UNDAF Lessons Learned Chapters 1-4


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UNDAF Lessons Learned Chapters 1-4

  1. 1. Chapter-1 Introduction1.0 BackgroundAs part of the 1997 reform agenda to make the United Nations (UN) an effective and efficientinstitution for world peace and development in the 21st century, the Secretary-General stressed thestrong inter-linkages between peace and security, poverty reduction and sustainable humandevelopment and promotion and respect for human rights. The Common Country Assessment (CCA)and the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) are outcomes of this coherentvision and strategy that allows for a unified approach towards common development goals. TheUNDAF is a vital strategic framework that articulates a collective, coherent and integrated response ofthe UN system at the country level in support of the national priorities and needs.In 2004, the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) and its partners in the Government and civilsociety prepared the second UNDAF (2005-2009) for the Philippines. To align with national planningprocesses and to benefit from the new Medium-Term Philippines Development Plan (MTPDP), at therequest of the Government the 2005-2009 UNDAF has been extended to a 2012 start. Concerned UNagencies developed their two-year ‘transitional’ programme to cover the period of 2010 and 2011.Under the leadership of National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) representing theGovernment of the Philippines (GOP) and in close consultation with the United Nations Civil SocietyAdvisory Committee (UNCSAC) and the development partners, the United Nations Country Team(UNCT)8 in the Philippines is embarking on the preparatory activities for a new UNDAF for theperiod of 2012-2016. Evaluation of the current UNDAF9 is a prerequisite for this process.To optimize the utilization of the study, the UNCT decided to undertake a participatory lessonslearned exercise, instead of a formal evaluation, with an overall objective to inform the design andpreparation of the new UNDAF.This report is an inward-looking document, which presents the lessons learned from successes andchallenges, and identifies the issues and opportunities emerging from the current UNDAF cycle.1.1 ObjectivesThe specific objectives of the task are the following: • To document and analyze the processes of UNDAF formulation, its thematic content and implementation as well as the processes of implementing ‘Delivering as One’ and joint programming; • To review major achievements in five UNDAF outcome areas10 ;and • To summarize the lessons learned and provide recommendations for the next UNDAF cycle.1.2 The Approach and the Scope of the StudyAs mentioned earlier, the present lessons learned exercise is not a formal evaluation following theUnited Nations Development Group (UNDG) guidelines. This is a forward-looking endeavour tolearn from successes and challenges of the current UNDAF cycle. It is a participatory exercise, whichhas drawn inputs primarily from the UN staff members and the UNCT. The study focuses more on theprocesses rather than the results.8 The United Nations Country Team consists of UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, WFP, WHO, FAO, ILO, IFAD, UN Habitat,IMO, IOM, UNHCR, UNIDO, HABITAT, UNAIDS, ICAO, OCHA, UNDSS, and the Bretton Woods Institutions WorldBank, IMF, IFC and the ADB. Non-resident agencies such as UNEP, UNESCO, UNIFEM, UNODC, and UNOHCHR arealso part of the UNCT9 The current UNDAF (2005-2009) has been extended by two years and the start of the new UNDAF has been postponed to2012 to align with the MTPDP cycle.10 Refer to Annex 1.
  2. 2. 1.3 MethodologyThe phases of the lessons learned exercise are discussed below.1.3.1 Desk ReviewIn the preparatory phase, a desk review was conducted to study a wide range of relevant documentsand develop a questionnaire11 for collection of data. The key documents included but not limited to – - CCA and UNDAF documents; - UNDG guidelines; - UNDAF Annual Reviews; - Annual Progress Reports of the UN Resident Coordinator (RC); - MTPDP; - Human Development Report (HDR), - Philippines Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Progress reports; - The Country Consultation on the Triennial Comprehensive Policy Review (TCPR) of Operational Activities for Development - Country Programme Action Plans (CPAP) or similar tool for the UNCT and - Reports of various agency-specific evaluations and assessments.1.3.2 Collection of DataCollection of primary data through questionnaire surveyA self-administered questionnaire survey was conducted among the UN staff and partners to elicitinformation and capture perceptions about the UNDAF cycle. There were 33 responses from theUNCT and UN staff members and one from the CSAC. In addition to that, group discussion andinformal interviews were conducted with UN staff members, who were involved in the UNDAFformulation process and were part of UN theme groups. A multi-stakeholder consultation will beorganized to share the findings and the key recommendations.Collection of secondary dataPrimary data collected through questionnaire survey was complemented by the insights drawn fromrelevant documents mentioned earlier.1.4 Analysis and Report writingData and other information collated through various sources were primarily analyzed qualitatively.The report has been organized as follows: 1. Background; 2. UNDAF 2005-2009: The Process, Thematic Content and Key Emerging Issues; 3. Delivering as One and Joint Programming; and 4. Lessons Learned and Key Recommendations. Annex 1 - UNDAF (2005-2009): Key Outcomes, Outputs and Activities Annex 2 - The United Nations System in Middle-Income Countries (MIC) in South-East Asia: Development Cooperation and the UNDAF Annex 3: Questionnaire – UNDAF Lessons Learned11 Questionnaire is enclosed in Annex 3.
  3. 3. 1.5 Limitations of the studyAs mentioned earlier, this study is mainly based on the inputs of the UNCT, UN staff and a memberof the CSAC. Highlights of this study, however, were shared in a series of multi-stakeholderconsultations on August 24-26, 2010 with representatives of national government, civil society anddevelopment partners.1.6 TimelineThis ‘lessons learned’ exercise was commissioned in April 2010 and will be concluded in August2010. APR MAY JUN JUL AUG ACTIVITIES 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 1 2 3 4 Debrief on UNDAF Regional Workshop, including revisiting of timelines (15 April) Desk review of existing and relevant documents Development of the inception report Share inception report for comments (13 May UNDAF WG Meeting) Debrief with the UNCT, on inception report (19 May UNCT Meeting) Finalizing revised report outline, questionnaire survey Drafting of evaluation report Sharing initial results with UNDAF WG (10 June) Debrief initial results (1 July special UNCT Meeting) Receiving comments and revision of the draft report Multi-stakeholder consultation Finalization of the report
  4. 4. Chapter-2: The Philippines UNDAF (2005-2009): The Process,Thematic Content and Key Emerging Issues2.1 Formulation Process of the UNDAF (2005-2009) for the PhilippinesIn 2004, as part of the Common Country Programming Process (CCPP), the UNCT and its partners inthe Government and civil society prepared the second UNDAF (2005-2009) for the Philippines,which embodies the UN commitments in support of the national development priorities. The UNDAFwas based on the CCA drafted in 2003, which analyzed the national development situation andidentified key development issues with a focus on the Millennium Declaration/MDGs and otherinternational conventions.The CCPP in the Philippines for formulating the CCA and the UNDAF was initiated in 2002 withtraining sessions on the Human Rights-Based Approach (HRBA) to development and the conduct of agender assessment of development trends, challenges and outcomes in the country12. First, an initialCCA framework was developed, which was later enriched by inputs from the UN ExCOM agencies(UNDP, UNICEF, UNFPA)13 in the form of several sectoral assessments and situational analysisinvolving causality and Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis,clustering of issues and scenario building. Focal points from each agency played crucial role in thisprocess. The findings of these assessments were validated through a multi-stakeholder, multi-sectoralworkshop. Participants in that workshop identified key developmental themes for the CCA, whichwere later analyzed by the UN Thematic Groups. Thematic Working Groups conducted individual in-depth workshops for each theme. Findings and recommendations of the thematic groups were finallypresented during a plenary session for validation and finalization of CCA conceptual framework. TheCCA was finally approved in March 2003, after several rounds of consultations. Along with the CCAfinalization process, the preparatory phase for the UNDAF was initiated. UNDAF Prioritizationworkshop was organized in October 2003. UN agencies participated in this workshop to identify theoutcomes for UNDAF. Based on the CCA findings, the Millennium Declaration and the MDGs,consensus was reached on five priority areas of UNDAF cooperation.The CCA 2004 identified the key underlying causes of poverty and exclusion in the Philippines: 1)inequitable economic growth and ownership of assets; 2) severely unequal access to opportunities andbasic social services; and 3) inability of key change agents, particularly women, to play an active rolein improving their lives and those of others.To address these causes, the UNDAF committed to contribute to five strategic outcomes which itsought to achieve by 2009: Macroeconomic Stability, Broad-Based and Equitable Development – focused on UN-GOP cooperation in the formulation of pro-poor policies and the development of management and planning capacities of vulnerable groups; Basic Social Services – focused on collaboration on the demand and delivery of services for health, education, and social protection/social security; Good Governance – focused on justice and human rights, public sector and decentralized governance, and political, electoral and legislative reforms that facilitate citizen participation; Environmental Sustainability – focused on improved natural disaster response through creating a stronger policy environment, capacity development of local stakeholders, and increasing access to services; and Conflict Prevention and Peace-Building – focused on strengthening policy environment, capacity development for Government, civil society, former combatants and communities, and ensuring the rights of those affected by the armed conflict.12 UNDAF (2005-2009)13 WFP was not present in the country during the CCA-UNDAF formulation.
