SWITCHING GEARS FOR 2030

Results of UN Development Coordination

To support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda at the country level, in 2017 the UNSDG took steps to improve the way it pools expertise to deliver integrated policy support through UN Development Assistance Frameworks (UNDAFs), and to mainstream the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into reconfigured national development plans.

It strengthened its rights-based approach and focus on "leaving no-one behind," grounded in human rights and gender equality.

The UNSDG helped to enhance national capacities to collect, analyse and share data, and to strengthen the partnerships needed to leverage resources, funding and finance for the SDGs.

Laying the foundations for the future UN development system, we continued to promote increased coherence in UN business operations and funding, while exploring the power of innovation to help us work more efficiently, to harness collective ideas for sustainable development, and to test new avenues for innovative financing.

SDG PLANNING

In 2017, work by the UNSDG at country, regional and global levels initiated the design of a new generation of UN Development Assistance Frameworks (UNDAFs) in support of national development plans, focused on the 2030 Agenda.

In most countries, the UNSDG responded to the changing nature of demands from governments and partners to mainstream the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into national development plans, and to begin to establish baseline data to assess progress towards these ambitious and inter-sectoral goals.

In complex country situations, UN teams also made advances towards better-coordinated humanitarian and development action, primarily through needs analysis, monitoring and evaluation undertaken by development and humanitarian experts together.

Moving forward, the UNSDG will take steps to accelerate progress towards the 2030 Agenda, including by ensuring enhanced capacities and skillsets to support comprehensive responses across all dimensions of sustainable development.

A focus on implementing SDG “accelerators” will also be key to unleashing rapid progress across inter-related SDG goals and targets at the same time. A key challenge lies in decisions about how to sequence the implementation of actions across the 2030 Agenda in order to achieve synergies between different goals where possible. Prioritization within the constraints of national financial and human-resources will require strong evidence-based policy analysis and data.

Reflections on SDG acceleration and how to achieve policy integration for the economic, social and environmental pillars of the 2030 Agenda are part of the UNSDG’s Mainstreaming, Acceleration, and Policy Support common approach, which helps countries operationalize a cross-thematic approach to SDG implementation at the country level.

UN COUNTRY TEAMS MEET THE CALL FOR SUPPORT ON THE SDGs

In 2017, more UNCT partner governments requested SDG support from the UN: 120 UNCTs received government requests for support on the 2030 Agenda (compared with 114 in 2016). In the majority of cases, UNCTs provided the requested support. Good health and well-being, and quality education are the SDG areas where governments are most likely to request support.

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Requests received from UNCT partner governments

Support provided by UNCTs

GOOD HEALTH AND WELL-BEING, AND QUALITY EDUCATION ARE THE SDG areas where governments are most likely to request support

This figure shows the number of UNCT partner governments requesting targeted support for each SDG in 2017.

AGENCIES SHARE LEADERSHIP TO ACHIEVE THE Sustainable Development Goals

This figure shows the UN agencies, funds and programmes that currently co-chair inter-agency groups. In 2017, there were 1,050 such groups in 130 UN Country Teams. Inter-agency groups support joint action and drive greater coherence and results. The main areas of focus of these teams were driving programme results and providing integrated policy advice to national partners on gender equality, reducing inequalities, and peace, justice and strong institutions.

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UNDP

UNICEF

UNFPA

UNWOMEN

WHO

WFP

UNAIDS

FAO

RC office

UNHCR

ILO

RC

OHCHR

UNESCO

UNIC

UNIDO

OCHA

UNODC

UNDSS

UNOPS

UN
Environment

IMO

ESCAP

UNECA

UNHABITAT

UNV

ECLAC

ESCWA

UNCDF

UNRWA

Government
counterpart

HUMAN RIGHTS, GENDER EQUALITY

In 2017, UNCTs continued — and in some cases amplified — their work to strengthen UN support to national partners to implement international norms and standards including human rights, and their efforts to ensure that the UN’s programmes mainstream human rights and gender equality.

Eighty-four percent of UNCTs supported national governments in integrating human rights into their development policies. This critical work at country level was also underpinned by Regional UNSDG Teams. For example, in Latin America a joint regional initiative was developed to help address and reduce the levels of street violence in northern Central America, where extremely high levels of endemic violence have not received a sufficient response or resources.

