Strategies to Address Cross-organizational Issues
This second version of the revamped Medium Term Plan (MTP) further articulates responses to the six Strategies to Address Cross-organizational Issues outlined in the Strategic Framework 2000-2015:
- partnerships and alliances;
- to improve the management process;
- resources for FAO and its Members; and
- FAO's messages.
In their formulation, the same six-year perspective was adopted as for the substantive programmes and activities described in Part II. However, the nature of these strategies implies that these responses unavoidably tend to have a more immediate focus (next two to three years). The proposed actions or administrative measures outlined below, need to reflect the updated context (especially technological advances) and progress made in the intervening two-year period since the Medium Term Plan 2002-07 was formulated. In response to concerns expressed about an apparent cursory treatment of these essential strategies in the previous Medium Term Plan, this Part has been substantially expanded and due attention given to concreteness and improved coherence of proposed actions. As was also requested, the links to the appropriate sections of the Programme of Work and Budget (PWB) have been made more explicit.
It is worth reiterating that these strategies are mutually supportive, while they may involve some overlapping concerns (a clear example is human resources development which permeates many proposed actions). They also link up to planned work, as presented in Part II and efforts were made to illustrate these links, whenever pertinent. Their implementation cannot, therefore, be conceived in terms of conveniently "compartmentalised" domains, whereby "trade-offs" among them would be relatively straightforward to envisage.
In respect of resources, a large part of the proposed actions may be expected to be accommodated within the normal range of responsibilities and current budget allocations of the concerned units. Where this would clearly not be feasible, incremental resources requirements have been highlighted, which will have to be met in one way or another, including reliance on extra-budgetary support where possible.
Thrust of the Strategy
793. Excellence is achieved when the Organization is recognised to be successful in meeting the needs of its stakeholders in an exemplary manner. Excellence suggests prima facie high quality of technical results together with respect and leadership status among peers. It also implies that the Organization should make the best use of the creative talent of its staff and knowledge resources. Excellence clearly translates into heightened capacity to generate partnerships and to motivate others towards the achievement of the Organization's goals.
794. As FAO's most valuable asset, the quality of its staff and their effectiveness in achieving excellence depends on technical knowledge, institutional networks and enabling working conditions, processes and institutional culture. Practical dimensions for ensuring excellence in FAO would include:
- staff (complemented by other external human resources) at all levels and locations;
- active partnerships with external institutions, as well as team work within the Organization;
- internal institutional processes; and
- learning and innovation, i.e. the ability to learn from colleagues and external partners and to bring improvements in programme achievement and working processes.
795. In the context of the present Medium Term Plan 2004-09, an initial focus is envisaged on two aspects: staff and other human resources, and organizational learning and innovation. Partnerships are addressed more fully under the complementary strategy for Broadening partnerships and alliances, whereas internal institutional processes are covered by the strategy on Continuing to improve the management process.
796. The objectives are to enable staff:
- to share a coherent, concrete and inclusive vision of excellence;
- to improve their competence and motivation;
- to take a greater share of responsibility and credit for excellence in their own work; and
- to learn more effectively from experience through formal and informal processes.
Staff and Other Human Resources
797. The traditional view of "excellent staff" in terms of technical specialisation is no longer adequate in the context of rapidly changing technology and emerging issues. Ensuring excellence requires that, in addition to technical competence, the staff should be able to effectively mobilise their talents and competency in teams and partnerships. They require skills in communication, information and knowledge management, as well as team work and leadership for working in a multi-stakeholder and inter-disciplinary environment.
798. Such necessary skills must be acquired through both external recruitment and internal development. Further, there will be need for more flexible means of staff employment, so that the expertise mix of the Organization can be adjusted to meet emerging new requirements.