  5. 5. As the CCA and UNDAF guideline14 suggests, the UNCT cannot respond coherently to every goaland objective of the national development framework. It will have to select priorities, in line with theprinciples of HRBA, gender equality, environmental sustainability, results-based management(RBM), and capacity development as well as its comparative advantages at the country level. In thecontext of Philippines UNDAF (2005-2009), in all five areas, the United Nations System identified itscomparative advantages drawing on its values, successful global knowledge base, best practices andlessons learned; its strong normative mandate; its neutrality; and its ability to encourage efficientcoordination and facilitate accountability among donors.The UNDAF aims to contribute to the national priorities, and for doing that, it is imperative to alignwith the national planning processes and ensure the ownership of national partners/stakeholders.However, the current UNDAF was formulated, at a time when the preparations for the MTPDP (2004-2010) were soon to be undertaken, and hence the cycles as well as the contents of the two instrumentsare not aligned. The current UNDAF is based on the previous MTPDP (2001-2004)15.The Country Consultation on the Triennial Comprehensive Policy Review of Operational Activitiesfor Development16 conducted in 2007 notes another drawback in the UNDAF formulation process.The report mentions that the low operational value of the current UNDAF document could be partlyattributed to the fact that, national stakeholders were invited to participate in the preparation processof the CCA and UNDAF at a stage when the UNCT had already shaped the main orientations of thedocuments. However, it is worth mentioning that the formulation of the current CCA and UNDAFwas closely monitored and guided by the UNDG. National stakeholders were engaged following thetimeframe prescribed in the UNDG guidelines.Role of Non-Resident Agencies (NRA) in the formulation of the current UNDAF was limited. As oneNRA mentioned, its participation was curbed due to delayed communication received about theconsultation process. It was felt that NRAs should be contacted in advance to ensure theirinvolvement.2.2 The Design, Content and the Implementation ProcessThe Philippines UNDAF (2005-2009) document has three parts. The first part discusses the globaland national socio-economic context, the UNDAF priority areas and the outcomes, estimated resourcerequirements, implementation strategies and approaches and monitoring and evaluation plan. Thesecond part is the results matrix (RM) that outlines the UNDAF outcomes/outputs, role of partners,resource mobilization targets, coordination mechanisms and programme modalities. The thirdcomponent of the document is the UNDAF Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) framework, whichspecifies the UNDAF outcomes/outputs along with the indicators and source of verification.2.2.1 The UNDAF Thematic AreasAs discussed earlier, the priority areas for the UNDAF were chosen on the basis of the CCA, whichconducted a causality analysis to identify the causes of poverty. As defined by the General Assembly,the CCA is the common instrument of the UN system to analyze the national development situationand identify key development issues with a focus on the MDGs and the other commitments of theMillennium Declaration and international conventions.The Country Consultation on the Triennial Comprehensive Policy Review of Operational Activitiesfor Development conducted in 2007 notes that, as a programmatic tool for greater UN systemcoherence, ‘the design of UNDAF is not perceived as fulfilling expectations’. The five priorities of14 CCA/UNDAF Guideline, UNDG, February 200915 The Country Consultation on the Triennial Comprehensive Policy Review of Operational Activities for Development(2007)16 The main purpose of the in-Country Consultations was to draw first-hand information and insights from key players atcountry level on the efficiency of the functioning of the UN system and its effectiveness to support national developmentstrategies and achieve internationally agreed development goals.
  6. 6. the current UNDAF are not very different from the UN areas of cooperation identified in the 1990s, which were: economic growth with equity human development, environment and sustainable development, governance, disaster management and peace building. During 2006 UNCT retreat, though three different priority areas for coordinated UN action, namely, good governance, human security and disparity reduction, were identified, finally existing five themes were retained. However, some UN staff members have strongly endorsed the existing priority areas, and they feel that the thematic areas of UNDAF very well capture the fundamental challenges faced by the Filipino people today, and still remain highly relevant. However, these broad areas need to be re-examined in light of changes in the operating environment. For example, the priority area on environmental sustainability will need to be re-crafted to include climate change and disaster mitigation as one of the focus areas, while the thematic area on conflict prevention and peace-building may need to be seen as a dimension of a larger crisis prevention/management and recovery framework that also includes disaster risk reduction and management. 2.2.2 The UNDAF Results Matrix UNDAF RM articulates the implementation mechanism for realizing the planned outcomes in each priority area. The RM is the crucial tool that operationalizes the UNDAF. However, a close look at the RM reveals that:(1) Outcome statements use change language but most of them are very broad. This is probably because agencies want to see their specific mandate reflected in result statements to demonstrate their relevance to the national priorities. This makes these statements mere compilations of agency agenda. UNDAF Outcome-2 in the area of basic social services can be taken up for example. UNDAF outcome-2: By 2009, increased and more equitable access to and utilization of quality, integrated and sustainable basic social services by the poor and vulnerable. CP Outcome 1: (UNICEF, UNFPA, WHO, UNAIDS, UNIC) By 2009, more Filipinos, especially children, adolescents and women, are aware of their rights, including reproductive rights, and are empowered to claim their rights to health and education. CP Output 1.1 (UNICEF, UNFPA, UNAIDS, WHO) Women, men, adolescents and children are able to make informed choices about responsible health and other behavior and practices by accessing educational services, community-based development, protection, participation and reproductive health interventions and HIV/AIDS prevention education, thereby ensuring the realization of their rights The broad UNDAF outcome has resulted in a very broad CP outcome. The CP output is also pitched at a very high level, almost at the level of the CP outcome. Broad outputs become undeliverable and difficult to measure17. In this particular case, the logical flow between the output and the outcome cannot be established. The “if - then” logic does not follow in this results chain, i.e. if the output is achieved, it is not evident that there is an increased possibility of achieving the outcome as well. (2) The UNDAF Annual review conducted in 2005 noted that, the outcome and output statements in the RM are not clearly formulated. From these statements it is difficult to derive the exact scope and nature of interventions and identify duty bearers and claim holders. During the 2005 UNDAF review, 17 CP Outcome and output indicators have not been clearly differentiated in the M&E framework, which will be discussed later.
  7. 7. theme group members attempted simplifying the RM. However, formal adoption of the simplificationby both the UN and the NEDA, GOP partners did not happen.(3) As per the UNDG guideline (2009), risk analysis and assumptions are probably the most importantaspect of the results matrix. A SWOT analysis is used to identify key risks and assumptions, whichenables the UNDAF to serve as an instrument of implementation, and not only a planning tool. In theUNDAF document the RM does not contain risk analysis and assumption and the identification andadoption of risk mitigation measures, which makes it incomplete.2.2.3 Monitoring & Evaluation plansSince development is a process, the UNDAF was meant to be a living document to adapt to changesin the country’s economic, social and political situations. An M&E plan was put in place by theUNCT to track the changes and measure the progress in achieving the desired results, which wasexpected to be carried through the results based management (RBM) approach. M&E activitiessuggested by the UNDG guideline (2009) include: • Annual progress reviews carried out and brief reports produced for each UNDAF Outcome. • Annual UNDAF Reviews carried out to enable UNCT and partners to make decisions based on evidence of results that will enhance subsequent performance. • An UNDAF Evaluation commissioned in consultation with national partners to feed its findings into the development of the next UNDAF.During the 2005-2009 cycle, UNDAF Annual Reviews were conducted for the years 2005 and 2006and a Country Consultation on the Triennial Comprehensive Policy Review of Operational Activitiesfor Development took place in 2007. Internal UNDAF theme group reviews were carried out as partof the annual UNDAF reviews.However, both the 2005 and 2006 annual reviews were delayed and did not follow the UNDG guidedtime schedule. Instead of the last quarter of the year, they were conducted respectively in the firstquarters of 2006 and 2007. Consequently, most agencies had to develop their Annual Work Plans(AWP) without the inputs from the annual reviews. The RC’s annual progress reports also could notfully benefit from the annual reviews for the same reason.The mid-term review, which was due in 2007, became redundant, as the second UNDAF annualreview was conducted the same year. However, the Country Consultation on the TriennialComprehensive Policy Review of Operational Activities for Development in 2007 provided someuseful insights about the performance of the UNDAF. The end-line lessons learned exercise has beenundertaken to inform the next UNDAF.2.2.4 The UNDAF M&E FrameworkA properly developed M&E framework ensures accountability of an UNDAF. It also helps inidentifying key challenges in order to make mid-stream changes in the approach and delivery ofactivities, outputs and outcomes or their targets.However, the M&E framework of the UNDAF has several weaknesses as discussed below – (1) A number of indicators have been listed at each level of result. For many of them, base-line values are missing. As suggested by the UNDG CCA/UNDAF guideline (2009), the UNDAF M&E framework should specify the outcome/output, the indicators with baseline and targets. However, the Philippines UNDAF (2005-2009) has not specified targets in the indicators column of its M&E framework, as shown below. The absence of a target, and baseline in many cases, renders the RM an ineffective tool for measuring the progress. In the absence of overall and annual targets it has been difficult to assess the yearly progress, as has been pointed out in the annual reviews. Given the constraint, the annual reviews were only able to document the yearly achievement in each priority area.
