Delivering as One
Recent experiences of the UN system have shown that only a unified and strong United Nations which acts, speaks and delivers results through joint efforts is well placed to tackle the global challenges lying ahead. Based on high-level discussions between the UN and the Government of Ghana, the UN Country Team (UNCT) has been officially requested to use the Delivering as One (DaO) approach as the overarching vision and principle for UN assistance to Ghana. Since 2012, UN Ghana has been developing new ways of working together with the Government to achieve a greater impact on the ground by being more results oriented, efficient and harmonising business practices across agencies.
The objective of Delivering as One is to enhance the efficiency, effectiveness and relevance of the United Nations to better assist the Government in achieving its development results.
Delivering as One brings all UN entities in the country together in working jointly and coherently for increased and sustainable development impact, while at the same time reducing the UN’s operational costs and the transaction costs for national partners in working with the UN system. Delivering as One has the following key objectives:
- Provide a transparent overview of UN activities and financial arrangements, ensure accountability, and reduce transaction costs;
- Position the UN more strategically in areas where it has a distinct comparative advantage;
- Increase the collective impact of UN interventions through more coherent policy advisory services, and better coordinated and focused strategies and programmes;
- Contribute to aid coordination, increase access to additional resources, and reduce inter-agency duplication.
How is the Delivering as One approach structured?
Delivering as One seeks to fully integrate the key dimensions of UN activities into one comprehensive package. It is based on five key pillars: One Leader, One Budgetary Framework, One Programme, Operating as One, and Communicating as One.
One Programme brings all members of the UN Country Team together under one nationally-owned strategy that draws on the full range of UN expertise. One Programme in Ghana was developed as a coherent and strategic UN response to the Millennium Development Goals and is being adapted to support Ghana in implementing the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030. One Programme was designed in consultation with the Government of Ghana and is guided by Government priorities. The priority areas for joint UN programming are articulated in the UN Sustainable Development Partnership (UNSDP), which is fully aligned with national medium-term and long-term development planning.
One Budgetary Framework is the vehicle for aligning the resources across agencies in support of the priorities agreed with the Government in the One Programme. Resources comprise individual agency funding, support provided by development partners through individual agencies, and joint programmes implemented by two or more UN agencies together with development partnerships. Each agency’s core resources remain within control of the agency, but their allocation and accountability are aligned with the UNSDP.
One Leader: The Resident Coordinator system encompasses all organisations of the United Nations Development Group, dealing with operational activities for economic and social development, human rights, and peace and security. The system aims to bring together the different UN agencies to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of operational activities at country level. The Resident Coordinator is the designated representative of the UN Secretary-General and Chairs the UN Country Team.
Operating as One: This pillar helps harmonise business processes and develops common services for all UN agencies with a view to increasing operational efficiency and decreasing costs. UN agencies in Ghana have different historical legacy, where they were set up in dissimilar administrative and management structures. In this context, however, the UN in Ghana has taken steps towards coordinated operations in the field of finance, administration, ICT and procurement. The United Nations Operations Management Team (OMT) was established to ensure harmonisation of administrative structures and procedures of different UN agencies and offices.
Communicating as One ensures coherent messaging from the UN. This pillar improves the quality of dialogue with the host-country government and other national stakeholders, increases advocacy and helps to highlight results achieved by the UN at country level. Communicating as One is critical for ensuring clear and consistent strategic positioning of the UN and its vision at the country level; developing common messages and policy positions; strengthening the outreach of the UN system by pooling efforts; supporting communication about the UN comparative advantages in the country to both internal and external stakeholders; and avoiding message duplication, inconsistencies and fragmentation.
How are we working together in Ghana?
