An overview of UN integration in Liberia

Vision statement               1
Achieving a common strategy    2
Achieving a common approach    6
Achieving com...
Uniting our efforts
Vision statement
Never before has it mattered more to make a reality of the “united” in United Nations...
Planning together
Aiming high                                                   Harmonizing pl...
and priorities, and the UNDAF reflects our support         benchmarks have also been deliberately closely
for the implemen...
folded into the Government-led coordination frame-
                                                           work of the ...
Each OG acts on behalf of the entire UN in Liberia                                                    As we sought to take...
Wanting to work together
Willing cooperation                                         way of wo...
plans and staffing. It brings to bear the expertise       expertise. Very simple ideas can pay large divi-
and resources o...
Making it happen
Dividends of integration                                  distributing supplies...
Another key example is the 15
CST, which enable meetings to
take place in offices in far-off      Focus on Food
regions in...
We believe that an integrated UN reinforces the
                                                              From campaig...
Knitting together

Accounting for work                                        practical steps to...
looking at how to bring the UNCT and UNMIL                 Sometimes this will require a significant change
further togeth...
Beyond UNMIL and the UNCT:
The United Nations Integrated Team in Liberia

One of the gratifying as...
Text: Katrina Manson
     Photographs and design:
     Christopher Herwig
     Photo page 10: UNFPA
     Monrovia, March 2...
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A Common Vision for Uncommon Results


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A Common Vision for Uncommon Results

  1. 1. A COMMON VISION FOR UNCOMMON RESULTS An overview of UN integration in Liberia
  2. 2. CONTENTS Vision statement 1 Achieving a common strategy 2 Achieving a common approach 6 Achieving common delivery 8 Greater integration ahead 11 Statement of commitment 14
  3. 3. Uniting our efforts Vision statement Never before has it mattered more to make a reality of the “united” in United Nations. As we commit to assisting governments throughout the world to help realize security and development, the entire United Nations family must come together more and more if it is to deliver on ever-growing aspirations in the ever tougher socio-economic climate. We believe that our work in Liberia is doing just that. “At Work Together” means we strive to work as a united team at every level. Together we determine long-term strategy, knit the country team together with individual UN agencies, funds and programmes, the World Bank and the UN’s peacekeeping mission, UNMIL. We encourage staff to think beyond mandates and specific programmatic areas, supporting flexible and innovative working relationships across the UN family. One of the reasons for integrating our efforts and expertise is to bring the best of the UN to bear on complex problems. Joint projects, joint campaigns, joint offices, joint analysis, joint policy planning and joint teams in the field all form part of our integrated approach. We want to maximize the individual and collective impact of the UN’s response. The UN has moved forward to rely on all of its assets as a whole – joining up the strengths and expertise of the mission, agencies, funds and programmes. This common vision is helping us move forward along a common path. In the next pages, some of the specific achievements will be described, as well as how we are setting about our tasks together. In a structural sense, but also in terms of delivery, and achieving the ends that will improve lives of Liberians in the long term, our “do and learn” methods are working. We are striving to integrate our efforts as we see this as the best way to support Liberia’s Government and people to reduce poverty and progress towards lasting prosperity. At each stage, the level of our cooperation with Government and other partners reinforces the common capacity to address Liberia’s complex reality. Effective, integrated delivery depends on weaving a complex web of interventions – with actors binding together, united by an overall vision, to add strength to the whole effort. Post-conflict peacebuilding is undoubtedly a complicated undertaking, relying on harnessing different processes and building dialogue and a participatory approach to work. It involves recognizing and building on our individual and collective strengths and supporting each other to minimize our weak- nesses. The aim of these efforts is to assist Liberians, who now are witnessing the dividends of peace and the prospect of a more inclusive economy. Much remains to be done. Liberia is still home to people emerging from 14 years of a devastating war, which ended in 2003. Health, unemployment and security are among people’s pressing concerns. Building roads, running vaccination campaigns and training new police officers are some of the ways the UN has helped the country take concrete steps to begin to heal itself. We integrate not for the sake of integration, but for the strength of purpose, efficiencies and, most impor- tant, the results it can yield. We work together for the benefit of all Liberians. 1
