Boosting the Resident Coordinator system to secure development gains and accelerate action for the SDGs in countries

The lingering health and socioeconomic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have continued testing Resident Coordinators’ leadership, while also opening space for more strategic joint UN collaboration.

A progressively diverse group of UN leaders on the ground  

  • There are more women Resident Coordinators than men
  • Geographical balance remains stable 
  • Diversity in Resident Coordinators’ backgrounds and institutional origin continues to improve 

Designated Resident Coordinators by gender

 

Gender balance

Resident Coordinators are increasingly women

Gender balance: Resident Coordinators are increasingly women
Resident Coordinators are increasingly women
https://unsdg.un.org/2022-unsdg-chair-report/leadership?card=625

Designated Resident Coordinators by geography

 

Geographic Balance

Resident Coordinators remain at a 50/50 benchmark

Geographic Balance: Resident Coordinators remain at a 50/50 benchmark
Resident Coordinators remain at a 50/50 benchmark
https://unsdg.un.org/2022-unsdg-chair-report/leadership?card=1485

Resident Coordinators by UN agency of origin

 

Diversity of Origin

Resident Coordinators continued to join from a great variety of UN entities, with a spike in leaders from outside the UN system

Diversity of Origin: Resident Coordinators continued to join from a great variety of UN entities, with a spike in leaders from outside the UN system
Resident Coordinators continued to join from a great variety of UN entities, with a spike in leaders from outside the UN system
https://unsdg.un.org/2022-unsdg-chair-report/leadership?card=1483

Extended investments to recruit, manage and retain the best talent   

Ensuring Resident Coordinators equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively exercise their empowered, strategic, effective and impartial leadership role was a central request by the UN General Assembly in the review of the Resident Coordinator system, in 2021. 

Since the review: 

  • A new UN Resident Coordinator / Humanitarian Coordinator Talent Pipeline was launched jointly by the Development Coordination Office (DCO) and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) to identify and prepare a broad and diverse range of high calibre candidates to coordinate both the humanitarian and development work
  • All Resident Coordinators were offered policy and training support on pandemic response, climate change, biodiversity and pollution, economic transformation, SDG financing, cross-agency collaboration and partnership, including with IFIs
  • New Resident Coordinators were provided with dedicated mentoring, coaching, and peer exchange opportunities  
  • A new performance management system for Resident Coordinators was developed, to be rolled-out in 2022

Host Governments' feedback: Resident Coordinator have the right profile and skillsets to support the country’s development

 
90%

of host Governments recognize that Resident Coordinators have the right profile and skillsets to support their countries’ development needs, compared to 88% in 2020

Resident Coordinator Offices are operating at full capacity

Growth in staffing and gender balance across the core functions of the Resident Coordinator Offices

 
48%

of staff in Resident Coordinator Offices are women

48% of staff in Resident Coordinator Offices are women
48% of staff in Resident Coordinator Offices are women
https://unsdg.un.org/2022-unsdg-chair-report/leadership?card=1125
49%

of international professionals in Resident Coordinator Offices are from the global South

The investment in Resident Coordinator Office capacities has proved effective in enhancing coordination and supporting UN teams

Strategic Planners/Head of Offices have ensured coherent programming and efficient functioning by connecting RC system resources with UN teams to design and implement Common Country Analyses and Cooperation Frameworks, initiating partnerships, supervising tools and mechanisms for accountability and transparency, and improving innovations and knowledge.

Economists have boosted UN’s policy capacities, including for Common Country Analyses and Cooperation Frameworks, strategically positioning the UN on key economic and financial policy fora with Governments and other partners.

Partnership Officers have enabled Resident Coordinators and UN teams to strengthen multi-stakeholder relationships for the SDGs.

Communications and Advocacy Officers have played a key role in raising visibility of the UN work for the SDGs, encouraging UN teams to speak with one voice including through social media and UN teams’ websites.

Data Management & Results Reporting Officers have upscaled accountability and transparency around system-wide results through UN INFO, the only shared platform for planning, monitoring and reporting on UN teams' activities & results.

    Saudi Arabia

    In Saudi Arabia, the head of the Resident Coordinator Office was critical in leading an SDG comparative analysis model informing the Common Country Analysis and Cooperation Framework processes on human rights, gender, disability inclusion and youth.
    Map of Saudi Arabia

    Afghanistan

    Resident Coordinator Office economists in six neighboring countries neighboring Afghanistan led a joint analysis on the cross-border impacts of the Afghan crisis on Central Asian economies.
    Map of Afghanistan

    Azerbaijan

    In Azerbaijan, the Resident Coordinator Office facilitated a Joint Taskforce on SDG Data between the UN team and the State Statistics Committee, to increase understanding and good practices.
    Map of Azerbaijan

    Paraguay, Mauritius, Sri Lanka, Thailand and United Arab Emirates

    In Paraguay, Mauritius, Sri Lanka, Thailand and United Arab Emirates, the UN teams strengthened cooperation with the Global Compact Networks for private sector engagement. Moreover, Partnership Officers also helped increase country-level SDG pooled funds and access to global pooled funds.
    Map of Paraguay, Mauritius, Sri Lanka, Thailand and United Arab Emirates.

