Tags:

This guidance supersedes the 2010 UNDAF guidance.

  • It orients UN programming to the 2030 Agenda, and advances the ambition of more coherent programming approaches that bring together development, humanitarian, human rights and peacebuilding agendas.
  • It updates the core programming principles that provide the normative foundation for the UNDAF and integrated programming in all country contexts, with leave no one behind as the overarching and unifying principle, underpinned by human rights, gender equality and women’s empowerment; sustainability and resilience; and accountability.
  • It makes the Common Country Analysis (CCA) a minimum requirement, and highly recommends a shared long-term visioning exercise, the UN Vision 2030.[3] In doing this, it seeks to ensure that UNDAF interventions are informed by an in depth understanding of national contexts, and positioned in the medium and long-terms.
  • It promotes a risk-informed approach to UNDAF design, implementation and monitoring. In particular, it acknowledges the importance of conflict analysis in the CCA in relevant contexts.
  • It reaffirms using a theory of change in UNDAF design to develop a clearly articulated results chain, and help define where causality can and cannot be ascribed.
  • It supports closer integration of UN normative and operational contributions,[4] and alignment with international standards, as well as stronger linkages between the local, regional and global dimensions of sustainable development agendas, as articulated in the 2030 Agenda.
  • It employs the jointly agreed MAPS (Mainstreaming, Acceleration and Policy Support) approach in supporting countries to adopt the 2030 Agenda and pursue the achievement of the SDGs in a systematic, evidence-informed and results-focused way.
  • It highlights the criticality of reinforcing strategic planning and delivery effectiveness through the Business Operations Strategy (BOS), which ensures that programmatic interventions are supported by high-quality, efficient and expeditious integrated operational arrangements.
  • It strengthens effective implementation of the UNDAF through UN system-wide instruments such as the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), including Results Groups, joint work plans and joint programmes.
  • It updates the UNDAF annual review process to better inform the UN system and stakeholders on UNDAF implementation, and to make adjustments to the UNDAF, for example, due to changes in the external environment.
  • It provides increased opportunities to leverage innovation, and calls for broader engagement of diverse actors to inform CCAs, strategic planning, monitoring and evaluation.
  • It promotes greater transparency and accountability in the United Nations’ work.
  • It emphasizes the role of disaggregated data collection and analysis in support of the implementation and monitoring of the 2030 Agenda.
  • It introduces the element of financing the UNDAF in the context of the wider development financing landscape at the country level and overall investment in the SDGs.
  • It introduces a set of quality criteria (see Annex 1) against which UNDAFs can be quality assured, monitored and evaluated.

This guidance comprises two parts. Part 1 describes the principles and approaches for integrated programming required to support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda at the country level. Part 2 describes how the United Nations develops and manages UNDAFs. Throughout, there are links to a range of additional related materials including companion guidance on key aspects of UNDAF development, implementation and monitoring. This guidance complements the SOPs, a minimum set of actions underpinning effective and impactful implementation of new UNDAFs. [5]The SOPs promote a coherent, integrated approach to programming, finance, budgeting, resource mobilization, leadership, communication and advocacy.

BOX

MAPS: A Common Approach to SDG Implementation
The UNDAF articulates the common and collective responsibilities of the UN system in supporting an integrated approach to sustainable development. In response to Members States’ call for more coordinated UN engagement, the UNDG has adopted a common approach for effective and coherent implementation support to the 2030 Agenda, under the acronym MAPS (Mainstreaming, Acceleration and Policy Support).
MAINSTREAMING
Helping governments to land and contextualize the agenda at national and local levels, ultimately reflecting the agenda in national plans, strategies and budgets. This means mapping what a country is already doing and where it may need to change direction. It is also about continuing to sensitize national stakeholders about the new agenda.
ACCELERATION
Supporting governments and national stakeholders to target resources at root bottlenecks to sustainable development,paying special attention to synergies and trade-offs across sectors.
POLICY SUPPORT
Providing coordinated and pooled policy support to countries that request it, drawing on the expertise and programmatic experience of each part of the United Nations. Supporting partnerships, the availability of quality data and analysis, and accountability cut across all three components.
MAPS is a common approach that is applied according to the development context and challenges faced, including in countries in transition or recovering from crisis.