  4. 4. ACHIEVING A COMMON STRATEGY Planning together Aiming high Harmonizing planning instruments We want our contribution to help lead to the The most important aspect of this coordinated fastest transformation of lives in Liberia. The planning approach has been to coalesce around country is beginning to recover from 14 years Government’s stated direction. Such high national of civil war that devastated lives, infrastructure ownership of plans and programmes to forward and severely hampered hope. Given that difficult the country’s development and advance out of backdrop, the UN has made it a priority to find poverty meant that we have made it a priority to innovative ways to bring the UN Country Team tailor our approach to support this. (UNCT) – which consists of 16 specialized agencies, funds, programmes including the World Bank Most recently, the Government has set out its plan – together with UNMIL, the UN’s peacekeeping to reduce poverty in its $1.61 billion 2008-2011 mission in Liberia, to support Government-led Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS), known as “Lift recovery in a precarious post-conflict environ- Liberia”, which was finalized in April 2008. ment. The entire UN in Liberia contributed to the PRS Everything is a priority, all at once – be it security, process under the leadership of the Deputy justice, education, food, prevention of sexual Special Representative of the Secretary-General / abuse, jobs, roads, sanitation, investment, even Resident Coordinator (DSRSG/RC). The four pillars office furniture. With that in mind, we have set of the PRS provide a framework for Government about making complex tasks as simple and to organize its response to pressing needs in the clear-cut as possible. country, according to consolidating peace and security; revitalizing the economy; strengthening Throughout, there have been tough decisions to government and the rule of law; and rehabilitating take. We have all picked our way amid a series of infrastructure and delivering basic social services. potentially catastrophic risks that come with such post-conflict situations – securing stability in the In coordinating our own response to support immediacy of the aftermath of conflict, when Government, we have developed a single frame- there was little national capacity to deliver services work for UN integrated planning in response to for the people, for example. The peacekeeping the clear national leadership given by the demo- operation was established at short notice in 2003, cratically elected government. The 2008-2012 UN and had a lot to do. While the Mission has bene- Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) fited from significant resources, many UN agencies establishes what the UN will do in Liberia, echoing have had to be creative with what they had, and each of the four pillars of the poverty reduction it is against this background that our total contri- strategy. It adds a fifth tenet, to combat HIV/AIDS, bution can be measured. We also keep the future due to the potential scale of the epidemic and at the front of our minds – at some point the the need to act before it takes hold. In support well-equipped UNMIL peacekeeping mission will of national priorities, we have made the Govern- withdraw. ment’s own framework, the PRS, the basis of our efforts. This has helped streamline and order our We have tried from the outset to plan our work approach; for example, peacebuilding issues are together – among the UN family, among donors, threaded throughout the PRS and the UNDAF, NGOs and with the Government. Members of the rather than dealt with as an additional outcome UN family have executed as parts of an organic under the UNDAF, as some countries have done. whole, drawing on knowledge, best practice, and comparative advantages of each other and While our own strategy is in line with the Govern- external partners. This teamwork will be crucial ment’s PRS, the UN’s joined-up policy advice and to the country’s effort to secure long-standing support during the preparation of the PRS also achievements. helped inform the Government’s own approach 2
  5. 5. and priorities, and the UNDAF reflects our support benchmarks have also been deliberately closely for the implementation of the PRS. As such, the aligned to the Outcome Groups (OGs: see below) UNDAF remains a “living” document – one that that monitor the implementation of the five must embrace flexible responses at every turn outcomes of the UNDAF. where possible. Monitoring In ensuring our own approach brings together the best of the UN family, and is as robust as possible, Setting out what we want to do in concert is not we have brought the UN peacekeeping mission enough; we also want to make sure we achieve into the preparation of the UNDAF, more usually an our goals, which means assessing how best to agency tool. This was important not only in estab- implement complex plans and regularly checking lishing a useful framework, but also in establishing progress, recognizing where things are going less a model for cooperation and integration within the well, correcting and learning the lessons. entire UN family in Liberia. As we progress