  8. 8. Table 1: UNDAF RM Format prescribed by UNDG GuidelineUNDAF Outcome Indicator(s) and Means of verification Assumptions and Risks BaselinesUNDAF Outcome1 Indicators; Baselines, Sources: At the interface: targets18 Responsible agencies/ (1) Between national partners priorities and UNDAF outcomes; and (2) UNDAF outcomes and Indicators; Baselines, Sources:1.1 Agency outcome Agency outcomes targets Responsible agencies/- Output 1.1.1 partners- Output 1.1.2- Output 1.1.3…1.2 Agency outcome Indicators; Baselines, Sources: targets- Output 1.2.1 Responsible agencies/ partners…. …Source: UNDG guideline for CCA and UNDAF (Feb 2009) Table 2: Actual Philippines UNDAF (2005-2009) RM for Outcome 1Country programme Indicators and baselines Sources of verificationoutcome/outputCP Outcome 1: • Proportion of caretakers aware of children’s rights MICS Baseline: 1999 : 84.3 %By 2009, more Filipinos,especially women, children •% increase in the number of women, adolescents andand adolescents, are aware men seeking RH information and services inof their rights including DOH Records /Reports government health facilities, teen centers, schools andreproductive rights and are clinics in the workplaceempowered to claim their Baseline : Not available·rights to health andeducation. •% increase in the number of community networks of women organized to advocate for RH issues DOH Records/Reports Baseline : Not availableSource: The Philippines UNDAF (2005-2009) (2) In the Philippines UNDAF (2005-2009) commitment for each outcome and output is shared by a number of agencies and their implementing partners. Common outcomes and outputs have posed challenges for accountability; there are no measures to identify agency contributions. Outputs are the level of results where clear comparative advantages of18 Note that targets for outcomes are to be reached by efforts beyond those specified of the UN.
  9. 9. individual agencies emerge. To ensure accountability, outputs should have been attributed to the agencies. As noted during the annual reviews, the lack of systematic way to identify agency contributions for specific results caused significant level of inaccurate reporting at the UNDAF AWP review stage. (3) The ExCOM agencies have aligned their current CPAPs with the UNDAF (2005-2009). Other agencies also have adjusted their work plans to contribute to the UNDAF outcomes. However, as the annual reviews reveal, agencies were primarily driven by their agency- specific mandates and there has been a lot of scope to align the agency CPAPs with the UNDAF CP outcomes and outputs. For example, as noted by UNDP, HIV/AIDS is covered under Basic Social Services and Governance outcome areas in the UNDAF results matrix, whereas in UNDP CPAP it is covered under the outcome area of macroeconomic stability. This caused difficulty in reporting agency-specific contribution to UNDAF outcomes. (4) It has been noted by annual reviews and reported by agencies that their M&E frameworks are disjointed with the UNDAF M&E framework19. In 2006, following the recommendations of the 2005 UNDAF annual review, an M&E Task Force was established under the UN Programme Support Group to support the M&E requirements for the UNDAF and MDGs and to harmonize agency M & E systems. The task of revising the UNDAF M&E framework and aligning the agency M&E systems were undertaken. However, it was a work-in-progress and never completed. As noted by a staff member, this was because M&E focal persons had to focus on their agency specific deliverables. There was no clarity on their role in the UNDAF process. M&E should be an ongoing process and an integral part of the implementation of UNDAF. However, the UNDAF M&E mechanism was not operational because of the factors discussed above. For the RC’s annual progress report, UN agencies accomplished the matrices and UNCO prepared the consolidated matrix. Thus, it has been a retrofitting exercise to comply with HQ requirements. (5) For an effective M&E system, availability of accurate data is essential. Data, desegregated by relevant analytical categories (such as demographic and geographic) should be made available for proper tracking of progress. However, during the 2005-2009 UNDAF cycle, UN agencies had difficulty monitoring output-level performance because of the lack of relevant and reliable sources of verification, as available data sources were not adequately disaggregated by municipality, sex, age, etc.2.2.5 Cross-cutting issuesHuman Rights Based Approach (HRBA)UNDAF’s compliance with HRBA requires a systematic application of human rights standards andprinciples in all phases of the programming processes including the formulation of result chains. Theinstitutional and behavioral changes are imperative for right-holders to claim their rights and/or forduty-bearers to fulfill their obligations and should be reflected in all UNDAF and Agency outcomes.Agency Outputs should be intended to narrow the capacity gaps which prevent claim holders and dutybearers to fulfill their roles. The UNCT should show greater rigor and clarity on how their programswill lead to outcomes that will fill the various capacity gaps and highlight how they will identify thoseaccountable for meeting obligations. Accountability establishes a clear difference with traditionaldevelopment approaches. HRBA depends on good statistical database and strong country analyticalwork on social and regional disparities.The Philippines UNDAF has documented its commitment for the HRBA to development. As thedocument mentions, “The UNCT has emphasized the creation of an enabling environment thatenhances the Government’s ability to formulate rights-based and pro-poor policies as well as to buildthe capacities to pursue and institutionalize political, economic and social reforms.” In the19 The 2006 annual UNDAF review noted that among the UN agencies, the programme framework of UNDP adheres mostclosely to the design of the UNDAF.
  10. 10. Philippines, the UNCT found that physical and social barriers to participation for the most vulnerablegreatly undermine any right-based development in the country. Thus the UNCT agenda in the countryfocuses on targeting poor regions and specific impoverished groups.Though the UNDAF document explicitly underlines the need for adopting HRBA for achieving theMDGs, the M&E framework is not fully compliant with the HRBA.As regards the implementation, UN agencies mentioned that though efforts were made to incorporatethe HRBA, it was not adequately addressed. Instead of being the basic underpinning principle, theHRBA was seen as “afterthought” and real mainstreaming did not happen. As has been mentioned,sometimes it was not clear how it will be effectively mainstreamed and translated into specific outputsand activities. However, there were some efforts worth mentioning (discussed in details in Annex-1).UNDP has been supporting NEDA in the implementation of the project “Mainstreaming of theHuman Rights Based Approach (HRBA) on Development Policies, Programs and Activities ofNEDA”, which has also been supported by UNFPA, UNICEF, and UNAIDS. The project’s mainactivity has been the conduct of HRBA capacity building trainings for the NEDA Central andRegional Offices to effectively mainstream HRBA in the MTPDP exercise. This initiative has createdsignificant interest among National Government Agencies (NGA). There is a commitment of NEDAto cost share 40 percent of the total budget. The strong political will provides a great opportunity foreffective mainstreaming of HRBA in government planning in the Philippines. However, there is alack of common understanding on mainstreaming HRBA among the line agencies of GOP. There is aneed to develop guidelines on application of HRBA in policies, programmes and M&E. Capacitybuilding tools and mechanisms are generally inadequate and hence a plan should be developed fortransfer of HRBA skills from the national level to LGUs.Gender EqualityGender Equality is one of the five key programming principles of the UNDAF, which is also at thecore of the HRBA. The Philippines UNDAF (200520-09) documents its commitment to genderequality. However, it is imperative to get this priority translated into strategic UNDAF results chainsand consequently into holistic programming for gender equality.In 2007, a workshop on Mainstreaming Gender and Women’s Rights in Development Programmingand its application to the UNDAF and CPAPs was organised for the UN staff. In this workshop, theUNDAF outcome/output statements and the indicators were analyzed through a gender lens. It wasfound that, in many cases outcome/output statements were not gender-sensitive. The participants inthe workshop revised the UNDAF country programme outcome and output statements from theagency Country Programme Action Plans to demonstrate mainstreaming of the gender and humanrights perspectives. Corresponding indicators and sources of verification were also enhanced.However, these revisions were never formalized. Sample Output from the Workshop: Enhanced UNDAF Outcomes and Indicators from Gender and Human Rights PerspectiveUNDAF Outcome: Basic Social ServicesOriginal Outcome Statement: By 2009, more Filipinos, especially children, adolescents and womenare aware of their rights, including reproductive rights, and are empowered to claim their rights tohealth and education.Enhanced Outcome Statement: The goal by 2009 is to increase by 2 to 5% the number of Filipinos,specifically those belonging to the poor and most vulnerable groups, such as children, adolescents andwomen, with greater access to quality education and health care, specifically in reproductive health.This is to be done through a participatory educational process which provides them with necessarytools and resources to actively advocate and claim their rights.Indicators & Sources of Verification:• Lower maternal mortality rate (MMR) - National Demographic and Health Survey• Lower infant mortality rate - National Demographic and Health Survey