    Costa Rica

    In Costa Rica, a UN team-university partnership unveiled discrimination against women, Afro-descendants, Asians, migrants and other vulnerable groups, including on social media, contributing to the first National Plan to Combat Hate Speech in the region.
    Map of Costa Rica

    What UN teams say: Support they receive from Resident Coordinator Offices

     

    Some Resident Coordinator Offices benefited from additional advisory resources, such as Peace and Development Advisors, Human Rights Advisors and Gender Specialists who enabled a more effective programmatic response, in consultation with Governments and in partnership with the UN system

    Coordination at regional level to support the Resident Coordinator system

    61%

    of staff members of regional teams of the Development Coordination Office are from the Global South

    Regional teams of the Development Coordination Office ensure support to Resident Coordinators and UN teams on their day-to-day operations and provide guidance and quality control on the work of Resident Coordinators and their Offices in countries. 

    In 2021, regional teams of the Development Coordination Office have:

    • Ensured high-quality interagency programming guidance to UN teams
    • Assisted the integration of the COVID-19 response into Cooperation Frameworks 
    • Facilitated UN team’s cross-border and sub-regional collaboration
    • Supported the advancement of the UN development system reform at regional level
    • Contributed to the efficiency agenda

      Africa

      The regional team of the Development Coordination Office in Africa supported 19 UN teams to roll-out new Cooperation Frameworks that integrated the countries’ COVID-19 Socio-Economic Response Plans, for a better recovery and debt management. In Africa, with DCO’s support, the Issue-Based Coalition on data and statistics launched the Africa UN Data for Development Platform that captures high-quality data and evidence on the 2030 Agenda from all the African countries, bringing the SDG data closer to UNCTs.  
      Map of Africa

      Arab States

      In the Arab States, the regional team of the Development Coordination Office supported a dialogue on social protection with Member States that led to joint agreement for more equitable access to health and education services, lifting restrictions on school attendance in Jordan and including migrant labor in health coverage in Bahrain and Kuwait.
      Map of Arab States

      Europe and Central Asia

      In Europe and Central Asia, dialogues between the regional team of the Development Coordination Office and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Central Asia improved cross-pillar coordination and scenario development for the Kyrgyzstan-Tajikistan border conflict, resulting in anticipatory risk-informed programming.
      Map of Europe and Central Asia

      Latin America and the Caribbean

      As a member of the Joint Secretariat of the Regional Collaborative Platform, the regional team of the Development Coordination Office in Latin America and the Caribbean engaged the Issue-Based Coalition on Human Mobility to support Resident Coordinators on cross-border UN responses to migration flows. It also supported the induction of the seven new Country Coordination Officers in the Caribbean posted to strengthen multi-country offices.
      Map of Latin America and the Caribbean

      Asia Pacific

      The regional team of the Development Coordination in Asia Pacific supported the Resident Coordinators in Fiji, Pakistan and Thailand to build coalitions of partners to tackle climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss. 
      Map of the Asia-Pacific region

      Resident Coordinators increasingly valued the support received from regional teams of the Development Coordination Office

      What Resident Coordinator Offices say: Support received from the Development Coordination Office regional team

       

      Global support to the UN development system

      The Development Coordination Office continued to strengthen management of the Resident Coordinator system globally, provide strong secretariat support to the UN Sustainable Development Group, and ensure implementation of the UN development system reform.

      In 2021, the Development Coordination Office focused increasingly on identifying emerging innovations and facilitating peer knowledge exchange across regions to advance the 2030 Agenda

      The “One UN Knowledge Exchange Network” managed by the Development Coordination Office served more than 7,000 members from across the system, complementing regional networks to facilitate peer learning within and across regions

      A new UN Sustainable Development Group Country Cooperation Framework Status Dashboard was established to improve knowledge sharing and country-level programming alignment

      The Development Coordination Office has continued to support the UN Sustainable Development Group to deliver on global policy and operational priorities, including by: 

      • Refining the Management and Accountability Framework 
      • Improving guidance on joint programmes and results reporting 
      • Spearheading a new approach for measuring the UN system-wide contribution to the SDGs
      • Supporting the advancement of the efficiency agenda
      • Facilitating strengthened support for Small Island Developing States and all countries serviced by Multi Country Offices 
      • Supporting the renewed regional architecture
      • Tracking Funding Compact commitments
      • Mobilizing UN development system's cross-sectoral support around relevant Secretary-General’s strategies and system-wide policies

      The Development Coordination Office also helped lift support to respond and recover from the pandemic and other crisis

      The Development Coordination Office continued to co-chair with UNDP the global inter-agency task team, including International Financial Institutions, to foster a collective COVID-19 socio-economic response

      The Development Coordination Office continued to co-chair with UNDP the global inter-agency task team, including International Financial Institutions, to foster a collective COVID-19 socio-economic response.
      The Development Coordination Office continued to co-chair with UNDP the global inter-agency task team, including International Financial Institutions, to foster a collective COVID-19 socio-economic response
      https://unsdg.un.org/2022-unsdg-chair-report/leadership?card=1156
      school kids using hand washing facilities

      The Development Coordination Office’s participation in the UN Transitions Project ensured Resident Coordinator linkages for improved understanding and planning for effective support beyond mission withdrawal

      The Development Coordination Office also contributed to ensure occupational health and safety

      The Development Coordination Office’s engagement in inter-agency occupational health and safety ensured timely support, communications guidance, and technical advice to Resident Coordinators and UN teams on the prevention of COVID-19 transmission and health emergencies preparedness for UN personnel and dependents.

      The Development Coordination Office worked with the UN Department of Operational Support to set up the UN COVID-19 vaccination programme early in 2021.

      Over 400,000 doses were deployed in 70 countries, with more on the way

      Resident Coordinators value the support received by the Development Coordination Office

      What Resident Coordinator Offices say: Support received from the NY Development Coordination Office team

       

      As of March 2022, the Development Coordination Office at global level had

      60%

      Female staff

      43%

      staff from host countries