At the global level, the UNSDG issued guidance to help UNCTs strengthen their support to national partners’ engagement with international human rights mechanisms.

The UNSDG also ensured the delivery of Member State mandates for more effective and coherent mainstreaming of gender equality standards. While progress is evident in some areas, much work remains to be done, as the assessment of gender equality standards in the UN’s work is not yet consistently applied by UNCTs.

To address this, the UNSDG strategy to improve take-up of the gender equality scorecard includes: outreach to UNCTs that are preparing new UNDAFs; capacity building to support implementation of the scorecards; and accountability through a reporting mechanism established in the Secretary-General’s 2018 annual report, ‘Mainstreaming a Gender Perspective into all Policies and Programmes in the United Nations System’.

UN COUNTRY TEAMS ENGAGE with AND FOLLOW UP on UN HUMAN RIGHTS MECHANISMS

This figure shows the percentage of UNCTs which engaged with human rights mechanisms and facilitated follow up by governments of the recommendations of human rights mechanisms in 2017. Western and Central Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean show the highest percentage of UN Country Team engagement with the various mechanisms.

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ENHANCED DATA CAPABILITIES

Comprehensive, disaggregated and timely data is essential for tracking progress towards the SDGs. In 2017 virtually all UNCTs (98 percent) supported the capacity of national institutions to collect, analyse and increase the availability of reliable, disaggregated data and statistics.

Investments in data capacities across the UN are designed to create an evidence base for joint advocacy and programming to reach the furthest behind first. This work is increasingly undertaken collaboratively by UN entities, with support from Regional UNSDG Teams. In Asia and the Pacific, the Regional UNSDG Team provided catalytic funding to drive innovation in the use of data.

At the global level, the UNSDG supported UNCTs in assisting countries in their voluntary national review processes by developing a set of guidelines to support the work of UNCTs in the preparation of country-led national SDG reports. These reports support accountability and can also inform the identification of SDG “accelerators” – key policy changes with the potential to trigger improvements across multiple SDGs at once.

Increasingly, the UN is engaging with national statistical capacity collectively at country level, however improvements are needed in terms of disaggregated statistics and tapping into real-time information.

While gender-disaggregated data is available in most countries where the UN has development operations, data disaggregated by age, income and ethnicity needs much more attention in order for development interventions to focus more clearly on “leaving no-one behind”.

UN-wide data groups have been put in place in less than half of UNCTs. While data innovation is evolving in exciting ways in a core set of UNCTs across UN entities, many country teams are not yet working in fully joined-up ways, which means they may be missing opportunities to fill diagnostic gaps with new sources of data, such as mobile data, financial transaction data, or micro-surveys.

AGENCIES PARTICIPATING IN JOINT EFFORTS TO SUPPORT NATIONAL STATISTICAL CAPACITIES

This figure shows UN agencies participating in joint efforts to support national statistical capacities across UNCTs. These cross-UN efforts combine expertise to support the collection, availability and analysis of reliable, disaggregated data and statistics to assess progress towards the SDGs. The top three agencies leading these efforts are UNDP, UNFPA, and UNICEF.

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PARTNERSHIPS FOR THE SDGs

Effective partnerships will be essential to the achievement of the SDGs, and the UN development system increasingly recognizes the need for a large network of public and private partnerships to support this work.

In 2017, UNCTs pursued and convened diverse partnerships to drive progress towards the SDGs and to facilitate the transfer of know-how and resources between countries and regions – including through South-South cooperation. According to the available data, joint-UN partnerships at country level concentrated on advancing SDGs 5, 13, and 16, although individual UN agencies used partnerships to advance a wider range of goals.

Regional UNSDGs also convened new partnerships, focusing on bringing stakeholders together to create regional opportunities to advance sustainable development. In Europe and Central Asia, for example, the Regional UNSDG team and the Regional Coordination Mechanism jointly convened a series of issue-based coalitions with a diverse array of partners. These coalitions focus on issues including gender equality, women’s empowerment and the role of youth in conflict prevention in Central Asia, helping to raise awareness of a shared agenda and develop UN-wide responses to these issues.

At the global level, the UN Secretary-General and the World Bank Group President updated the UN-World Bank Partnership Framework for Crisis-Affected Situations, with a focus on prevention, protracted crises, post-conflict recovery and forced displacement.

More than three quarters of UNCTs convened partnerships in 2017, primarily with civil society, local government and parliaments. While this is positive, UNCTs need to do more to explore the potential for partnerships with multi-national and local businesses, research organizations and faith-based organizations among others.

The next generation of UNDAFs should ensure that the UN is able to engage in partnerships with a wider range of partners; assess the effectiveness of partnerships for development goals; and deliver on the mandates of the Quadrennial Comprehensive

SOUTH-SOUTH COOPERATION AND PARTNERSHIPS FOCUS ON GENDER EQUALITY; PEACE, JUSTICE AND STRONG INSTITUTIONS; AND HEALTH

This figure shows the thematic areas of UNCT partnerships and UNCT support for South-South cooperation. The data shows the percentage of UNCTs that said they had at least one partnership or South-South cooperation initiative in each thematic area.

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Received

Actual Share

UN COUNTRY TEAMS forging PARTNERSHIPS

This figure shows the types of partnerships that UNCTs engaged with in 2017. The majority of partnerships were with civil society, local government, and parliamentarians. Most of these partnerships were through in-kind contributions and UN facilitated investments in the achievement of the SDGs.

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In-kind contributions such as knowledge and technology for
UN and/ or Government

Formal commitment
to SDG action

UN-facilitated investment in national SDG achievement

Funding of UN work

FUNDING AND FINANCING

Pooled funding and joint resource mobilization saw modest advances in 2017.

Over half of UNCTs undertook resource mobilization efforts together, either through the UNDAF or – most often – related to a specific joint programme. UN-administered pooled funds for development also increased between 2016 and 2017. Efforts to link the country level with the massive resources needed for the 2030 Agenda were a priority for UNSDG Regional Teams as well.

In Latin America and the Caribbean, the Regional UNSDG Team supported the move to pooled funding mechanisms to promote violence reduction in the region’s middle-income countries, while in Asia and the Pacific the Regional UNSDG Team created a fund to support implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

At the global level, a Joint Fund was developed to start to catalyse the financing required for the 2030 Agenda. Joint public private financing strategies will be key to attracting the investments needed for the SDGs. However, by the end of 2017, only four percent of UNCTs had developed an outward-looking investment-oriented strategy to help national partners close the SDG financing gap, currently estimated at trillions of dollars per year. Supporting UNCTs to address this gap will be a focus for the UN development system, working with international financial institutions and private investment.

Few partner governments have established financing frameworks TO IDENTIFY RESOURCES FOR THE 203O AGENDA

The 2015 Addis Ababa Action Agenda enshrined the need for integrated national financing frameworks to support national sustainable development plans. Only 15 UNCT partner governments have these frameworks in place. And only 10 of them include a review of the full financing landscape. These reviews are helpful for identifying the financing flows needed for the achievement of the 2030 agenda.

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INTERAGENCY POOLED FUNDS ARE MOST HEAVILY INVESTED IN THE HUMANITARIAN SECTOR

This figure shows the types of partnerships that UNCTs engaged with in 2017. The majority of partnerships were with civil society, local government, and parliamentarians. Most of these partnerships were through in-kind contributions and UN facilitated investments in the achievement of the SDGs.

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Humanitarian

Transition

Development

Climate change

Secretary General

THE FUTURE UN DEVELOPMENT SYSTEM

The RC system underpins the UN’s results in every area; a well-functioning country team is central to enhancing the UN’s achievements at country level.

In 2017, the UNSDG continued its work to put measures in place that will improve the ability of the RC system to deliver results while the transformational proposals by the Secretary-General were being considered by Member States. This will help ensure a strong foundation on which to build the transition to a reinvigorated RC system.

To enhance leadership accountability, for example, the UNSDG introduced a major revision of the RC performance appraisal process. To align leadership more closely with the transformative nature of the 2030 agenda, the UNSDG leadership model was elaborated into a UN System Leadership Framework that was endorsed by the Chief Executives Board.

Laying the groundwork for enhanced operational efficiencies and cost savings, the UNSDG increased the number of country-level Business Operations Strategies (BOS). Actions by the UNSDG at country, regional and global levels advanced common services and harmonized business practices, including in Africa, where Regional UNSDG Teams supported the increased implementation of the BOS.

Joint communications and advocacy by UNCTs became more strategic and digitally focused. More UNCTs are using communication to advance the accountability and delivery of programme objectives in the UNDAF. Trends include the increased use of digital channels as strategic communications tools to increase transparency about the UN’s activities at country level.

UNCTs reported progress in implementing the critical elements of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for Delivering as One. The SOPs were established in 2014 to help drive the programmes and operations which make up the UN’s shared contribution to national development priorities, while ensuring flexibility and adaptation to specific contexts.

Looking forward, alignment of systems and procedures at headquarters will be undertaken to ensure that the UN at country level is able to achieve full implementation of the SOPs, a key mandate of the 2016 Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review.

MOVING TOWARDS GENDER PARITY AMONG RESIDENT COORDINATORS

This figure shows the percentage of male and female of Resident Coordinators over the past decade.

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COUNTRY COORDINATION CAPACITY REMAINS BALANCED ACROSS ACROSS THE FUNCTIONS OF THE DEVELOPMENT SYSTEM

This figure shows the main area of responsibilities of coordination staff at country level, based on the core coordination functions mapped to the functions of the 2016 QCPR, as captured in the System-Wide Strategic Document. The graph represents data about staff from 130 UN Resident Coordinator Offices whose roles are funded by the UNSDG cost-sharing mechanism.

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MORE UN COUNTRY TEAMS MOVE TOWARDS COMMON OPERATIONAL SUPPORT SERVICES

This figure shows the percentage of Business Operations Strategies (BOS) adopted in each region. While some regions are making steady progress, others are lagging behind. The regions which show a higher implementation of the BOS are also those where regional UNSDG leadership has made joint business operations a priority.

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LONG-TERM AGREEMENTS AND HARMONIZED APPROACH TO CASH TRANSFERS ARE THE TOP SERVICES FOR EFFICIENCY GAINS in Business Operations Strategies

This figure shows which services are most likely to be included in Business Operations Strategies (BOS), for each of the six possible service BOS lines. The services included in a BOS represent the areas that are estimated to have high efficiency gains for UNCTs. The percentages reflect the share of Business Operations Strategies that include a given service.

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THE MAJORITY OF UN COUNTRY TEAMS HAVE A UNIFIED DIGITAL PRESENCE

This figure shows the digital channels used to send coherent messaging about the work of the UN through UN Country Team websites, Facebook and Twitter accounts.

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REGIONS HAVE MADE DIFFERENT DEGREES OF PROGRESS TOWARDS IMPLEMENTATION OF THE STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES

This figure shows the percentage of UNCTs in each region that have fully achieved each of the six pillars of the SOPs for Delivering as One. The dotted black line indicates the global average for each pillar. Operating as One and the Common Budgetary Framework remain the two pillars where most UNCTs are still lagging behind. Eastern and Southern Africa is the region where the UN has made the most progress on these minimum coordination standards, while more effort is needed in Arab States, Middle East and Northern Africa.

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Arab States/Middle East
and Northern Africa

Asia and the Pacific

Eastern and Southern Africa

Europe and Central Asia

Latin America and Caribbean

Western and Central Africa

--

Global average

FINANCIAL REPORTING FOR 2017

UN Sustainable Development Group Cost-sharing

The results featured in this report have been catalyzed by the Resident Coordinator system, through funding provided by the UNSDG cost-sharing agreement and the Delivering Together Facility.

In 2017, the UNSDG Cost-Sharing Agreement in support of the Resident Coordinator (RC) system entered its fourth year. The financial report shows that the UNSDG continued to experience a significant funding gap in 2017. A number of UN agencies did not pay their full contribution as determined in the Cost-Sharing Agreement, either because they indicated that the funds were not available, or because they were concerned about the annual adjustment for the costs of staff posts. As a result of this $10 million funding gap, the UNSDG was forced to scale back its support for coordination work, putting at risk the minimum core coordination capacity required to support 165 countries and territories as they implement the 2030 Agenda.

