Review of the UNFPA Country Programme Approval Process

Last updated: 1/28/2014 // This statement was held by Berit Fladby on behalf of Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, the United States of America and Norway at UNFPA`s first regular session 2014.


I am delivering this statement on behalf of Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, the United States of America and my own country, Norway.

We appreciate the initiative by the funds and programmes to harmonize the format of their country programme documents and the proposal to simplify procedures for approval of country programmes. In the spirit of harmonization, we would, however, had welcomed a joint proposal and in the case of UNFPA and UNDP also that the proposal had been dealt with in the joint segment.

Regarding the harmonized format of the country programme documents, we would have welcomed greater clarity on the information that the documents actually will contain. In addition to the programme rationale and expected results, information on risk management as well as on partnerships and division of labour, all based on a joint country analysis, we would expect that the country programme documents of all the funds and programmes contain the following:


- an indicative budget for the entire country programme showing expected use of core and non-core resources,

- an integrated results and resource framework,

- information on how the results framework relates to organization wide results frameworks, in particular that of the Strategic Plan, as well as to the UNDAF and to national priorities, and

- a costed monitoring and evaluation plan.


In addition, we believe it is critical that the new CPDs should clearly articulate accountability lines between programme managers, country directors, the regional offices and headquarters for programme results.  Senior management should empower and hold accountable those who are in this results-chain, including for their responses to and use of evaluations to improve programme results and performance.  

We fully support the suggested simplification of the approval procedures and also the flexibility to present the country programme documents at the Executive Board session most appropriate in terms of Government and country level planning processes. However, we are concerned about the apparent lack of transparency with regard to comments made by members of the Executive Board during the first three weeks after the draft programme has been posted at the website. We would request UNFPA’s view on how comments made by member states during this phase can be shared with other members of the Board.


The pilot phase of the Delivering as One is over. Since this modality is going to be implemented in all countries wishing to do so, the Executive Board cannot continue to deal with joint country programmes “on an exceptional basis” as we have done so far. We would have expected that the documents presented by the organizations had touched upon this issue. We would appreciate additional information on the alignment to the UNDG Standard Operating Procedures, the revised UNDAF, as well as UNFPA’s view on the need for further updating of the procedures after ECOSOC has discussed options for review and approval of common country programmes later this year.

Thank you.



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