through UNMIL’s drawdown, a Another part of the big picture is planning for the series of benchmarks will help us plan for the eventual withdrawal of UNMIL, to ensure that no crucial CDW transition, enabling us to establish glaring gaps will emerge. The UNMIL has consis- priorities and meet a series of goals. Including tently ensured that its mandate is interpreted in a core and contextual benchmarks aims to give the way that includes UNCT activities. Security Council a comprehensive assessment of progress in Liberia, and thus provides a key mech- Although it is unclear when or how quickly the anism to monitor progress. peacekeeping operation will scale down, we can already plan for the long-term scaling up of UNCT. In 2009 we introduced a UN Integrated Work Plan An integrated approach here will be critical to the that sets out what we want to achieve each year future success of the UN in Liberia: as the peace- in pursuit of the UNDAF, so that we can show the keeping mission assesses how best to withdraw, Government how we hope to realize the aims whenever that day comes, the input of the of the UNDAF’s five-year plan. The Integrated UNCT is also proving crucial to the planning and UN Work Plan is a matrix of UN agencies’ and implementation of transition. The peacekeeping sections’ planned activities, responsible parties, mission’s plan for Consolidation, Drawdown and partners, timeframe and costs for the coming year. Withdrawal (CDW), along with stage-by-stage The UNDAF Outcomes and Outputs are used as benchmarks to establish the pace and timing of the reference framework to enable monitoring drawdown in concert, involves the UNCT. CDW of progress and analysis of the UN’s combined 3
  6. 6. folded into the Government-led coordination frame- work of the Liberia Recovery and Development Committee (LRDC). Now that the Government has its own structures to coordinate poverty alleviation, in particular with the new PRS, we work to support that instead. For each of the four pillars of the PRS, the Govern- ment has established sector committees that hold regular meetings, for example to tackle health challenges. As the Government has acquired the capacity to step in and assert how best to coor- dinate nationally, we have moved away from the humanitarian cluster approach to support this structure. planned activities by each Outcome Group. The workplan will allow us to identify gaps, overlaps, Leadership too is crucial for ensuring we achieve key common priorities and possible areas for coop- results, through planning, implementing and moni- eration at the beginning of the year. toring together. At the top, the Strategic Policy Group (SPG), established in 2007, is a high-level Such planning instruments mean we are estab- forum that brings together UNMIL Section Chiefs lishing a common strategy to which we and the and Representatives of UN agencies in meetings Government can hold ourselves to account. Both held twice a month, and now oversees the imple- the UN and the Government will report against mentation of the UNDAF, chaired by the Special targets set in the UNDAF and the PRS in the same Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG). manner, so we can also all monitor progress together. By making sure our own system of moni- UNDAF Outcome Groups (OGs) also enable us to toring and evaluation heeds that of the Govern- promote progress towards achieving the aims of ment, our annual UNDAF review assesses how far the UNDAF and enable us to provide coherent the UN family is reaching in its commitment to support to achieve the aims of the PRS, both of support Liberia’s new Poverty Reduction Strategy which are tightly linked. These OGs are organized as well as the UNDAF itself. Not only does a single for each of the five outcomes, topped by a convener joint annual review meeting reduce transaction from either a UN agency or an UNMIL section, costs, it also reinforces a sense of teamwork and with overall accountability to the Government of focus on results. It enables us to learn mutually Liberia by the DSRSG/RC. One of the strengths of reinforcing lessons together. the integrated UN approach is that leadership of each OG can be provided from either the UNCT or How we organize ourselves UNMIL, whichever has the strength in a given area. Two groups are convened by UNMIL DSRSG (Rule Setting out and agreeing our priorities for both the of Law) and the Police Commissioner, and three long term and the step-by-step process of how to by representatives from UN Agencies, Funds and achieve them requires careful organization. As the Programmes, and each group presents its progress circumstances and capabilities of Government have to the SPG every other month. These OGs also agree changed and developed, so we have evolved the common work processes and work plans. This is way we organize ourselves. particularly evident in Rule of Law sector. While UN Agencies have traditionally focused more on During the emergency humanitarian phase, we social services delivery, development and gover- relied on a series of clusters, which brought the UN nance, UNMIL offers leadership in Rule of Law. The family and other aid agencies together to concen- UNDAF OG is an instrument for information-sharing trate on key areas, such as water and sanitation; and defining joint strategic direction, addressing nutrition; health; food security; early recovery and challenges and gaps, and facilitating stronger UN protection. When the Government’s capacity to Agency interventions and participation in security coordinate increased in 2007, the clusters were and Rule of Law-related activities. 4
