UNDP Associate Administrator Statement On Country Programme Documents 2018 First Regular Session of the Executive Board

Jan 23, 2018

Executive Board of UNDP, UNFPA and UNOPS

2018 First Regular Session

United Nations, ECOSOC Chamber, 10:00 AM

Statement delivered by Abdoulaye Mar Dieye, UNDP Assistant Administrator and Regional Director for Africa

on behalf of Tegegnework Gettu, UNDP Associate Administrator 

Mr. President, Members of the Executive Board,

I am very pleased to introduce the session on country and regional programmes and related matters.  

Tabled for your approval today are 11 new Country Programme Documents (CPDs), as follows:

For the Africa region, the country programmes for Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde (which is a common country programme), Gabon, Ghana, and Mauritania.

For the Asia-Pacific region, the country programmes for Myanmar and Pakistan.

And for the Arab States region, the country programmes for Djibouti, Egypt, Jordan, and Somalia.

In addition to the proposed new country programmes, I would also like to highlight that we are submitting five regional programmes for Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Arab states, Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), and Latin America and the Caribbean.

Before turning to the details of these new country and regional programmes, which the Regional Bureau Directors and colleagues will be presenting shortly, I would like to touch briefly on our current approach to programme quality.

According to UNDP’s Quality Assurance System, a quality country programme articulates the strategy for high-level results to which UNDP will contribute in response to the country’s priorities as defined by national partners.  A quality CPD, therefore, is an important first enabler of development effectiveness and a prerequisite for UNDP’s meaningful contribution to the nationally set sustainable development goals.  Similarly, our support to regional development as defined in regional programmes needs to be based on strong quality standards and better integrate country results.

To this end, the new country and regional programmes before you today have all undergone a rigorous quality assurance process, through the UNDP headquarters-based programme appraisal committee.    

The appraisal process ensures that all Programmes submitted to the Board meet the corporate programming quality standards introduced in 2016.   

The UNDP Associate Administrator personally chaired the senior-level committee that reviewed the regional programmes and guided regional bureaus to ensure not only that the programmes “met the quality bar”, but that they also regionalize our Strategic Plan and promote cross-region collaboration and joint work with regional commissions and other development organizations in the pursuit of regional results that add to and complement country results.

More specifically, the quality assessment ensured that our work is based on sound theories of change, leveraging our distinct comparative advantages and synergies; driving new partnerships and innovation; building on robust monitoring and evaluation arrangements; and – most importantly – reflecting strong country ownership.

Relevance to national priorities in particular remains the most significant trait of our country programme documents.

Country programmes are also our main instruments to deliver on commitments of the UNDP Strategic Plan at country level in harmony with UNDAFs.    As we commence implementing the new Strategic Plan for 2018-2021, new country programmes will secure the transition of UNDP’s work from the previous programme in alignment with our new commitments and securing sustainability of results.

A comparative glance at the 2016 and 2017 quality scores shows that, in the aggregate, we have moved the ‘quality needle’ on almost all the programming quality criteria.  

We have evidence to conclude that the New Quality Standards for Programming are resulting in stronger country programme documents and improved effectiveness and impact.

As we continue to take stock, draw lessons, and collect evidence on the impact of our new Quality Standards for Programming, we will be updating the Board in future sessions on the status of our quality assurance and programme reform efforts, particularly in the context of the new Strategic Plan.

My colleagues from the regional bureaus will now present the new programmes which I listed at the outset.

As always, we look forward to your deliberations.

Mr.  President, I thank you.

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