaration on
Financing for Development.
The Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness is part of the ongoing efforts to increase the
effectiveness of development assistance with concrete indicators and targets. At the 2008 Accra
High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, UNDG advocated using aid as one of the instruments for
achieving the MDGs/IADGs and securing development results; stressed the importance of
capacity development and the use of country systems; and called for untying aid, limiting
conditionalities and making aid more predictable to complement growing new sources of
development finance.
Tangible progress has been made but accelerated action is needed
Since it was established by the UN Secretary General in 1997, the United Nations Development
Group (UNDG) has made tangible progress in increasing the effectiveness of UN development
assistance through system-wide approaches to coordinate, harmonize and align UN development
activities. In fact, since the UNDG has rarely reported comprehensively about its reform
successes in the context of aid effectiveness, public perception of UNDG progress on this front
lags somewhat behind reality.
The 2008 Paris Declaration Monitoring Survey confirmed that the UN development system has
made tangible progress in implementing the Paris principles over the past few years. UNCTs
perform particularly well in supporting national ownership and leadership as well as in aligning
their assistance with national priorities and strategies. UN development assistance has become
more predictable and is more regularly reported on government budgets. UNCTs engage more
effectively in programme-based and sector-wide approaches, and increasingly conduct missions
and analytical work jointly.
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Better Aid for Development Effectiveness: Reference Guide for UN Country Teams
However, it is equally evident that UNCTs need to accelerate progress in key areas. Increased
use of national systems, for instance for procurement and public financial management, and the
further reduction of parallel project implementation units leave the greatest room for improvement.
Therefore, this reference guide focuses on but is not limited to key areas that were recommended
for further attention by the independent Evaluation of the UNDG Contribution to the Paris
Declaration (2008). For a detailed analysis of UNCT results in the 2006 and 2008 OECD Surveys
on Monitoring the Paris Declaration, please refer to UN Country Team Results in the Paris
Declaration Monitoring Surveys (2010).
UNDG Strategic Priorities 2010-2011
To respond to the TCPR and global development priorities, and to ensure the UN development
system becomes more internally focused and coherent, the UNDG has developed and endorsed
a set of strategic priorities for 2010-2011. The UNDG strategic priorities give direction to UNDG
efforts at the global, regional and country level to facilitate a step change in the quality and impact
of UN support at the country level.
The diagram on the next page summarizes the strategic priorities and their inter-linkage as an
integrated strategy for the next two years.
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Better Aid for Development Effectiveness: Reference Guide for UN Country Teams
UNDG Strategic Priorities 2010-2011
Maximize Impact at Country Level
All Countries
 Contribute with government leadership to accelerating MDG/IADG achievement, especially in
countries furthest from reaching their national targets
 Engage “upstream” in policy and program dialogue and technical advising, especially in MICs and
NCCs
 Ensure UNCT discipline in priority setting to ensure alignment between national priorities and UN
comparative advantages
 Strengthen institutional capacity development
 Build south-south and triangular partnerships
 Upscale implementation of common services and accelerate harmonization of business practices
UNDAF rollout countries
 UNCTs strengthen engagement
in sectoral programming and
national policy development
 UNCTs ensure UNDAFs are
aligned with national priorities
 UNCTs responsible for UNDAF
quality
Crisis and Transition
Countries
 UNCTs ensure that crisis
and transition responses
address underlying
development issues
 UNCTs know and apply UN
transition lessons
Delivering as One countries
 UNDG continues focused
support until completion of
independent evaluation
 UNDG drives next generation
business practice reform for
global replication
Drive Key UNDG System Changes to Increase Country-Level Impact
Increase Agency Incentives and
Supports for Country-Level Coherence
and Results
 Agencies appraise and reward UNCT
and Regional and HQ staff on
contributions to UNCT systems and
results through formal performance
appraisal system
 UNDG & Regional UNDG Teams
strengthen RC recruitment, appraisal
and capacity development
 UNDG monitors key indicators of
UNCT coordination and results
 Agencies jointly provide global and
regional training on collaboration and
leadership skills
 Agencies scale up business practice
harmonization
Deepen Senior Leadership
Engagement with Regional
UNDG Teams & UNCTs
Improve System
Capacity to Deploy
Knowledge and KnowHow
 Agency Principals send
 UNDG, HLCP and
stronger, more consistent
HLCM collaborate to
messages to HQ, Regional and
identify, deploy and
UNCT senior staff on imperative
mainstream best
of country coherence for results
practices for country
 In all country contexts,
coherence
Principals, Deputies and
 Regional UNDG Teams
Regional UNDG Teams work
and RCMs streamline
directly with countries on policy
and focus substantive
dialogue and UNCT priority
support to UNCTs
setting
 Agencies use joint
 Principals and Deputies
regional meetings to
regularly join regional meetings
share knowledge and
of RCs, agencies and Regional
know how
UNDG Teams
RELATED KEY RESOURCES
 Triennial Comprehensive Policy Review (TCPR) 2007
 UNDG Strategic Priorities for 2010-2011
 Statement of Outcome and Way Forward: High Level Tripartite Conference on Delivering as
One, Hanoi 2010
 Statement of Outcomes and Way Forward: Intergovernmental Meeting of the “Programme
Country Pilots” on “Delivering as One," Kigali 2009
 UNDG - Response to the Changing Aid Environment (2008)
 UNDG Key Messages for the Accra High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (2008)
 Statement by the UNDG Chair at the Accra High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (2008)
 UNDG Statement at the Paris High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (2005)
 Delivering as One: Making the UN system more coherent, effective and efficient
 UNDG toolkit for improved functioning of the United Nations development system at the
country level
 Synthesis of Resident Coordinator Annual Reports 1997 - 2009
 United to Deliver Effective Support to Countries – Promoting UN Coherence, Effectiveness
and Relevance: An Overview of Progress Since 1997 (2008)
 Some Measures to Improve Overall Performance of the United Nations System at the
Country Level, UN Joint Inspection Unit (2005): Part 1: A Short History of UN Reform in
Development; Part 2
 Accelerating progress in aid effectiveness: from here to 2011, OECD (2010)
 Reaching our Development Goals: Why Does Aid Effectiveness Matter?, OECD (2009)
 www.undg.org/effectiveness
 www.aideffectiveness.org
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Better Aid for Development Effectiveness: Reference Guide for UN Country Teams
ROLE OF THE UNITED NATIONS SYSTEM IN THE COUNTRY AID ENVIRONMENT
TCPR 2007
The strength of the United Nations operational system lies in its legitimacy, at the country level,
as a neutral, objective and trusted partner for both programme countries and donor countries.
(para. 5)
With the consent of the host country, the United Nations development system should assist
national governments in creating an enabling environment in which the links and cooperation
between national governments, the United Nations development system, civil society, national
non-governmental organizations and the private sector are strengthened. (para. 8)
Current trends in development assistance, including sector-wide approaches and budget support,
pose challenges to the United Nations. The United Nations can play a role in assisting developing
countries to manage these aid modalities. (preamble)
[The text in this section is an excerpt from the 2010 UNDAF Guidelines. It will be updated
and complemented by further information on a) Key characteristics of the changing aid
environment; b) UN comparative advantage and c) UN role in middle income countries]
More than ever, UNCTs need to harness, in a strategic manner, the broad range of normative
and analytical expertise, advocacy, operational and coordination capabilities available throughout
the UN system, building on the participation of all UN agencies, resident and non-resident (UN
Response to the Changing Aid Environment (2008).
The minimum result expected from UNCT cooperation is a strategic contribution to the
achievement of the national development priorities. UNCTs are expected to participate actively in
the national development process, including through national and sectoral visions and
development plans; poverty reduction strategy papers; a sector-wide approach or programmebased approach; direct budget support and a joint assistance strategy; among other processes,
as appropriate to the national context, making use of its resources at the national level, and
where applicable, at regional and global levels. (For details on modalities for engaging in national
development process, refer to Chapter I of How to Prepare an UNDAF: Technical Guidance.) In
post-crisis settings, the UN is expected to facilitate processes for developing country-based
transition strategies, leading to peace consolidation and return to the path of development.
Development effectiveness calls for a more coherent UN at country level,4 which is also an
essential requirement to better address structural and emerging humanitarian and development
issues. Food, energy and financial crises, climate change, and other such emerging issues, are
also rapidly reshaping the aid environment and forcing UN agencies and other partners to
intensify their efforts to meet the MDGs before 2015. (UNDG and ECHA Chairs’ letter to RCs;
The Comprehensive Framework for Action)
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Better Aid for Development Effectiveness: Reference Guide for UN Country Teams
Development effectiveness, therefore, implies four basic elements for UNCT engagement:
• National ownership: The UNDAF, and the country analysis from which it emerges, needs to be
based on and aligned with national development priorities and strategies. This requires
government leadership and engagement of all relevant stakeholders, in all stages of the process,
to maximize the contribution that the UN system can make, through the UNDAF, to the country
development process.
• Partnership: The UNCT is required to partner with all relevant stakeholders; all levels of
government, including line ministries; social partners; civil society, including indigenous peoples
and minorities, forms of civic engagement, volunteerism; donors; international financial
institutions (such as the World Bank and other regional IFIs) and other relevant development
actors. (For details on partnerships with different stakeholders, refer to Chapter II of How to
Prepare an UNDAF: Technical Guidance)
• Comparative advantage: While responding to national priorities and supporting the
implementation of international norms and standards, the UNCT is required to assess its
capacities to focus its efforts where it can best provide leadership and make the biggest
difference, avoid duplication and establish synergies with ongoing interventions.
• Maximum effectiveness and accountability: UNCT performance needs to be measurable and
accountabilities need to be clarified, so that the system can deliver effectively.
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Better Aid for Development Effectiveness: Reference Guide for UN Country Teams
RELATED KEY RESOURCES
 UNDG - Response to the Changing Aid Environment (2008)
 The UN and New Aid Modalities, Scanteam (2005)
 Report of the Secretary-General on Trends and Progress in International Development
Cooperation (2010)
 ECOSOC DCF Helsinki High-Level Symposium: “Coherent Development Cooperation:
Maximizing Impact in a Changing Environment” (2009)
The Role of the UN in Middle Income Countries
 Report of the Secretary-General on Development Cooperation with Middle-Income Countries
(2009)
 UN General Assembly resolution A/RES/64/208: Development Cooperation with Middle
Income Countries (2009)
 UN General Assembly resolution A/RES/63/223: Development Cooperation with Middle
Income Countries (2008)
 UN Operations in a Middle-Income Country: Formulation of a Strategy for Enhanced UN
Coherence and Effectiveness in Thailand - Phase II (2010)
Relevant background documents on the changing aid environment and aid effectiveness
 OECD collection: Useful Aid Effectiveness Documents
 Background report from Millennium Campaign, OECD and UN: Reaching Our Development
Goals: Why Does Aid Effectiveness Matter?
 OECD Aid Effectiveness and Accountability: G8 Support is key for progress (2 pager)
 OECD Accelerating progress in aid effectiveness: from here to 2011
 OECD Making aid more effective through the strengthening and use of national systems
 Development Finance International/Overseas Development Institute, Guide to Donors: UN
Agencies Profile (2009)
 The Mutual Review of Development Effectiveness in Africa: Promise and Performance, Joint
Report by the Economic Commission for Africa and the OECD (2009)
 Donor and Programme Country Action Plans to implement the Paris Declaration and Accra
Agenda for Action
 The Reality of Aid Network
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Better Aid for Development Effectiveness: Reference Guide for UN Country Teams
SUPPORTING INCLUSIVE NATIONAL OWNERSHIP
TCPR 2007
Each country must take primary responsibility for its own development and the role of national
policies and development strategies cannot be overemphasized in the achievement of
sustainable development. (preamble)
National Governments have the primary responsibility for coordinating all types of external
assistance on the basis of national strategies and priorities. (para. 6)
United Nations operational activities are carried out for the benefit of programme countries, at the
request of those countries and in accordance with their own policies and priorities for
development. (para. 4)
Capacity development and ownership of national development strategies are essential for the
achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium
Development Goals. The United Nations organizations are called upon to support developing
countries in establishing and maintaining effective national institutions. (para. 35)
Ownership, leadership and full participation of national authorities in the preparation and
development of all planning and programming documents of the United Nations development
system, including the CCA and UNDAF, are key to guaranteeing that they respond to the
national development strategies. (para 86)
[This chapter has been further developed to serve as model for the remaining chapters]
POLICY CONTEXT
1. National ownership of development efforts is the primary condition for effectiveness:
Development can only be successful, sustained, and fully effective when programme countries
take the lead in determining the goals and priorities of their own development and set the agenda
for how they are to be achieved.
2. National development plans and priorities have been at the centre of UN country
programming since 1970. In the 2002 Monterrey Consensus on Financing for Development,
UN Member States recognized that “effective partnerships among donors and recipients are
based on the recognition of national leadership and ownership of development plans and, within
that framework, sound policies and good governance at all levels are necessary to ensure ODA
effectiveness.”
3. In 2005, the Paris Declaration defined ownership as its first priority: “Partner countries
exercise effective leadership over their development policies and strategies, and
coordinate development actions.” The 2008 Accra Agenda for Action reaffirms and deepens
this commitment: “Developing country governments will take stronger leadership of their own
development policies, and will engage with their parliaments and citizens in shaping those
policies.” It calls on donors to support them by respecting countries’ priorities, investing in their
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Better Aid for Development Effectiveness: Reference Guide for UN Country Teams
human resources and institutions, making greater use of their systems to deliver aid, and
increasing the predictability of aid flows.
4. Reforms within the United Nations system, and particularly the 2010 UNDAF guidance
package, focus on supporting country ownership and leadership of UN programming, alignment
of the UNDAF with national development strategies and the MDGs/IADGs as well as institutional
capacity development as the pillars of development sustainability.
5. The 2008 evaluation of the implementation of the Paris Declaration indicates that there is
global progress on achieving greater national ownership and that UNCTs have performed
particularly strongly in this area. There is also evidence that ownership is likely to be more
effective if it is based on broad consultative processes. However, ownership often remains
narrowly confined within developing countries, heavily weighted in favour of central government
rather than line ministries, provincial and local authorities. Even the most experienced countries
find it difficult to translate national strategies into operational sector strategies and programmes
for effective donor coordination. The ownership situation also varies across sectors, with sectors
such as education, health, energy and infrastructure remaining primarily government led, while
civil society and marginalized groups find greater space for partnerships in the cross-sectoral and
humanitarian areas.
6. Indicator 1 is the only Paris Declaration progress indicator measuring ownership. The
indicator draws on the World Bank’s Aid Effectiveness Review and counts the number of
countries with national development strategies that have clear strategic priorities linked to a
medium-term expenditure framework and reflected in annual budgets. While the number of
countries with sound operational strategies has increased from 13% in 2005 to 20% in 2007, the
aim to reach 75% by 2010 remains out of reach. A key challenge in this regard has been the
linking of national strategies to resource allocation through the national budget.
UNCT PRIORITY ACTIONS
In their efforts to support inclusive national ownership, UN country teams should prioritize the
following actions that are outlined in the section below:
1.
2.
3.
4.
Put national development strategies at the centre of UN country programming
Strengthen national capacities to lead and manage development
Broaden country-level policy dialogue on development
Support national ownership of United Nations programming
1. Put national development strategies at the centre of UN country programming

