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Report of the UNSDG Chair
on the Development Coordination Office


Why stronger coordination works


Why stronger coordination works

1 January 2019 marked a landmark moment for the UN development system and its commitment to deliver on the promise of the 2030 Agenda. We switched on the lights of a new Resident Coordinator system and a new era of development coordination.

Why coordination matters:

  • Significantly upgrades the impact of the UN development system by enabling delivery of results at scale
  • Reduces duplication, including through greater visibility over UN assets and capacities
  • Reduces the burden on national governments of multiple UN entities seeking to assist them
  • Reduces the burden on donors, by offering a more coherent funding space
  • Increases efficiencies by reducing overlaps, resources spent on them and separate admin processes
Development coordination is more important than ever in the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic, to galvanize the whole of UN, government and society approach required to respond to the immediate and long-term socio-economic impacts of the crisis.

2019 was a take-off year. Early results are promising.

  • 87% of the investments in increased coordination go to the Resident Coordinator system at the country level
  • National governments and the UN development system reap the benefits from strengthened coordination
  • 95%

    95% of Resident Coordinator Offices report a stronger relationship between governments and UNCTs

  • 50%

    Over half programme country governments state that Resident Coordinators have made UN activities more coherent and helped reduce duplication

  • 75%

    75% of Resident Coordinators state there is greater access to UN development system expertise to address specific national needs, priorities and challenges

  • 100%

    All Resident Coordinator Offices report that UN Country Teams have changed activities in response to reforms, particularly through improved joint planning and joint programme implementation

Partner governments report increased capacity of the Resident Coordinators to coordinate UN activities in support of countries' development priorities


2/3 of programme country governments noted that Resident Coordinators have shown increased capacity to coordinate support for national development priorities over the course of 2019.

Change in the ability of UNFPA Country Offices to:


A UNFPA survey of all its 112 country offices revealed more opportunities to work jointly, deliver on entity-specific mandates and grant UNFPA more access to governments and partnerships, due to the Resident Coordinators’ enhanced role for the entire UN Country Team.

Key Pillars: The measures of success

The Resident Coordinator system is at the centre of the United Nations development system on the ground and its transformation to better deliver on the ambition of the 2030 Agenda.

The reinvigorated Resident Coordinator system embodies the vision of the General Assembly for a dedicated, independent, impartial and empowered development coordination function.

This change is fundamental as we start the Decade of Action, and even more so in light of the COVID-19 crisis. The Resident Coordinator system is critical in raising ambition and mobilizing all actors to protect development gains, coordinate the multi-agency and multi-sectoral response to face the immediate and long-term effects of the pandemic on the ground, accelerate action and achieve the SDGs by 2030.

Success will be measured by: