Based on the intergovernmental mandate of the QCPR (General Assembly resolution 67/226), the Five-Year Action Agenda and reports from the Secretary General and the findings of the Independent Evaluation of Lessons Learned from “Delivering as one” (DaO), the UNDG is working on ensuring that the second generation of “Delivering as one” is firmly focused on results, strengthened accountability, monitoring and evaluation, and improved outcomes.
The QCPR requests the UN development system to provide programme countries that choose to adopt the Delivering as One approach with an integrated package of support comprising Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
The objectives of the SOPs are to:
- provide to UN Country Teams, Governments and partners in countries that call on the UN to adopt the “Delivering as one” approach an integrated package of clear, straightforward and internally consistent guidance on programming, leadership, business operations, funding and communications for country-level development operations;
- provide information for programme countries that are considering adopting the “Delivering as one” approach, presenting the approach simply and clearly;
- and identify and recommend critically important policy and procedural changes that agency HQs should make in order to reduce transaction costs for Governments, development partners and UN Country Teams, and enable joint focus on results at the country level.
Overall, the Standard Operating Procedures will imply two important shifts: first, the SOPs shift the focus from the UN system planning together to delivering together, with a clear focus on simplification and streamlining of processes and instruments. Second, the SOPs aim to accelerate reform in the area of business practices in support of driving a focused results agenda. The SOPs strike a balance between flexibility and standardization in order to be applicable and useful in a wide variety of country contexts, such as low-income or least developed countries and middle-income countries, each with its specific development challenges, normative settings, institutional capacities and UN presence.
With the 2030 Agenda in mind, the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) were introduced in 2014 to provide UN leadership at the country-level with an integrated package of clear, straightforward and internally-consistent guidance on programming, leadership, business operations, funding and communications for the development operations of the UN.
The SOPs shift the UN’s focus from planning together to delivering together with a clear focus on simplification and streamlining of processes and instruments. They can enable better use of shared data, policy analysis and advocacy to provide integrated solutions in support of the 2030 Agenda.
This first report on the Standard Operating Procedures captures early progress from the first two years of SOPs implementation. It demonstrates how SOPs have contributed greatly to improved inter-agency collaboration and enhanced the strategic positioning and relevance of the UNDS at the country level.