Assist Government in developing MDG/IADG-based national development strategies (NDS)
7. Translating the global MDG targets into action requires an operational framework at the
national level. National development strategies (NDS) 2 are the frameworks through which
national leadership over development priorities is exercised and implemented. In some 80 of the
world’s poorest countries, Poverty Reduction Strategies are currently being planned, prepared
or reviewed to serve as primary strategic and implementation vehicles to reach the MDGs and the
2
The term “national development strategies” includes poverty reduction and similar overarching
strategies as well as sector and thematic strategies.
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Better Aid for Development Effectiveness: Reference Guide for UN Country Teams
other internationally agreed development goals. These planning frameworks are evolving into
vehicles for coordinating bilateral and multilateral support around a nationally owned agenda.
8. With poverty reduction firmly at the centre of the UN’s normative and operational work, the
NDS process presents a unique opportunity for strategic engagement of the UNCT. Under
Government leadership and in close cooperation with the World Bank, the IMF and other
development partners, the UN should provide coordinated support to the NDS process. It is
obvious that the impact of the World Bank and the UN agencies in support of poverty reduction is
maximized when their efforts complement each other. Frank and regular consultation with
partners on plans, programmes and projects will lead to more effective support.
9. All UNCTs should actively participate in the development of national strategies as platforms to
advocate for a holistic human development approach linked to human rights. In this context, the
UNCT promotes civil society participation and provides advice to the Government on the
development of national capacity for poverty monitoring and analysis, and pro-poor policy reforms
and service delivery. The entire UNCT, working with other development partners, can facilitate
the expression of the MDGs/IADGs in national goals included in the NDS, based on its strong
country presence and its multi-sectoral expertise. The UNCT should assist national partners to
set their own numerical and time-bound targets directed at meeting the MDGs/IADGs and
articulate the policies and programmes to attain these.
10. The UNCT should jointly support the regular MDG country reporting that assesses progress
towards the goals. The MDG country reports will be a key instrument to inform public debate for
setting national targets, helping to enable all parties to hold each other accountable for the
achievement of objectives as set out in the NDS. It is essential that the MDG country reports and
the annual NDS/PRSP progress reports do not generate parallel processes. Efforts to produce
both should support good statistics and strengthen national capacities for poverty monitoring and
analysis.
Tools: UNDG Millennium Development Goals Thematic Papers (2010)
UNDG MDG Good Practices (2010)
UNDG Guidance Note on UNCT Engagement in PRSPs (2003)

Support national development strategies that are consistent with agreed international
commitments, particularly on human rights, gender equality and environmental sustainability
11. The UNDAF guidelines identify five programming principles that are intended to strengthen
the quality and focus of UN responses to national priorities based on the UN system’s common
values and standards: Human rights-based approach (HRBA), gender equality,
environmental sustainability, capacity development and results-based management. It is
widely agreed that all five are necessary for effective UN-supported country programming that
must balance the pursuit of international norms and standards with the achievement of national
development priorities.
12. These programming principles are characterized by the fact that they are universal, based in
law and relevant to government-UN cooperation everywhere and always. This sets the
principles apart from priorities and goals, which are influenced heavily by contextual factors.
Hence, they serve as guidance for the country analysis and UNCTs are required to promote their
application in the process of drafting and reviewing national development strategies. In addition,
other key cross-cutting issues may be relevant depending on the country context.
Tools: UNDG Guidance Note on the Application of the Programming Principles to the UNDAF
(2010)
Human Rights and Aid Effectiveness: Key Actions to Improve Inter-Linkages, OECD/DAC
(2008)
Human Rights and Aid Effectiveness: Key Messages on Ownership, OECD/DAC (2008)
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Better Aid for Development Effectiveness: Reference Guide for UN Country Teams

Support Government in reviewing and adjusting national development strategies in the
aftermath of the global financial and economic crisis
13. The global financial, economic and social crisis has affected developing countries around
the globe to various degrees. The collaboration of all UN agencies is critical to effectively support
national partners in addressing the impact of the crisis in a comprehensive, nationally owned
approach. For this purpose, the UN System Chief Executives Board (CEB) approved nine Joint
Crisis Initiatives in 2009. The World Bank and IMF have endorsed these initiatives and are
determined to support the process at country level. Each country’s needs will determine the most
relevant initiatives for the longer-term crisis response. To this effect, UNCTs should:



Collectively assess critical needs arising from the current crisis, making full use of all
partners’ existing, ongoing and planned analyses, to identify critical gaps
Formulate a set of interventions to address those gaps, identify potential synergies
across interventions and programmes and confirm key organizations to lead support to
Government in those areas
Identify overall budgetary needs and existing and/or potential sources of funding,
including any items to be funded by existing programmes or by scaling up existing
programmes
Tool: UN Joint Crisis Initiatives Resources Guide

Assist Government and development partners in localizing the Paris Declaration and Accra
Agenda for Action
14. The Accra Agenda for Action encourages developing countries to design country-based
action plans that set out time-bound and monitorable proposals to implement the Paris
Declaration and Accra Agenda for Action. One important effort in this regard has been the
development of localized versions of the Paris Declaration between development partners and
national governments. These agreements set out joint commitments and targets for improving aid
effectiveness at the country or regional level. UNCTs should be at the forefront of supporting
governments to adapt the Paris Principles to local needs and requirements. The means and
methods to translate the Paris Principles into effective local actions will vary according to the
country context.
Resource: Country case studies
2. Strengthen national capacities to lead and manage development

Enhance capacity building for national development planning, programming, monitoring and
evaluation institutions and strengthen national capacities to effectively coordinate and
evaluate the impact of aid
15. UNDG has adopted the OECD DAC terminology, according to which capacity is the ability of
people, organisations and society as a whole to manage their affairs successfully. Capacity
development is the process whereby people, organisations and society as a whole unleash,
strengthen, create, adapt and maintain capacity over time.
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Better Aid for Development Effectiveness: Reference Guide for UN Country Teams
16. Capacity development is critical for ensuring national ownership of development plans and
effective resource management to achieve the MDGs/IADGs; for enhancing the absorptive
capacity of programme countries, including those post-crisis; for maintaining and/or
reconstructing effective national institutions; for empowering communities and civil society; and
for scaling up and sustaining progress over time.
17. In recent times, the notion of capacity development has undergone significant change –
conceptually, operationally and institutionally. Conceptually, there has been a paradigm shift
whereby the notion of capacity development is no longer limited to human resource development,
but rather covers a broader scope that includes societal and organisational transformation and
the issues of national ownership, policy-level impacts, and sustainability. It includes the creation
of space for and management of dialogues, relationships, and partnership; knowledge networks;
and incentives for performance and accountability. Operationally, it no longer emphasizes
outputs, but also processes and mechanisms that lead to outputs. Institutionally, it is at the core
of the work of countries and national governments as it is embedded in national development
strategies as well as sub-national development plans.
18. The overall goal for the UNCT at country level is to support capacities of central and
local governments, particularly in sectors, to lead, manage, achieve and account for their
national development priorities. This is especially so for those related to the MDGs and
internationally agreed development goals, as well as human rights obligations in ratified UN
conventions and treaties.
19. Many developing countries have developed Aid Information Management Systems (AIMS)
as a tool to improve the coordination of aid, increase its transparency, strengthen accountability
and increase its contribution to development. However, in many cases, the benefits from such
systems have been less than expected, and many systems have not been sustained in the longer
term, despite a considerable investment of time and finance by partner governments and their
development partners. Much expertise and experience exists within governments, donors, AIMS
contractors, and civil society. UNCTs have a key role to play in convening these stakeholders and
leveraging their expertise to increase the contribution of existing AIMS to reducing poverty and
achieving MDGs/IADGs, and effectively support countries that are about to develop such
systems.
Tools: UNDP Checklist Aid Coordination Mechanisms
Better Data, Better Aid? A Practical Guidance Note on Aid Information Management
Systems (2009)

Support the design and implementation of inclusive national capacity development strategies
and provide capacity development support through coordinated programmes consistent with
national development priorities
20. To this effect, UNCTs assist Government to identify areas where there is a need to strengthen
the capacity to perform and deliver services at all levels – national, sub-national, sectoral and
thematic – and support the design and implementation of inclusive national capacity development
strategies to address them. Building on the diversity of its mandates, the UNCT can advocate for
cross-cutting issues and, in collaboration with the BWIs, also provide policy inputs regarding
macro-economic assumptions regarding a country's capacity to manage development.
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Better Aid for Development Effectiveness: Reference Guide for UN Country Teams
21. The UNCT role in assisting national governments to assess and develop capacities is outlined
in the UNDG Position Statement on Capacity Development. The UNDG Capacity
Assessment Methodology guides assessment of capacities and formulation of capacity
development strategies at the country level. There are four key entry points to guide and position
the UNCT work and to make it more effective:




UNCTs articulate capacity development and its underlying principles as the central thrust of
the UNDG’s role in the country, as outlined in the CCA and the UNDAF. In close cooperation
with development partners, UNCTs need to ensure a collective approach towards capacity
development, maximizing individual agency strengths at country level, including non-resident
agencies.
UNCTs situate their work in capacity development within national policy and development
plans. This comprises national processes for situation analysis, policy and strategy
formulation, budget allocation, project implementation, monitoring and evaluation.
UNCTs assess the level of national and local capacity assets and respond to the identified
capacity needs by drawing on, or feeding into, national or sector capacity assessments and
capacity development strategies. They should not develop separate or parallel exercises,
unless specifically called upon by governments or in special post crisis and humanitarian
circumstances the international community.
UNCTs “unpack” capacity development into tangible components that when addressed
together often provide the necessary capacities to reach development goals in the context of
a rights-based approach. Such is based on pursuing a “best fit” rather than “best practice”
approach as the local context is the primary determinant. These capacity components are:
human resources; public sector accountability; access to information, development
knowledge and technology; inclusion, participation, equity and empowerment; financial
resources; material resources; environmental resources; and external/international relations.
These components are seen as critical and cross-cutting dimensions of capacity
development that are relevant to different sectors and the UNCT as a whole. They are
essential to the success of a wide range of agency mandates.
Tools: UNDG Capacity Assessment Methodology User Guide (2008)
UNDG Capacity Assessment Supporting Tool (2008)
3. Broaden country-level policy dialogue on development

