Report on joint programming

The Executive Board

1. Takes note of the report of the Administrator of UNDP and the Executive Director of UNFPA (DP/2004/30-DP/FPA/2004/8);

2. Recalls General Assembly resolution 59/250 of 22 December 2004, on the triennial comprehensive policy review of operational activities for development of the United Nations system, which contains the policy framework set by the General Assembly to continue strengthening the joint programming process;

3. Reiterates the need to maintain the institutional integrity and organizational mandate of each United Nations agency during the process of joint programming;

4. Welcomes the efforts aimed at improving the coherence of the United Nations at the field level and programming efficiency, the avoidance of duplication and the reduction of transaction costs for programme countries, and thus to contribute to better overall results; and encourages the Administrator and the UNFPA Executive Director, respectively, to continue to work with governments and other partners towards that end;

5. Emphasizes the importance that the Executive Board attaches to the use of joint programming as a tool for supporting the implementation of national development plans, including poverty reduction strategies where they exist, through a more concerted approach under the common country assessment and United Nations Development Assistance Framework, towards achieving the internationally agreed development goals, including those contained in the Millennium Declaration;

6. Requests, therefore, that the Administrator and the UNFPA Executive Director, in managing their respective organizations' cooperation with other agencies, ensure that the implemention of joint programming, including joint programmes where appropriate, results in improved development impact, including, where appropriate, to:

(a) Further harmonize country programme preparation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation processes, and improve communication between United Nations agencies during the whole programme cycle;

(b) Effectively deliver programme goals and contribute to the reduction of transaction costs; and

(c) Promote common monitoring and reporting processes to governing bodies and joint approaches to evaluations;

7. Takes note of the respective efforts of UNDP and UNFPA in contributing to the continued development by the United Nations Development Group (UNDG) of a common framework, to include a common reporting framework for joint programmes, aimed at improving the impact and efficiency of United Nations system efforts, in partnership with and to support national governments, including efforts to identify circumstances under which joint programmes might be a useful tool, and what improvements in development impact would be achieved through the use of joint programmes;

8. Emphasizes the respective mandates of UNDP and UNFPA and their budgetary, financial reporting and evaluation responsibilities, including with respect to joint programmes;

9. Requests the Administrator and the UNFPA Executive Director to report on joint programming and joint programmes in the annual reports of UNDP and UNFPA, respectively, to the Executive Board at the annual session 2005, and

10. Requests the Administrator and UNFPA Executive Director to submit to the Board, for its consideration at its annual session 2006, a comprehensive report on the implementation of joint programming, as outlined in this decision, and on the UNDG joint programming guidelines, including information on experiences and an analysis of resources allocated to the three options of fund management for joint programmes, and the resulting benefit in development impact or efficiency gains.

28 January 2005