799. This component of the strategy would comprise:
- the need to attract and recruit excellent staff, through:
- a challenging work environment, including job content, sound leadership and supervision, and career development opportunities;
- seeking out talented staff proactively in all regions of the world;
- improving staff selection, through selection criteria that are better aligned with work requirements, training of managers in selection and interview techniques, and means for pre-testing potential candidates in work situations;
- greater flexibility in contractual arrangements, particularly in terms of duration;
- the need to retain and develop excellent staff through:
- effective career development plans;
- enhancing staff development planning;
- work planning for results and outcomes, linking to an effective staff performance management system with both incentives and sanctions;
- a stimulating working environment, with opportunities for staff to share professional interests through internal seminars and with external experts, to publish in professional journals and to participate in professional and scientific conferences and meetings;
- opportunities for staff rotation between departments and services and between Headquarters and the field;
- applying greater flexibility in working arrangements, including part-time arrangements and tele-working; and
- the need to complement staff resources with selective use of external expertise, through:
- advice from external experts on state-of-the-art knowledge and skills pertinent to FAO's work;
- cost-effective use of partnerships programmes, including young professionals and visiting scientists;
- access to high-quality consultants, supported by active professional contacts, competitive arrangements for engaging them, and systematic management of rosters of consultants and other external collaborators.
800. Organizational and resource implications: the development of policies, action programmes and related procedures will be led by the Human Resources Management Division (AFH), in close consultation with all FAO units. The strategy has resource implications in terms of the support required to be provided by AFH under Chapter 5 of the budget for centrally coordinated staff training and career development measures. An amount of US$ 1.6 million has been set aside for such measures, as well as for similar needs under Organizational Learning and Innovation below, and also under Enhancing inter-disciplinarity, etc.
Organizational Learning and Innovation
801. A pre-requisite to organizational learning is an institution which is focused on knowledge acquisition and commitment to do well. Innovation can be viewed as corollary to learning. Successful innovation leads to practical initiatives for improvement and bring dynamic and creative approaches to the work of each staff member. Both learning and innovation require an enabling institutional environment or culture, characterised by openness to new ideas and with minimal constraints from rigid procedures and lengthy processes. At the same time, it must be recognised that innovation is inherently risky, and that institutions must also be ready to accept some failures and deal with them constructively.
802. This component of the strategy covers:
- promoting a management culture that values learning and innovation, rewarding staff initiatives with incentives and opportunities for further development;
- expanding tools and opportunities for practical learning and innovation in the work processes, e.g.:
- positive performance appraisal, where supervisor and staff member focus on achieving key results, including at least one innovation made and used by the staff member in each reporting period; all worthwhile innovation would be documented and published for wider dissemination, as appropriate;
- learning for diagnosis and adaptive management, whereby monitoring and evaluation reports on programme entities and field projects, including those produced from auto-evaluation, document lessons that could be applied to other entities and projects; such lessons should be discussed and disseminated among staff to encourage cross-organizational and inter-disciplinary thinking;
- sharing of different perspectives and concerns among units and among staff with different roles and expertise, including team work between professional and general service staff;
- working with external partners to get feedback on the quality of FAO's response to their concerns; and
- strengthening of lesson learning through formal evaluation and review processes, including:
- introduction of the auto-evaluation system at all levels;
- dissemination of lessons from evaluations through workshops and seminars aimed at formulating practical innovation for improvement;
- systematic feedback on lessons from evaluation to programme planning and field project formulation by identifying and applying lessons learned.
803. Organizational and resource implications: the above actions will involve the entire Organization, including all levels of management. The Administration and Finance Department (AF) and the Office of Programme, Budget and Evaluation (PBE) have important lead roles in close cooperation with individual units, e.g. in the development and implementation of the auto-evaluation system and in reinforcing evaluation feedback and learning. Resource implications will be mostly in terms of staff time and adjustments in internal working practices, with some additional resources needed for strengthening staff development and the monitoring and evaluation processes and are covered in the amount mentioned above Staff and Other Human Resources.
Thrust of the Strategy
804. When considering the whole gamut of FAO's substantive work, "inter-disciplinarity" applies to instances where several technical "disciplines" of the food and agriculture sector lato sensu need to be brought to bear on the solution of recognised problems and the implementation of approved Programme of Work activities or field projects. In organizational terms, it requires cooperation across departments or offices, through a variety of mechanisms and arrangements. This cooperation could range from simple information exchange and mutual awareness, to joint commitments to implement truly inter-disciplinary outputs. It may be noted that trust fund donors are increasingly supporting inter-disciplinary projects of a primarily normative nature, in their desire to establish strategic partnerships with FAO over the medium term.