Support the creation of an enabling legislative and policy environment for non-state actors
and develop strategies and mechanisms for civil society, NGO and private sector
engagement in programming processes together with Government
22. National ownership must be viewed within the context of broad, inclusive partnerships that
extend beyond Governments. It must also focus on building effective societal participation. At the
Accra High Level Forum, development country governments agreed to work more closely with
parliaments, local authorities, civil society and the private sector in preparing, implementing and
monitoring national development policies and plans. The UN is uniquely positioned to support
these efforts through inclusive consultative processes and by acting as a facilitator of dialogue
between development partners and national stakeholders.
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Better Aid for Development Effectiveness: Reference Guide for UN Country Teams
Tool:

UNDG Capacity Assessment Methodology User Guide (2008)
UNDG Workspace of the former Task Team on Civil Society
Strengthen the capacity of parliaments, CSOs, research institutes, media and the private
sector to take an active role in dialogue on development policy and on the role of aid in
contributing to development objectives
23. The Accra Agenda for Action acknowledges the critical role and responsibility of parliaments
in ensuring country ownership of development processes. Parliamentarians can work to enhance
the effectiveness of aid in two related ways. Firstly, by being involved in dialogue and processes
that specifically relate to aid and ensuring its accountability. For many developing countries,
where aid provides an important contribution to the resources that they have available for
spending on poverty reduction and other development priorities, this is very important. Secondly,
parliamentarians have key roles to play in national processes of planning, budgeting, anticorruption, and audit, among others, and these processes influence the effectiveness and
impact of all development resources, both aid and domestic resources.
24. Engagement of civil society organizations and networks is essential to achieving inclusive
national ownership at country level. In response to the recommendations of the SecretaryGeneral following the report of the Panel of Eminent Persons on United Nations-Civil Society
Relations (the Cardoso Report), the UNDG established Civil Society Focal Points at country
level and encouraged UNCTs to create Civil Society Advisory Committees to strengthen
cooperation between the UN and civil society.
25. Civil Society Advisory Committees can guide implementation of United Nations strategies
by providing the UNCT with strategic, political and substantive guidance on policies and
programmes, supporting the ability of the UNCT to understand and analyze the role of CSOs in
the country, and developing and strengthening a two-way communication and engagement
process with civil society.
26. An important role of the UNCT to strengthen the capacities of civil society organizations is to
ensure access to resources and information regarding the UN’s work in the country. The
UNCT can further strengthen the capacity of CSOs to engage in the development of national
policies by facilitating network building between local and national civil society organizations,
the formation of umbrella groups for specific sectors and the creation of (online) fora or
discussions groups between different organizations.
27. To strengthen the capacities of CSOs to engage in preparing, implementing and monitoring
national development policies, including on the achievement of the MDGs/IADGs, UNCTs can
support civil society actors and community volunteers by providing training - including training of
trainers - to strengthen CSO governance, institutional and organizational capacity, including
managerial, financial and technical skills, and developing the capacity of civil society to
implement, monitor and evaluate programmes.
Tools: UNDG Workspace for National Civil Society Advisory Committees to UNCTs
Making Aid Work: Towards Better Development Results: Practical Guidance for
Parliamentarians
on the Role of Parliaments in Development Effectiveness (2010)
UN System Engagement with NGOs, Civil Society, the Private Sector and Other Actors –
A Compendium (2005) - Annex III: Guidelines on Cooperation between the United
Nations and the Business Community

Promote technical co-operation by local and regional resources, including South-South
cooperation
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Better Aid for Development Effectiveness: Reference Guide for UN Country Teams
28. Development challenges have local impacts and cannot be effectively addressed without the
knowledge, expertise, and empowerment of legitimate and accountable actors on the ground.
Yet, the United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) estimates that less than 10% of aid
received by countries is channelled through the local and regional levels, which weakens the
accountability and ownership of initiatives. Local and regional authorities are often overlooked as
partners, although they offer clear comparative advantages: Not only are they able to engage and
consult their local communities with regard to their development needs, but they are also
immediately answerable to them and more visible. Their inclusion in sector planning processes
contributes to a more transparent and democratic development process.
29. UNCTs also have a critical role to play as brokers of information and expertise within their
countries, sub-regions and regions. Moreover, UNCTs can serve to support sub-regional, regional
and interregional agreements by strengthening national capacities to monitor and implement
existing commitments. Please also refer to the chapter on South-South cooperation in this guide
for more information, priority actions, resources and country case studies.
Tools: ECOSOC DCF Side Event – New Actors in Development Cooperation and the New Aid
Architecture: the Role of Regional Governments and Local Authorities (2010)
4. Support national ownership of United Nations programming

Ensure Government leadership and engagement of all relevant stakeholders throughout all
stages of the development and implementation of the UNDAF
30. The UNDAF and the country analysis from which it emerges need to be based on and
aligned with national development priorities and strategies. In order to maximize the contribution
that the UN system can make to the country development process through the UNDAF, UNCTs
are required to ensure government leadership and engagement of all relevant stakeholders
in all stages of the process. The UNDAF Guidelines define ‘stakeholders’ as “governments,
including line ministries; social partners, including workers and employers organizations; other
development partners relevant to a country context; civil society; and non-governmental
organizations.”
Tools: How to Prepare an UNDAF: Part (I) Guidelines for UN Country Teams (2010)
How to Prepare an UNDAF: (Part II) Technical Guidance for UN Country Teams (2010),
Chapters II and III

In countries that voluntarily adopt a “Delivering as One” approach, establish a nationally
owned and led process for developing an “integrated UN Programme” (i.e. UNDAF and
UNDAF Action Plan), harmonizing business practices, common services and, where
appropriate, common premises
31. Strong government leadership and national ownership are necessary prerequisites if UNCTs
intend to voluntarily adopt a “Delivering as One” (DaO) approach. The establishment of wellfunctioning, operative and proactive Joint Country Steering Committees (led by the UN and
government) has emerged as a good practice for enhancing government leadership. An
increasing number of UNCTs, including the eight DaO pilot countries, have established such
steering committees, through which governments can exercise effective and regular oversight of
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Better Aid for Development Effectiveness: Reference Guide for UN Country Teams
the UN reform process and define the overall strategic vision of UN assistance to the country,
including prioritization and implementation of the UNDAF and allocation of funds from One UN
Funds.
32. However, before hastily establishing such steering committees it is crucial that UNCTs
reflect on the extra administrative burden that these might represent for the government.
These mechanisms should serve to significantly reduce the transaction costs of government and
partners for dealing with the UN system in the country. To this effect, UNCTs should put more
thought into using existing governmental committees and mechanisms as steering committees for
UN programmes.
33. For the successful installation of a steering committee it is crucial that the government
provides inputs on its composition and structure. Line ministries should be actively involved in
the steering committee if their thematic area is covered by the UNDAF. In addition, donors and
civil society may also be invited, usually as observers. In the absence of their direct
participation, effective communication mechanisms should be established. In some countries,
government partners are actively involved in deciding on the allocation of resources from the One
UN Fund. This has proven to be an effective instrument for ensuring government ownership and
leadership.
34. Even so, genuine government ownership can be difficult to achieve and risks being limited to
the ministry responsible for aid coordination without close involvement of line ministries. Even the
establishment of a well-functioning steering committee under joint government and UN leadership
by itself does not necessarily ensure broad-based national ownership. The UNCT may also want
to consider additional and more inclusive mechanisms with participation of stakeholders and the
public at large.
Tools: Delivering as One Lessons Learned from Pilot Countries (2009)
UNDG Guidance Note on Establishing Multi-Donor Trust Funds (2010)
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Better Aid for Development Effectiveness: Reference Guide for UN Country Teams
KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS
1. Put national development strategies at the centre of UN country programming
 The UNCT has developed a strategy for engaging in the NDS process, identifying entry
points, division of labour and areas for joint work including regional collaboration
 The UNCT jointly participates in government-led analytical work for the preparation of the
NDS
 Necessary complementary analytical work, such as the Common Country Assessment, is
conducted jointly by the UNCT and informs the NDS process
 The five UNDG programming principles are applied throughout the country analysis and
the UNDAF: Human rights-based approach, gender equality, environmental
sustainability, capacity development, results-based management
 The UNCT supports government and development partners to localize the Paris
Declaration and Accra Agenda for Action and to monitor country-specific targets
2. Strengthen national capacities to lead and manage development
 The UNCT articulates capacity development and its underlying principles as the central
thrust of the UN’s role in the country
 The UNCT follows a collective approach towards capacity development, maximizing
individual agency strengths, including non-resident agencies
 The UNCT situates its work in capacity development within national policy and
development plans (including processes for situation analysis, policy and strategy
formulation, budget allocation, project implementation, monitoring and evaluation)
 The UNCT draws on, or feeds into, national or sector capacity assessments and capacity
development strategies
 The UNCT “unpacks” capacity development into tangible components (i.e. human
resources; public sector accountability; access to information, development knowledge
and technology; inclusion, participation, equity and empowerment; financial resources;
material resources; environmental resources; and external/international relations)
3. Broaden country-level policy dialogue on development
 The UNCT promotes substantive multi-stakeholder dialogues on national development
priorities
 The UNCT strengthens capacities of civil society to engage in the development,
implementation and evaluation of national policies and the monitoring of the MDGs
 The UNCT has established a CSO focal point and, where appropriate, CS advisory
committees
 The UNCT strengthens information sharing between the UN and civil society and
information on consultative mechanisms is published on the UNCT website
 UNCT staff receives orientation training on available consultative mechanisms with civil
society
 Indigenous peoples’ representatives are routinely involved in consultation processes
4. Support national ownership of United Nations programming
 The UNCT and national stakeholders jointly prepare and agree on a roadmap that
outlines the preparation process of the UNDAF, including aligning the UNDAF with the
national planning process and the UNCT’s contribution to country analysis
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Better Aid for Development Effectiveness: Reference Guide for UN Country Teams


The UNDAF and UNDAF Action Plan (where applicable) are developed under
Government leadership and inclusive participation of relevant stakeholders; thematic
groups, workshops and strategy meetings are co-chaired by Government partners
UNCTs adopting a “Delivering as One” approach have established a Joint Country
Steering Committee with representation of stakeholders – ideally using existing
government mechanisms
SPECIALIZED GUIDANCE AND RESOURCES
1. Put national development strategies at the centre of UN country programming
Supporting MDG/IADGs-based national development strategies
UNDG Millennium Development Goals Thematic Papers (2010)
UNDG MDG Good Practices (2010)
UNDG Guidance Note on UNCT Engagement in PRSPs (2003)
UNDG Assessment of the Role of UNCTs in PRSPs (2003)
Synthesis Report: Findings and Recommendations from a Seven Country Study of UN
Engagement in Poverty Reduction and National Development Strategies (2008)
 UNDG Website: MDG-based National Development Strategies and Poverty Reduction
Strategies
 CPN Discussion Archive: Integrating the Paris Declaration into PRSPs (2007)
MDGNet Consolidated Reply: The Paris Declaration and the MDGs (2006)





Applying programming principles to country analysis and the UNDAF
 How to Prepare an UNDAF: Part (I) Guidelines for UN Country Teams (2010)
 How to Prepare an UNDAF: (Part II) Technical Guidance for UN Country Teams
(2010),Chapters II and III
 UNDG Guidance Note on the Application of the Programming Principles to the UNDAF
(2010)
 Human Rights and Aid Effectiveness: Publications and Further Reading, OECD/DAC,
GOVNET





Responding to the global financial and economic crisis
UN Joint Crisis Initiatives Resources Guide
UN System Joint Crisis Initiatives 16 Sep 2009
UNDG Chair letter on Joint Crisis Initiatives
The global financial crisis and its impact on the work of the UN System (CEB paper)
UNDG Policy Network for MD / MDGs: Economic Crisis and MDGs
2.