The funds provided through the UNSDG cost-sharing mechanism were delivered at very high rates at the country, regional, and global levels. Expenditure across all levels reached 94 percent in 2017. Expenditure at country level was 99 percent and at regional level was 96 percent.

The financial report provides disaggregated financial information for UNSDG’s 2017 expenditures at country, regional, and global levels. Personnel costs accounted for 75 percent of total expenditure. At the country and regional levels, the personnel expenditure line includes all personnel regardless of the type of contract being used. The non-staff expenditure lines for the country and regional levels include costs such as travel, vendor contracts, supplies and equipment. At the global level, the staff expenditure line refers to UNDOCO staff, and the non-staff expenditure line includes all expenditures for UNSDG programme activities.

UNSDG COST-SHARING FUNDING COMPLEMENTED THE CORE SUPPORT PROVIDED BY UNDP TO THE RC SYSTEM

This figure shows the distribution of contributions received from participating UNSDG members for 2017. It shows the percentage share provided by each UNSDG member. Non-payments resulted in a $9.3 million shortfall in 2017. Launched in 2014, UNSDG cost-sharing funding complements the core or “backbone” support which UNDP provides to the RC system over and above its contribution to the cost-sharing. These resources fund specific capacity at the global, regional and country levels. The UNDP backbone, which is funded from UNDP regular resources, includes costs at the country, regional and global levels. There is no duplication between the functions funded by the UNDP backbone and the UNSDG cost-shared resources.

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UNSDG CONTRIBUTIONS RECEIVED FOR 2017 ($)*

This figure shows the contribution required from each UNSDG entity, alongside the contribution which was actually received for 2017. The required contribution is based on a formula which is captured in the UNSDG cost-sharing agreement for the Resident Coordinator (RC) System — a shared funding arrangement that came into effect in 2014. This joint funding mechanism provides shared and predictable funding for the RC system, which is the central structure for UN coordination at country level. In the figure, the size of each piggy bank reflects the relative size of the required contribution for each UNSDG entity.

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Received

Actual Share

REPORTING TABLES

TABLE 1. OVERALL BUDGET – 2017 ($ MILLION)
Country Level 111.5
Regional Level 3.5
Global Level 9.0
124.0
TABLE 2. 2017 RESOURCE OVERVIEW ($ MILLION) – UNDP BACKBONE EXCLUDING THE FUNDS MANAGED THROUGH UNDOCO
Contributions 75.9
Expenditures 72.3
Delivery rate 95.3%
TABLE 3. 2017 RESOURCE OVERVIEW ($ MILLION) – UNSDG COST-SHARING PLUS PORTION OF UNDP BACKBONE MANAGED THROUGH UNDOCO
Contributions 48.1
Expenditures - staff/personnel 34.1
Expenditures - non-staff 11.5
Total expenditure 45.6
Delivery rate 94.7%
TABLE 4. 2017 RESOURCE OVERVIEW ($ MILLION) – UNSDG COST-SHARING PLUS PORTION OF UNDP BACKBONE MANAGED THROUGH UNDOCO
UNCCF i Portion of UNDP Backbone managed by UNDOCO UNSDG ii Total
Contributions 4.6 14.1 29.4 48.1
Total expenditures 1.5 14.1 29.9 45.6
Delivery rate 33.0% 100.0% 101.7% iii 94.7%
% contribution of each fund to the total 9.6% 29.4% 61.1%
i UNCCF utilized as an interim measure to fill gap in UNSDG resources for the UNSDG cost sharing
ii This includes the UNDP share of cost-sharing ($5.1 million).
iii This includes $915,509 previously provided by UNDP backbone, here covered by UNSDG cost-sharing funds ($345,862) and XB resources ($569,647).
TABLE 5. 2017 EXPENDITURE OF FUNDS – (BY COUNTRY, REGIONAL, AND GLOBAL LEVELS) (US$ MILLION)
Total country 35.4
Staff/personnel iv 27.1
Non Staff 8.3
Total Regional 1.9
Staff/personnel v 1.3
Non Staff 0.6
Total global 8.3
Staff vi 5.7
Non Staff 2.6
Grand Total 45.6
iv Excludes salaries of Resident Coordinators as funded directly by UNDP through the UNDP backbone.
v Excludes six P4 staff funded directly by UNDP through the UNDP backbone.
vi Reduced delivery against budget due to staffing gaps/movements.
TABLE 6. 2017 EXPENDITURES BY TYPE vii
# of countries Type $ (million)
28 viii Total crisis countries 14.8
Staff/personnel 12.1
Non-staff 2.7
36 Total low-income countries 8.0
Staff/personnel 5.5
Non-staff 2.5
47 Total lower-middle-Income countries 9.6
Staff/personnel 7.2
Non-staff 2.4
14 Total upper-middle-income countries 2.2
Staff/personnel 1.8
Non-staff 0.4
6 Total net contributing countries 0.8
Staff/personnel 0.6
Non-staff 0.2
6 Total regional UNSDG 1.9
Staff/personnel 1.3
Non-staff 0.6
1 Total global UNSDG 8.3
Staff 5.7
Non-staff 2.6
Grand Total 45.6
vii The footnotes for Table 5 apply throughout Table 6.
viii Includes 24 countries with 90 percent of a crisis country allocation (equivalent to 21 full allocations), and four countries with 50 percent of a crisis country allocation (equivalent to two full allocations), which equals the equivalent of 23 full crisis country allocations.