805. The Priority Areas for Inter-disciplinary Action (PAIAs), which were identified in the MTP 2002-07 and are being actively pursued in the period 2004-09, are the most evident expression of "inter-disciplinarity". However, the strategy is not restricted to PAIAs alone and will address other pertinent aspects in the application or enhancement of inter-disciplinarity. Therefore, its thrust has been further refined as follows:
- to continuously and successfully implement PAIAs and other inter-disciplinary actions, including needed enhancements of supporting systems, as well as ensuring that the related work has a higher profile in the information dissemination tools of the Organization;
- to exploit fully the potential of inter-departmental committees in fostering inter-disciplinary thinking and action - beyond the various inter-departmental groups supporting PAIAs;
- to pursue effective arrangements for inter-disciplinary thinking and inputs to various forms of FAO's direct assistance at inter-regional, regional and country levels (investment formulation, policy assistance and field operations);
- to foster related organizational learning and build on feedback from evaluation, where the enhanced FAO's evaluation regime is addressing inter-disciplinary objectives; and
- to implement human resources development and management policies which enable and support inter-disciplinary work.
Implementation of Inter-disciplinary Actions
806. While the scope and objectives of PAIAs are covered in Part I of the present document, a number of practical measures will be actively pursued to facilitate joint activities and the implementation of inter-disciplinary actions, including:
- enhanced leadership, besides due attention to the requisite qualities in selecting chairpersons and secretaries, through: arrangements for "rotation", customised skills development in areas such as team-building, assistance by "facilitators", identification of appropriate indicators of success and greater accountability for results;
- effective goal setting, work-planning and periodic monitoring of achievements, including recognition of exceptional personal contributions to inter-disciplinary work;
- adequate budgetary support by all concerned units, including the dedication of sufficient staff time to implement agreed objectives and planned activities under PAIAs;
- due involvement of decentralized staff through, for instance, customised electronic mailing lists to keep them informed and secure their participation, where warranted;
- systematic linkages of PAIAs with other inter-disciplinary initiatives in normative and field activities; and
- although to be considered as a solution of last resort, and not a substitute for committing sufficient resources from budgetary allotments, the programming in the PWB of central catalytic funds to support the corporate outputs of PAIAs.
807. Resource implications: resource requirements have been built into the proposals under substantive programmes, including for central catalytic support.
Role of Inter-departmental Committees
808. Besides the substantial machinery set up in relation to PAIAs, it is important to stress the role of key inter-departmental committees established and recently revamped by FAO senior management, which make essential contributions to fostering inter-disciplinary thinking. The most relevant are:
- the Field Programme Committee, which will in particular continue to oversee key instruments for the delivery of direct assistance to countries, regional or inter-regional groupings, ensuring coordinated action by the various organizational layers (see below);
- the Programme and Project Review Committee, which will ensure an inter-disciplinary review of all programmes and projects of an operational nature funded by all sources, with a view to fostering close interaction and maximising synergy between the Organization's normative and operational activities, as well as adherence to other essential criteria;
- the Committee on WAICENT117, which oversees consolidation of an array of "sectoral" information and data assembly and dissemination activities into a coherent whole and works in close complementarity with the Information Management and Technology Committee will ensure that due visibility is given to the work carried out under PAIAs; this will entail full exploitation of the information and databases eventually generated under the PAIAs through appropriate "windows" to the outside world as parts of FAO's Internet Web site (building on recent successful examples); and
- the Corporate Communication Committee, particularly as it fosters a "corporate" approach - thus avoiding fragmented or even dissonant initiatives - in formulating FAO's key messages on a variety of issues of topical interest to international public opinion, increasingly transcending traditional "sectoral" boundaries (cf. strategy on Communicating FAO's messages).
809. Organizational and resource implications: no additional resource implications on account of this part of the strategy, as the above committees are well established and their servicing is built into the mandates of the directly responsible departments.