Strengthen national capacities to lead and manage development
UNDG Position Statement on Capacity Development (2006)
UNDG Capacity Assessment Methodology User Guide (2008)
UNDG Capacity Assessment Supporting Tool (2008)
UNDG Technical Brief on UNDG Programming Principles: Capacity Development





UN Agency Resources
UNDP Aid Effectiveness Capacity Development Compendium (2008)
UNDP Checklist National Capacities for Aid Effectiveness
UNDP Checklist Aid Management Policy
UNDP Checklist Aid Coordination Mechanisms
Better Data, Better Aid? A Practical Guidance Note on Aid Information Management Systems
(2009)
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Better Aid for Development Effectiveness: Reference Guide for UN Country Teams
 OECD The Challenge of Capacity Building – Working Towards Good Practice OECD-DAC
Paris, 2006
3. Broaden country-level policy dialogue on development








Civil Society
Broad Guidelines on Civil Society Advisory Committees to UNCTs
National Civil Society Advisory Committees To UNCTs: Assessment Report (2009)
Advisory Group on Civil Society and Aid Effectiveness: Synthesis of Findings and
Recommendations (2008)
Sample TOR: UNCT Civil Society Focal Point
Civil Society and Aid Effectiveness: An Exploration of Experience and Good Practice (2008)
UN System Engagement with NGOs, Civil Society, the Private Sector and Other Actors – A
Compendium (2005)
“Cardoso Report” of the Panel of Eminent Persons on United Nations–Civil Society Relations
(2004)
ECOSOC Resolution 1996/31: Consultative Relationship between the United Nations and
Non-governmental Organizations
Websites
 UNDG Workspace of the former Task Team on Civil Society
 UNDG Workspace for National Civil Society Advisory Committees to UNCTs
 UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service (NGLS)
Indigenous Peoples
 UNDG Guidelines on Indigenous Peoples’ Issues (2008)
 UNDG Training Module on Indigenous Peoples’ Issues- Facilitators Manual (2008)
Parliaments, Regional Governments and Local Authorities
 Making Aid Work: Towards Better Development Results: Practical Guidance for
Parliamentarians
on the Role of Parliaments in Development Effectiveness (2010)
 Safeguarding the Interests of the People: Parliaments and Aid Effectiveness, AWEPA (2009)
 ECOSOC DCF Side Event – New Actors in Development Cooperation and the New Aid
Architecture: the Role of Regional Governments and Local Authorities (2010)
4.






Support national ownership of United Nations programming
How to Prepare an UNDAF: Part (I) Guidelines for UN Country Teams (2010)
How to Prepare an UNDAF: (Part II) Technical Guidance for UN Country Teams (2010)
UNDAF Action Plan Guidance Note (2010)
UNDAF Action Plan Guidance Note - Annex I (2010)
UNDAF Action Plan Guidance Note - Annex II (2010)
UNDAF Action Plan Guidance Note - Annex III: Common Budgetary Framework (2010)




Delivering as One
Delivering as One Lessons Learned from Pilot Countries (2009)
Expanded Delivering as One Funding Window - Operational Document
Expanded Delivering as One Funding Window - Guidance Note
UNDG Guidance Note on Establishing Multi-Donor Trust Funds (2010)
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Better Aid for Development Effectiveness: Reference Guide for UN Country Teams
COUNTRY CASE STUDIES
Synthesis of Resident Coordinator Annual Reports
 Synthesis of Resident Coordinator Annual Reports 2008, Chapter 1 “Supporting National
Leadership – Delivering Aid More Effectively to Achieve the MDGs”
Supporting MDG/IADGs-based national development strategies
 UNDG Millennium Development Goals Thematic Papers (2010)
 UNDG MDG Good Practices (2010)
Localizing the Paris Declaration
 Cairo Agenda for Action on Aid Effectiveness
 Jakarta Commitment: Aid for Development Effectiveness
 Vientiane Declaration on Aid Effectiveness
 Hanoi Core Statement on Aid Effectiveness
Human Rights and Aid Effectiveness
 Linking Human Rights and Aid Effectiveness for Better Development Results: Practical
Experience from the Health Sector (2008)
Broadening country-level policy dialogue on development
 Civil Society and Aid Effectiveness Case Book
 UNDG Workspace for National Civil Society Advisory Committees to UNCTs
Supporting national ownership of United Nations programming
 Delivering as One Stocktaking Reports (2008)
 Delivering as One Lessons Learned from Pilot Countries (2009)
 Stories from the Delivering as One Pilot Countries (2010)
 How Delivering as One Adds Value: Stories and Testimonies from Eight Programme Pilot
Countries (2010)
 Common Budgetary Frameworks in Countries Benefitting from the Expanded DAO Funding
Window
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Better Aid for Development Effectiveness: Reference Guide for UN Country Teams
ALIGNING WITH NATIONAL PRIORITIES, STRATEGIES AND SYSTEMS
TCPR 2007
There is no “one size fits all” approach to development. Development assistance by the
United Nations development system should be able to respond to the varying development
needs of programme countries and should be in alignment with their national development
plans and strategies in accordance with its mandates. (para. 4)
Planning and programming frameworks of operational activities for development of the
United Nations system, including the UNDAF, need to be fully aligned with national
development planning cycles, whenever possible, and should make use of and strengthen
national capacities and mechanisms. (para 88)
The United Nations development system should use, to the fullest extent possible, national
execution and available national expertise and technologies as the norm in the
implementation of operational activities by focusing on national structures and avoiding,
wherever possible, the practice of establishing parallel implementation units outside of
national and local institutions. (para 39)
POLICY CONTEXT
1. Alignment of development assistance with national priorities, strategies and systems
contributes to better and more sustainable development outcomes by leveraging national
ownership, reducing the transaction costs of aid delivery for national partners, and improving
developing countries’ capacity to design, implement and account for their policies to their
parliaments and citizens.
2. In 2005, the Paris Declaration defined alignment as its second partnership principle: “Donors
base their overall support on partner countries’ national development strategies,
institutions and procedures.” The 2008 Accra Agenda for Action deepens and widens this
commitment to include global funds and by codifying development partners’ responsibility to
strengthen and use country systems to the maximum extent possible. Donors party to the
agreement also reaffirmed their Paris Declaration commitment to provide 66% of aid as
programme-based approaches. In addition, donors will aim to channel at least 50% of
government-to-government assistance through country fiduciary systems.
3. The commitments to alignment encompass the largest number of action areas in the Paris
Declaration and are monitored by 7 out of the 12 Paris Declaration progress indicators.
However, developing countries and donors are not on track to meet these commitments and
progress has been highly uneven. According to the 2008 Survey on Monitoring the Paris
Declaration, aid has become more predictable and since 2006 there has been considerable
progress in untying aid. Donors have increasingly based their aid activities on national
development strategies and their medium-term budgetary frameworks.
4. However, sectoral strategies are often not effectively linked with national poverty reduction
strategies. Also, there has been insufficient progress in strengthening and using country systems:
while country systems for environmental assessment are increasingly being used, the use of
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Better Aid for Development Effectiveness: Reference Guide for UN Country Teams
country procurement systems and systems of provincial and local governments is less
widespread. There is also no clear correlation between the strength of a country’s public financial
management system and its use by donors and even when systems are of good quality, donors
often do not use them. The Survey also reveals that many projects still rely on parallel
implementation structures.
5. Alignment with national development priorities and planning cycles has been a stated key
principle of UN country programming since 1970. In response to the Secretary-General’s 1997
reform agenda that called for a coherent United Nations vision and strategy for a unified approach
towards common development goals at the country level, the Common Country Assessment
(CCA) and the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) were adopted.
In the 2007 TCPR, Member States recalled the potential of the UNDAF as the collective,
coherent and integrated programming and monitoring framework for the operations of the
UN development system at the country level.
6. According to the 2008 Evaluation of the UNDG contribution to the Paris Declaration, the
main progress in alignment took place with regard to national priorities and planning cycles. This
is confirmed by Resident Coordinator annual reports that suggest a continuous trend towards
greater alignment between UNDAFs and national priorities and planning cycles: In 2010, 115
UNCTs reported that their UNDAFs were fully aligned with national priorities and 83 UNCTs
reported that their UNDAF cycles were aligned with national cycles.
7. However, as evidenced by the 2008 Paris Declaration Monitoring Survey, UNCTs need to
accelerate progress on other elements of alignment, particularly the use of country systems (such
as reporting, public financial management, country audits and procurement). Recent reforms
within the UN system, most importantly the 2010 UNDAF guidance package, focus on closer
alignment of the UNDAF with national development priorities, strategies, systems and
programming cycles.
8. Progress has also been made on the UNDG goal of amending policies and regulations to
allow for participation in new funding modalities. Some UNDG members, such as UNDP and
UNFPA, have already developed country-level guidelines. Based on these good practices, UNDG
has adopted guidance for UN participation in sector budget support and pooled funds, which
assists UNCTs in framing options for supporting the principles of the changing aid and
development environment and includes broader guidance on options that UN entities may take to
support these principles. Nevertheless, the UN efforts in this area should be accelerated so as to
meet the 2005 targets as defined in the UNDG position paper on sector support and sector
programmes.
UNCT PRIORITY ACTIONS
In their efforts to align with national priorities, strategies and systems, UN country teams should
prioritize the following actions that are outlined in the section below:
1.
2.
3.
4.
Align UN programming with national priorities and strategies
Align the UNDAF with national planning and budget cycles
Strengthen and use national public and private systems
Align UNCT capacities with programme country needs
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Better Aid for Development Effectiveness: Reference Guide for UN Country Teams
KEY INDICATORS
1.

2.


3.
Align UN programming with national priorities, strategies and programming cycles
The UNDAF is fully aligned with the national development strategy and UNDAF
outcomes respond directly to national priorities
Align the UNDAF with national planning and budget cycles
The UNDAF is aligned with the national planning cycle and commences in the same year
as or one year after the national development strategy
If the UNDAF cycle is not aligned, the UNCT has a strategy to achieve this in the medium
term

Strengthen and use national public and private systems
The UNCT has developed a strategy for using national public financial management and
procurement systems
The UNCT can justify existing parallel project implementation units (PIUs) and has
developed transition plans to fully use national systems
The UNCT is HACT compliant

Align UNCT capacities with programme country needs
The UNCT has conducted a review of its own capacity as part of the UNDAF process