  7. 7. Each OG acts on behalf of the entire UN in Liberia As we sought to take speedy action in the for that single outcome, aiming to bring together post-war environment, several ad hoc groups joint UN advocacy, policy support and advice, emerged, such as the anti-rape group. Today technical leadership, expert UN opinion, and to we are instead implementing through longer- maintain links to cross-cutting groups, to share term frameworks such as joint programmes information on exiting and pipeline programmes, that bring relevant parts of the UN together relevant resource mobilization; and to create the in line with one framework – such as that on possibility for joint outputs. We continue to make Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV), with progress towards multi-purpose, strategic, func- steering committees that take overall oversight tioning OGs. for the entire programme. These are co-chaired by Government ministers and the DSRSG/RC. Beyond that, four functional teams also look Together they can make decisions regarding after technical issues, such as communications, assessing need, policy, budgets, work plans, monitoring and evaluation, common administra- monitoring and evaluation and how best to tion services and programming. The UNCT and mobilize resources and work with partners. UNMIL, with its mix of resources and expertise, Each joint programme has a programme work together in these groups to provide better manager, to supervise staff and mete out services and products than any single UN entity responsibilities. could do on its own. In addition, there is a series of thematic groups, ranged around cross-cutting In all we have committed to six joint issues such as gender and youth, which are programmes. These are, in addition to the significantly strengthened by the knowledge and County Support Teams (CST) (see below): capacity that UNMIL brings to what are tradition- Food Security and Nutrition; Youth Employ- ally UNCT forums. It is the diversity of the UN in ment; SGBV; Gender Equality; and HIV/AIDS. Liberia, harnessed through clear leadership and All, with the exception of HIV and AIDS, have accountability, which enables us to move beyond been signed with the Government and draw on what we can deliver individually. national frameworks. United Nations in Liberia Integrated Management and Coordination Structure Strategic Policy Group (SPG) UN Mission in Liberia Management UN Country Team Chair: SRSG SRSG (UNCT) DSRSG (RoL) Chair: DSRSG/RC/HC Security Management Team DSRSG (R&G) (SMT) Chair: SRSG UNDAF Outcome 1 UNDAF Outcome 2 UNDAF Outcome 3 UNDAF Outcome 4 UNDAF Outcome 5 Peace & Security Economic Revitalization Governance and RoL, Infrastructure and HIV and AIDS UNDAF Chair: UNPOL Chair: UNDP Chair: UNMIL DSRSG Social Services Chair: WHO Chairs: UNICEF Inter-Agency Operations Functional Programming Team Management Team UN Communications M&E Group Inter-Agency Steering (IAPT) Chair: (OMT) Chair: Group (UNCG) Chair: Chair: UNDP Committee (IASC) UNICEF UNDP UNMIL Chair: HC Cross-cutting and Joint Programmes Gender Equality Children & Youth Peacebuilding & Food Security & Nutrition Environment & Climate Macro-economic Chair: UNIFEM, Co-chair: Chair: ILO Conflict Sensitivity Chair: FAO Change Taskforce UNMIL OGA Co-chair: UNICEF Chair: UNHCR Co-chair: WFP Chair: UNDP Chair: WB 5
  8. 8. ACHIEVING A COMMON APPROACH Wanting to work together Willing cooperation way of working towards implementing the UNDAF and thus the PRS. Indeed, following 132 consulta- Deciding to work together effectively requires tions undertaken in all the country’s districts, the willingness. In some cases simply ensuring people formulation of 15 County Development Agendas from different strands of the UN work together (CDAs) helped lead to and shape the PRS. Since and get used to working together can bring the end of 2008, the responsibilities of the CST dividends much later: the experience in Liberia Facilitators have been strengthened as they have shows that planning is important at early stages of been combined with the new function as Head integration. In preparing the UNDAF and CDW, for of Field Office in each county – this creates a example, UN staff have become used to working streamlined reporting line at county level for both together, with the same tools, to the same aims. Mission and Agency staff. As UNMIL begins to That makes communicating plans and progress draw down, these CSTs will form a crucial link in within the UN family much easier. It would have maintaining and sustaining the UN’s development been easier still if integration had been foreseen presence, and, in time, will be able to broaden at the time the peacekeeping mandate was being their focus to provide the kind of support that will articulated. be needed to match the process of decentraliza- tion to local authorities once those are formulated. We seek to eradicate needless, costly and inef- ficient duplication. By ensuring there is a joint UN The nitty gritty presence not only conceptually