Director-General  QU Dongyu

Director-General briefs on reporting lines of proposed new structure, aimed to make FAO more flexible and efficient


26 June 2020, Rome - Director-General QU Dongyu briefed today permanent representatives of FAO member countries on the new reporting lines that go with his proposed changes to the organizational structure, aimed at creating an FAO that is fit-for-purpose, flexible, responsive, innovative and results-oriented.

“To improve the Organization’s efficiency and effectiveness, while avoiding silos and establishing transparency and accountability at the optimal levels, we propose a number of structural and programmatic adjustments,” Qu said.

A key element of the proposed reforms is the creation of a management structure that groups a core leadership team at the centre of the Organization. The team will consist of three Deputy Directors-General, the Chief Economist, the Chief Scientist and the Director of Cabinet, who will support the Director-General in all areas of FAO’s mandate. The new structure also aims at strengthening the accountability of the heads of Offices, Centres and Divisions, who will report directly to the core leadership as experts in their respective areas.

The Director-General said his proposal moves away from a traditional pyramid or matrix structure and embraces a flatter modular approach.

“A more modular and flexible Organigramme will allow for optimal cross-sectoral collaboration and enable adjustments to managerial assignments and reporting lines to respond to emerging needs and priorities,” Qu said, adding that the new structure will be “the cornerstone for an agile FAO.”

The proposed reforms would come into effect once approved by the Council at its next session on 6 – 10 July. Composed of 49 member countries, the Council is the executive organ of the FAO Conference – the organization’s highest decision-making body which meets every two years.

“The driving force behind these adjustments continues to be my vision of attaining zero hunger and improving the livelihoods of people through better production, better nutrition and a better environment for a better life, and the Sustainable Development Goals,” the Director-General stressed.

The proposed reforms were first presented to permanent representatives in a briefing in early June. They were further discussed during recent meetings of the FAO’s Programme and Finance Committees.