[3] UN Vision 2030 refers to the United Nations’ vision in the country until the formal completion of the 2030 Agenda.

[4] See Eight case studies on integrating the UN’s normative and operational work – commissioned by UNDG.

[5] https://undg.org/home/guidance-policies/delivering-as-one/standard-operatingprocedures-non-pilots

Related Blogs and Country stories

Silo Fighters Blog

Unlocking Solutions Through Positive Deviance in Palestine

BY Hadeel Abdo | February 6, 2019

To accelerate joint learning through experimenting innovative methods into our work, several UN agencies, funds and programmes working in Palestine opened the Palestine Innovation Lab spearheaded by UN Women in the spring of 2018. Change leaders and facilitators from the Welfare Improvement Network supported us with the initial setting and operation of the lab. Five UN agencies quickly adopted the Positive Deviance approach to discover successful behaviours that individuals (‘positive deviants’) practice in their own community, often against the grain of harmful norms. Adopting the positive deviance approach requires a paradigm shift: define the problem and therein lies the solution. Picture a half-filled glass: if the problem is the empty half, the solution is the full half. This approach is challenging us to reimagine how change can come from within the community itself. Positive deviants: a solution from within The first step before identifying positive deviants is to recognize that there is an existing problem. Defining the problem may seem simple but it is not. With the positive deviance approach, you have to push deeper to understand the ‘hows’ and the ‘whys’ of a problem. Without defining a concrete problem, it is very difficult to unlock solutions. Experimenting with the positive deviance approach The Innovation Lab is currently applying positive deviance to existing projects from UN Women, UNDP, UNICEF, UN-Habitat and UNODC. This experiment is helping the organizations to unveil and implement sustainable solutions to complex problems in Palestine. Men championing gender equality In Palestine, UN Women is working with local community-based organizations to identify men who, contrary to common practice, support the right of women to inherit property, share household work and childcare with their wives. These men are both the solution to the problem and the solution provider, actively encouraging their peers to change their behaviour to advance gender equality. Their strategies are direct and personal: knocking on people’s doors, giving lectures, and drawing attention to  the importance of gender equality on social media. For example, Yousef Nassar, a radio-show host, is using his platform to talk about how men can promote gender equality at home and workplace. In the southern part of Gaza, an Imam from the local community uses the Friday prayers to encourage young people and their families to refrain from early marriage. As a result, a number of couples have decided to postpone marriage until the age of 18. UN Women is also raising awareness on women’s equal access to economic opportunities and decent work using the positive deviance approach – putting forward women entrepreneurs and business leaders. Fostering inclusive leaders As part of the ‘Al Fakhoora Dynamic Futures Programme’, UNDP identified 30 young post-secondary female and male students from underserved backgrounds as positive deviants. Through the initiative, the students will have a better chance to realize their full potential and overcome their socioeconomic, political and cultural limitations, while encouraging peers from their own community to adopt positive behaviours.     Together with PalVision, a local NGO with a focus on youth, UNICEF is working to reduce violence and harassment by male students at a local school in Bethany in East Jerusalem. In the town of Barta’a in Area C, West Bank, UN-Habitat is supporting the Palestinian local authorities to deliver planning functions to communities at risk of displacement in the Israeli Controlled Area C. UNODC is promoting youth crime prevention through sports, in partnership with the Higher Council for Youth and Sport, to identify sports coaches and teachers who demonstrated a strong sensitivity towards gender issues. The 'positive deviants', with the support of the community-based organizations, have begun to design strategies to amplify positive behaviours within their own community to promote gender equality. Our role in positive deviance approach To ensure that communities have a total ownership over the process, we should take on the role of observers, not as experts or implementers. That is the beauty, or challenge, of the positive deviance approach. We have to patiently wait for the positive deviants to bring the changes from within and themselves. What we learned through applying positive deviance in Palestine is that ‘positive deviants’ should be from the community itself. Listening to what neighbours have to say about changing certain behaviours resonates more than having outsiders say the same thing. This is the power of positive deviance. The “experts” or “outsiders” from international agencies and civil society organizations should simply be positioned observers of the process, and the community should take centre stage, becoming both the implementers and recipients of change. Have you used positive deviance approach to implement a project? If so, please share your experience with us!