The essence of UN reform and Delivering as One is that UN entities can achieve greater impact by joining forces and using their complementary mandates to tackle complex development challenges together. This can also reduce the transaction costs for partners in collaborating with the UN system. In Ghana, each component of Delivering as One has one or more dedicated UN system-wide teams or working groups that bring together staff from the different UN entities:
UN Country Team (UNCT) comprises the heads and designated representatives of the UN entities in Ghana. It is the strategic decision-making body of the UN system at country level. It is chaired by the UN Resident Coordinator who represents the UN Secretary-General in Ghana. The UNCT is responsible for all UN activities in the country, including its programmatic, normative and advocacy work. The UNCT oversees the work of all other joint UN working mechanisms.
Operations Management Team (OMT) consists of operations managers of all UN entities in Ghana. Its main role is to identify ways to strengthen the harmonisation and synergies amongst the different operational and administrative systems used by UN entities in Ghana. OMT engages in 1. expanding joint activities of UN agencies and attending to the overall improvement in delivering efficient and effective services; 2. making assessments and recommendations to the UNCT on any activity requiring their approval for joint initiatives on the effectiveness of existing common services; and 3. identifying new services and activities for efficient and effective implementation. Economies of scale and resulting cost-savings through joint procurement are one of the more tangible benefits resulting from OMT work.
UNSDP Results Area Groups coordinate UN agencies in delivering the agreed work plan and achieving the desired outcomes of the One Programme. These Groups also coordinate UN participation in the corresponding national Sector Working Groups.
UN Communications Group (UNCG) is the common communication platform of the United Nations System. The group consists of communication officers or focal points from the UN agencies. The main purpose of the UNCG is to strengthen inter-agency collaboration and coherence in the field of communications and to increase the visibility and media profile of United Nations activities at national level. The group provides advice in communications and advocacy to the UN Country Team, identifying new and creative ways to show how UN programmes are delivering results, and promoting a coherent image of the United Nations.
UN Gender Team (UNGT) promotes gender equality and women’s empowerment across the programme, advisory, and advocacy work of the UN in Ghana. The UNGT coordinates UN support to the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection and other Ministries, Departments and Agencies, as well as Civil Society Organisations on gender and women-related policies, laws, programmes, strategies and activities in support of national priorities. The UNGT also seeks to strengthen the overall performance and progress towards UNSDP results on gender equality by supporting the mainstreaming of gender in all key policies and programmes and creating an avenue for regular sharing of information and experience on implementing gender equality and women’s empowerment programmes.
Inter-Agency Working Group for Emergencies (IAWGE) supports the national authorities in national disaster preparedness and prevention and in coordinating UN action in response to any Government requests for support in case of national humanitarian emergencies. It periodically updates UN Contingency Plans, in line with UN guidelines on humanitarian crisis response. It works closely with Ghana’s National Disaster Management Organisation, mandated to coordinate the Government response to humanitarian crises under the Ministry of the Interior. In addition to the UNCT members whose mandates include humanitarian crisis response (such as IOM, UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP, and WHO) the IAWGE includes international non-government organisations with expertise and mandates in crisis response, such as World Vision, Care International and the Ghana Red Cross.
UN Data Group: UN Agencies work with the Ghana Statistical Service, the National Development Planning Commission, MMDAs, and line Ministries that generate agricultural, employment, environmental and social data, to reduce gaps in SDG indicators, generate human-rights disaggregated data, make better use of administrative data sets, and improve collaboration and information sharing among those that produce data and those that need data for planning, monitoring, and public accountability. This work is taken forward through the Inter-Agency UN Data Group.
UN Youth Ghana: UN agencies take a comprehensive approach to spur youth development, to support the implementation of the AU Roadmap on Demographic Dividend in Ghana, and protect the human rights of children and adolescents. Support targets: increasing access to good quality basic education and health services throughout childhood; improving the quality and availability of primary education that equips teenagers with basic skills and the ability to continue to learn; meeting the needs of adolescents for comprehensive sexual and reproductive health education and rights; combatting discrimination, gender-based violence and harmful cultural practices such as early and forced marriage; and addressing both demand and supply side constraints on decent work for young women and men.