Global perspective Human stories

National governments the driving force behind UN pilot project, says top official

National governments the driving force behind UN pilot project, says top official

UNDP Administrator Helen Clark
National governments have proven to be the engine behind the success of an eight-nation pilot programme seeking to better coordinate development activities nationally, a senior United Nations official said today.

The so-called “Delivering as One” scheme was launched in 2007 to respond to global challenges and test how the UN can provide more coordinate development assistance in the nations which volunteered to become pilot cases: Albania, Cape Verde, Mozambique, Pakistan, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uruguay, and Viet Nam.

Together with the world body, these nations are experimenting with ways to increase the UN’s impact through more coherent programmes and speed up the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), eight anti-poverty targets with a 2015 deadline.

“The governments of the ‘Delivering as One’ countries have stated clearly and unequivocally on numerous occasions that this reform of the UN development system in their country has supported enhanced national ownership and leadership of the development agenda,” Helen Clark, UN Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator, said today.

She was speaking at the opening today of a conference in Hanoi, Viet Nam, to review lessons learned so far under the initiative.

“Without [the pilot nations’] support and advocacy, it would not have been possible for the UN development system to embark on this reform,” Miss Clark stressed. “Where this process goes from here will also owe much to their advocacy and on our joint ability to show results.”

The gathering is bringing together representatives from the UN system, pilot countries and donors.

The creation of the pilot project was suggested in Delivering as One, a report by the UN High-Level Panel on System-wide Coherence that was released in November 2006.

That report recommended, among other elements, that the UN “deliver as one at the country level, with one leader, one programme, one budget, where appropriate, one office” with the aim of avoiding fragmentation and duplication of efforts.

So far, the “Delivering as One” pilot has helped to reduce “both duplication and gaps in UN system support,” Miss Clark said today.

In Rwanda, the UN Country Team has created a multi-faceted HIV/AIDS scheme supporting the Government’s prevention and care efforts, while in Albania, the world body has supported increased women’s participation politics during an election which resulted in the more than doubling of the number of women in the country’s Parliament.

These pilots, the UNDP chief underlined, are an “important achievement” for UN reform. “They have followed a bottom-up approach, driven and owned by the national government involved.”