Delivering as One: Going beyond the pilot phase

“Five years after the launch of the Delivering as One initiative, the momentum is stronger than ever. Almost 30 countries are now actively driving the reform process, spurring innovation after innovation around the globe.” With these words, UN Deputy Secretary General Dr. Asha Rose Migiro captured the collective sentiment of participants at the end of the two-day High Level Intergovernmental Conference on Delivering as One (DaO). The conference, which took place in Montevideo, Uruguay from 8-10 November, was attended by over 30 governments, UN officials, experts and key development partners. 

The aim of the conference, the fourth of its kind, was to evaluate the results of DaO, the UN reform process which started in 2007 in eight pilot countries. The reform involves streamlining programs, reducing duplication of effort across agencies and making more effective use of human and financial resources. 

Conference participants made strong recommendations that, given the experience gained and achievements made at the country level, DaO should be scaled up and enjoy greater visibility within the UN system and the international community. They requested the UN Secretary General to ensure consistent follow up across the UN system and an efficient mechanism for coherent programming, monitoring, evaluation and accountability. 

“Many more countries have been inspired by the leadership of the pilot countries. Without the support of development partners we could not have come this far,” continued Migiro.

Speaking at the conference, UNDP Administrator Helen Clark urged the United Nations, together with governments, to strive to maintain its relevance and responsiveness, and to continue to improve effectiveness and efficiency. She also mentioned how appreciative the governments of Delivering as One countries are of the reform. In particular they point to strengthened national ownership and leadership and how they have led to better alignment of UN support to national priorities.

“These governments sent a strong message to the UN member states and agencies, funds and programmes that there is no going back to doing business in the manner prior to the Delivering as One initiative,” Clark said.

Australian Ambassador to Uruguay John Richardson delivered a key note speech on behalf of development partners acknowledging the importance of national ownership and endorsing catalytic funding mechanisms such as the One Fund, a joint funding mechanism for the One UN programme, to continue promoting better coherence.

“We development partners remain fully committed to the Delivering as One process, which

we agree is ready to move from the pilot phase to be institutionalised in the UN system,” Richardson said.

Among the Montevideo Conference conclusions were: the importance of government ownership and leadership to DaO’s success; the need for One Fund contributions to be predictable, multi-year and un-earmarked; and the need to strengthen the Resident Coordinators’ central role for the successful implementation of DaO. “It is imperative that the RC office is adequately staffed and equipped and the RC empowered to ensure an effective and efficient implementation of the UN reform on the ground,” the conference Outcome Document stated.

The Africa region was represented by government and UN representatives from four pilot countries — Cape Verde, Mozambique, Rwanda, and Tanzania— and several “self-starters” –Botswana, Comoros, Ethiopia, Ghana, Lesotho, Malawi and Mali. 

UN Tanzania was represented by the UN Resident Coordinator Alberic Kacou and UN Women Country Programme Manager Anna Collins-Falk. The Government of Tanzania’s delegation was headed by H.E  Ambassador Ombeni Sefue, Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of the United Republic of Tanzania to the United Nations.