  11. 11. • Increased number of women accessing prenatal care - National Demographic and Health Survey• Increased English, Math and Science scores of children – both girls and boys - TIMMS• Survey of increased number of women going into non-traditional disciplines - Commission of Higher Education (CHED)Source: Workshop document (2007)As a programmatic principle, gender equality has not been fully mainstreamed. Like HRBA, genderequality has also been attempted to be incorporated later, which has never been done in a systematicway.However, there have been some success stories also. In 2004, a UN Gender Strategy Framework inthe Philippines (GSF PHI) 2005-2009 was developed with support from UNICEF, UNFPA andUNDP. A Gender Mainstreaming Committee (GMC) was formed in 2006, which was chaired byUNICEF. The GMC is composed of the gender focal persons of the UN Agencies in the Philippinesand provides technical support to the UNCT and the UNDAF Working Groups to ensure that genderequality and women’s empowerment are prioritized in the UN supported programmes and projects.GMC’s main functions include (1) technical assistance in gender-responsive programming, (2)partnerships and networking, (3) communications and advocacy, (4) knowledge management and (5)institutional and capacity building. The GMC has initiated the institutionalization of UN Guidelinesby conducting UN staff and partners’ orientation on the use of the Harmonized Gender andDevelopment (GAD) Guidelines. It also provided technical assistance for the review and update of thePhilippine Plan for Gender responsive Development and the MTPDP.GMC engaged in the preparation of the UNCT Confidential Report to the CEDAW Committee in2006. This report was appreciated by the CEDAW as a good practice of UN coordination by theCEDAW Committee members. As follow-up to the CEDAW reporting, GMC developed a JP onResponding to the CEDAW Recommendations (JP-CEDAW) to address issues related to theimplementation of the Convention in the Philippines. The JP assisted in enhancing capacity ofselected national stakeholders, UN programme staff and academic partners. Among other activities,JP-CEDAW conducted participatory gender audits of UNDP and UN-HABITAT, which raised thebenchmark of gender compliance and catalyzed gender responsive programming. Anotherachievement of JP-CEDAW was enactment of the Magna Carta of Women (Republic Act 9710 signedinto law) realized on 14 August 2009. Major results achieved in gender equality have been discussedin annex- Implementation Mechanism: Thematic Groups and their EvolutionIn order to ensure that the programmes of the UN during the UNDAF programming cycle contributeto the identified development outcomes, an inter-agency technical working group, comprising ofrepresentatives from UN agencies, was established to serve as the mechanism to develop strategies tosupport the realisation of the UNDAF outcomes. The group was formed also to ensure that the UNagencies collaborate efficiently and effectively and promote partnership with the Government, civilsociety, private sector and donors.Following the UNDG Guideline20, in the March 2004 Annual Retreat of the UNCT, the Heads ofAgencies (HoA) agreed to form the inter-agency UNDAF Thematic Groups (TGs). These TGS weresmall, composed of 5 – 7 participating agencies. Five TGs, delineated along the five UNDAFoutcome areas, were, as follows:20 It is recommended that thematic groups for each UNDAF outcome are convened to refine the details of the RM matrix.These groups should be capable in the application of HRBA, gender mainstreaming, RBM, capacity development, South-South cooperation, and environmental sustainability. Following the finalization of the UNDAF, these UNDAF outcomegroups are responsible for using the results matrix, together with partners, for joint monitoring of progress towards eachUNDAF outcome. The outcome group will use this monitoring to report to the individuals leading the UNCT. (UNDG,February 2009)
  12. 12. Table 3 Thematic Groups UNDAF Outcomes Convenor Macroeconomic Stability, Broad-Based and Equitable Development UNFPA (Lead), ILO (Co- Lead) Basic Social Services UNICEF (Lead), WHO (Co- Lead) Good governance UNDP (Lead), UN- HABITAT (Co-Lead) Environmental sustainability FAO (Lead), UN- HABITAT, UNDP (Co- Leads) Conflict prevention and peace building UNDP (Lead), IOM (Co- Lead)In all their endeavours the theme groups were expected to project a ‘Delivering as One’ image andstrive towards achieving the MDGs. According to the generic terms of reference of UNDAF thematicgroups, specific responsibilities of these theme groups included: (a) As a Strategic “think-tank: Provide strategic recommendations for accelerating achievement of UNDAF Outcomes/Output and recommend appropriate action to the UNCT on relevant concerns/issues; (b) Joint-Programming: Identify and operationalise priority areas for JP or collective action and recommend a mechanisms for implementation; (c) Monitoring and Evaluation: Support UN-initiated and government efforts to develop monitoring and evaluation system by identifying priority outcomes and indicators per relevant area of cooperation/theme; and Report to the UNCT on the progress and accomplishments of the TG (taking into account the inputs from various sub-groups), including presenting outputs and raising issues and concerns and recommendations to the UNCT for appropriate action. (d) Linkage with the Philippines Development Forum (PDF)21: Identify areas for collaboration to strategically situate the UNCT in the PDF by ensuring high level visibility and effective coverage of UNCT common issues and agenda in the PDF Working Groups (i.e., MDGs and Social Progress, Growth and Investment Climate, Economic and Fiscal Reforms, Governance and Anti-Corruption, Decentralization and Local Government, Mindanao, Sustainable Rural Development, and Infrastructure).In addition to these five (5) TGs, UN support groups were also formed, namely, a. Information and advocacy working group; b. Programming support group; c. Gender Mainstreaming Committee, d. Mindanao Support Group; and e. Joint Team on Aids (JTA).UN statutory groups were as follows: a. Operations Management Team; b. Disaster Management Team; and c. Security Management Team.21 A venue for interaction among government, civil society and international development community to fostergreater partnership in achieving aid effectiveness and aligning with national goals and priorities
  13. 13. These TGs became functional towards the last quarter of 2005. For the specific TGs, the Convenerand Co-Convener coordinate the work of the theme groups, with a representative from the UNCoordination Office present in all meetings of the five TGs.In addition to the groups enlisted above, three new inter-agency groups were formed in 2006 withspecific mandates. First was the Harmonized Approach to Cash Transfers (HACT) Task Force,composed of UNDP, UNICEF and UNFPA, to plan and operationalize the implementation of theHACT.The second inter-agency group formed was the ‘One UN House’ Task Force under the OMT to takethe lead in searching for new premises. An M&E Task Force for the CCA/UNDAF was also createdfollowing the recommendations of the 2005 annual UNDAF review.As noted during the annual review of 2006, the functioning of TGs in terms of regular meeting, followup actions and reporting has not been uniform across the groups. In most cases, there were no writtenprogress reports to track the progress of the TGs.22It was also noted that these groups were not aligned with the larger PDF Working Groups in order toachieve intended results23. In 2007 UNCT Annual Retreat it was decided that as the TGs were notfunctioning optimally, these groups would be replaced by the TGs at the strategic, programmatic andthematic levels, aligned with the proposed work-plan and the proposed ‘transition’ to ‘One UN’. Thestrategic level groups were comprised of HoAs, with designated agency heads providing leadershipand determining the scope of work.However, disbandment of the TGs was a setback in the UNDAF process. It resulted in very weaklinkages between agency initiatives and absence of joint efforts. There was a two-year hiatus until theUNCT recognized the need to identify a mechanism to deliver/link its results towards the UNDAFOutcomes. In the 20 May 2009 UNCT Meeting, there was a decision to reinstate the UNTGs,subsuming under them relevant sub-working groups, which can directly contribute to the progresstowards achieving the UNDAF outcomes. Mandatory and operational groups were separatelycategorized given the specific objectives and functions it has to perform. It was noted, however, thatthe initiatives of the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) and the UNTG on Conflict Prevention andPeace Building should be mutually reinforcing and interlinked. The function of the ‘Delivering asOne’ group was decided to be carried out by the UNCT itself through the UNDAF. While it wasrecognized that gender mainstreaming cuts across all UNTGs, for reporting purposes the GMC wascategorized under the UNDAF Outcome on Macroeconomic Stability and Broad-Based Growth.Re-establishment of these theme groups contributed to the revival of the UNDAF process. As noted, italso allowed the UN to regain trust and visibility among the development partners such asCSAC/UNCSAC and Government.Among the five TGs, the Macro-economic stability group was the first one to be revived in 2009 afterabout two and half years of inactivity. The need for discussions on the global economic crisis and itspossible impact on national economic development triggered the meeting.After reinstatement, TGs on Governance, Mindanao/Conflict Prevention and Peace Building, andEnvironmental Sustainability are also active. Recognizing the immediate need for enhancing theirroles to include communication and bridging efforts, these groups revised their ToR to add theresponsibility of Advocacy and Communications for accelerating progress on the MDGs by raisingawareness, strengthening broad-based support and action, and increasing citizen engagement onUNDAF and MDG-related policy and practice.These groups are now chaired by the UNDP CountryDirector unlike before where the convener was a senior technical /management staff. Membership ofthese groups has been extended to include civil society and relevant development partners. The usual22 UNCT Minutes of Meetings, 8 February 2007, p. 3.23 UNCT Minutes of Meetings, 8 February 2007, p. 3.
  14. 14. meeting format has been de-emphasized to allow for more informal interaction especially amongdonors.Interagency coherence: The strength of the UN system lies in its capacity to provide multi-sectoralsupport to development with the diverse resources applied to common issues. Inter-agency thematicgroups were formed to foster coordination and coherence in achieving UNDAF outcomes. However,as mentioned, interagency coordination did not prove to be very effective during the current UNDAFcycle. Although the agencies worked ‘beside each other’, they were ‘not doing things together’.24Agency mandates confined their relationships with respective constituencies and partners, whichcurbed the scope for cooperation between agencies.As theme group members pointed out25, it is imperative to have the ability and willingness to lookbeyond the respective agency mandates and look at issues from a broader perspective through the lensof ‘Delivering as One UN’. At the personal level, group members also felt de-motivated due to thelack of genuine appreciation of their important roles as theme group members. For many agencies, itwas also not part of the staff performance appraisal.The coordination and effectiveness of the group have been influenced by the working relations andteam work among its members. Some TG members also felt that the functioning and motivation of thegroups significantly depends upon the leadership quality and strategic vision of the convener and alsothe direction provided by the UNCO. A strong leadership and a concrete work plan are critical tosustain the functionality of theme groups. As a TG member noted, the group normally met when afunding window/facility was available and a possible JP proposal was submitted. In some cases, evenif the group met, discussions were not substantive. It was felt that, there was a need to elevate thediscussion in the TGs to make it more effective in policy advocacy and programme design. TGs wereoften viewed as added work/ responsibility, as no clear objectives or concrete outputs were generatedthrough them. As the Country Consultation on the Triennial Comprehensive Policy Review ofOperational Activities for Development (2007) noted, lack of coherence within the UN system waspartly attributable to the lack of coordination within the national system and the ability of theGovernment to provide strategic directions.However, there were good practices of inter-agency coordination and partnership also, which areworth mentioning. The UN Disaster Management Team was expanded into Inter-Agency StandingCommittee (IASC). The government adopted the IASC structure at national and regional levels. TheIASC partnered with National Disaster Coordination Council (NDCC) in humanitarian responsewhere each of the 13 clusters has a Government lead agency and IASC member co-lead agency. TheIASC, now called the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT), in collaboration with the National DisasterCoordination Council (NDCC) conduct joint rapid assessments, share situation reports, provide reliefand early recovery services through the clusters.HCT improved the coordination and strengthened partnerships among risk management agencies intheir mapping and Information Education Communication (IEC) activities resulting in clear andharmonized prioritization of vulnerable areas, paving the way for coordinated technical assistancee.g., in the implementation of mitigating measures like early warning systems and contingencyplanning. Enhanced linkage and coordination also occurred between the disaster management, climatechange and development planning agencies and communities, especially in the area of long termdevelopment planning, including land use, with the NDCC, Climate Change Commission, NEDA andHousing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB).There were many positive aspects of this joint initiative. There was a government ownership in theapproach. Decision making was informed by the joint assessment and analysis. The whole processwas characterized by joint planning, implementation and monitoring, improved accountability, and an24 Annual Review 2006 and TCPR 200725 Inputs provided through self-administered questionnaires for the UNDAF (2005-2009): lessons learned exercise
  15. 15. overall effectiveness of service delivery. The effort for the emergency response was commended bythe funding agency (e.g. Central Emergency Response Fund).2.2.7 Collaboration and PartnershipAs the Philippines UNDAF (2005-2009) states, for achieving goals ‘the United Nations will pursuecomplementary and collaborative strategies in the interest of furthering concerted efforts towardnational priorities, particularly including a partnership strategy, that involves joint dialogue andmaintaining a high-quality environment for the state, civil society organizations and the privatesector’. The role of partners, in achieving the UNDAF outcomes is outlined in the UNDAF resultsmatrix.In the Philippines, the UN system has a long history of engaging various civil society organizations inits development work. As mentioned earlier, in 2004 as part of the UNDAF formulation process civilsociety organizations participated in a series of national consultations. Changes in the nationaldevelopment scenario confronting civil society organizations and the challenges faced by the UN inthe context of ‘Delivering as One’ roll out, there was an urgent need for a new framework to guide theUN-CSO engagement in the country. Against this backdrop UNCSA with an initial membership ofabout 47 organizations was established in November 2006 together with the election of the 15-member UN Civil Society Advisory Committee (UNCSAC). UNCSAC serves as a regular forumbetween the UNCT and CSOs in the Philippines, and provides UNCT with strategic and substantiveguidance on policies and programmes, to enhance development effectiveness and improve its relationswith civil society in the Philippines.The UNCSA/UNCSAC in the Philippines has identified priority advocacy issues including,reproductive health, human rights, extra judicial killings and CSO participation in governance. It wasagreed that the UN and the advisory committee would work on these issues together. Civil societyorganizations were also engaged in the 2006 UNDAF annual review and The Country Consultation onthe Triennial Comprehensive Policy Review of Operational Activities for Development (2007).However, in 2007, the dissolution of the UNTGs curbed the scope for civil society participation in theUN system’s development efforts. Civil society representatives also felt that the UN showedreluctance to be involved in issues such as accountability and transparency, which clearlydisappointed the CSOs represented in the UNCSAC.UNDAF TGs were reinstated in 2009 and the re-energized UNCSA established five TGs, aligned withthe five outcomes of the UNDAF. Membership in the TGs is voluntary and a UNCSA member maybe a member of one or more TGs. The extension of the current UNDAF until 2011 and the re-establishment of the UNTGs by the UNCT have provided a scope for improving the interactionbetween CSA/CSAC and the UN in the Philippines, both for advocacy and programmatic work.Apart from engaging with the CSAC on policy debate and advocacy, the UNCT in the Philippinesalso situated itself more strategically in the broader development arena through its participation in thePDF. Since the adoption of the current UNDAF, the UN has been actively engaged in the PDF,bringing issues on the accelerated achievement and funding of MDGs.In 2006, UN agencies and PDF groups advocated for a multi-year budgeting framework for socialsectors - education and health. The importance of population management and reproductive healthconcerns were explicitly recognized in the closing statements of the PDF meeting. UN/PDF workalso contributed to a growing appreciation of, and commitment to, the Basic Education ReformAgenda (BESRA), with significant progress on School-Based Management (SBM) and Competency-Based Teachers Standards (CBTS), as well as an expanded implementation of Province-wideInvestment Plan (PIPH) for health. In the same year (2006), as members of the PDF MindanaoWorking Group, the UN contributed to the development of a framework to operationalize HumanSecurity as a basis of donor convergence in Mindanao. In 2007, UN agencies’ active participation inthe PDF ensured a strong link between the economic and social policy agenda of the government,which recognized MDGs, human development and enhanced financing for social sectors.
  16. 16. In 2008, given widening disparities and increasing poverty incidences, the Joint UNCT Statement toPDF underscored inclusive growth as a means to achieve the MDGs and advocated for a humanrights-based approach to development.
  17. 17. Chapter-3 Delivering as One and Joint Programming3.0 The approachAs part of the UN reform agenda, in 2006 by a high-level panel appointed by former Secretary-General Kofi Annan recommended the establishment of an initiative, ‘Delivering as One’ (DaO),aimed at avoiding fragmentation and duplication of development efforts at the country-level in anoverall effort to enhance the efficiency and the responsiveness of the UN development system throughincreased system-wide coherence26. The One UN Programme is thus an instrument for ensuring UNcompliance with the Paris and Accra agendas. Following the high-level panels recommendations,eight countries - Albania, Cape Verde, Mozambique, Pakistan, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uruguay and VietNam - subsequently volunteered to become “Delivering as One” pilots, agreeing to implement andtest different models of reform at the country level. The pilot countries implemented the "Deliveringas One" intiative with four main pillars: One UN program, One budgetary framework, One leader27and One Set of Management Practices/ One office. Some pilot countries also adopted an additionalcomponent of One voice. In each case, the basic reform model has been adapted to the unique countrycontext to deliver in a more harmonized and cost-effective manner at the country level.In pilot countries the One Programme substantially enhanced28:i. Alignment with national priorities;ii. Transparency for the government, development partners, civil society and UN agencies, as onedocument outlines what the UN will be doing during the programming cycle;iii. Predictability: there is a clear overview of activities, expected results and budget;iv. Simplification: Government only needs to sign one document instead of several documents, andjoint monitoring and reporting decreases the burden on implementing partners;v. Accountability: there is a better division of labour within the UN. Agencies are clearly accountablefor the results achieved;vi. Efficiency (reduction of transaction costs): Joint Programming has meant an increase in internalUN transaction costs. However, transaction costs with external partners, Government and donors havesubstantially decreased, ensuring more transparent and streamlined communication, decision-making,and M&E. Improved development impact is also a significant benefit.vii. Aid coordination: the system represents an opportunity to systematize the UN’s contribution to thenational aid coordination and management architecture;viii. Synergies and strategic focus; andix. Better use of resources.3.1 ‘Delivering as One’: The Philippines ContextIn 2006, the UNCT in the Philippines started preparing for the transition to one UN. An assessment29was undertaken as part of the preparation. The assessment recommended three critical steps for initialpreparations for a One UN programme, namely (1) to strengthen the UNDAF mechanism in two (2)areas: (a) UNDAF Results Matrix and (b) UNDAF M&E System (2) to harmonize agency M&Esystems with that of UNDAF and (3) to support the functions of UNTGs. These recommendations26 Delivering as One: Report of the High-level Panel on United Nations System-wide Coherence in the areas ofDevelopment, humanitarian assistance and the environment (United Nations General Assembly, Nov 2006)27 However, the option paper on ‘Delivering as One in the Philippines (May 2010) mentions One Communication as one ofthe four main pillars and One Leader as additional.28 Delivering as One: Lessons Learned from Pilot Countries (UNDG,2009)29 Quick Assessment: Preparing for a One UN Programme in the Philippines (UNCO, June, 2006)
