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System-wide reporting on funding for the UN system Session 1: current situation and perspectives: UNDESA Report Geneva, 20-21 January 2011 Expert Meeting.

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Presentation on theme: "System-wide reporting on funding for the UN system Session 1: current situation and perspectives: UNDESA Report Geneva, 20-21 January 2011 Expert Meeting."— Presentation transcript:

1 System-wide reporting on funding for the UN system Session 1: current situation and perspectives: UNDESA Report Geneva, January 2011 Expert Meeting Kristinn Sv. Helgason and Andrew MacPherson, UNDESA

2 UNDESA Report A.Origin, rationale, expectations B.Recent legislative mandates C.Current efforts to improve reporting D.Challenges E.Opportunities F.Conclusion Presentation outline Kristinn Sv. Helgason and Andrew MacPherson, UNDESA

3 s Major expansion in UN operational activities for development – many new UN entities established, e.g. UNDP in 1966 Post of DG for Development and International Cooperation (DG-DIEC) established in 1977 to address growing coordination deficit in UN development system (abolished in 1992) A.Origin, rationale, expectations Kristinn Sv. Helgason and Andrew MacPherson, UNDESA

4 GA 35/81 (Dec. 1980) Requests SG to entrust to DG-DIEC submission of annual report on operational activities for development, which should also be made available to UN Pledging Conference for Development Activities, containing comprehensive statistical information on all operational activities for development of UN system A.Origin, rationale, expectations Kristinn Sv. Helgason and Andrew MacPherson, UNDESA

5 Annual Report of DG-DIEC Annual report from the outset attempted to provide Member States with analysis of important policy issues such as funding flows; efficiency; system- wide coherence; programme support costs; procurement activities and coordination, as well as detailed statistical information on contributions and expenditures – serving de facto as UN development cooperation report A.Origin, rationale, expectations Kristinn Sv. Helgason and Andrew MacPherson, UNDESA

6 s Other factors that increased demand of Member States for system-wide reporting on funding included: Funding crisis during 1980s when some donors withheld contributions to UN system at height of Cold War Gradual unraveling of system of centralized funding through UNDP in first half of 1980s (finally abandoned in early 1990s) A.Origin, rationale, expectations Kristinn Sv. Helgason and Andrew MacPherson, UNDESA

7 s (cont.) Funding for operational activities for development becomes increasingly earmarked through growth in non-core contributions System of execution by UN specialized agencies comes under pressure as programme countries opt for national execution of UN technical assistance – specialized agencies begin to mobilize resources directly from donors A.Origin, rationale, expectations Kristinn Sv. Helgason and Andrew MacPherson, UNDESA

8 In sum, important drivers for greater demand by Member States for system-wide reporting were: Concerns about growing fragmentation of UN development system making it difficult for Member States to provide effective coordination and guidance to UN operational activities for development Shift to decentralized funding system with potential for suboptimal allocation of resources Greater political interest in issues related to funding of operational activities for development A.Origin, rationale, expectations Kristinn Sv. Helgason and Andrew MacPherson, UNDESA

9 Due to the fact that operational activities currently account for some two-thirds of all UN system- wide activities, there is an expectation among Member States that strengthened system-wide reporting on funding flows will improve overview, transparency, coherence, coordination and governance of the UN development system GA QCPR is heavily driven by the analysis provided in the UNDESA funding report A.Origin, rationale, expectations Kristinn Sv. Helgason and Andrew MacPherson, UNDESA

10 In past few years, Member States have requested the Secretary-General to improve system-wide analysis and reporting in several areas including the following: Long-term trends in core and non-core contributions Cost of coordination Broaden and improve coverage, timeliness, reliability and comparability of system-wide financial data, definitions and classifications Establish a central repository of information Better distinguish between development-related activities and humanitarian assistance B.Recent legislative mandates Kristinn Sv. Helgason and Andrew MacPherson, UNDESA

11 In response to these mandates, UNDESA in the past two years has particularly focused on following: Transforming the statistical compendium on funding into an analytical report Deepening review of cost recovery, fragmentation of funding, burden-sharing, predictability and local resources contributions Providing disaggregated analysis of core ratios and non-core funding streams Introducing biannual funding updates C.Current efforts to improve reporting Kristinn Sv. Helgason and Andrew MacPherson, UNDESA

12 Important challenges in system-wide reporting on operational activities for development include: Inconsistent coverage: i.e. UNDESA 36 entities; CEB 34; OECD/DAC 53 Reconciliation/coordination of UNDESA, CEB and OECD/DAC reporting figures/efforts Lack of harmonized terminology: definitions, categorizations, classifications (e.g. sector classifications); groupings (e.g. geographical, institutions) Different timeframes and frequency of reporting D.Challenges Kristinn Sv. Helgason and Andrew MacPherson, UNDESA

13 (cont.) Clarity about and understanding of different constituents Lack of clear definitions: e.g. operational activities for development Lack of conceptual rigour: e.g. commonly accepted definitions of programme, programme support and management and administration costs Further standardizing UNDESA report to promote better comparison across time and UN entities D.Challenges Kristinn Sv. Helgason and Andrew MacPherson, UNDESA

14 (cont.) Better understanding implications of IPSAS and other financial reporting harmonization initiatives on UNDESA reporting Improving analysis of global pooled funds administered outside UN system Strengthening analytical reporting on issues such as coordination costs, predictability of funding flows, fragmentation/concentration and efficiency of UN system D.Challenges Kristinn Sv. Helgason and Andrew MacPherson, UNDESA

15 Greater cooperation on system-wide reporting on funding also offers opportunities such as: Harmonizing data collection processes: one-stop- shop collection of information from UN entities Preempting uncontrolled outside interpretation and analysis of UN system performance by developing generally accepted core set of analysis and indicators e.g. coordination/system-wide coherence Achieving potential gains from specialization: e.g. CEB focusing on data collection and management and administration and UNDESA on substantive analysis E.Opportunities Kristinn Sv. Helgason and Andrew MacPherson, UNDESA

16 (cont.) Improving coordination among various financial reporting harmonization initiatives Effective establishment of CEB financial statistics database and reporting system E.Opportunities Kristinn Sv. Helgason and Andrew MacPherson, UNDESA

17 System-wide reporting on funding should become a regular item for discussion in UN-wide inter- agency processes F.Conclusion Kristinn Sv. Helgason and Andrew MacPherson, UNDESA


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