4.
SPECIALIZED GUIDANCE AND RESOURCES
UNDAF
 How to prepare an UNDAF (Part I)
 How to prepare an UNDAF (Part II) Technical Guidance for UN Country Teams
 Standard Operational Format & Guidance for Reporting Progress on the UNDAF
 UNDAF Action Plan Guidance Note
 UNDAF Action Plan Guidance Note (Annex I)
 UNDAF Action Plan Guidance Note (Annex II)
Alignment with national priorities and planning cycles
 UNDG Guidance Note on UNCT Engagement in PRSPs (2003)
 UNDG Assessment of the Role of UNCTs in PRSPs (2003)
Harmonized Approach to Cash Transfers to Implementing Partners (HACT)
 UNDG guidance note on HACT (forthcoming)
 UNDG Framework for Cash Transfers to Implementing Partners (2006)
 FAQ on HACT (July 2009)
 Understanding Macro Assessments (2005)
 Understanding Micro Assessment (2005)
 Understanding Insurance (2005)
 Training and Learning Material on HACT
 UNDG Workspace on HACT
Procurement
 UNDG Guidelines for Harmonized UN Procurement at Country Level
 United Nations Procurement Capacity Development Centre
The Procurement Capacity Development Centre (PCDC), launched in 2008 and working
under the auspices of the UN, offers a wide range of services within procurement capacity
31
Better Aid for Development Effectiveness: Reference Guide for UN Country Teams
development, and has established a website, which offers a comprehensive online site for
procurement resources.
 OECD Methodology for Assessment of National Procurement Systems (2006)
Sector Wide Approaches/ Programme Based Approaches
 UNDG Guidance on UN Participation in Sector Budget Support and Pooled Funds
 UNDG Position Paper - Sector Support and Sector Programmes (2005)
 Sector Wide Approaches: A Resource Document for UNFPA Staff Prepared for UNFPA by
the HLSP Institute September 2005
 Aideffectiveness.org: Programme-based approaches
 CIDA Primer on Programme-Based Approaches (2003)
 Scan Team UN System’s Role, Constraints, Possibilities for Contributing to Sector Wide
Programs and Budget Support (2005)
 UNDP engagement in direct budget support and pooled funds
(Executive Board of the United Nations Development Program and of the United Nations
Population Fund, Annual Session, 2008)
 Official Development Assistance as Direct Budget Support - An Issues Paper for UNDP
(2004)
 OECD Guidelines on budget support (2006)
 Study: Sector Budget Support in Practice: a Literature Review (ODI, 2009)
 Study: Joint evaluation of budget support (2006)
 DAC Guidelines and Reference Series Harmonising Donor Practices for Effective
Aid Delivery Volume 2: budget support, sector wide approaches and capacity development in
public fi
nancial management
 UNDP: Programme and operational guidelines UNDP role in a changing aid environment:
direct budget support, swaps, basket funds - A UNDP Capacity Development Resource
(2005)
 UNCTAD Study: budget support: a reformed approach or old wine in new skins?(2008)
 OECD: Better Aid Managing Development Resources- The Use of Country Systems in Public
Financial Management (2009)
 World Bank Public Financial Management Reform Database
This database contains a collection of current reference material on Public Financial
Management reforms, drawn from a wide variety of sources within and outside the World
Bank.
COUNTRY CASE STUDIES
 OECD: Compendium of Country Examples and Lessons Learned from Applying the
Methodology for Assessment of National Procurement Systems (2008)
 Experiences with medium-term expenditure Framework in selected southern and eastern
African countries (2008)
 Moving Towards Use of Country Systems for Procurement in Bangladesh - A Case Study
 Procurement capacity assessment and strategy formulation in Malawi - A Case Study
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Better Aid for Development Effectiveness: Reference Guide for UN Country Teams
HARMONIZING ASSISTANCE AND FORGING PARTNERSHIPS
TCPR 2007
Recalls the potential of the UNDAF as the collective, coherent and integrated programming and
monitoring framework for the operations of the United Nations development system, bringing
increased opportunities for joint initiatives, including joint programming, and urges the United
Nations development system to fully utilize such opportunities in the interest of enhancing aid
efficiency and aid effectiveness. (para. 87)
Encourages the United Nations funds, programmes and specialized agencies, in consultation
with programme countries, to further lower transaction costs, to conduct missions, analytical work
and evaluations jointly, to provide their capacity development support through coordinated
programmes consistent with the requests of programme countries and national priorities and to
promote joint training and sharing of lessons learned. (para. 118)
Encourages that the United Nations development system be invited to participate, ex officio, in
current and new aid modalities and coordination mechanisms, and invites the United Nations
Development system to enhance its participation in this regard. (para. 103)
Invites the United Nations system and the Bretton Woods institutions to enhance cooperation,
collaboration and coordination, including through the greater harmonization of strategic
frameworks, instruments, modalities and partnership arrangements in full accordance with the
priorities of the recipient Governments. (para. 100)
Calls upon the United Nations funds, programmes and specialized agencies to further harmonize
and simplify their business practices. (para. 121)
Encourages the funds, programmes and specialized agencies of the United Nations system to
step up their efforts to rationalize their country presence through common premises, co-location
and, where appropriate, to implement the joint office model and expand common shared support
services and business units in order to reduce United Nations overhead and transaction costs for
national Governments. (para. 120)
POLICY CONTEXT
1. Harmonization refers to cooperation between donors to improve the efficiency of aid delivery.
Multiple initiatives by different donors, each with their rules and procedures, can be very draining
for developing country administrations. To reduce the transaction costs of aid, donors have been
developing a range of new approaches, including programme-based approaches, pooled funding
arrangements, joint country plans and other common arrangements.
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Better Aid for Development Effectiveness: Reference Guide for UN Country Teams
2. Under the Paris Declaration, donors committed to developing common arrangements for
planning, funding, monitoring, evaluating and reporting on aid flows, reducing the number
of duplicative field missions and diagnostic reviews, and work towards a more effective Division
of Labour at the country or sector level by making full use of their respective comparative
advantage. In the Accra Agenda for Action, donors confirmed the need to “reduce the
fragmentation of aid by improving the complementarity of donors’ efforts and the division of labour
among donors”.
3. Part of the harmonization efforts is the development and implementation of joint assistance
strategies (JASs), a statement of intent between partners in a specific country context, in which
UNCTs in some countries have been entrusted to lead coordination efforts among development
partners, including the Bretton Woods institutions (BWIs).
4. Concerning UN internal harmonization efforts, the Secretary-General launched the United
Nations system's current effort to become more coherent, effective and relevant in February 2006
with the establishment of a High-level Panel on UN System-wide Coherence. The Panel
submitted its report, “Delivering as One” (A/61/583) to Secretary-General Kofi Annan in
November 2006. The report included extensive recommendations to consolidate and improve the
effectiveness of United Nations operations.
5. The piloting of a team approach for “Delivering as One” in eight “programme country pilots”
has brought about a major change in the way of doing business within the United Nations: from
an individual agency focus to one of team support which, in and of itself, would result in reduced
transaction costs. The UNCT through the “Delivering as One” model – one leader, one
programme, one budgetary framework, and one office – carries forward the United Nations goal
of harmonization. Although the United Nations launched the eight pilots to adopt this working
model, many other UNCTs in non-pilot countries have followed suit. Nevertheless, the primacy of
the country context and national priorities as the roadmap for United Nations reform remains.
6. Harmonized business practices provide important opportunities for economies of scale
covering areas such as common services, common procurement, information communication
technology, and the harmonization of management rules and procedures between the
Government and the UN. The overall objective of Common Services and Harmonized Business
Practices is to efficiently support the delivery of the country based programme activities, facilitate
cost savings, reduce transaction costs for governments, partners and sub- contractors, and
increase harmonization and coherence between the different UN entities and between the UN
System and the external environment.
UNCT PRIORITY ACTIONS
In their efforts to strengthen harmonization and reducing fragmentation of aid, UN country teams
should prioritize the following actions that are outlined in the section below:
1. Harmonize UN country team programming
2. Harmonized UN country team business practices
3. Harmonize UN development assistance with other development partners
1. Harmonize UN country team programming

Improve the quality of common country programming products
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Better Aid for Development Effectiveness: Reference Guide for UN Country Teams
7. The UNDAF is the strategic programme framework that describes the collective response of
the UN system to national development priorities. UNCTs should use the UNDAF and its results
matrix as the collective, coherent and integrated programming and monitoring framework for
country-level contributions of the UN System. As such, the UNDAF is the main instrument of
harmonizing UN programming on country level. To ensure the development of a high quality
UNDAF, the UNCT needs to ensure alignment of the UNDAF and all other programming products
with national development priorities, early and inclusive planning, and the integration of the five
programming principles.
8. UNCTs are strongly encouraged to develop an UNDAF Action Plan. Where a UNCT decides
to prepare an UNDAF Action Plan it replaces UN system agency-specific country programme
action plans (CPAPs) and other similar operational documents with a single document for the
coordinated implementation of the UNDAF. By replacing the operational documents of multiple
UN system agencies with a single operational document, which includes a Common Budgetary
Framework, the UNDAF Action Plan advances the harmonization and simplification of UN
operations.
9. A joint programme should be conducted where UN agencies, with national partners and
donors, see clear gains in effectiveness and efficiency from combining their efforts and resources
in a common work plan and budget. The work plan and budget forms part of a joint programme
document, which also provides details about roles and responsibilities of partners in coordinating
and managing the joint activities. The joint programme document is signed by all participating
organizations and national or sub-national partners. A completed UNDAF results matrix is the
usual starting point for identifying potential joint programmes or projects.
Tools: How to prepare an UNDAF (Part I)
How to prepare an UNDAF (Part II) Technical Guidance for UN Country Teams
UNDAF Action Plan Guidance Note
UNDAF Action Plan Guidance Note (Annex I)
UNDAF Action Plan Guidance Note (Annex II)
UNDG Guidance Note on Joint Programming

Further improve harmonization in Delivering as One countries
10. The One Programme/One Plan in Delivering as One countries has allowed the UN system to
be more relevant, coordinated and coherent than the previous approach, to focus on upstream
policy advice in support of government needs and to address cross-cutting issues such as gender
equality, HIV/AIDS, environment and others. The approach permits alignment of the UN
development activities with national strategies and priorities, and provides wider access to the
whole range of UN system mandates, expertise and resources, including those of Non-Resident
Agencies.

Define complementary roles with Bretton Woods Institutions
11. The UNCT should seek to define respective and complementary roles with BWIs by
capitalizing on the MDGs-NDS agenda to clearly define respective and complementary roles and
better co-ordinate development work with the BWIs.
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Better Aid for Development Effectiveness: Reference Guide for UN Country Teams
2. Harmonize UN country team business practices
12. Where possible, UNCTs should explore the possibility to establish Common Services for
their UNCT, which replace duplicated services across agencies. UNCTs should plan in detail for
achieving such efficiency gains from the very beginning of each work planning/programme cycle.
Where circumstances are given, the UNCT can work together towards the creation of Common
Premises. Common Premises create closer ties among UN staff, facilitate cooperation and
promotes a more unified, cost-effective in-country presence.
13. Where applicable, UNCTs can consider using Multi-Donor Trust Funds (MDTFs) to provide
more flexible, coordinated and predictable funding to support the achievement of nationally
owned and determined priorities. A UNDG MDTF is a multi-agency funding mechanism which is
designed to receive contributions from more than one donor that are held in trust by the
appointed Administrative Agent. Donor resources are co-mingled to fund programmes/projects
implemented by UNCT members in a specific country in support of the achievement of nationally
owned and determined priorities. By channelling donor contributions through one mechanism,
MDTFs aim to facilitate and streamline donor contributions, and align donor reporting
thereby endeavoring to reduce transaction costs and strengthening harmonization.
Tool: UNDG Guidance Note on Common Services and Harmonized Business Practices 2009
3. Harmonize UN development assistance with other development partners
14. While responding to national priorities and supporting the implementation of international
norms and standards, the UNCT is required to assess its capacities and determine the UN’s
comparative advantage to focus its efforts where it can best provide leadership and make the
biggest difference, avoid duplication and establish synergies with ongoing interventions. This
requires that the UNCT conducts a thorough analysis of the country’s aid architecture and the
position of the UN system in the respective country.
15. UNCTs can make a substantial contribution to Joint Assistance Strategies by ensuring
alignment between donor strategies and plans with national development strategies, ensuring
strategic funding to avoid sectoral “orphans”, designing capacity development strategies to
accompany the JAS upfront, facilitate the participation of civil society in the process, and other
national stakeholders. Similarly, the RC, in his/her role as neutral facilitator can support the
coordination between government and donors by chairing or co-chairing donor coordination
mechanisms.
Tool: Guidance note on comparative advantage analysis (forthcoming)
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Better Aid for Development Effectiveness: Reference Guide for UN Country Teams
KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS
1. Harmonized UN country team programming
 When developing the UNDAF, the UNCT ensures a coherent results chain and coherence
and inter-linkages between the UNDAF and the agency-specific programme documents and
operational/action plans
 If requested by Government, the UNCT replaces agency-specific programming documents
for implementing the UNDAF with a UN common operational document
 The UNCT harmonizes programming frameworks, tools and processes of the UN
development system agencies with the UNDAF
 The UNCT involves Non-resident Agencies throughout the entire common country
programming cycle.
 The UNCT ensures that programme countries have access to the expertise and resources of
the entire UN development system and works to maximize potential of non-resident and
specialized agencies
 Whenever possible and appropriate, the UNCT conducts country activities jointly, for
example, joint missions, analytical work and evaluations
2. Harmonized UN country team business practices
 The UNCT has identified priorities for reducing overhead and transaction costs and more
shared support services.
3. Harmonize UN development assistance with other development partners
 The UNCT is continuously examines and considers providing development assistance in the
context of programme-based approaches
 Whenever possible and appropriate, the UNCT conducts country activities jointly with
development partners, for example, joint missions, analytical work and evaluations
 The UNCT is working towards enhancing the cooperation and coordination with BWIs aimed
at greater synergy, alignment and harmonization in strategic frameworks and programming
processes.
 If applicable, the UNCT is participating in/chairing donor coordination fora
SPECIALIZED GUIDANCE AND RESOURCES
System Wide Coherence and Delivering as One
 Secretary General’s High Level Panel on System Wide Coherence
 UNDG website on System Wide Coherence
This page collects relevant reports, summaries, statements, background documents and
meeting records on System-wide Coherence that focus on operational activities for
development.
 Report of the Secretary General’s High Level Panel on System Wide Coherence: “Delivering
as One” (2006)
 Delivering as One on the UNDG Website
 High Level Tripartite Conference: Delivering as One: Lessons from Country-led Evaluation
and Way Forward: Hanoi, 14-16 June 2010
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Better Aid for Development Effectiveness: Reference Guide for UN Country Teams





