Data-driven programming and the Voluntary National Reviews (VNR)
16 June 2020
The High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) opens on 7 July 2020, under the theme of "Accelerated action and transformative pathways: realizing the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development." DCO will host the first in a series of VNR Labs, on 7 July, 8-9 am.
The DCO organized Lab will explore how country-level programming instruments, particularly the Common Country Analysis and the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (Cooperation Framework), can leverage the VNR process and strengthen evidence and data-driven programming.
Speakers from government, representatives of multilateral organizations and Resident Coordinators will reflect and exchange on their experience in connecting the Voluntary National Review to the various country planning processes on the ground, and share ideas on how to strengthen linkages in the future. The VNR Lab will also shed light on how the UN development system reform is working in practice, sharing insights on the UN’s COVID-19 programming responses at the country level.
Panelist confirmed so far: Mr. Atajan Atayev, Head of Strategic and Sustainable Development, Turkmenistan Ministry of Finance and Economy; Félix Fernández-Shaw, Director, DEVCO, European Commission; Rosemary Kalapurakal, Chief, Policy and Programming Branch, DCO; Elena Panova, Resident Coordinator, Turkmenistan; Roy Trivedy, Resident Coordinator, Timor-Leste and Ms Brigida Soares, Coordinator for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Timor Leste Prime Minister’s Office (more details below).
How does this lab relate to the UN country teams' work on the ground?
The Cooperation Framework is informed by Government prioritization, planning, implementation and reporting vis-à-vis the 2030 Agenda. They are also driven by preparation of VNRs, including those that use SDG indicators. The UN Common Country Analysis (CCA) builds this process, using external sources as well as the country-specific findings and recommendations of UN principal organs.
The Secretary-General, in his 2020 report on the implementation of the Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review (QCPR), called for UN country teams (UNCTs) to strengthen their support to countries conducting VNRs, and ensure the reviews’ key findings and follow-up actions inform the CCA and the Cooperation Framework. UNCTs can also play a critical role in supporting governments to use the VNR process to identify measures that can be taken in the context of the decade of action and delivery for sustainable development.
The latest data from the DESA surveys on QCPR implementation show that the 53 out of 57 UN programme countries benefitted from the support of the UNCT with their most recent VNR. With our new set of programming instruments, there is an opportunity to connect the VNR and Cooperation Framework in a way that strengthens national priorities in programming.
How will this lab relate to our current context?
The COVID-19 pandemic presents a multi-facetted challenge for the 2030 Agenda implementation. While the impact of the pandemic will vary from country to country, it will most likely increase poverty and inequalities at a global scale, making the achievement of the SDGs even more urgent. To support Member States on this response, the UNDS is switching to emergency mode.
Recognizing that the heart of the response lies at the national and sub-national level, DCO is leveraging the investments made by Member States in the UN development system reform and the reinvigorated Resident Coordinator system. The collective know-how of the United Nations’ 130 country teams – serving 162 countries and territories – is being mobilized to implement a socio-economic response framework over the next 12 to 18 months.
The country-level response is led by the UN Resident Coordinators, drawing from a network of global and regional expertise and the UN country teams working as one across all facets of the response. We are seeing results in both the immediate and longer-term response to the COVID-19 crisis, tapping into the comparative advantages of specific entities such as the World Health Organization, the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, and the UN Development Programme, which serves as the technical lead for the socio-economic response, and more.
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In the spirit of the VNR Labs, we are encouraging participants to limit their questions and comments to two minutes, to ensure a dynamic discussion, and to hear as many views as possible.
We look forward to seeing you there!
Who are the panelists participating?
Rosemary Kalapurakal, Chief, Policy and Programming Branch, DCO
Mr. Atajan Atayev, Head of Strategic and Sustainable Development, Turkmenistan Ministry of Finance and Economy
Félix Fernández-Shaw, Director, DEVCO, European Commission
Ms Brigida Soares, Coordinator for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Timor Leste Prime Minister’s Office
Elena Panova, Resident Coordinator, Turkmenistan
Roy Trivedy, Resident Coordinator, Timor-Leste