Independent Evaluation of “Delivering As One” Calls for Bolder Reforms

26 July 2012: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has released the main report from the independent evaluation of the UN's Delivering As One (DaO) Initiative. The report assesses the value of the related reform initiatives, based on experiences of pilot activities in eight countries in joint budgeting, programming, communication, leadership and allocation of resources for development at the national level.

The results will feed into the Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review on Operational Activities for Development of the United Nations system (QCPR) during the fall of 2012, as well as other inter-governmental processes concerning system-wide coherence.

The evaluation report reviews the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of efforts towards reducing transaction costs, strengthening the joint presence of UN agencies, and improving development gains, among other aims, as piloted in eight countries: Albania, Cape Verde, Mozambique, Pakistan, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uruguay and Viet Nam.

The report identifies several challenges to unified delivery of UN support in the pilot countries, including: donor funds being earmarked for specific purposes; overlapping mandates of different UN organizations; and the substantial investment required in order to harmonize and simplify organizational processes. It concludes that “bolder measures” may be required in order to deliver as one, including: rationalization of the number of UN organizations, reform of mandates, governance structures and funding modalities, and a new definition of the range of development expertise expected from the UN system.

The recommendation for the UN system to “Deliver As One” at country level came from a November 2006 report of the High-Level Panel on UN System-Wide Coherence in the Areas of Development, Humanitarian Assistance and the Environment. The eight "pilot" countries volunteered to implement the recommendations, supported by Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) strategy support funds. The Triennial Comprehensive Policy Review (TCPR) in 2007 called for an independent evaluation of lessons learned from the pilot initiatives, and this call was reiterated in a 2010 UN General Assembly (UNGA) resolution.

The independent evaluation was carried out by a team of nine experts appointed by the UN Secretary-General to serve in their personal capacity. An edited version of the report is due for release in September 2012. [Publication: Independent Evaluation of Lessons Learned from Delivering As One: Main Report] [Website of Delivering As One]