This page includes all documents related to the Intergovernmental Meeting on Delivering as
One in Hanoi in June 2010, including the Statement of Outcome and Way Forward.
Intergovernmental Meeting on Delivering as One – Kigali, 19-20 October, 2009
This page includes all documents related to the Intergovernmental Meeting on Delivering as
One in Kigali in October 2009, including the Statement of Outcome and Way Forward.
How Delivering as One Adds Value: Stories and Testimonies from Eight Programme Pilot
Countries (2010)
Stories from the Delivering as One Pilot Countries (2010)
Delivering as One Stocktaking Reports 2007 and 2008
UNDG toolkit for improved functioning of the United Nations development system at the
country level
The UNDG Toolkit is a repository of the guidance, lessons learned and tools deriving from
the experiences of the eight “Delivering as One” pilot countries, and from the experiences of
UN Country Teams (UNCTs) that have pursued efforts to become more coherent, effective
and relevant.
UNDAF
 How to prepare an UNDAF (Part I)
 How to prepare an UNDAF (Part II) Technical Guidance for UN Country Teams
 Standard Operational Format & Guidance for Reporting Progress on the UNDAF
 UNDAF Action Plan Guidance Note
 UNDAF Action Plan Guidance Note (Annex I)
 UNDAF Action Plan Guidance Note (Annex II)
Joint Programmes:
 Joint Programmes on the UNDG Website
 UNDG Guidance Note on Joint Programming
 UNDG Website: Joint Programmes: Learning and Training Material
The learning and training package consists of thirteen technical briefs and accompanying
power point presentations and a facilitation manual.
Division of Labour/ UN Comparative Advantage
 Guidance note on comparative advantage analysis (forthcoming)
 OECD-DAC Working Party on Aid Effectiveness – Task Team on Complementarily/Division
of Labour
Common Services and Common Premises
 Common Services on the UNDG Website
 UNDG Guidance Note on Common Services and Harmonized Business Practices 2009
 Operational guidelines for the Implementation of Common Services (2004)
 MOU template for the Provision and Use of Common Services
Standard template for Memorandum of Understanding concerning the provision and use of
common services by the United Nations Offices, Programmes and Funds, and Specialized
Agencies.
 TOR template for OMT
 TOR template for task force for common services programme
 Sample Cost Sharing MoU
 UNDG ICT Guidance DaO ICT at the Country Level 2010
38
Better Aid for Development Effectiveness: Reference Guide for UN Country Teams
This guidance aims to support UN Country Teams (UNCT) and Information, Communications
and Technology (ICT) practitioners in identifying country-level opportunities and developing
action plans to implement common initiatives.
 UN House/UN Common Premises Programme on UNDG Website
 Guide to Establishing a UN House/UN Common Premises
The website includes the background information and necessary tools to be used in
establishing a UN House or UN Common Premises.
Multi Donor Trust Funds
 UNDG Guidance Note on Establishing Multi-Donor Trust Funds (Provisional, 2010)
 UNDP Multi-Donor Trust Fund Office (MDTF Office)
 Other Policy and Guidance/Supporting documents on MDTFs on the UNDG website
UN-World Bank Relations
 Note by the Secretariat on "Enhancing collaboration and cooperation between the United
Nations and the Bretton Woods institutions" (E/2009/115)
 Scanteam: Review of UN-World Bank Relations in the Field (2006)
 Scanteam: Draft report for the study on Risk in Increased Donor Cooperation (2002)
OECD
 OECD Working Party on Aid Effecteiveness- Task Team on Harmonization and Alignment
 Country Harmonization agendas
The link provides access to Harmonization Acton Plans - documents that set out how
countries and donors plan to make progress on the harmonization agenda.
 Memoranda of Understanding & Other Harmonization Agreements
 Donor Harmonization Action Plans and Programs
Joint Assistance Strategies
 Aid Coordination on the Ground: Are Joint Country Assistance Strategies the Answer? (2009)
COUNTRY CASE STUDIES
Delivering as One
 How Delivering as One Adds Value: Stories and Testimonies from Eight Programme Pilot
Countries (2010)
 Delivering as One Stocktaking Reports (2008)
 Stories from the Delivering as One Pilot Countries (2010)
 How Delivering as One Adds Value: Stories and Testimonies from Eight Programme Pilot
Countries (2010)
 Common Budgetary Frameworks in Countries Benefitting from the Expanded DAO Funding
Window
 Delivering as One Pilots: Background information and documents for the 8 Pilots
 Delivering as One Lessons Learned from Pilot Countries (2009)
 Country Documents from Delivering as One Pilot Countries: One Fund
 Country Documents from Delivering as One Pilot Countries: One Programme
 Country Documents from Delivering as One Pilot Countries: One Office
39
Better Aid for Development Effectiveness: Reference Guide for UN Country Teams
Common Services
 Examples of common services at country level
Lists examples of Common Services arrangements successfully implemented by UNCTs
regarding Common Services Management, Mail Services, Travel, CS Vehicle Pool
Arrangement, Procurement, Security, HR, and Duty Free Fuel.
Joint Programmes
 Consolidated Report of Joint Programme Experience in 14 Countries (2006)
 UNDG website: Good Example Joint Programme Document
 Joint Programme Database
The Joint Programme Database contains ca. 500 examples of joint programmes and can be
sorted by theme and country.
Joint Assistance Strategies
 Kenya Joint Assistance Strategy
 Joint Assistance Strategy for Uganda
 Joint Assistance Strategy for Bangladesh
 Joint Assistance Strategy Tanzania
40
Better Aid for Development Effectiveness: Reference Guide for UN Country Teams
MANAGING FOR DEVELOPMENT RESULTS
TCPR 2007
The purpose of reform is to make the United Nations development system more efficient and
effective in its support to developing countries to achieve the internationally agreed development
goals, on the basis of their national development strategies. Reform efforts should enhance
organizational efficiency and achieve concrete development results. (para.9)
Requests the United Nations development system to support the development of specific
frameworks aimed at enabling programme countries, upon their request, to design, monitor and
evaluate results in the development of their capacities to achieve national development goals
and strategies. (para. 38)
Requests the United Nations development system to pursue and intensify its efforts to
strengthen evaluation capacities in programme countries. (para. 129)
Encourages the United Nations development system to strengthen its evaluation activities with
particular focus on development results, including through the effective use of the results matrix
of the UNDAF, the systematic use of system-wide monitoring and evaluation approaches and the
promotion of collaborative approaches to evaluation. (para 132)
Recalls the need for evaluations of the UNDAF at the end of the programming cycle with the full
participation and leadership of the recipient Government. (para 135)
Encourages all United Nations organizations involved in operational activities for development to
adopt monitoring and evaluation policies that are in line with system-wide norms and standards.
(para. 137)
POLICY CONTEXT
1. Managing for results means using sound information to make better decisions and steer
development efforts towards clearly defined goals. It involves using practical tools for
strategic planning, risk management, progress monitoring, and outcome evaluation. Managing for
development results signifies a shift from focusing on inputs and immediate outputs to
performance and achievement of outcomes and long-term impacts, for programme countries and
development partners alike. Managing for development results addresses the entire development
process and guides the allocation of all development resources in the most effective way.
2. Today’s results agenda has its roots in the UN Millennium Declaration, by which world
leaders committed their nations to a new global partnership to reduce extreme poverty and
setting out a series of time-bound targets with a deadline of 2015 - the Millennium Development
Goals. At the UN-hosted International Conference on Financing for Development in
Monterrey, Mexico (2002), Member States agreed to provide more funding for development. At
41
Better Aid for Development Effectiveness: Reference Guide for UN Country Teams
the same time, they agreed to ensure that aid would be used as effectively as possible, which has
thrown into sharp relief the need to measure results throughout the development process, as well
as the need to demonstrate that results are achieved. These commitments of the ‘Monterrey
Consensus’ were reaffirmed by UN Member States in the Doha Declaration on Financing for
Development (2008).
3. A second series of influential events are the Roundtables on Managing for Results that have
been convened by the World Bank since 2002. At the Second International Roundtable on
Managing for Development Results in Marrakech (2004), participants endorsed a set of core
principles on how best to support partner countries’ efforts to manage for results and agreed on a
costed and time-bound action plan for improving national and international statistics. The Third
Roundtable on Managing for Development Results in Hanoi (2007) focused on country-to-country
learning and charted a course for continuing efforts.
UNCT PRIORITY ACTIONS
The following key priority actions for the UNCT to improve Managing for Results are outlined
below:
1. Strengthen national results-based management systems
2. Improve harmonized UN planning, monitoring and reporting of results
3. Evaluate the impact of United Nations development assistance
KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS
SPECIALIZED GUIDANCE AND RESOURCES
RBM and the UNDAF
 RBM on the UNDG website
 How to prepare an UNDAF (Part I): p. 11-19
 How to prepare an UNDAF (Part II) Technical Guidance for UN Country Teams: p. 28-46
 Standard Operational Format & Guidance for Reporting Progress on the UNDAF
 UNDAF Action Plan Guidance Note
 UNDAF Action Plan Guidance Note (Annex I
 UNDAF Action Plan Guidance Note (Annex II)
 Guidance Note on the Application of the Programming Principles to the UNDAF (2010)
 Issues Note: Results Based Management in UNDAFs (2007)
 RBM Study - Addressing Systemic Challenges (2008)
UNDG technical briefs on RBM (2007)
Informal notes on issues related to outputs in the CCA/UNDAF programming process. The
documents have not been approved by the UNDG and serve as an information note for RBM
efforts in the UNDAF framework.
 Technical brief on Outcomes
 Technical brief on Outputs
 Technical brief on Indicators
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Better Aid for Development Effectiveness: Reference Guide for UN Country Teams
 Technical brief on Risks and Assumptions
 UNDG RBM Action Plan (2009)
 Results Based Management at country level - systemic issues that prevent good UNDAF
results and the use of UNDAF results information (2008)
 RBM Study Reference Materials- Agency specific RBM Documents
DevInfo
 DevInfo on the UNDG Website
 www.devinfo.org
 Lessons Learned and Good Practices on DevInfo Implementation (2008)
 DevInfo E-learning course
 DevInfo and the UNDAF
Other:










www.managingforresults.org
Mapping and Analysis of UN Agency Annual Reports (2009)
OECD Glossary of Key Terms in Evaluation and Results Based Management (2002)
Results based management in the development co-operation agencies: A review of
experience background report (OECD, 2001)
Country-Led Monitoring And Evaluation Systems – Better Evidence, Better Policies,
Better Development Results. (UNICEF, 2009)
How to Build Monitoring and Evaluation Systems to Support Better Government (World
Bank, 2007)
Ten Steps towards a Results-based Monitoring and Evaluation System (World Bank,
2004)
African Community of Practice on Managing for Development Results
UNWTO: Manual on Tourism and Poverty Alleviation – Practical Steps for Destinations
UNWTO: Joining Forces, Collaborative Processes for Sustainable and Competitive
Tourism