  18. 18. were in line with findings of the 2005 UNDAF annual review. Since then the UN system in thePhilippines made some efforts to strengthen the UNDAF mechanism (refer to 2.2.4).In 2007, the GOP through NEDA affirmed its commitment for a One UN System in the Philippinesby 2010 and full implementation of the Paris Declaration Principles on Aid Effectiveness30. Duringthe same year the UNCT and NEDA jointly organized a series of consultations with external partners(the Government; NGOs and the academia; development partners) and with the UN staff for acommon understanding on the High Level Panel Report on ‘Delivering as One’. The feedback fromthese exchanges was used in providing a framework for formal process of transitioning to ‘Deliveringas One’. The Government’s expectation about the reform included31 (a) full operationalization of keyelements of ‘Delivering as One’ (b) utilizing Government’s organizational structures for servicedelivery of UN programmes, rather than establishing parallel structures (c) managing for developmentresults, and (d) demonstrated leadership by the UN system in operationalizing the reform agenda. TheGOP expected the UN to lead by setting an example to other bilateral and multi-lateral partners in thePhilippines. The 2007 UNCT retreat defined the scope of operationalizing the ‘Delivering as One’ inthe Philippines context. In implementation of ‘One Programme’, importance of ‘process’ of building a‘team’ and development of a collective ‘vision’ and ‘mission’ and simultaneous up-scaling of UNcollaborative/joint programming were emphasized. The Government was expected to providestrategic leadership in determining ‘the scope’ of the ‘One UN’ in the Philippines. It was emphasizedthat, the process toward a ‘One UN’ would also take into account lessons learnt from pilot countriesas well as the outcomes of the important inter-governmental debate on the report. Mutualaccountability of the members of the UNCT towards delivering on a common vision/mission wasemphasized as critical to success of the leadership of the UNCT.Guided by the outcome of the multi-sectoral consultation and the Country Consultation on theTriennial Comprehensive Policy Review of Operational Activities for Development (2007) andUNDAF review conducted in 2007, a major part of the harmonization and coherence efforts of theUN system in the Philippines in 2007 were focused around issues of joint advocacy on key MDGsleast likely to be achieved, human rights, population management and peace building and up-scalingof joint programmings, primarily through submission of five (5) proposals to the Spanish MDG Fund(MDG-F). The UNCT situated itself more strategically in the broader development arena through itsparticipation in the PDF. In 2008, the UNCT discussed the lessons learned from the stocktakingreports of the ‘One UN’ pilot countries during the preparatory meeting for the next CCA/UNDAF (asthe start of the new UNDAF was originally scheduled in 2010). During this deliberation, the UNCTidentified facilitating and hindering factors in ‘Delivering as One’. Facilitating factors, among others,included: • For the One UN programme, geographic commonality is a favorable factor in the Philippines, for example Mindanao. • There is common thematic focus and approach dealing on issues such as poverty, widening disparities and human rights-based approach and the GOP is supportive of UN efforts. • UN Agencies in the Philippines have the ability to complement each other through partnerships, and their expertise cuts across agency programmes and themes including their experience in implementing joint programming. • The ongoing CCA/UNDAF process provides a good opportunity for common programming and one budgetary framework. • Mandates by UN Headquarters and/or UN Regional Offices to mainstream approaches that will allow the UN agencies to work together. • The decision to implement the Paris Declaration principles provides opportunity and compelling reason for UN agencies to synchronize aid effectiveness measures.30 RCAR 200731 Report of UNCT Annual Retreat April 2007
  19. 19. • Funds from UN agencies can be pooled to leverage more funds/resources through joint programming. • Presence of harmonized donor funding strategic plans with government is a facilitating factor.On the other hand, challenges included: • Agencies have different programming and budget cycles and mandates. • There is a lack of predictability of government support for harmonized funding. • There is a lack of clarity and common understanding regarding the role of one leader. • Changing mindsets of the UNCT - There needs to be a genuine willingness and readiness to change the way the UN does business. Given the expected changes in the control structure, the UN agencies may be reluctant to give up control. • A need to adopt participatory programming approach. However, the process needs to balance inclusiveness and strategic focus. This is challenging as there are different parameters for prioritization according to agency mandates. • One office poses security risk.In continuation with its effort to harmonize the UN system, the UNCT in 2008 made significant effortfor implementation/up-scaling of joint programming (discussed in 3.1.3).In 2009, the UNCT invested in team building exercises and signed off a code of conduct in‘Delivering as One’ at the country level. With unequivocal support for the reform process by thegovernment, the UNCT moved towards greater interagency collaboration and harmonization efforts atthe country level.In least-developed countries, the focus of the UN system is on enhancing donor coordination andincreasing governments’ capacities to lead their development processes, whereas in middle-incomecountries (MIC), the UN System advocates the full realization of MDG- 8 and adherence to the globalcommitments for the effective delivery of aid, which is based on a mutually beneficial partnershipbetween the UN and the government in areas of strategic importance. For this, moving beyond thetraditional donor-recipient relationship, the UNCT in the Philippines needs to be engaged in a two-way exchange of knowledge and expertise. As a MIC, the Philippines should focus more on upstreamrole/ providing policy and programme advisory services to governments and CSOs, rather thanimplementing programmes and projects themselves. The role of the UN in some of the MICs in theregion, such as Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam, is discussed in Annex 2.Though, ‘Delivering as One’ has not yet been fully realized in the Philippines, some significant effortshave been made in this direction. Following are some positive outcomes of ‘Delivering as One’initiative in the Philippines.3.1.1Common servicesCommon Services form an integral part of the ‘One UN’ concept advocated in the 2006 “Deliveringas One” High-Level Panel Report to the Secretary-General. The call for Common Services has beenreiterated in subsequent General Assembly resolutions, in which the member states advocate for theUN system to promote the sharing of administrative systems and services. The objective is to assurethat support services are cost-effective, high quality, timely, and provided on a competitive basis,resulting in full client satisfaction. Common services arrangements focus on the guiding principles ofinter-agency partnership and cooperation. The UN system’s Funds, Programmes and SpecializedAgencies are to take concrete steps in the following areas: • Rationalization of country presence through common premises and co-location of UN Country Team members; • Implementation of the joint office model; • Common shared support services including: Security, IT, Telecommunication, Travel, Banking, Administrative and Financial Procedures, Procurement; and • Harmonization of the principles of cost recovery policies, including that of full cost recovery.
  20. 20. Over the last few years, the UN system in the Philippines has been strengthening operationalcoordination with the improvement of common services, including, domestic courier service, travelservices including negotiated corporate airfares, common procurement, information technology (IT),and hospitalization and evacuation services for the staff etc. Small agencies perceive that commonservices mean savings in administrative costs which will allow them to allocate more resources forprogramme activities.A ‘One UN House’ Task Force was convened in 2006 to oversee the process of finding commonpremises for the UN system in the Philippines. Significant progress was made in this respect with thesigning of Presidential Proclamation no. 1864 in Aug 2009 designating a government building inMakati City Manila as the common premises of the UN System in the Philippines.3.1.2 Harmonized Approach to Cash TransfersA Harmonized Approach to Cash Transfers to Implementing Partners (HACT) was launched in April2005, as part of the UN reform process. The HACT shifts the management of cash transfers from asystem of rigid controls to a risk management approach. It aims to:• Reduce transaction costs pertaining to the country programmes of the EXCOM agencies bysimplifying and harmonizing rules and procedures;• Strengthen the capacity of implementing partners to effectively manage resources; and• Help manage risks related to the management of funds and increase overall effectiveness.The new approach uses macro and micro assessments, conducted with implementing partners duringprogramme preparation, to determine levels of risk and capacity gaps to be addressed. It usesassurance activities such as audits and spot checks during implementation. And it introduces a newharmonized format for implementing partners to request funds and report on how they have beenused. This is called the FACE or Funding Authorization and Certificate of Expenditures Form.In the Philippines, an assessment of the country’s financial management system was completed inNovember 2006 to lay the foundation for the HACT roll out. To prepare for its roll out, an agreementon HACT implementation with the government was communicated to the Philippines Governmentthrough a formal letter. UN agencies had also amended their CPAPs to include HACT provisions.ExCOM agencies reviewed their list of implementing partners (IPs) and established the risk levels ofthe IPs as a mechanism for quality assurance. Subsequently a series of HACT orientations on the useof the FACE Form to request funds and report on how they have been used were conducted amongIPs. In 2007, the HACT and FACE forms were rolled out across all IPs of UNFPA, UNICEF andUNDP. In 2008, the Philippines was declared by UN DOCO as a fully HACT compliant country.The UNCT in the Philippines has been able to select a single service provider to conduct macroassessment, micro assessment and assurance activities identified through a joint bid evaluationreview. In 2009, UNDP, UNICEF and UNFPA conducted micro assessments and spot checks amongits implementing partners. As of May 2010, these agencies conducted a total of 28 micro-assessments(UNDP-17, UNICEF-7, and UNFPA-4).The UNCT approved Harmonized Reference rates for partners (effective Jan 2010) for UNCO,UNDP, UNICEF, UNFPA, ILO, WFP, FAO, WHO, and UNIDO. A HACT orientation was organizedto ensure that the processes for transferring funds to the IPs, follow the same standards andprocedures.3.1.3 Joint ProgrammingAs the UNDG guideline (2003) specifies, ‘Joint programming’ is the collective effort through whichthe UN organizations and national partners work together to prepare, implement, monitor and evaluatethe activities aimed at effectively and efficiently achieving the MDGs and other internationalcommitments arising from UN conferences, summits, conventions and human rights instruments.As part of the ‘Delivering as One’ initiative in the Philippines, the UN System has made significantefforts towards JP. Resources have been mobilized and several JPs have been launched in recentyears. The comprehensive list of JPs and joint initiatives in the Philippines include:
  21. 21. • Strengthening the Philippines’ Institutional Capacity to Adapt to Climate Change (MDG-F) 2008-10 • Enhancing Access to and Provision of Water Services with the Active Participation of the Poor (MDG-F) 2009-12 • Alternatives to Migration: Decent Jobs for Filipino Youth (YEM) (MDG-F) 2009-12 • Ensuring Food Security and Nutrition for Children 0-24 Months in the Philippines (MDG-F) 2009-12 • Joint programming on Rapid Reduction of Maternal and Neonatal Mortality in the Philippines (JPMNH) 2009-11 (Multi-Bi Lateral funding) • Joint programming to Eliminate Violence Against Women (VAW) in the Philippines 2008- 1132 • Joint UN Programme of Support on AIDS in the Philippines (JUPSAP) 2009-10 (Regular funding) • UN Joint programming on HIV and Migration 2007-09 (Regular funding) • UN Joint programming to Facilitate the Implementation of the CEDAW Concluding Comments 2007-09- (Regular funding) • EC-UN Joint Initiative on Migration and Development (JMDI) 2009-11 • Indigenous Peoples (IP) Initiatives (Regular funding)As the above list shows, currently four (4) MDG-F JPs are being executed in the Philippines with atotal budget of US$22.8 million. The rest are funded by regular and multi-bilateral sources.Joint Programming through Funding by MDG-FThe Philippines is one of the nine MDG-F focus countries involving in-depth M&E, Advocacy andCommunication initiatives for MDG achievement. The country’s experiences will be showcased asMDG-F initiatives around the world. The Philippines is also one of six countries working with theHuman Development 2010 initiative, financed by the MDG-Fund and led by the MillenniumCampaign at the national level.While the MDG-F has been set-up explicitly to encourage joint programming, thematic windowsidentified in the Philippines are limited in scope, and the process was not inclusive enough. Only afew UN agencies are participating in these JPs. As noted by some staff members, UN agencies wereconsulted much later in the process. Late consultations with interested UN agencies have resulted inJPs that are mere “consolidation” of separate proposals from different agencies33. It was furtherobserved that, instead of discussing the issues such as priority interventions and comparativeadvantages of agencies, the inception stage focused more on the disbursement of funds.Reportedly, MDG-F JPs are not always characterized by joint planning and implementation. In somecases, after downloading their respective shares of resources, implementing agencies execute theirparts of JP with little or no coordination between themselves, which results in combination ofdifferent approaches and confusion. However, there have been several good practices also.Government commitment to JP is essential. For the JPYEM, the Department of Labour andEmployment (DOLE) as the lead government agency established the organizational structure therebystrengthening commitment and ownership to the JP. DOLE has been involved in the planning andimplementation of national and provincial consultations, conduct of the National Inception Workshopand first Programme Management Committee (PMC) meeting and also in the recruitment of projectstaff. DOLE has also been supportive of the programme by providing rent-free office space at DOLEBureau of Workers with Special Concerns (BWSC) Office and utilities for the use of JP YEM staff.The 2010 progress report of the MDG-F JP on Children, Food security and Nutrition also highlightsownership by government and complementation of efforts and programme resources. For instance,32 This JP has not yet been able to secure funding from development partners.33 Based on inputs received through the survey questionnaire.
