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Improving cooperation, coordination and policy coherence

The Financing for Development outcomes recognize that institutional silos should be broken down to promote cross-fertilization of ideas and more effective coordination of actions at both the national and international levels. They stress the importance of enhancing coherence, governance and consistency of the international monetary, financial and trading systems, and; the need to expand the coherence agenda to take into account economic, social and environmental challenges.

Monitoring policy coherence is important in three areas: across domestic policies, across international agreements and institutions, and between international agreements and domestic policies.

Coherence in the work of the Inter-agency Task Force on Financing for Development and the Forum on FfD Follow-up

The very nature of the Inter-agency Task Force on Financing for Development can serve to further increase collaboration between international institutions. Task Force members have asked for the Task Force to serve as a platform for greater inter-agency cooperation in many areas. The Task Force provides space for international organisations to coordinate work on work streams related to the Addis Agenda, and to explore policy options for Member States.

In 2016 the Task Force held meetings on a number of workstreams, including measures of official support for sustainable development, illicit financial flows, financing social protection floors, and public-private partnerships (PPPs). Each meeting involved at least 10 Task Force member agencies, as well as input from external experts from academia, civil society and the private sector. The summaries from the meetings are being used as input for the Task Force’s report.

In addition, the inaugural ECOSOC Forum on Financing for Development Follow-up, held from 18 to 20 April 2016, brought together a large number of high-level participants, including 17 ministers and vice-ministers, as well as many high-level government officials in the areas of finance, foreign affairs and development cooperation.

Policy coherence of international financial institutions

The run-up to Third International Conference on Financing for the Development and the Sustainable Development Summit in 2015 witnessed unprecedented collaboration among multilateral and regional development banks, the IMF, and the United Nations.

In Addis Ababa in July 2015, seven international financial institutions issued a joint commitment to provide financial support of more than $400 billion dollars in the subsequent three years. A subsequent joint statement from them welcomed the adoption of the 2030 Agenda. In a follow-up statement from October 2016, the seven institutions were joined by four other development banks to announce that they were stepping up efforts for implementation within their respective mandates and governance structures.

The World Bank and the IMF outlined their plans for supporting the 2030 Agenda at their annual meetings in 2015, which were welcomed by a ministerial communiqué. In 2016 the World Bank also prepared a Forward Look – A Vision for the World Bank Group in 2030.

A number of the regional development banks are also adapting their work. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is preparing a new strategy which will include information on how the ADB aligns with the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement on climate change. The African Development Bank has created the High 5s Agenda to respond to the 2030 Agenda. The Inter-American Development Bank has updated its Corporate Results Framework (CRF) to identify the most closely aligned SDGs, as well as its guidelines for preparing country strategies. The European Investment Bank (EIB) tracks the impact on the economy of the projects it supports by a set of Monitoring Indicators which enable the EIB to demonstrate its contribution to the SDGs.

Further information on efforts of MDBs to boost their balance sheets can be found in the section on Multilateral development banks. All of the MDBs are also participating in the new Global Infrastructure Forum, which aims to ensure policy coherence in the area of infrastructure finance (more information on infrastructure finance is available in the cross-cutting issues section).

Policy coherence at regional and national level

Coherence at the national level may be in part monitored through the indicator 17.14.1 number of countries with mechanisms in place to enhance policy coherence of sustainable development. National voluntary reviews being conducted annually at the High Level Political Forum are also important for promoting national coherence. At the 2016 HLPF 22 countries presented such national voluntary reviews, while 44 countries are scheduled to present in 2017.

The Financing for Development outcomes also emphasise the need for policy coherence and the important role of the United Nations’ regional commissions.

The Economic and Social Commission for the Asia Pacific (ESCAP) has made improving cooperation, coordination and policy coherence in financing for development issues a priority in recent efforts to support its Member States. In March 2016, ESCAP organized the First High-level Follow-up Dialogue on Financing for Development in Asia and the Pacific in the Republic of Korea, in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea. The next High-level Dialogue on Financing for Development in Asia and the Pacific is planned for April 2017.

Policy coherence at the United Nations

The Addis Agenda and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development underlined “the important role and comparative advantage of an adequately resourced, relevant, coherent, efficient and effective United Nations system in its support to achieve the sustainable development goals and sustainable development.”  It also calls for strengthened “national ownership and leadership over the operational activities for development of the United Nations system” in developing countries as well as “improved coordination and results, including through further progress on the “Delivering as one” approach.

The Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review (QCPR) of the General Assembly is the tool for guiding, assessing and monitoring system-wide policy coherence, including financing within the UN development system. On 21 December 2016, the General Assembly adopted a QCPR resolution beginning the next four-year QCPR cycle, which lays the foundations for making the UN Development System fit to support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The 2016 QCPR requests the Secretary-General to present his vision on pivotal issues, including carrying-out a system-wide analysis of the present functions and existing capacities of all UN development system entities, and a system-wide strategic document to improve collective support for implementation of the 2030 Agenda. This document is mandated to include options for better aligning funding modalities with the functions of the UN development system, including by incentivizing the system to work together as a whole.

The past 50 years show a positive trend in the quantity of funding provided for UN operational activities for development (UN-OAD), both in absolute volume and as a share of Official Development Assistance (ODA). Until the early 1990s, the vast majority of funding for UN-OAD was in the form of core/non-earmarked funding.  Since 2000, the growth in funding has been attributed to the increase in non-core/earmarked funding. During this time, the UN has ramped up the Delivering as One approach which delivers country teams with one budget, one programme and one office through which the entire UN system can work. The number of United Nations country teams (UNCTs) implementing the voluntary Delivering as One approach increased from 43 in 2014 to 55 in 2016, representing over one third of the total number of UNCTs.