COUNTRY CASE STUDIES
 African Community of Practice: Casebook on Managing for Development Results
 UNSSC Online Results Matrices
This is a searchable database of results matrices from recent UNDAFs, organized by
elements of the MD and the 8 MDGs.
 Examples listed in the reporting Prototype Document as Good Practices
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Better Aid for Development Effectiveness: Reference Guide for UN Country Teams
FOSTERING MUTUAL ACCOUNTABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY
TCPR 2007
The resident coordinator system is owned by the United Nations development system as a
whole, and its functioning should be participatory, collegial and accountable. (para. 89)
The resident coordinator, supported by the United Nations country team, should report to national
authorities on progress made against results agreed in the UNDAF. (para. 96)
It is important for the United Nations development system to improve strategic planning. Resultsbased management, accountability and transparency of the United Nations development system
are an integral part of sound management. (para.33)
POLICY CONTEXT
1. In the current international environment it is a major priority to enhance mutual accountability
and transparency in the use of development resources. In particular, there is a growing need to
develop more effective systems to promote accountability and transparency in development
cooperation in order to ensure the timely and effective achievement of the MDGs/IADGs.
2. The concepts of mutual accountability and transparency are closely linked to managing for
results. Mutual accountability means that both providers and recipients of aid are not only
accountable to their respective publics, but also for the commitments made to one another
for the use of resources to achieve results. Effective mutual accountability for aid entails
identifying, monitoring and meeting reciprocal commitments on the delivery and use of aid. As a
neutral partner, the UN system is uniquely positioned to strengthen national capacities and
effective mechanisms for mutual accountability and transparency.
3. For the United Nations itself, the Management and Accountability System provides a clear
framework in which both UNDP’s management of the RC system, on behalf of the system, and
the mutual accountability of the UN development system for development results can be
exercised effectively. The M&A System also outlines the roles and responsibilities for all relevant
stakeholders, in achieving the vision of the Resident Coordinator system.
4. Accountability in development cooperation mainly refers to the following relationships:
a) providers hold the recipients of aid (national or sub-national governments, multilateral
organizations, civil society organizations or the private sector) accountable for the use of aid
and the related policies;
b) recipients hold providers responsible for the effectiveness with which they provide aid;
c) other stakeholders such as national parliaments or civil society organizations in both
developed and developing countries hold providers and recipient countries to account on
their commitments; and
d) within each stakeholder group (e.g. civil society organizations), members hold one another
accountable and exert peer pressure to live up to commitments made.
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Better Aid for Development Effectiveness: Reference Guide for UN Country Teams
This web of relationships is complex and varies from country to country.
5. Enhancing mutual accountability and transparency was recognized as a major priority in the
Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness. Developing countries committed to strengthen the
parliamentary role in national development strategies and to involve a broad range of
development partners in formulating and assessing progress in their implementation. Donors
committed to provide timely, transparent and comprehensive information on aid flows so as to
enable governments to present comprehensive budget reports to their legislatures and citizens.
Developing countries and donors committed to jointly assess mutual progress in implementing
agreed commitments on aid effectiveness.
UNCT PRIORITY ACTIONS
The following key priority actions for UN country teams to foster mutual accountability and
transparency are outlined below:
1.
2.
3.
4.
Support national (mutual) accountability processes
Strengthen UNCT accountability for development results
Improve the availability of financial data and strengthen reporting
Support the Paris Declaration monitoring process
KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS
SPECIALIZED GUIDANCE AND RESOURCES
ECOSOC Development Cooperation Forum
 2010 ECOSOC Development Cooperation Forum (DCF)
 Background Study: Review of Progress in International and National Mutual
Accountability and Transparency on Development Cooperation (2010)
 Side Event: “For Whose Sake? Aid transparency and the fight against poverty” (2010)
 Side Event Summary: “For Whose Sake? Aid transparency and the fight against poverty”
(2010)
 First High-level Symposium, Vienna to prepare for the 2010 ECOSOC DCF
 Official Summary of the Vienna Symposium: Accountable and Transparent Development
Cooperation: Towards a More Inclusive Framework (2009)
 Background Study: Enhancing Mutual Accountability and Aid Transparency in
Development Cooperation (2009)
 Second High-level Symposium, Helsinki to prepare for the 2010 ECOSOC DCF
 Aide Memoire: “Coherent Development Cooperation: Maximizing Impact in a Changing
Environment” (2010)
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Better Aid for Development Effectiveness: Reference Guide for UN Country Teams
UN System Accountability
 The Management and Accountability System of the UN Development and Resident
Coordinator System including the “functional firewall” for the RC System (2009)
 Implementation Plan for the Management and Accountability Framework (2009)
 Resident Coordinator Job Description (2009)
 Guidance Note on RC and UNCT Working Relations (2009)
 Standard Operational Format & Guidance for Reporting Progress on the UNDAF (2010)
 UNDAF Action Plan Guidance Note (2010)
Guidance
 Better Data, Better Aid? A Practical Guidance Note on Aid Information Management
Systems (2009)
 Making Aid Work: Towards Better Development Results - Practical Guidance for
Parliamentarians on the Role of Parliaments in Development Effectiveness (2010)
Websites
 The International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI)
 International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) Scoping Paper (2009)
 Capacity Development for Development Effectiveness (CDDE) Facility
 African Monitor
COUNTRY CASE STUDIES
 Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia Joint Initiative on Mutual Accountability (2009)
 Hold One Another Accountable: Experience of Afghanistan, ECOSOC DCF Helsinki
High-Level Symposium (2009)
 La Mise En Oeuvre De La Responsabilite Mutuelle: Cas Du Burkina Faso, ECOSOC
DCF Helsinki High-Level Symposium (2009)
 Timor Leste-led "Better data, Better Aid: Peer Learning on Aid Information Management
Systems" (2009)
 The Mutual Review of Development Effectiveness in Africa: Promise and Performance,
Joint Report by the Economic Commission for Africa and the OECD (2009)
 Bangladesh Joint Cooperation Strategy 2010-2015
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Better Aid for Development Effectiveness: Reference Guide for UN Country Teams
PROMOTING SOUTH-SOUTH COOPERATION
TCPR 2007
Reaffirms the increased importance of South-South cooperation, and in this regard encourages
the funds, programmes, specialized agencies and other entities of the United Nations system
involved to mainstream support to South-South cooperation and triangular cooperation to help
developing countries, at their request and with their ownership and leadership, to develop
capacities to maximize the benefits and impact of South-South cooperation and triangular
cooperation. (para. 48)
Requests the United Nations development system to intensify its information-sharing and
reporting on support to and results achieved through South-South cooperation, including
triangular cooperation. (para. 51)
Stresses that further efforts are required to better understand the approaches and the potential of
South-South cooperation to enhance development effectiveness, including through national
capacity development. (para. 52)
POLICY CONTEXT
1. There is still no universally accepted definition of South-South cooperation (SSC). For the
purposes of this guide, it can be viewed as a process whereby two or more developing
countries pursue their individual or collective development through cooperative
exchanges of knowledge, skills, resources and technical know-how. Many middle income
countries, in particular, have become active development partners forming beneficial South-South
partnerships. Member States have repeatedly stressed that South-South cooperation should be
seen as an expression of solidarity and cooperation between countries, based on their shared
experiences and objectives, and that SSC complements rather than substitutes for North-South
cooperation.
2. A related concept is that of triangular cooperation, which is a type of development
cooperation involving three partners. Usually, it describes partnerships between an OECD/DAC
donor or a multilateral organization and a provider of South-South cooperation that work
together to implement development cooperation programmes/projects in beneficiary
countries. At present, triangular cooperation does not feature prominently in the global
development cooperation architecture and the overall volume is difficult to ascertain.
3. The rationale underlying South-South and triangular cooperation is that Southern
contributors, which are still themselves developing, are felt to be better placed and have the
relevant experience to respond to the needs and problems of programme countries. In particular,
many Southern contributors have come up with successful models or practices, which can be
more appropriately transferred to other developing countries than those of Northern donors. In
addition to having more appropriate technical expertise, such programmes can be more cost
effective as experts from developing countries are often paid less than nationals from traditional
donor countries and training costs (fees, use of facilities, travel, accommodation etc.) are
generally lower than in developed countries.
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Better Aid for Development Effectiveness: Reference Guide for UN Country Teams
4. The total volume of South-South cooperation is difficult to assess due to limitations in
reporting. It is estimated that SSC amounted to US$ 15.3 billion in 2008, accounting for
approximately 9.5% of global development cooperation. The share of SSC in global development
cooperation has doubled in 10 years, and the relative decline in North-South development
cooperation has made its growth seem more spectacular. The largest Southern contributors, in
terms of resource flows, are Saudi Arabia, China and Venezuela (each providing over US$2
billion a year), followed by Arab agencies (a combined total over US$ 1 billion) and India (over
US$ 750 million).There is a growing demand for enhanced information on South-South flows from
recipient countries as a means of improving national planning, decision-making and budgeting.
5. The cooperation of developing countries with each other began in the 1950s, but it was not
until the United Nations Conference on Technical Cooperation Among Developing Countries
(TCDC), held in Buenos Aires in 1978, that it was approached in a strategic framework. The
Conference adopted the Buenos Aires Plan of Action which provides the basic legislative
framework, the conceptual underpinning as well as a practical guide for realizing the objectives of
TCDC. The overall objective of the Plan is to foster national and collective self-reliance of
developing countries. In 2009, the UN General Assembly adopted the Nairobi Outcome
Document of the High-level UN Conference on South-South Cooperation, which reaffirms the
commitments of the Buenos Aires Plan.
6. In 1978 the UN General Assembly established the Special Unit for South-South
Cooperation, which is hosted in UNDP. Its primary mandate is to promote, coordinate and
support South-South and triangular cooperation on a global and United Nations system-wide
basis. The Special Unit receives policy directives and guidance from the UN General Assembly
High-Level Committee on South-South Cooperation (HLC) that reviews global progress in
SSC.
7. Since its definition in the Buenos Aires Plan of Action, the concept of TCDC has steadily
evolved and the work of the UN development system has been guided by the outcomes of the
HLC meetings since 1980. In 2003, the HLC adopted the currently valid “Revised Guidelines for
the Review of Policies and Procedures Concerning Technical Cooperation among
Developing Countries” in order to ensure a system-wide coordinated approach to the promotion
and application of TCDC by the organizations of the UN system. Later that year, the HLC
combined the concepts of TCDC and Economic Cooperation Among Developing Countries
(ECDC) under the common heading of South-South cooperation. The Secretary-General’s
decision made in the context of the High-level Committee on Policy on SSC in 2008 (Decision No.
2008/26 – South-South cooperation) encouraged UN system organizations to mainstream
support to SSC in their corporate policy instruments and strategies and capitalize on the strength
of SSC in addressing food security, climate change and AIDS.
8. Over the past decade, the growing relevance of SSC has also been emphasized at several
major UN conferences, notably at the International Conferences on Financing for Development
in Monterrey (2002) and Doha (2008). In the Doha Declaration on Financing for Development,
UN Member States encouraged “developing countries in a position to do so to continue to make
concrete efforts to increase and make more effective their South-South cooperation initiatives in
accordance with the principles of aid effectiveness.” In 2003, the G77 adopted the Marrakesh
Framework of Implementation of South-South Cooperation, which outlines concrete next
steps in the promotion of SSC.
9. The importance and particularities of South-South cooperation were also acknowledged in the
Accra Agenda for Action on aid effectiveness adopted under the aegis of OECD/DAC (2008).
Donors and developing countries party to the agreement agreed to promote the provision of
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Better Aid for Development Effectiveness: Reference Guide for UN Country Teams
technical cooperation by local and regional resources, including through SSC and encouraged
the further development of triangular cooperation. Derived from the Accra Agenda for Action’s
commitment to inclusive partnerships, the Task Team on South-South Cooperation is a
southern-led platform hosted by the Working Party on Aid Effectiveness at the OECD/DAC. The
Task Team brings together partner countries, especially middle income countries, donors, civil
society, academia, regional and multilateral agencies under a common objective of mapping,
documenting, analyzing and discussing evidence on the synergies between the principles of aid
effectiveness and the practice of SSC.
10. The recent Bogotá High-Level Event on South-South Cooperation Capacity
Development (2010), which concluded with the ‘Bogotá Statement – Towards More Effective
and Inclusive Development Partnerships’ aimed at promoting a more inclusive and demanddriven approach to South-South cooperation, transparency and fostering mutual learning
amongst Southern practitioners.
11. Most recently, the outcome of the 2010 ECOSOC DCF urged the international system to
capitalize fully on the comparative advantages of South-South cooperation, in providing
appropriate and cost-effective support, and enabling peer learning. It should fully mainstream
support for South-South cooperation in multilateral institution (including UN) programmes, and
increase funding for triangular cooperation. In a similar vein, the UNDG Strategic Priorities
2010-2011 emphasize the centrality of building South-South and triangular partnerships for
maximizing impact at country level.
UNCT PRIORITY ACTIONS
In their efforts to promote South-South and triangular cooperation, UN Country Teams should
prioritize the following actions that are outlined in the section below:
1. Support peer-to-peer learning between programme countries and support them to
develop capacities to maximize the benefits and impact of South-South and
triangular cooperation
2. Integrate South-South cooperation in UN development strategies and programme
implementation
3. Intensify information-sharing on and monitoring of South-South cooperation
activities and promote awareness of the benefits of South-South and triangular
cooperation
Support peer-to-peer learning between programme countries and support them to develop
capacities to maximize the benefits and impact of South-South and triangular cooperation

Help build South-South linkages and partnerships where there is government and/or civil
society interest in taking leadership roles in regional or global development efforts
11. The growing availability of South-South capacity and solutions exchange offers new
opportunities for leveraging South-South cooperation as an important part of UN capacity
development strategies. Based on its universal presence the UN is uniquely positioned to foster
South-South linkages and peer learning across countries, across sectors and across regions.
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Better Aid for Development Effectiveness: Reference Guide for UN Country Teams
12. Support to South-South cooperation should rest on mutually shared international, regional
and country commitments to capacity development (e.g. capacity development strategies),
shared good practices and lessons learned and be based on a multi-stakeholder engagement. In
this way, it will help operationalize the capacity development commitments articulated in the
TCPR 2007.
13. Access to appropriate funding is a crucial pre-requisite for successful SSC. UNCTs should
assist programme countries to gain access to sources of finance for the funding of their SSC
activities. In this context, UNCTs should familiarize themselves with the characteristics of the
most relevant South-South funding mechanisms, such as the Perez-Guerrero Trust Fund (PGTF),
the India, Brazil, South Africa (IBSA) Trust Fund and the South-South Experience Exchange
Trust Fund (SEETF):

The PGTF is a United Nations fund in support of activities in economic and technical
cooperation among developing countries. Its objective is to provide seed money for (i)
financing pre-investment/feasibility studies/reports prepared by professional consultancy
organizations in developing countries members of the Group of 77; and (ii) facilitating the
implementation of projects within the framework of the Caracas Programme of Action on
ECDC.

The IBSA Trust Fund is an example of cooperation among the three developing countries
India, Brazil and South Africa. Its purpose is to identify replicable and scalable projects that
can be disseminated to interested developing countries as examples of best practices in the
fight against poverty and hunger. Funds can be requested via the embassies and missions of
India, Brazil and SA.

The SEETF is a multi-donor trust fund managed by the World Bank that serves as a flexible
funding mechanism to facilitate just-in-time knowledge and experience exchanges among
development practitioners. The facility is designed to respond to specific demands from lowincome countries that want to learn from their counterparts in other developing countries. The
trust fund addresses an array of development challenges. Grant proposals are prepared
based on written letters of demand from country governments and in line with established
country-sector priorities.
14. In order to support South-South knowledge and technology exchange, UNCTs should raise
awareness of existing South-South exchange platforms, such as UNDP’s South-South Global
Assets and Technology Exchange (SS-GATE) or the annual Global South-South Development
Expo (GSSD Expo):

SS-GATE is a virtual and physical platform where entrepreneurs in developing countries can
interact and obtain needed technology, asset and finance in a secure environment. It
facilitates realization of actual business transaction through a market mechanism, offering
both on-line and off-line end-to-end supporting services. SS-GATE operates through a global
network of participating organizations and institutional members. Participation in SS-GATE is
regulated through institutional membership.