  22. 22. since government is investing in capacity building for health workers, capacity building in the JPfocuses on community-based workers and the peer counselors (or mothers themselves).The MDG-F Secretariat conducted a mission to the Philippines from April 26 to May 3, 2010 forpromoting effective civil society participation in MDG related policy and practices. The missionreport underlines the general delay in the implementation of these JPs. Given the shortimplementation timeframe, these projects need to make up delays that occurred during the inceptionphase. The report further notes that, delays in implementation can partially be attributed to therecently concluded elections (also mentioned in the progress report (2010) of the JP on Children,Food Security and Nutrition). As reported by the MDG-F JP on Access to and Provision of WaterServices with the Active Participation of the Poor, activities were also delayed due to untimely releaseof funds from UNDP HQ to UNDP Country level and to the implementing partners. The JPYEMnoted that multiple lead agencies created difficulty in functioning in a cohesive manner. Lack ofharmonization of UN Agencies’ technical, financial and administrative processes proved to be a majorstumbling block in smooth implementation of the JPs. The JP on the Climate Change and Adaptationreported that, delay was partially attributable to the time invested in perfecting the partnership withIPs. Substantial amount of time was needed for coordination and consultations for a meaningfulcollaboration. The security situation in Mindanao is another obstacle in implementation of JPs in theregion.Joint Programming through Multi-Bilateral FundingRapid Reduction of Maternal and Neonatal Mortality in the Philippines (2009-11) is the only JPfunded through multi-bilateral funding. The JP is a flagship program of the government, thereforesupport from both government as well as civil society organizations is strong. As the 2009 progressreport suggests, the JP has accomplished better service delivery. Some of the hindering factors for thisJP included, delays in upgrading infrastructure, issues related to financing, regulations andgovernance and some of the cultural and religious factors.Finalization of the JP document and getting used to working together were challenging. The JP alsofaced difficulty in clear and effective consensus building on strategic implementation issue at the HoAand TWG levels. It was experienced that there needed to be better clarity on the extent of ‘joint-ness’in approaches. For this JP M&E has also been reported as one of the challenges.Joint Programming through Regular FundingA number of JPs in the current UNDAF cycle have been launched with regular agency funding, asshown in the above list. It has been recognised by the agencies that, implementation of JPs is anuanced process, and benefit is not automatic. As observed, clear focus on goals, commitment to thesubject, specified tasks and good operational plan are essential stepping stones for accomplishment ofthe objectives of JPs. Formal institutional arrangements, presence of required policies and technicalresources including competent actors and strong support of partners at the local level are equallyimportant prerequisites for successful implementation of JPs. In terms of resource mobilization, therehas to be flexibility of availing funds both from pooled and parallel activities.Several challenges were encountered during implementation of these JPs. As identified by the JP onHIV and Migration, the lack of inclusiveness in the project design phase and lack of ownership of thenational partners proved to be serious obstacles. Start-up implementation has met resistance from IPs(i.e. DOLE) due to lack of essential consultations to effect buy-in. It created an impression of donor-driven formulation and programming processes. Furthermore, delay in the approval of Annual WorkPlans caused delays in the implementation. Delays were also caused by: (a) bureaucracy andchallenges in organizational coordination; (b) rigid processes that caused delays in engagingconsulting firms and in fund release; (c) perception that the JP activities are additional work; (d) lowerabsorptive capacities of IPs; and (e) inadequate guidance and strategic information to manage theprogramme.While systems and structures were set-up at both levels of UN and IPs to facilitate programmeoperation, these seemed to be not operational except for the Joint Programming Steering Committee
  23. 23. (SC). Some working groups failed to convene regularly to review status of implementation and issuesaffecting them.The UNTG on HIV/AIDS consisting of HoAs, coordinates the joint UN response on HIV and AIDS,with technical and secretarial support from the UNAIDS Country Office. However, as reported by theUNAIDS, participation from the HoAs has been limited in UNTG meetings, and they have beenmostly represented by the members of the UN Joint Team on AIDS (UNJTA). This has affected thedecision making process especially in specific issues that required urgent UNTG interventions.Several observations have been made about this JP initiative - (a) mandates of UN agencies seem tobe overlapping at some level of interventions; (b) country-level division of labour needs to be updatedand aligned with regional and global initiatives and therefore should form the basis for joint workplans; and (c) there is a need to strengthen the UNTG mandate to ensure active participation of themembers.Resource mobilization is an area of challenge for some JPs using regular funding. As reported by theJP on CEDAW (2009 Annual Report), a major limitation and challenge is the ad-hoc budgeting thattrickled in from participating organizations to the JP. Of the targeted U$ 1.5 million budget for threeyears, only 47 percent was raised, which may be indicative of gaps in harmonized programmingacross agencies and lower priority attached to gender issues in development programming. Similarly,for the JP on VAW also, main challenges are resource mobilization and maintaining sustained interestand commitment of UN agencies.3.1.4 Advocacy and CommunicationsA well-designed Communication Strategy facilitates support to ‘One UN’ Programme. In last fewyears, MDG advocacy has been the centerpiece of the ‘One UN’ message in the Philippines. It wasdecided by the UNCT that the communications element will be integrated with the 2009 advocacywork plan. The expected outcome was to have an enhanced policy environment that supportsincreased action towards addressing MDG issues especially that are least likely to be achieved. UNCTwas successful in drawing down resources from the UN Millennium Campaign (UNMC) to supportyear-long activities for enhanced policy environment that support increased action towards addressingMDG issues. Given widening disparities and increasing poverty incidence, the Joint UNCT Statementto PDF underscored inclusive growth as a means to achieve the MDGs and advocated for a humanrights-based approach to development. The strong collaboration among UN agencies and itspartnership with national and sub-national stakeholders made possible the successful staging of theStand Up Take Action (SUTA) campaigns in the Philippines. In 2006, the country was placed thirdamong UN states that moved citizens to stand up against poverty; in 2007, the Philippines was placedsecond, and in 2008 and 2009 the country got the global distinction of being the top country with thehighest participation (more than one-third of the national population). During last few years,engagement of CSOs and the youth became stronger which points to a growing coalition of MDGadvocates and policy lobbyists.Several good practices of the advocacy working group can be highlighted, e.g., including a shareddefinition of advocacy work in the Philippines which means a systematic, strategic effort to promotethe UN’s principles, and thoughts to create an enabling environment for behavior change, regularactivities for strategy development, and maximum use of existing partnerships. Some of thecontributing factors to the success of MDG campaign are agreeing on a common target, creating acommon theme, developing a communications strategy, providing the leadership, organizing foraccountability, and working with institutional MDG partners.
