2014 GMM – Tarrytown Outcomes
7 March 2014. It brought together UNDP HQ senior managers, Resident Coordinators/Resident Representatives, Country Directors and select Deputy Resident Representatives, leaders of Representative Offices, Regional Service Centres, Global Policy Centres, the Chair of the UNDP/UNFPA/UNOPS Staff Council, and one national officer per region.
2. The objective of the meeting was to reflect and strategize on practical and effective solutions for implementing the Strategic Plan 2014 – 17, approved by the Executive Board in September 2013. The following issues were considered:
• How do we work differently – in our COs, at regional level and corporately – to deliver transformational results under the Strategic Plan?
• How do we align our programmes for more effective results?
• How do we work with partners to deliver better – country partners, external partners, and the UN family?
From a rich and stimulating discussion, which acknowledged the extent to which complexity and insecurity are increasing across the development landscape, the following critical issues emerged:
Working to deliver more effectively
3. We recognize the need to ‘change with the world’ – to become more outward-focused, adaptable, demand-driven, innovative and interconnected. To do this, we must learn to embrace risk, to calculate and manage it rather than to avoid it. We must also build together an organizational culture that encourages experimentation and innovation, and that is prepared to share and learn from failures as well as successes. This requires creating incentives at all levels of the organization to contribute to innovative programming that can be scaled up, without unnecessary bureaucracy.
4. The objectives of the Strategic Plan call for a long-term development approach, with a strong focus on meeting measurable and concrete targets. The organization’s success will be measured by the degree of development impact; the improvement in partner perception; depth of staff engagement; ability to lead the UN development agenda; and thought leadership that confirms our position as promoters of new development thinking and solutions.
5. We acknowledge that effective communication is indispensable to promoting engagement among staff and partners alike. We commit to better communicate not only what we are doing and why, but also how we are changing and the positive dividends of those changes.
6. We accept the responsibility of providing the leadership necessary to improve staff engagement in order to deliver better development results.
Enhancing programme quality for better results
7. We recognize the urgency, driven by the demand for higher quality results, of bringing our programming into line with the Strategic Plan. Time is of the essence; we cannot wait until the natural country programme process elapses before we act. We commit to ensuring all our programmes are fully aligned with the Strategic Plan by the end of 2014.
8. We recognize the opportunities presented by the Strategic Plan to improve the quality of our programming. We commit to reviewing and adjusting our programme portfolios, exploring more responsive ways of doing business, and determining what capacity is needed in our offices to collect and analyze data to deliver evidence-based solutions to the development issues faced by our partner countries.
9. We underscore that the alignment exercise is neither a mechanical ‘linking’ process, nor does it require renegotiation of the UNDAF or CPDs. It is grounded in and driven by the imperative of responding better to national priorities.
Building stronger partnerships
10. We undertake to ‘connect the dots’ inside our offices by working free of silos using development solutions teams. We will refresh our approach to partnerships, identifying new and emerging partners, and exploring new ways of working with existing partners as well as with each other.
11. As leaders of the UN development system, we must lead the charge in inculcating a results perspective – to overcome procedural bottlenecks and work together to deliver results as one. In this regard, we call on the HQ-level UNDG to take speedy action on the HQ-focused action plan, and to provide advice on how the RDTs can deliver more effective strategic support, including through resource mobilization.
12. We welcome the acknowledgement by principals from partner agencies that the RC system needs to be supported if we want to be better coordinated in a changing environment, and that collective leadership by UNCTs is required to make us fit for purpose.
The GMM is to be followed by regional meetings, which provide the opportunity to incorporate these issues into bureau workplans and to discuss how all Bureaux can support each other and COs to achieve these aims. We recognize the need for Bureau-specific workplans to include actions that address and monitor all of the above issues, and for Bureaux to be held accountable to the Administrator for achieving these results.