but also on the ground, we can streamline our operations and The most important element of our common budget and deliver more effectively, avoiding a approach is practical cooperation and imple- doubled bureaucracy. Since the end of 2008, we mentation, fostering greater administrative have integrated the Office of the Resident Coor- and logistical support integration and pooling dinator and the Office of the D/SRSG for Recovery resources and assets at all levels. So when it comes and Governance – thus avoiding overlap of staff to working on the ground, especially in remote functions and ensuring better use of human counties, we adapt our approach to be sure we resources and mutual support. can deliver. Whether it be car pooling or using the same health clinic facilities; ordering office statio- In the counties together nery or sharing security guards in joint offices in the field; flying in the same planes or relying on The County Support Teams (CST), of which there the same bulk fuel, we are increasingly making is one in each of the 15 counties, form a unique strategic use of common services and integrating coordinating mechanism between the Mission our structures on the ground to make the best and the Agency staff in support of local authorities possible use of the limited resources. and decentralization. Given that local authorities currently have limited capacity, the CST are a key Our first joint premises outside Monrovia, the support to Government and form part of the effort Joint UN Office in Voinjama, capital of the remote to restore national authority at the local level. The Lofa County in the north of the country, was CST work through UNMIL Civil Affairs staff, with opened in June 2008 and joins our functions resources channeled through UNDP, monitoring in the most comprehensive way yet. It brings and information offices supported by UNHCR together seven UN agencies (FAO, UNDP, UNHCR, and UNICEF – all managed by a joint steering UNICEF, UNFPA, WFP, WHO) and UNMIL under committee co-chaired by the Minister of Internal one roof. Initially it enabled the first efficient use Affairs and the DSRSG/RC. of scarce resources such as security guards, fuel stations, satellite internet communications and The CST develop implementation capacity and generators, and in the longer term it will enable local ownership of interventions, and form a key an integrated approach to programming, work 6
  9. 9. plans and staffing. It brings to bear the expertise expertise. Very simple ideas can pay large divi- and resources of the UN in remote areas, and the dends: creating an environment in which it is common premises provide a convenient mecha- more fun to work together will mean people are nism to function as a united team, with a view more likely to coordinate. It can be fruitful to make to taking up a joint approach to programming working together an end in itself – by including and planning. It means staff leaders in the field this in performance appraisals for example, which constantly need to seek opportunities for further has been done for focal points on Sexual Exploi- collaboration in planning and decision-making in tation and Abuse, it also boosts the chances for Lofa. We also opened a second Joint UN Office, at integration. Zwedru, Grand Gedeh County, in February 2009. Staff should be encouraged to work together In each, the Head of Field Office promotes joint – ensuring the leadership’s personal interest UN activities, coordinates these and meetings to alongside kudos for those who coordinate will follow up, keeps looking for linkages, and also thus be an integral part of the process and its takes the UNDAF, PRS and CDW into account with success. This can also be achieved by a vibrant every plan. culture of communications; ensuring successful teamwork is communicated throughout the Encouraging teamwork internal organization and beyond. Currently, the UN Communications Group (UNCG) has a joint In securing common approaches on the ground, work plan, producing a joint UN newsletter, radio leadership and approaches to human resources programme, training for communications and have a key role to play. We are therefore making a programme officers, providing media outreach, point of integration – we have held retreats, work- and carrying out joint communications initiatives shops and discussions as to how best to elicit an on special days such as the International Day of integrated UN family. Strategies are all very well, Peace, as well as a public website. We have much but to avoid “document fatigue” and to ensure further to go in developing our communications, that commitment to the joint effort doesn’t wear however, and we’re in the process of finalizing thin and to ensure results, senior UN staff must a Communication Strategy for the entire UN in show a personal interest in working together and Liberia as well as tools for internal communication consistently highlight the benefits of combining with a view to engendering greater integration. 7
  10. 10. ACHIEVING COMMON DELIVERY Making it happen Dividends of integration distributing supplies. Together this has helped ensure that Liberia is polio free (2008). So far 95% The most crucial impact that we can hope to of children vaccinated against measles, and there achieve is that we are succeeding in supporting have been no confirmed cases of measles in the significant improvements to lives. In many areas past two years. already, the UN has come together to do just that. Through some of the efforts at integration The Ministry of Public Works, together with described, we believe we have reached much UNDP and UNMIL, funded by the World Bank, further and achieved much more than we could have come together for short-term employment have done without it. creation through labor-intensive road rehabilita- tion of primary and secondary roads. While UNMIL There are many examples, and we hope there will provided technical expertise and equipment, be many more. In our efforts to return Internally funding was channeled through UNDP. From 2006 Displaced Persons (IDPs) to their homes, UNHCR, to early 2009, more than 46,000 short-term jobs WFP, UNMIL and UNDP came together. Likewise, were created under this initiative, resulting in close UNMIL, UNDP, UNICEF and others have come to 1,500,000 million working days within a budget together for the reintegration of ex-combatants of more than US $6,000,000. Moreover, UNMIL and and children formerly associated with the fighting WFP have joined hands in implementing labour- forces (CAFF). intensive feeder road rehabilitation under the food-for-work programme, from which more than Tens of thousands of children have been vacci- 10,000 community members have benefited. nated because the UN decided to bring all of In developing and maintaining our dialogue with its assets together –offering UN helicopters, UN the Government, we have been able to focus on health workers and UN expertise to support the key things together, such as peacebuilding, conflict Ministry of Health and Social Welfare and the local resolution, gender mainstreaming,youth empower- County Health Teams in organizing, planning and ment and child well-being. 8
  11. 11. Another key example is the 15 CST, which enable meetings to take place in offices in far-off Focus on Food regions in a unified manner. Rather than assemble people Our $140 million Joint Food Security and Nutrition beneath trees, the local authori- programme, 2008–2011, the first in the world that brings ties now have electricity, some together the UN family and World Bank in support of both equipped with solar power, food security and nutrition, is a good example of a joint vehicles and sufficient staff; programme. It responds to the immediate needs of the they have County Develop- global food crisis as well as the medium-term priorities in the ment Agendas and are trained PRS, and its joint approach recognizes that food concerns to lead team efforts in pursuit of affect several aspects of the country – affecting not solely these goals (see below for more the health of the population, but also the economy as well details). as education concerns, making an integrated response the most sensible. The practical success of the project relies on Joint programmes joint analysis of data, which has helped us to develop the right interventions. Considerable joint analysis, including the Working through joint Comprehensive Food Security and Nutrition Survey (CFSNS), programmes forms a crucial part undertaken by Government in partnership with FAO, UNDP, of the UN’s integrated approach. UNICEF, UNMIL, WFP and WHO in both rural and urban areas It means we can best utilize in 2006, and updated in 2008, provided the first information our own expertise and that of of its kind for years. This has helped sharpen the Programme, others, and together focus it on enabling more targeted support for food security and nutri- cross-cutting issues, bringing a tion efforts. joint approach to preparation, implementation and evaluation Amid high levels of poverty, throughout. They might not food insecurity and malnu- necessarily deliver the quickest trition (44% of childhood wins, but they create a means to deaths are attributable to divide the cake better and focus malnutrition), the country resources on priorities rather than imports 60% of its rice donor preferences. needs. Liberia risks losing $431 million to the economy We have six joint UN programmes by 2015 due to the impact agreed in the UNDAF, and five of poor nutrition, and severe food insecurity during the have been finalized in coop- 2008 food crisis saw food costs rise 22% in a year. Led by the eration with the Government Ministry of Agriculture, the joint programme brings together – County Support Teams, Sexual FAO, UNDP, UNICEF, WFP, WHO, UNIFEM, UNMIL and the World Gender-Based Violence, Youth Bank, to ensure rice supply, increase food production and Employment and Empowerment, protect the vulnerable. Hot meals have been provided for Food Security and Nutrition, and 600,000 pre- and primary school children, and agriculture- Gender Equality and Women’s related employment has been promoted for 40,000 women Empowerment. The UN comes and youth. Working together has also enabled a streamlined together to consider joint needs- fast funding mechanism administered by UNDP relying on assessments, joint planning, a “pass-through mechanism” that unites various UN actors. coordinated implementation, This ensures donors deal solely with one agency, while still joint monitoring and evaluation, drawing on the expertise and delivery capacity of several, to collaborative decision-making, secure resources at speed with little fuss. Through this mecha- and streamlined dialogue with nism, the Government of Denmark has offered $6.5m for partners. It is through such joint 2009–2011 directly into the food and nutrition programme, programmes that we show for example. integration really does improve delivery, not just talk. 9
  12. 12. We believe that an integrated UN reinforces the From campaigns to programmes quality of programmes, plays to expertise and In the immediacy of the post-conflict situation, we improves both credibility and management of often relied on time-bound campaigns to achieve resources. In this way, looking for the overlap and delivery and cooperate on a large sale, as with making a virtue of it will strengthen the impact of vaccination campaigns. These are often largely projects and joint programmes. dictated by timings and achieving as good a deployment of resources as possible, which make Combined efforts will involve a joint approach them relatively easy to work. While campaigns to identifying target beneficiaries: in seeking have well known limitations, they also provide to target women farmers as part of the Food an important boost to routine processes and, Security and Nutrition joint programme, UNIFEM provided they are backed up by complementary takes responsibility for trainings, FAO for tools, information and services, can be highly effective. UNDP for building storage facilities, WFP for marketing trainings, and UNMIL has staff in the The 2008 population census, led by the Govern- counties to help with monitoring. We also include ment and supported jointly by UNFPA, UNMIL, communities in designing joint programmes to UNDP, UNICEF and UNHCR, has proved a crucial ensure local ownership, share information to raise planning tool that will provide all actors with key awareness about joint programmes so others decision-making information. can feed into them, and ensure accountability through regular reporting and proper monitoring In developing joint programmes, we have strived and evaluation schemes. Integrated approaches to integrate more robustly, through developing allow us to improve information-sharing, work joint analysis to inform our approaches. Joint to given advantages throughout the UN family programmes are much more complicated to operating in the country, monitor mechanisms develop, and engage parts of the UN, Government jointly, hold regular meetings, link local initiatives and other donors in a different, more lasting and into UN activities, and set operational norms for deeper way. Of necessity, they have taken longer joint office and programme management (see to develop, and we believe they will deliver over Focus on Food box). the longer term too. 10
  13. 13. GREATER INTEGRATION AHEAD Knitting together Accounting for work practical steps to ensure that an integrated approach to planning, implementation and Liberia is in many ways already a model country delivery ensures we minimize the danger of any on UN integration with joint programmes, joint gaps emerging. The pace will of course depend offices, joint management and some joint work on developments on the ground, which only plans, but we want to do even better. We aim to increases the need for close collaboration, as we hold ourselves to account, before the Govern- monitor what stage we have reached and what ment, before the people of Liberia, and before to do next. Certainly, the post-mission envi- our own donors. ronment will require us to change the way we deliver: no helicopters, limited logistical capacity, In holding retreats, and deliberately focusing on greater costs and fewer staff are among the chal- the value of integrating our efforts to the results lenges we will face. A well-planned transition we can help achieve on the ground, we have will thus be critical to lasting success, and will been grateful to learn from experts with experi- allow the UN family to support Liberia even after ence in other countries, as well as staff here who UNMIL has withdrawn. The SPG has decided to come across overlaps in their daily work, which establish a mechanism, the Integrated Transition show that efforts to integrate must never stop. Design Team, to design elements of the transi- tion with the goal to ensure the UN’s continued What next impact during and after the UNMIL drawdown and beyond the end of the first PRS. As we prepare for the eventual withdrawal of the peacekeeping mission, we can take many We can take some immediate practical steps, by 11
  14. 14. looking at how to bring the UNCT and UNMIL Sometimes this will require a significant change further together. The UN Humanitarian Air in behavior and attitude among our staff, and Service, managed by WFP, already flies UN staff our strong leadership and commitment to joint on mission to remote counties and neighboring efforts will help make this a reality. Boosting our countries at no cost, for example. UNMIL heli- internal communications efforts will help as well. copters fly UN agency staff across Liberia, as well as to Ghana and Sierra Leone. In the communi- In 2009, we hope to increase coordination to cations realm we are also striving to share both mainstream cross-cutting issues such as gender internet and intranet networks. We will also equality, human rights and conflict sensitivity. We