Supporting the United Nations Development System´s Regional Reform Roll-Out

“COVID-19 had a unifying force at the regional level. It renewed faith in the United Nations Development System’s (UNDS) ability to work together to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 2030 Agenda going forward. With the political will and momentum in place, the time is ripe to leverage the new regional structure to embed collaboration in the UNDS’s organizational DNA”. 

Javier Surasky

September 3, 2021

If the UNDS embeds in its Regional Collaborative Platforms (RCPs) and Issue-Based Coalitions (IBCs) a collaborative operating model centered on the SDGs and 2030 Agenda, the best of the Regional Economic Commissions (RECs) and Agencies Fund and Programs (AFPs) will be manifested on the ground to deliver bolder, long lasting and large scale impact solutions. 

This work by Cepei, with the support of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, addresses the current challenges faced by UN Development System entities in evolving towards a forward-looking collaborative framework, for which strong leadership will be essential. 

Main findings

The UN system should apply the learnings from COVID-19 to inform the regional reform implementation going forward. COVID-19 forced all regional activities toward one goal. Now, the RCPs should embed this directionality and focus using the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda as the anchoring purpose.

The UNDS should channel its diverse expertise, experts, capacities, and resources into shared products aligned with the SDGs and 2030 Agenda. The regions have started to design proactive, constructive, action-oriented Issue-Based Coalitions (IBC).

The UNDS’s leadership has shown its commitment to the process. Beyond any doubt, the UN system, as a whole needs, to transform and not just reform. And for this to happen all entities need to take a hard look at themselves, and be willing to change.

About the author

Javier Surasky

Ph.D. in International Relations (La Plata National University, Argentina) Master in International Development Cooperation and Humanitarian Action (International University of Andalucia). He has taught international cooperation courses at different postgraduate careers in Latin America and European universities.