UNDP and the UN System
The UN Family in Egypt
UNDP has actively sought to develop partnerships with other members of the UN Family in Egypt. UN co-ordination has been strengthened and the UN Country Team has been involved in a number of joint inter-agency exercises such as the production of the Common Country Assessment and the UN Development Assistance Framework. In one example of UN collaboration, UNDP has teamed up with UNICEF, UNESCO, UNFPA, ILO, UNIFEM and the World Bank to support a national Programme on Girls Education. This work has been done with the National Council for Women (NCW) and the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood (NCCM). In addition UNDP is working with the UN Country Team and national institutions to put in place a system to monitor progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals at the country level.
With regard to decision-making within the UNDP Egypt Country Office, the Resident Representative is officially accredited to the country and represents the highest level of accountability of the UNDP in Egypt. The Resident Representative delegates authority to various levels of management such as the Country Director and Deputy Country Director. Decisions in the office are made by various bodies in UNDP, including the Middle Management Group for setting the direction of the UNDP programme priorities, and the Programme and Operations Teams focusing respectively on project management and financial and human resources.
Development Partners Group
A Donor Assistance Group (DAG) for Egypt was launched in the late 1990s as an initiative of the then UN Resident Coordinator to provide bilateral and multilateral donor agencies with a forum for policy dialogue and to exchange information. In 2009, the DAG was renamed the “Development Partners Group” (DPG) to reflect the shift from the concept of ‘aid’ to that of ‘partnership’, according to the principles of the 2005 Paris Declaration on Aid Harmonization and Effectiveness and 2008 Accra Agenda for Action (AAA).
The Development Partners Group is currently composed of 23 bilateral partners and 17 multilateral organizations. In 2009, the DPG was opened up to include members of the G-20 not previously represented in the DPG (Argentina, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, and Turkey), some of which participate in the DPG. Since 2010, when the DPG agreed to open participation to a limited number of international foundations and research institutions, the Ford Foundation and the Population Council became members of the DPG. During 2010 and 2011 the Ministry of International Cooperation participated in several DPG meetings, especially in the framework of discussions on the Cairo Agenda for Action on Aid Effectiveness.
The UN Coordination Office in Cairo has traditionally provided the DPG with a Secretariat to support all DPG-related activities. In recent years, financial contributions from DPG member organizations (e.g., Netherlands, Germany and Spain) have allowed the DPG Secretariat to perform its functions. In 2011 significant contributions were secured from the EU Delegation, USAID and Germany, allowing the DPG Secretariat to continue to provide efficient support during 2012.
Up to the present, the DPG has been chaired and co-chaired by representatives of one bilateral and one multilateral organization, selected by the members of the DPG plenary. Since 2009, the UN Resident Coordinator, Mr. James W. Rawley, and the First Counselor for Economic Cooperation at the German Embassy, Mr. Hans Hammann (since September 2010), have been selected by DPG members to chair and co-chair the DPG, respectively. In 2012 the DPG should decide upon having a new chair and co-chair for the group. The idea of having the UN Resident Coordinator as a permanent Chairman for the group might be explored due to the perception amongst most DPG members of the neutral convening role that the UN Resident Coordinator represents.
In addition to monthly and ad-hoc plenary meetings the following ten theme groups complement the DPG plenary group: 1. Health and Population; 2. Gender and Development; 3. Natural Renewable Resources; 4. Human Resource Development and Education; 5. Democratic Governance (it has also a plenary and 4 sub-group: Anti-Corruption and Transparency; Policy Dialogue and Institutional Reform; Support to democratic processes (elections, political parties and civic awareness), and; media); 6. Environment and Energy; 7. Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises; 8. Information and Communications Technology (ICT) 9. Transport, and; 10. Macroeconomics and Public Finance Management. An ad hoc DPG Theme Group, which might evolve into a more structured and permanent group, to coordinate DPG efforts on the Government’s Social Housing project, was established in 2011.
One of the main functions of the theme groups is to regularly discuss progress and challenges in the specific area with line ministry representatives. Theme groups are requested to prepare a simple annual work that identifies its key deliverable(s) for the coming year, and then to report back to the Plenary on progress by using the same template and also by presenting at plenary sessions.
Since the aid effectiveness movement picked up steam with the 2005 Paris Declaration, the DAG (and now the DPG) mandates began to embrace aid effectiveness, including better coordination of policy and programme activities among partners in development and, more recently, through the establishment of a mutual accountability system with the Government of Egypt.
The DPG is also following-up on the recommendations highlighted by the 2008 Accra Third High-Level Forum, taking into account the specific development situation in Egypt. In this regard, the DPG Chair led the drafting of the “Cairo Agenda for Action on Aid Effectiveness” in mid-2009 in consultation with the DPG and the Ministry of International Cooperation. During 2012 particular attention will be given to the recommendations derived from the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (HLF-4) that took place from 29 November to 1 December 2011 in Busan, Korea, concluding the OECD/DAC-led process on aid effectiveness launched by the Rome (2003) and Paris (2005) declarations, and followed by the Accra Agenda for Action (2008).
The Paris Declaration Monitoring Survey (PDMS) was rolled out in the first trimester of 2011, taking stock of progress made through 2010. With the participation of Egypt’s Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation (MoPIC), and in liaison with the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the DPG has taken stock of progress on the aid harmonization agenda by participating in the 2006, 2008 and 2011 Paris Declaration Monitoring Surveys (PDMS). Further analysis of the results of the PDMS for Egypt will be conducted in 2012 with the objective of outlining concrete steps towards improved development effectiveness in Egypt. This is in line with the Busan declaration in which it was agreed that “at the level of individual developing countries, [countries would] agree on frameworks based on national needs and priorities for monitoring progress and promoting mutual accountability in our efforts to improve the effectiveness of our co-operation and, in turn, development results. Developing countries will lead in the elaboration of such frameworks which, together with any indicators and targets agreed, will respond to their specific needs and will be grounded in their aid and development policies. The results of these exercises will be made public”.
The Private Sector
Apart from the success of our partnership with the Government, the UNDP Country Office in Egypt has managed to forge close links with the private sector. We plan to further reinforce this partnership with the business community especially in the IT sector (the recently established ICT Trust Fund will be instrumental to this effect) and environmental programmes. In addition UNDP intends to establish a new partnership with research institutes to set-up an Internet portal on the economic empowerment of women, which will be linked to the website of the National Council for Women (NCW).