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Latest News in UN Governance & Accountability

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Week of
July 29, 2024

The WFP Executive Board

holds its first informal consultation on the Management Plan for 2025-2027 on 30 July. Also on 30 July, it holds informal consultations on the draft Country Strategic Plans (CSPs) and evaluation reports to be presented at the next formal session.

What is at issue?

Country Strategic Plans and evaluations of prior strategic plans are for: Colombia, Namibia, Senegal and Ukraine. The CSPs are also open for comment until 6 August 2024.

Week of
July 22, 2024

The UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS Executive Board

holds informal consultations on the UNFPA Structured Funding Dialogue on 25 July 2024 and on UNFPA's draft Country Programme Documents on 29 July 2024.

What is at issue?

The Structured Funding Dialogues are a mechanism set up by the 2020 Funding Compact between the UN and member states to facilitate system-wide dialogue and collaboration on the SDG funding shortfalls.

Week of
July 22, 2024

The WFP Executive Board

holds the ninth meeting of its Governance Review Working Group on 26 July. Draft Country Strategic Plans (CSPs) documents are also open for comments by 6 August.

What is at issue?

One recommendation from the consultant which the Working Group continues to discuss is the 'cooling off' period for Board members before they can be selected for a position in WFP. Draft CSPs open for comment are for: Colombia, Namibia, Senegal and Ukraine.

Week of
July 15, 2024

The WFP Executive Board

holds a briefing on the Revised Corporate Results Framework for 2022-2025 on 16 July 2024.

What is at issue?

The corporate results framework (CRF) for 2022–2025 is the operational tool for the implementation of the new strategic plan, defining what WFP will deliver (programmatic outcomes and outputs) and how this will be achieved through management results, based on organizational enablers. Following the successful pilot of 40 new indicators, the CRF has now been revised.

Week of
July 8, 2024

The UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS Executive Board

holds it monthly briefing on the UNOPS reforms on 9 July 2024.

What is at issue?

Following the S3i scandal, UNOPS and the Board initiated a comprehensive reform plan based on the recommendations of KPMG's independent assessment. UNOPS identified 82 actions to be undertaken based on KPMG's 43 recommendations, 91% of which have been completed.

Week of
July 8, 2024

The WFP Executive Board's

Governance Review Working Group holds its eighth meeting on 12 July 2024 to determine the way forward in implementing the WFP Governance Review completed by an independent consultant in September 2023.

What is at issue?

At the latest session of the WFP Executive Board at the end of June, the Governance Review presented an interim report with 11 proposals to operationalize the consultants recommendations. It also proposed that a decision on the consultant's recommendation that Board members should have a 'cooling off' period before being permitted to apply or be appointed to position in WFP be deferred so the Working Group can continue discussing it.

Week of
July 1, 2024

The UNHCR Standing Committee

holds its 90th meeting from 1-3 July 2024 in Geneva.

What is at issue?

The Standing Committee is essentially a subcommittee of the full Executive Committee and meets three times a year to make recommendations to the Executive Committee. While the agenda is only published after the meeting, the summer session is usually dedicated to substantive policy discussions as well as an update on the budgetary situation.

Week of
June 24, 2024

The WFP Executive Board

holds its annual session from 24-28 June 2024. Key agenda items include the annual performance report, the annual reports of the Ethics Office and Ombudsman and Mediation Support Services and the annual evaluation report (which is preceded by the evaluation roundtable).

What is at issue?

A key theme that is covered in the annual performance report, the management report and the annual report of the Ombudsman and Mediation Services among others is the organizational restructuring, which WFP embarked on in August 2023 to allow it to address current challenges and growing humanitarian needs more effectively in the face of declining resources. The inherent contradiction between growing humanitarian needs and a downsizing of WFP staff is just one of many examples of how change management in international organizations is particularly complex. For more of the research on what does and doesn't work in these types of contradictory change processes, see this month's spotlight: https://www.reformworks.org/post/organizational-culture-change-at-the-un-what-actually-works.

Week of
June 24, 2024

The Boards of UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS, UNICEF & UNWomen

hold a joint briefing on the comprehensive review of the 2020 cost recovery policy on 24 June 2024.

What is at issue?

The review found that the policy has been helpful in driving cost recovery and a harmonized approach across UN agencies. It recommends a continuation of the policy with some minor improvements because full recovery of direct and indirect costs remains the backbone of organizational financial sustainability.

Week of
June 17, 2024

UNWomen's Executive Board

holds its annual session from 18-20 June 2024. Key agenda items include the presentation of the annual report of the Executive Director, the annual reports on evaluation, ethics and internal audit and investigations.

What is at issue?

In addition to presenting her annual report, the Executive Director will also discuss the financial situation and related reports, such as the Integrated Results and Resources Framework of UNWomen's Strategic Plan for 2022-2025. UNWomen receives voluntary funding from governments, the EU, UN and private foundations as well as assessed funding (essentially a mandatory contribution from all 193 member states). Assessed funding constitutes approximately $10 million annually or less than 2% of UNWomen's overall budget. Only two of UNWomen's top 20 donors are from outside the Western European and Other Group, specifically Japan and South Korea. This is despite the fact that all member states have agreed to Sustainable Development Goal #5 on gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls by 2030. (For more on how funding disconnects have developed int eh UN system, see our previous spotlight https://www.reformworks.org/post/everyone-hates-the-un-s-financing-dysfunction-but-no-one-has-an-incentive-to-change-it).

Week of
June 17, 2024

The Fifth Committee of the UN General Assembly

approved a $5.6 billion budget for peacekeeping on 21 June, marking the end of the second resumed session. This is for 14 peacekeeping operations, two service centers in Brindisi and Entebbe respectively and support staff at headquarters.

What is at issue?

This year's budget is $700 million less than last year's budget, which reflects closing missions as well as $100 million of requested funding that member states did not approve. The budget was also adopted nine days before the end of the financial year, which is an improvement over last year's last minute adoption. Nevertheless, late payments by member states continue to cause liquidity problems for the entire UN Secretariat.

Week of
June 17, 2024

WFP's Executive Board

will participate in the launch of the report on the assessment of WFP by the Multilateral Organization Performance Network (MOPAN) and receive an update on WFP operations in the Sudan (both on 20 June 2024).

What is at issue?

MOPAN assessments provide a snapshot of an organisation's performance by taking into account the organisation's history, mission, context, trajectory and journey. Assessments cover four areas of organisational effectiveness: strategic management, operational management, relationship management and performance management, and results.

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