Review of the country programme approval process and changes to the UNDP country programme documents

Last updated: 2/7/2014 // This statement was held by Berit Fladby during the First Regular Session of the UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS Executive Board.


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, have welcomed a joint proposal and in the case of UNDP and UNFPA 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 the organization wide results framework, 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 program managers, country directors and the bureaus at headquarter for program 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 program 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 UNDP’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 UNDP’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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