THE DELIVERING TOGETHER FACILITY

The Delivering Together Facility (DTF) was launched in 2017. It supports UNCTs to implement integrated and innovative solutions to development challenges, in support of the 2030 Agenda.

The DTF has enabled UNCTs to experiment with innovative approaches and creative solutions that can inform development policy. In 2017, the number of UNCTs implementing innovations within their programme activities increased by 20 percent, from 68 UNCTs in 2016 to 81. Several of these projects have been funded through the innovation funding “window” of the DTF. In Uganda, DTF funds supported the development of technology to transform public radio discussions into text for analysis. In Egypt an interactive dashboard and an SDG observatory allow the public to obtain and follow SDG data. In Honduras, DTF funds supported the testing of new tools to map finance flows to assist the government in planning SDG financing. More information about these and other innovations can be found at the UNSDG Silofighters blog.

TThe DTF Human Rights funding window underpins inter-agency human rights mainstreaming efforts. In 2017, DTF funds were provided to ensure continuity of the services of four Human Rights Advisers in Jamaica, Nigeria, Dominican Republic and Malawi.

The DTF enabled the design and launch of a Leadership Exchange (LEADX) series. This is designed to use innovation and new ideas to support RC system leadership capabilities. DTF funds enabled the design of the LEADX approach, and testing of the SDG Leadership Lab concept of collaborative leadership. LEADX was introduced as an advanced leadership learning methodology with 15 newly-appointed Resident Coordinators in 2017.

Six donors continued to provide the essential investments in 2017 that made these results possible – Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Finland and Luxembourg. These funds have laid the groundwork for a new generation of UNDAFs, joint programmes, shared business innovations, improved leadership capabilities, and better integrated normative support and advisory services by the UN.

UN COUNTRY TEAMS INCREASE THE USE OF INNOVATION IN THEIR COUNTRY PROGRAMMING

This figure shows the number of UNCTs implementing various types of innovations within their programming activities. A total of 81 UNCTs reported testing new forms of innovation in 2017, an increase of 20 percent compared to 2016.

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2015

2016

2017

DONOR CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE DELIVERING TOGETHER FACILITY IN 2016 -2017

This figure shows the distribution of contributions received for the Delivering Together Facility. By the end of 2017, the cumulative total was $5,653,789.

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2017 RESOURCE OVERVIEW ($ MILLION)
Contributions received by the end of 2017 5.7
Contributions received by June 2017 1.5
2017 expenditure and commitment 1.6
2017 delivery rate against contributions received as of June 2017 103.7%
CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE DTF 2016–2017
Month of receipt Total cumulative
Dec–16 467,290
Jan–17 571,892
Apr–17 1,510,566
Dec–17 5,653,789