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Country-level Capacity: A “Delivering as One” UNCT Perspective John Hendra UN Resident Coordinator, Viet Nam ECOSOC Roundtable 9 July 2010
Presentation Overview • Presentation will respond to two key questions posed this afternoon, from the UNCT in Viet Nam’s perspective: – Question One: To what extent do UN Country Teams currently have the mix and expertise and skills to adequately respond to needs and priorities of programme countries? – Question Four: How well do the UN Country Teams work in addressing gender equality and women’s empowerment as a cross-cutting issue?
UNCT Capacity • UNCTs have key expertise and are responding to national needs and priorities: – BUT experience from Da. O Initiative shows that reform – enhancing effectiveness; moving “upstream”; adjusting our skill mix - is required to ensure relevance and fully realize this potential. – “No one size fits all”: as Viet Nam becomes a MIC country, multi-sectoral, cross-government challenges are increasingly evident (climate change; social protection; quality of basic services). – UN needs to play a greater policy advisory role to support VN in this transition.
UNCT Viet Nam Response • From Agency-based approaches to thematic clusters – UN-Go. V Programme Coordination Groups (PCGs): – Involve staff of different UN and Go. V agencies working together to jointly plan, monitor and review One Plan implementation. – Facilitate joint advocacy, policy advice and dialogue, and research, and will be the basis of UN thematic teams in a co-located One UN Green House. – Are “the most radical initiative” and have “enabled an orientation towards outcomes, new collaborative ways of working, and a changed awareness of accountability”. - Country-led Evaluation (CLE) report
UNCT Viet Nam Response • From Agency-based service delivery to coordinated policy advice: – Greater ability to help address cross-Gov’t, multisectoral issues which will predominate in MIC environment (demographic transition, climate change) – Conducting policy research that informs and influences policy views, creating space for policy dialogue (multi-dimensional approach to poverty; support to national socio-economic planning) – Agencies changing staff profile and skills to support normative policy role: e. g. : “The creation of policy advisory positions has allowed UNDP to develop its comparative advantage further to include policy analysis and advisory services. ” - CLE Report
UNCT Viet Nam Response • From many actors to One Voice: “Singing from the same song-book” – One Communications Team, the “Pilot within a pilot”: 11+ communications staff from 5 agencies, a single manager, co-located and clustered by activities, using a common JD format and performance review system. – Stronger advocacy and joint communications on key development issues (maternal health, HIV and children, impact of the economic crisis, GBV). – Recognized as an “integral part of the One UN …a bold and imaginative way to test more far-reaching ideas of institutional reform. ” - CLE Report
Challenges • Need to find ways to fully maximize UNCT’s policy, normative and TA role, building on reform. • UNCT needs to move quickly to re-profile staff to meet growing demand for upstream policy and technical advice. • Currently “staff profile of the UN in Viet Nam is not significantly different from the staff profiles in pilot countries with LDC status” - CLE Report. • Need to take change management process further. Challenging to change staff profile and skill mix: investment and time required.
Gender Equality • Da. O does make a difference to UNCT approach and performance on gender equality and women’s empowerment: – Da. O allows the UN system “to address crosscutting issues such as gender equality, HIV/AIDS, environment and others” - Hanoi Conference Outcome Statement. – In Viet Nam, UNCT has been “walking the talk” by raising the profile, boosting advocacy, and deepening policy engagement and support on gender equality.
Gender Equality • $4. 5 m JP on Gender Equality supports Go. V to implement new Gender Equality & Domestic Violence laws: recognized as “a practical example of new programming which is explicitly designed to support policy” - CLE Report. • Additional $15. 5 m in OPII on gender priorities (women’s leadership; maternal health; GBV; CEDAW; women’s economic rights; etc) • Gender PCG provides substantive and functional support on gender equality; including joint advocacy, research, policy advice, and support for gender mainstreaming.
Gender Equality • UNCT 2008 Gender Audit provides a baseline on performance on gender equality. • UNCT Gender Mainstreaming Strategy 2009 -2011, building UNCT and staff capacity and accountability for gender equality. • Supported by dedicated staff resources (Gender Adviser in RCO; 6+ agencies with gender specialists, + gender focal points). • Greater visibility, voice and impact on gender equality evident (ie GBV; SRB; gender & climate change); UN comparative advantage on gender recognized by stakeholders.