Inter-disciplinarity at Inter-regional, Regional and Country Levels
810. In the same way that the nature of the problem and the desired outcome dictate whether FAOs' Regular Programme activities require a primarily "mono-disciplinary" vs. a multi-disciplinary approach, similar considerations apply to the direct technical services which FAO provides to its Members, either on an individual country basis, or as parts of regional or inter-regional groups. These are, of course, dependent on specific national/regional contexts and requests. This is particularly pertinent to:
- investment project formulation (through cooperation with partner financial institutions), with FAO's Investment Centre relying on teams of staff members and consultants composed of the necessary mix of technical expertise, depending on the problem to be addressed;
- policy assistance where, according to the nature of the request, TCA118 and its outposted teams in Regional and Sub-regional Offices, provide for the needed inter-disciplinary inputs;
- participation in, and support to national programming exercises (in particular, under the auspices of UN system partners); in this, the FAOR will be the first port of call to facilitate inter-disciplinary inputs from the pertinent technical layers of the Organization. FAO's involvement in these exercises is further facilitated by the preparation and regular updating of national and regional strategies and by its system of country focus (e.g. through country task forces) assembling staff in Regional Offices as required;
- field projects (national, regional or inter-regional) now largely operated by country and Regional Offices, as well as by Headquarters technical divisions; inter-disciplinary projects are benefiting from inputs via Virtual Project Task Forces, whose membership is determined precisely by the related project's technical and operational requirements;
- proactive encouragement by FAO in its advice to Members for the use of inter-disciplinary approaches at the national level (e.g. between government departments) where appropriate; and
- due emphasis on inter-disciplinarity in ongoing staff training programmes in project design, implementation and evaluation.
811. Organizational and resource implications: the above should be seen as a reflection of the mandates of many units, particularly within the Technical Cooperation Department (TC), e.g. work on country focus is a significant feature of proposals under Major Programme 3.1, Policy Assistance. The actions should not per se require additional resources.
Organizational Learning and Feedback from Evaluation
812. In an increasingly competitive and rapidly changing environment, it is essential for the Organization to learn from past experience, consciously adapting or discarding approaches which have been unsuccessful, while building on those which have worked well. It is also worth stressing that in line with the enhanced evaluation regime currently being introduced, future evaluations will increasingly address the inter-disciplinary strategic objectives endorsed by the Conference, including the Priority Areas for Inter-disciplinary Action. This will need to take place both in auto-evaluations carried out by the concerned managers themselves, and in independent evaluations by sources external to the concerned units.
813. The design of evaluation activities will be adjusted accordingly, taking account of the diffuse nature of responsibilities and resources attached to PAIAs and corporate strategic objectives, and the greater conceptual difficulties in identifying appropriate indicators of success and impact for inter-disciplinary work.
814. Effective feedback will also be more challenging, requiring for instance specially designed seminars, in addition to the traditional posting of the results of evaluations on FAO's Web site, for access by staff and partners at large.
815. Organizational and resource implications: under the leadership of PBE, with support from AFH, the above should not prima facie require resources additional to existing levels.
Human Resources Development and Management
816. Managing work-programmes and projects across disciplinary lines requires specific competencies and abilities, which need to be carefully nurtured among staff throughout their career in FAO. The identification of such skills (team-building, negotiation and conflict resolution, incorporation of pertinent aspects in project design and planning, etc.) and the provision of related training to develop them, will be a key part of the overall FAO's human resources development strategies and programmes. The latter programmes also form a key part of other cross organizational strategies such as Ensuring excellence and Continuing to improve the management process.
817. Another key issue in the realm of human resources management is ensuring "recognition" of inputs to inter-disciplinary work, as due credit to staff who provide such inputs tends to be overlooked in a system of performance appraisal primarily vested in "line managers".
818. This part of the strategy will, therefore, need to involve:
- tailored programmes of skill development, in particular about managing teams with different technical interests and backgrounds, not necessarily limited to staff directly involved in PAIAs;
- adapted work-planning and performance assessment processes, with encouragement to line managers to take account of effective contributions of staff under their supervision to activities outside the formal control of concerned divisions or offices, and possibly special career incentives for staff involved in inter-disciplinary work; and
- attention to dissemination of "good practice" as relates to inter-disciplinary work, thereby buttressing the above higher "recognition" efforts.
819. Organizational and resource implications: additional resources would be needed under individual units' staff training provisions in order to expand the above tailored training activities, with the average staff development budget levels rising to 1.5 percent of staff costs versus the current level of 1.25 percent of staff costs. The incremental financial impact of this is estimated at US$ 1.2 million per biennium.
