©UNFPA South Sudan

Results Based Management at UNFPA

UNFPA is committed to achieving three ambitious, people-centred transformative results by 2030. These transformative results are: 

1. Ending preventable maternal deaths;
2. Ending the unmet need for family planning; and 
3. Ending gender-based violence and all harmful practices, including female genital mutilation and child, early and forced marriage.

With just a few years remaining to the 2030 deadline for achieving the transformative results, there is a need to inject a sense of urgency into the process. In order to do so, UNFPA requires its managers and staff to: (a) be guided by results; (b) accelerate the implementation of interventions; (c) go beyond “business as usual”; and (d) enhance partnerships and move towards joint accountability.

To support these efforts, UNFPA must enhance and strengthen results-based management (RBM) within the organization by shifting the focus to learning — a key aspect of RBM. 

To realise this vision, RBM at UNFPA is structured as 3 core principles and 5 supporting principles. 

The Jellyfish Model of
RBM Principles

The five supporting principles
The three core principles
The five supporting principles
1. Foster transformational leadership in results-based management
2. Promote and support a results-oriented culture
3. Build and maintain results-based plans and frameworks
4. Ensure effective partnerships
5. Review and update results-based management practices
The three core principles
1. Ensure that results information is available
2. Use results information to inform planning and reporting
3. Practice learning and adaptive management, using results information

RBM Core Principles

Core Principle 1

Ensure that adequate and reliable results information is available when needed

To be able to use results information for learning and managing, results information must be available in offices when it’s needed. The standards under this core principle address the need to measure, collect, analyst and store, in an accessible manner, relevant and reliable information that may be used with confidence about the results of office efforts.

Core Principle 2

Use results information to inform planning and reporting

Planning and reporting on performance are key aspects of managing. The standards under this core principle include using results information on past performance to inform and influence strategic and operational plans.

Core Principle 3

Practice learning and adaptive management, using results information

Planning and reporting on performance are key aspects of managing. The standards under this core principle include using results information on past performance to inform and influence strategic and operational plans.

RBM Supporting Principles

Supporting Principle 1

Foster transformational leadership in results-based management

RBM presents many challenges in an organization. Transformational leadership at all levels is essential in bringing about effective RBM, with leaders leading by example, creating, nurturing and maintaining a conductive environment win which others may follow. The standards include the need for UNFPA managers to demonstrate consistent leadership in RBM, to have the capacity to do so, to routinely ask about results information, and to promote the user of results information.

Transformational leadership enhances the motivation, morale and performance to staff through a variety of mechanisms. These mechanisms include: (a) connecting the follower’s sense of identity and self to the project and to the collective identity of the organization; (b) the leader acting as a role-model for followers - one who inspires them and holds their interest; (c) challenging staff to take greater ownership for their work; and (d) understanding the strengths and weaknesses and followers, so that the leader may align staff with tasks that enhance their performance. This is in contrast to transactional leadership, which focuses on supervision and the compliance of followers with rewards and punishments.

Supporting Principle 2

Promote and support a results-oriented culture

RBM implies that there is a results-oriented culture in the office, where evidence-based learning is valued and results information is viewed as essential to good management. To achieve this, there is a need for: (a) organizational systems, incentives and procedures that support RBM;(b) accountability that supports learning; (c) a conducive environment for learning; and (d) staff and managers that have adequate RBM capacity.

Supporting Principle 3

Build and maintain results-based strategic plans, operational plans and frameworks

RBM needs results-based planning tools to provide a common understanding of what UNFPA is trying to accomplish and how it intends to do so. Performance expectations are statements of the results (outputs, outcomes and impacts) that UNFPA is expecting to achieve or contribute to, and by when. Where practical, performance expectations should include specific indicators and targets.

Supporting Principle 4

Ensure effective partnerships for impact

UNFPA is a partner in development. Working effectively with its partners to plan for and achieve development results is a key aspect of effective RBM. The standards detailed below include the need for: (a) coherent engagement with partners by employing an RBM perspective; and (b) coherent engagement with implementing partners with adequate RBM capacity. RBM coherence involves planning and implementing strategies that recognize the respective capacities and comparative added value of diverse partners.

Supporting Principle 5

Review and update office results-based management practices

RBM is about learning from past performance; therefore learning from one’s own RBM experience is a critical part of effective RBM. The standard below specifies what this implies in terms of reviewing, on a regular basis, the various RBM components and assessing how RBM is being used.

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