strive for better information-sharing through will also give stronger emphasis to empowering our new Communications Strategy. staff throughout the organizations, so that those who are closest to a particular challenge have In the counties, we must be creative about the necessary flexibility and motivation to work addressing challenges that are likely to remain together and find efficient and creative solu- for some time – how to reach hard-to-reach tions. It might be easy to find good leaders who populations, unpredictable and insufficient decide good things, but we must ensure that we funding with no common way of mobilizing take our staff with us on this journey – regular resources, insufficient coordination among meetings with access to leaders, alongside well- development partners, including ourselves, and developed internal communication will help encouragement to others to step in line with make the difference. the Government’s four pillars of the PRS so we can all plan effective interventions and monitor We must also strive for higher levels of trust their progress, too. To overcome fragmented among agencies and sections so that division financing, we must avoid parallel or isolated of labor truly can work, and communicate the projects. Already the Government has estab- importance of integration as part of this effort. lished pooled funds for health and education, We also need to see how to make both UNMIL for example, and our joint programmes also rely and the UNCT work further, so that we share on common funding channels. the best of what we have to offer, whether it be transport and administration support, sharing In addition to our first two Joint UN Offices, we services such as communication and information must also understand that if our field structures technology, or putting our analytical expertise are to work and to respond effectively to local and brain power to work together. challenges, we must trust our local staff leaders take decisions, to give them the authority to One journey plan projects and make them a reality. As we support the Government’s decentralization We want to take the whole of the UN family and policy, we must make efforts to deepen our our Government and development partners with own. us on this journey as we streamline our bureau- cracy and improve our delivery through an At the strategic level, we must establish who is integrated approach. Clear expectations, regular responsible for what – whether it be partners, monitoring, as well as consistent action, are timing, costs or plans – and ensure we account crucial. From the outset we have taken a practical for ourselves, identifying gaps, overlap and approach to sharing the best we have to offer, for key common priorities and possible areas for example by establishing joint Government, UN cooperation. Donor coordination remains an and donor committees to support Government area ripe for improvement. We want to agree leadership during the transition from emergency frameworks for accountability and performance coordination characterised by aid coordina- reviews for staff where greater teamwork will tion and humanitarian clusters, to recovery and be beneficial: for county staff reporting to the development. Today’s integrated planning means Head of Field Office, staff in joint programmes everyone can look ahead in the same direction, reporting to the manager, or active participation plan together and, most important, deliver for in the gender theme group, for example. the benefit of the Liberian people. 12
  15. 15. 13
  16. 16. STATEMENT OF COMMITMENT Beyond UNMIL and the UNCT: The United Nations Integrated Team in Liberia One of the gratifying aspects of developing our integrated approach to working and deliv- ering together is that we are increasingly asked how we do it. We like that question, because it makes us think more not only about what we are already doing, but also how to improve our integrated approach to achieving and maintaining security and development in Liberia. We have learned that nothing can be achieved without Liberian ownership. Not only does that mean listening to the Government and aligning our own framework to that of the Government’s at the center, but it also means encouraging debate and input from local communities in regular consultation. This is why we have made it a priority to base ourselves throughout the country, but while streamlining our systems. Part of it is about peeling back bureaucracy – ensuring there are fewer parallel systems, and that organizations work in synch for the same aims. We are committed to improving that process: looking for the overlap, elim- inating duplication, integrating our systems whether it be sharing the internet or planning a project. We want to be proud of good practice that embraces the innovative and the creative, mainstreaming cross-cutting issues and developing policy and operational partnerships. Being “at work together” cannot be a title alone – it must be embraced by the hearts and minds of all our staff and embedded in the very fabric of every decision and step we take. 14
  17. 17. Text: Katrina Manson Photographs and design: Christopher Herwig Photo page 10: UNFPA Monrovia, March 2009 ©United Nations in Liberia 12
  18. 18. UNITED NATIONS IN LIBERIA info@unliberia.org www.unliberia.org