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How We Work

Photo: © FAO/IFAD/WFP/Eliza Deacon
Our Key Functions

The Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review (QCPR) is the mechanism through which the General Assembly assesses the effectiveness, efficiency, coherence and impact of UN operational activities for development and establishes system-wide policy orientations for the development cooperation and country-level modalities of the UN system in response to the evolving international development and cooperation environment. 

The current 2016-2020 QCPR, adopted by the General Assembly on 21 December 2016 through resolution (71/243), is the culmination of intensive intergovernmental negotiations over the longer-term positioning of the UN development system, under the leadership of the UN Sustainable Development Group (UNSDG). It is now well into its third year of implementation, guiding the UN development system towards supporting the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, while continuing the work of the 2012 QCPR resolution. A key component of the 2016 QCPR is the call for a new generation of UN country teams that are more responsive and able to lead the UN's integrated and impactful contribution at the country level.

The UN Development Coordination Office (DCO), as the Secretariat of the UNSDG, provides technical and advisory support to UN development system in the implementation of the QCPR, through improving the functioning of the UN development system, supporting resource mobilization for system-wide financing priorities and facilitating inter-agency programmatic and policy collaboration and partnership for achievement of the 2030 Agenda. At country level, DCO supports Resident Coordinators in overseeing activities across UN Country Teams and ensures the implementation of all standard operating procedures of the UNSDG, as well as Common Country Analysis, UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Frameworks, Business Operations Strategies and pooled funding mechanisms.

A Holistic Agenda

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Photo: © UNDP Participants to the ENERGEL Summer

Working Together Worldwide

At the heart of this transformation of the United Nations development coordination function are resident coordinators, who are the designated representatives of the Secretary-General for development at the country level.  The resident coordinators are the cornerstone of a coherent and well-coordinated United Nations development system capable of delivering integrated support across the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a holistic agenda which calls for joint collaboration between agencies, funds and programmes for the achievement of national development priorities.

The United Nations Country Team

The United Nations Country Team (UNCT) exists in 130 countries, covering all of the 162 countries where there are United Nations programmes. The UNCT includes all the UN entities working on sustainable development, emergency, recovery and transition in programme countries.

The UNCT is led by the UN Resident Coordinator, who is the representative of the UN Secretary-General in a given country. The UNCT ensures interagency coordination and decision-making at the country level. The goal is to plan and work together, as part of the Resident Coordinator system, to ensure the delivery of tangible results in support of the development agenda of the Government, including the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework—which guides the UN country team’s development programme cycle, in joint agreement with the host government.

The Resident Coordinator

The Resident Coordinator (RC) is the highest ranking representative of the United Nations development system (UNDS) at the country level, with the responsibility to lead United Nations country teams, and ensure system-wide accountability on the ground for the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework and coordinating UN support to countries in their implementation of the 2030 Agenda. She/he brings to the role an appreciation of the breadth of assets of the United Nations in the service of sustaining peace. The Resident Coordinator is the designated representative of – and reports to – the UN Secretary-General.

The Resident Coordinator System

The Resident Coordinator system ensures the coordination of all organizations of the United Nations dealing with operational activities for development at the country level, regardless of the nature of their presence in the country. It encompasses the UN Resident Coordinator, the UN Country Team and Resident Coordinator’s Office and is served by the UN Development Coordination Office.
The Resident Coordinator system is focused on the advancement of sustainable development, leaving no one behind, and with the eradication of poverty in all its forms and dimensions as an overarching objective, consistent with the integrated nature of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 

The Resident Coordinator system is focused on the advancement of sustainable development.