Silo Fighters Blog

What we Learned About Testing a Platform-Based Business Model at the UN in Moldova

BY Dumitru Vasilescu | January 30, 2019

Earlier last year, we were on a quest to test whether a platform-based organizational model would fit the new generation of UN Country Teams. A platform-based business model creates value by facilitating exchanges between two or more interdependent groups. To make these exchanges happen, platforms create large scalable networks of users and resources that can be accessed on demand. If you think about it, we at the UN in Moldova have all the ingredients to apply this approach in our work. We have 11 agencies with permanent presence in Moldova. We also have seven agencies without an office in the country which contribute to national development— remotely or on an ad-hoc basis. While these programmes, funds, and specialized agencies have their own mandate, leadership, and funding, they do have one thing in common: they are seeking to drive progress in multiple development areas. So we thought, why not combine the UN’s diverse presence in the country to address multiple barriers to sustainable and accelerated achievement of the country’s development goals such as poverty reduction, reproductive health, gender equality and food security at the same time to help ensure a multi-faceted approach to development? This is our story so far. Lesson 1: Our current system is too fragmented and requires re-thinking One thing is clear. The UN aspires to support every country’s effort to achieve the 2030 Agenda. In Moldova, we believe that it’s important to redesign and rethink the way that people, ideas and resources intersect and interact to maximize the effectiveness of development assistance. At the core of our work is our own effort to adopt the Delivering As One approach, where we focus on our internal human resources and their ability and skill to innovate, measure impact of the programmatic work and identify new areas for collaborative intervention. What we did notice is that we’re very fragmented on several levels, including non-coordinated interventions, competition for scarce funding, difficulties to coordinate work of non-residential agencies, unclear boundaries of the agencies’ mandates, and the list could go on. There are areas where we’ve successfully managed to work together as a UN Country Team. One example of this is the Gender Thematic Group. Through this group, agencies that work on women’s empowerment and gender equality meet regularly, learn about each other’s plans and programmes, and try to achieve more consistency and alignment through their interventions. The Youth Thematic Group is another good example because it’s meant for designing interventions that support youth and involve coordinated inter-agency work. Lesson 2: It’s imperative to do a detailed analysis of the current situation using a systematic approach With the guidance of the Resident Coordinator Office, UN agencies did a complex analysis of the current situation to scope out areas of cooperation between agencies. We also did a complex foresight exercise and an organizational network analysis to understand the current and future areas where our functions can intertwine and where a platform-based model would make sense. After we did the foresight exercise, we discovered that there are several areas where it makes more sense for UN agencies and the UN Country Team to act together. These areas include migration and children, coordination of non-residential and residential agencies, collaborative interventions (joint work programmes and projects), leveraging existing partnerships and harmonizing business practices. Through this exercise, we were also able to see that as the UN, we could take three possible and plausible scenarios of development into consideration to achieve the 2030 Agenda in the country and beyond. These scenarios are: The Future is Near (business-as-usual), Virtuous and Vicious and a scenario titled 'Transformers, as the third one. Source: UN, Foresight exercise Lesson 3: Not everything can work on a platform-based model Taking a collaborative approach around specific interventions, functions or internal business processes requires adopting a new modus operandi. To ensure that these collaborative efforts are sustainable from both an operational and financial standpoint, it’s important to build strong relationships with the teams that you are going to collaborate with, have a solid value proposition for local partners and have the ability to meet a need of a specific target group. It’s not all about the technology, but the people. We are new to the concept of the ‘UN-as-a-platform’ and there are no previous or current business cases using this approach throughout the organization to guide us. What exactly can we put in platforms in the future? Can we build a platform-like collaborative ecosystem based on trust, mutual benefits for the UN agencies and partners on the ground? How do we build a strong value proposition to last for much longer that a usual programmatic cycle? These are some of the questions that we are currently trying to find answers to. Are you working on applying a platform-based model in the UN? If so, talk to us.