  24. 24. Chapter-4 Lessons Learned and RecommendationsThis chapter presents lessons learned from experiences of the Philippines from the current UNDAFcycle, as well as lessons from other countries about the UNDAF process and ‘Delivering as One’. Ineach section, recommendations are provided based on lessons learned.4.1 Formulation of the UNDAF4.1.1 Preparatory PhaseIt has been observed that, while UNDAF is important to the UN and its partners, a better appreciationof its strategic value should be ensured within the UN system. . The UN staff members need to beprovided with detailed information about the UNDAF, and its role in the national developmentscenario. Especially, the staff participating in the formulation process should have the comprehensiveawareness of the UNDAF. As a UN staff recollects, it was difficult to actively participate in theUNDAF formulation without being fully briefed about it. As a result, the staff member failed tounderstand the larger perspective and participate meaningfully. To make UNDAF popular to the UNstaff, discussion forum on UNDAF and “Delivering as One” may be organized by the UNCO.The relevance of UNDAF is not clear to some UN staff in the context of an individual agency’smandate, especially if they are not part of the EXECOM agencies. As a UN staff member mentioned,“I couldn’t understand how does this relate to our organization’s work and saw my participation asjust an obligation on the agency part. This may be related to the staff turnover across the cycle, butalso because of disconnect between the UNDAF and the agency’s work”. So, it will be useful todevelop a conceptual framework for providing a broader perspective and to demonstrate how agencycontributions are related to UNDAF outcomes.It is further important that the UNCT and all participating staff in the UNDAF process undergo arigorous training on HRBA and RBM, which is crucial for strategic planning and analysis of issuesand development of results matrix.4.1.2 Formulation Process and the ContentAs noted earlier, the current UNDAF (2005-2009) was drafted before the formulation of MTPDP(2004-2010), and in fact, it is based on the previous MTPDP (2001-2004). It is crucial to ensure thatthe new UNDAF is aligned with the MTPDP in terms of the cycle and priorities.There is a need for establishing a management structure with clear specification of responsibilities andaccountability. The UN and the Government should have mutual accountability. The UNDAF shouldbe owned by the Government to ensure effective implementation and monitoring. The UNDAFSteering Committee was set up to guide the UNDAF formulation and it was expected that it willcontinue its functions during the implementation stage and secure the involvement of the NEDA. TheCommittee would serve as a forum to ensure the contribution of UN programmes to UNDAFoutcomes, emphasizing the areas of convergence and joint programming. However, this committeeceased to function, and as the Country Consultation on the Triennial Comprehensive Policy Review ofOperational Activities for Development (2007) documents this Committee did not meet in 2006.The following diagram outlines the proposed UN common programme management structure, whichwas never formalized and applied. UN Common Programme Management Structure Discusses the following: UNDAF Steering Committee Consistency of CPD, CPAPs with UNDAF NEDA Director-General and UN Resident Coordinator Feasibility of Joint Programmes Secretaries of Concerned Government Departments Areas of Convergence UN Heads of Agencies; National NGOs (3) and International NGOs (3) UNDAF Prepares Matters for Technical Secretariat Discussion by the composed of NEDA officials UNDAF Steering Committee and UN Senior Programme Officers UNDP UNFPA UNICEF ILO Programme Programme National Decent Work Executive Management Steering National Tripatite Committee Committee Committee Advisory Committee Core Functions of the UN Management Committees: 1. Approves CPAPs 2. Provides Policy Direction 3. Discusses/comments on AWPs 4. Reviews and monitors implementation of AWPs, CPAPs
  25. 25. It is critical to make the formulation process inclusive. Government counterparts should be involvedas early as possible to ensure ownership. However, quality of participation needs to be ensured. Aspointed out by a UN staff member, during the formulation of the current UNDAF, national partnersdid not participate optimally. Participation of LGUs and other sub-national stakeholders and civilsociety partners are also equally important.A CSO representative recommended that, the CSAC and CSA should be more involved in providingsubstantial inputs in developing the new UNDAF and in forging partnerships for the implementationof the UNDAF. It was also suggested that in order to foster meaningful CSA/CSAC participation,they should be given reasonable time (at least two weeks) for comments/inputs on drafts since CSOswould have to consult their own leaders/stakeholders. There was also a recommendation that theUNCT should organize regular meetings (thematic, over-all) with CSA members and others CSOs toprovide information and updates, get feedback/comments, and discuss plans for cooperation/jointactivities. Efforts should also be made to engage the private sector, industry associations, trade unionsand farmers’ cooperatives in obtaining views and perspectives external to government, as they arealso key actors in any development process as providers of technology, financial resources, skillstraining, and serve as both producers and consumers. There is a need to define a platform for formalengagement of these stakeholders.There has to be a way by which programme staff other than the working group and the UNCT canalso participate in the process. Engaging staff members and giving them an opportunity to provideinputs in the process, may help develop a feeling of stake in the outcomes of the process and a senseof ownership of the UNDAF. Participation of the UN staff can be fostered through workshops anddiscussion forums etc.Strengths of smaller/non-resident agencies should be recognized and they should be involved in theprocess to make the UNDAF more inclusive. NRAs should be contacted in advance to ensure theirparticipation.During the formulation process, especially in the course of identifying priority areas, the staffmembers need to have the ability and willingness to look beyond their respective agency mandatesand view issues from a broader perspective, through the lens of ‘Delivering as One’. This will allowfor a better and more holistic appreciation of development issues. As noted by a staff member, duringthe formulation of the current UNDAF, agencies competed with each other to have theirmandates/programmes included. This is reflected in broad outcome statements that lack focus and aredifficult to measure. It is important to be focused and aim for few substantive results. However, at thesame time it should be noted that, the UN system is broad and the process of keeping the number ofoutcomes limited and maintaining its focus leaves the specialized, normative and non-resident-agencies struggling to find their relevance within the UNDAF, which dampens the spirit of‘Delivering as One’. If these agencies cannot relate to UNDAF priorities, there should be specialsection as the ‘broader UN system support to the country’ specifying the strategic support andcontributions of these agencies. Thus, the challenge is to ensure inclusiveness without losing thestrategic focus.As has been emphasized by all reviews, the M&E framework of the current UNDAF has severalshortcomings. It has been noted that, commitment for each outcome and output in the UNDAF isshared by a number of agencies and their implementing partners. Common outcomes and outputs haveposed challenges for accountability, which has also made it difficult to identify agency contributions.Outputs are generally more linked to agency specific mandates, and hence to ensure clearaccountability, outputs should be attributed to the agencies.The Current UNDAF RM has a number of indicators for each result and for many of them baselinevalues are missing. To maintain the focus of the RM and to make the UNDAF operational, it isrecommended that only few indicators are selected based on the highest relevance, measurability andavailability of baseline data. The RM may contain only outcome indicators, as output indicators canbe available in agency documents such as CPDs/CPAPs and AWPs. By doing so, the UNDAF can
  26. 26. maintain its strategic focus. The UNDAF Action Plan34, to which the UNCT has already agreed, is aright step in this direction35.As discussed in Chapter-2, the UNDAF M&E framework does not have any target, which renders theUNDAF an ineffective tool for measuring the progress. Thus, it is important to have a limited numberof strategic indicators with well defined overall and annual targets.In the UNDAF document the RM does not contain risk analysis and assumption; it should be includedin the RM.Annual UNDAF Reviews reveal that, agencies were primarily driven by their agency-specificmandates and there has been a lot of scope to align the agency activities with CP outcomes andoutputs. Their M&E systems also remain disjointed with the UNDAF M&E framework. It is ofutmost importance to align the agency reporting system with the UNDAF.4.1.3 Addressing Cross-Cutting IssuesAs discussed in chapter-2, the cross-cutting programming principles such as HRBA and genderequality have not been adequately addressed in the current UNDAF. Incorporation of these principleswas left to the good intentions of the agencies. There were no mechanisms to ensure compliance andno incentives were provided.Lessons learned from the UNDAFs prepared in 200336 and experiences from the UNDAF cycle in thePhilippines suggest the following measures for effective mainstreaming of these principles: • Early training on these issues in the UNDAF process is very important. • Strong leadership of the UNCT/RC unambiguously promoting the importance of the HRBA will have an enormous positive effect • Thematic groups are often instrumental in enhancing cross-agency cooperation. It is better to “mainstream” human rights throughout the thematic teams, and not have a special team for human rights, as this undermines and “ghettoizes” human rights. The UNCT should bring relevant issues to the attention of the OHCHR, the Treaty Bodies and the Special Rapporteurs, and actively participate in their processes wherever appropriate. The UNCT can disseminate the General Comments and Report by translating them into simple language to make them more useful to the development field. • It is important to build partnership with other major players working on these issues in the country, outside the UN system. • For mainstreaming HRBA, it is critical to arrive at a common understanding and have the clarity of the purpose. Development of concrete guidelines and tool kits will enhance skills and foster a common understanding and vision among UN agencies, line agencies, LGUs and CSOs. • To optimize on limited time, HRBA training must apply a multilateral outreach approach. Key stakeholders such as line agencies, LGUs, CSOs and other international organizations must be trained alongside policy representatives of NEDA.34 As mentioned in paragraph 2.6 of this guidance note, the UNDAF Action Plan reflects the results already specified in theUNDAF results matrix. According to the UNDAF guidelines, UNCTs have the flexibility to either keep the UNDAF resultsmatrix at the outcome level (Option 1a), or develop a fuller results matrix, that includes outputs (Option 1 b). If the UNCTkeeps the UNDAF results matrix at the outcome level (Option 1a) and decides to prepare an UNDAF Action Plan, then theoutputs are specified in the UNDAF Action Plan.35 UNCT has agreed to this.36 Human Rights-based Approach to Development: Good practices and lessons learned from the 2003 CCAs and UNDAFs(OHCHR, Dec2004)