GSSD Expo is a multilateral annual event with over 100 partner countries and organizations
coming together to showcase and exchange successful South-South development solutions.

Enhance the capacities of programme countries to develop and formulate effective SSC
policies and development cooperation programmes
15. UNCTs should help programme countries, at their request and with their ownership and
leadership, to develop capacities to maximize the benefits and impact of SSC and triangular
cooperation in order to achieve their national goals, with special emphasis on internationally
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Better Aid for Development Effectiveness: Reference Guide for UN Country Teams
agreed development goals, including the MDGs. In this context, they should facilitate capacity
assessments with a view to demonstrating what national capacity needs can be met by drawing
on the resources in other developing countries.
16 UNCTs should consider supporting national capacities to review and analyze pro-poor policies
in other developing countries that may generate valuable lessons for national development
planning as well as the UNCT’s own programming work. Strengthening national capacities to
implement and monitor sub-regional, regional or global South-South agreements is another key
area where the UNCT can add value as a neutral partner.
17. Targeted training on SSC for national partners and country office staff is a central element of
capacity development. Such trainings could cover information on approaches, methods and
techniques for promoting SSC; cost effectiveness and comparative advantage of SSC; monitoring
and evaluation of SSC; the application of SSC to specific situations; SSC operational procedures;
procedures for negotiating, concluding and implementing bilateral and multilateral TCDC
agreements; opportunities and challenges engendered by globalization and liberalization with
regard to the development prospects of programme countries and the role of SSC in this context.
Tool:
Capacity-Net Discussion: Establishment of Government International Cooperation
Agencies and/or South-South collaboration Programmes (2010)
Integrate South-South cooperation in UN development strategies and programme
implementation

Identify areas for sub-regional and regional South-South cooperation for capacity
development
18. UNCTs play a key role as brokers of information and expertise within their host countries,
sub-regions and regions. In order to perform this role effectively, they need to be knowledgeable
about the capacities of other countries within and outside the region, have access to expertise
and information across regions, and be informed about South-South opportunities offered by
other development partners, to find the most appropriate partners, technologies and solutions to
the development challenges at hand. Regional UNDG teams play a central role in supporting
UNCTs in this regard and in mobilizing technical support upon request. Moreover, UN system
agencies should use joint regional meetings to share knowledge and know how on SSC.


Increasingly use and support South-South and triangular cooperation as modality for UN
system support to capacity building efforts, based on clear analysis
Facilitate and coordinate operational activities in support of South-South cooperation, in
accordance with national development plans
19. UNCTs should routinely consider opportunities for South-South cooperation as part of their
programming and planning and customize approaches to respond to specific national or regional
contexts. For this purpose, UNCTs should make use of existing databases of SSC good
practices. The databases should be consulted in the design phase of development programmes,
particularly during the strategic planning phase of the UNDAF process. It is equally important that
UNCTs feed their own case studies and lessons learned into these databases.
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Better Aid for Development Effectiveness: Reference Guide for UN Country Teams
Intensify information-sharing on and monitoring of South-South cooperation activities and
promote awareness of the benefits of South-South and triangular cooperation

Intensify information-sharing and reporting on support to and results achieved through
South-South and triangular cooperation
20. UNCTs should assist national partners in developing knowledge of good practices by testing,
recording, and evaluating innovative approaches to capacity development and service delivery.
Developing good practice standards and criteria and systematic reporting on support to and
results achieved through South-South and triangular cooperation are critical in this regard. To this
effect, UNCTs should feed case studies and lessons learned of South-South activities from their
countries into existing SSC databases. UNCTs should also support national capacities for
identifying, codifying and sharing of information, data, and results-based management systems
among cooperating groups of countries.
Tool:

ECOSOC: Support to UN Development Cooperation Forum 2010: South-South and
Triangular Cooperation: Improving Information and Data (including sample of database to
be compiled for each programme country)
Monitor and report on UN contribution to effective South-South and triangular cooperation
21. The UN system should also jointly monitor its own contribution to SSC and explore
opportunities for enhanced engagement together with national partners, for instance as part of
the UNDAF annual review process. Good practices as well as challenges for further progress
should be reported in the Resident Coordinator Annual Report and highlighted in the UNDAF
Progress Report.

Promote awareness of the comparative advantage and cost effectiveness of the SSC
modality
22. When consulting with government partners, UNCTs should routinely promote the comparative
advantage and cost effectiveness of the SSC modality by pointing to relevant examples and case
studies. The UNCT could use occasions such as the annual United Nations Day for South-South
Cooperation, celebrated on 19 December, as an entry point for advocacy and awareness-raising
campaigns.
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Better Aid for Development Effectiveness: Reference Guide for UN Country Teams
KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS
1. Support peer-to-peer learning across regions and support programme countries to
develop capacities to maximize the benefits and impact of South-South and triangular
cooperation







The UNCT supports the establishment of institutional arrangements essential to the
management of SSC activities and strengthens the capacities of regional and subregional organizations
The UNCT takes a collective approach to capacity development that maximizes individual
agency strengths and systematically reflects considerations of South-South and
triangular cooperation
The UNCT continuously explores the interest of national government, civil society and
private sector partners in taking leadership roles in regional cooperation and facilitates
SSC
The UNCT assists governments, particularly in least developed countries and small
island developing states to gain access to the Web of Information for Development
(WIDE) and other development-oriented information networks
The UNCT is familiar with the main SSC funding mechanism and assists governments to
gain access to these sources
The UNCT has advised interested governments of the existence of South-South
exchange platforms and facilitated the engagement of national practitioners in the
exchange
The UNCT provides dedicated training on SSC to national partners and country office
staff
2. Integrate South-South cooperation in UN development strategies and programme
implementation




The UNCT has identified areas for sub-regional and regional South-South cooperation for
capacity development and other initiatives and plays a catalytic, convening and brokering
role to move these partnerships forward
The UNCT regularly identifies SSC solutions, or SSC contributions to solutions, for its
development programmes and projects
UN programmes and projects utilize to the maximum extent possible the inputs available
locally and those from other developing countries
The UNCT has a focal point on SSC
3. Intensify information-sharing on and monitoring of South-South cooperation activities
and promote awareness of the benefits of South-South and triangular cooperation



The UNCT strengthens sectoral, thematic, sub-regional or regional information systems
on South-South and triangular cooperation
The UNCT supports national partners in developing country-led systems to evaluate and
assess the quality and impact of South-South and triangular cooperation programmes
and improving data collection at the national level to promote cooperation in the
development of methodologies and statistics
The UNCT supports national partners in documenting and disseminating information on
innovative projects and experiences on South-South and triangular cooperation
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Better Aid for Development Effectiveness: Reference Guide for UN Country Teams

The UNCT monitors and reports on its own support to and results achieved through
South-South and triangular cooperation
 The UNCT uses the occasion of the United Nations Day for South-South Cooperation,
celebrated on 19 December, to promote awareness of the benefit of South-South and
triangular cooperation.
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Better Aid for Development Effectiveness: Reference Guide for UN Country Teams
SPECIALIZED GUIDANCE AND RESOURCES
UN system resolutions, reports and analysis
 Buenos Aires Plan of Action (1978)
 Revised Guidelines for the Review of Policies and Procedures concerning Technical
Cooperation among Developing Countries (2003)
 Special Unit for South-South Cooperation: Enhancing South-South and Triangular
Cooperation
 ECOSOC Background Study for the UN Development Cooperation Forum 2008: Trends
in South-South and Triangular Development Cooperation (2008)
 ECOSOC Background Study for the UN Development Cooperation Forum 2010: update
on South-South and Triangular Cooperation (2010)
 International Development Cooperation Report: Development Cooperation for the MDGs
- Maximizing Impact – Chapter on South-South and triangular cooperation, UNDESA (to
be published)
 Outcome Document of the High-level United Nations Conference on South-South
Cooperation in Nairobi (2009)
 Report of the Secretary-General: Promotion of South-South Cooperation for
Development:
a Thirty-Year Perspective (2009)
 Doha Declaration on Financing for Development: outcome document of the Follow-up
International Conference on Financing for Development to Review the Implementation of
the Monterrey Consensus (2008)
 Report of the Secretary-General: The State of South-South Cooperation (2007)
 UN General Assembly Resolution: Economic and Technical Cooperation among
Developing Countries and a United Nations conference on South-South cooperation
(1996)
 New Directions for Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries (1995)
UN system tools
 ECOSOC: Support to UN Development Cooperation Forum 2010: South-South and
Triangular Cooperation: Improving Information and Data
 Perez-Guerrero Trust Fund (PGTF)
 IBSA Trust Fund
 South-South Experience Exchange Trust Fund (SEETF)
UNDG member resources
 UNDP/UNFPA: Draft Fourth Cooperation Framework for South-South Cooperation (20092011)
 UNDP strategic plan, 2008-2011: Accelerating global progress on human development
 South-South Partnerships: Evaluation of UNDP contribution to South-South Cooperation
(2007)
 UNIDO: Networking and Learning Together: Experiences in South-South and Triangular
Cooperation in Asia
 UNCTAD: Economic Development in Africa Report 2010 South-South Cooperation:
Africa and the New Forms of Development Partnership
 ILO: South-South cooperation and UNDAF – An ILO perspective, South-South in Action
(Spring 2010)
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Better Aid for Development Effectiveness: Reference Guide for UN Country Teams
External resources
 Bogotá Statement – Towards More Effective and Inclusive Development Partnerships
(2010)
 G 77: Marrakech Declaration on South-South Cooperation (2003)
 Task Team on SSC: Implementing Accra: South-South Cooperation in the Context of Aid
Effectiveness
 The World Bank Institute: Focus on South-South Knowledge Exchange
 Richard Manning: Will ‘Emerging Donors’ Change the Face of International Co-operation
(2006)
 International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth: South-South Cooperation: The Same
Old Game or a New Paradigm?
 International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth: Is the South Ready for South-South
Cooperation?
 Triangual Cooperation: New Paths to Development - Summary Report of the Discussions
and Experiences presented in the 1st International Symposium on Triangular
Cooperation (2009)
 Triangular Cooperation and Aid Effectiveness - Paper presented at the OECD/DAC
Policy Dialogue on Development Co-operation (2009)
 Report on South-South Cooperation in Ibero-America 2009
Knowledge platforms
 The South-South Opportunity
 South-South Global Assets and Technology Exchange System
 Global South-South Development Expo (GSSD Expo)
 Aid Effectiveness Portal – South-South and Triangular Cooperation
For further analytical literature and donor self-reporting see annotated bibliographies by Christos
Bousoulas and Andrés Molina (UNDP).
COUNTRY CASE STUDIES
 Task Team on SSC: Boosting South-South Cooperation in the Context of Aid
Effectiveness – Telling the Story of Partners Involved in more than 110 Cases of SouthSouth and Triangular Cooperation
 The Reality of Aid: South-South Cooperation: A Challenge to the Aid System
 Fundación para las Relaciones Internacionales y el Diálogo Exterior (FRIDE): SouthSouth Cooperation in Latin America and the Caribbean: Ways Ahead Following Accra
 Economic Development in Africa Report 2010 - South-South Cooperation: Africa and the
New Forms of Development Partnership
 Collection of South-South Cooperation Case Stories
 International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth: What can IBSA Offer the Global
Community? Experience of India, Brazil and South Africa
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Better Aid for Development Effectiveness: Reference Guide for UN Country Teams
STRENGTHENING AID EFFECTIVENESS IN POST-CRISIS AND TRANSITION SETTINGS
TCPR 2007
Requests the United Nations development system to take measures, in line with guidance
provided by Member States, that further strengthen the coherence, relevance, effectiveness,
efficiency and timeliness of operational activities of the United Nations development system in
countries in transition from relief to development. (para 74)
Stresses the need for transitional activities to be undertaken under national ownership, and
requests the United Nations development system to contribute in this regard to the development
of national capacities at all levels to manage the transition process. (para 67)
Encourages the United Nations system and the Bretton Woods institutions to continue their
efforts to improve coordination with regard to the transition from relief to development, including,
where relevant, the development of joint responses for post-disaster and post-conflict needs
assessments, programme planning, implementation and monitoring, including funding
mechanisms, to deliver more effective support and to lower transaction costs for countries in the
transition from relief to development. (para. 73)
Recognizes that the exchange of expertise and experiences among countries of the South
enables countries in situations of transition from relief to development to benefit from the
experiences of other developing countries, and encourages the further development of SouthSouth cooperation modalities, including triangular cooperation modalities, in this regard, while
recognizing the need to adapt experiences to national contexts. (para. 79)
[This specialized chapter will be developed at a later stage with the UNDG/ECHA Working
Group on Transitions and on the basis of the “Principles for good international
engagement in fragile states and situations”]
POLICY CONTEXT
UNCT PRIORITY ACTIONS
KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS
SPECIALIZED GUIDANCE AND RESOURCES
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