BROADENING PARTNERSHIPS AND ALLIANCES
Thrust of the Strategy
820. The strategy has been slightly expanded, so that its main thrust is:
- to ensure continued fruitful cooperation with UN system partners and other inter-governmental organizations;
- to further expand dialogue and strengthen cooperation with Non-governmental (NGOs) and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), in follow-up to the World Food Summit: five years later, working towards common food security and agricultural development goals;
- to pursue dialogue and develop strategic partnerships with the private sector in potential areas of mutual interest, also facilitating its involvement in the agriculture, forestry and fisheries sectors of developing countries; and
- to develop new forms of cooperation in support of rural development, through partnerships with decentralized (sub-national and local) entities.
Actions for Continued Partnership with UN System Agencies
and other Inter-governmental Organizations
Strengthening UN system partnerships
821. The perceived need for more integrated multi-sectoral support, in addressing complex challenges faced by Members, will continue to drive partnerships and alliances with other UN system organizations. FAO's participation in inter-agency mechanisms has been further strengthened since it became a member of the United Nations Development Group (UNDG) in 2001. Stronger collaboration within the UN system will result in greater unity of purpose, coherence in programming and action at country level, drawing on the comparative advantages of the different agencies. A shared goal is also the achievement of greater cost-effectiveness. Action will be pursued both at global and national levels, as illustrated below.
822. FAO will continue to participate in the United Nations System Chief Executives Board (CEB)119, which groups Executive Heads of the UN system (Major Programme 1.3, External Coordination and Liaison).
823. Component actions are foreseen as follows:
- formulation of common policy objectives for the UN system and effective responses, e.g. in the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals; this will be accompanied by coherent approaches to monitoring, costing and mobilisation of resources for the various goals, as well as the identification of cross-cutting linkages pertinent to investment and technical assistance (entity 220P1, World Food Summit and Millennium Development Goals Monitoring and Action);
- formulation of system-wide policy documents which would identify:
- the required multi-sectoral, inter-agency activities to address complex challenges (e.g. food safety, conflict prevention, global public goods);
- cost-effective inter-agency mechanisms of an ad hoc, time-bound, task-oriented and demand-driven nature, to be led by the competent agency; this is often preferable to standing mechanisms with heavy meeting and reporting requirements;
- concrete, supportive inter-agency activities with due emphasis on outcomes and outputs;
- FAO's active participation in both global coordination mechanisms (UNDG) and in the facilitation of common approaches to country-level programming mechanisms;
- joint activities to heighten international awareness of the importance of hunger reduction, agricultural and rural development to the overarching goal of poverty alleviation (programme entity 224P2, Agriculture, Poverty Alleviation, Rural Development and Food Security: Analysis of Linkages);
- participation in other inter-agency consultative mechanisms, e.g. IASC120, ECHA121 and related subsidiary machinery, for instance to seek coordinated approaches to treatment and prevention of diseases including HIV/AIDS (programme entity 252A4, Analysis and Mitigation of the Impact of HIV/AIDS on Food Security and Rural Development) and malaria; and
- cooperation with IFAD122 and WFP123 through coordinated country programming and projects, harnessing complementary capacities.
824. Supporting the work of other UN system organizations at country level, would require additional resources (human and financial) for the FAO Representations, and would encompass:
- policy and programme support in areas such as poverty reduction, sustainable agricultural and rural development (Programmes 3.1.1, 3.1.2 and 2.5.6);
- support to the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) and the achievements of the Millennium Development Goals at country level;
- inputs to the CCA124 and UNDAF125 exercises in order to adequately address agriculture and food security issues; most relevant programme entities are: 311P1, Coordination of Policy Assistance, 311P4, Coordination of Country Focus, and 312P1, Enhancement of Country Focus;
- participation in staff training programmes in connection with the CCA and UNDAF processes;
- enhancing preparedness and prevention capacity of countries for emergencies and FAO's participation in responses to humanitarian crises and in the transition from relief and rehabilitation to sustainable development (linking to the PAIA on Disaster Prevention, Mitigation and Preparedness and Post-Emergency Relief and Rehabilitation);
- ensuring coordinated and focused action by development partners through the UN System Network on Rural Development and Food Security managed by FAO and IFAD in close collaboration with WFP, which will continue to act as a follow-up mechanism for the World Food Summit Plan of Action (entity 253P1, Management and Support to the UN System Network on Rural Development and Food Security); and
- through the national thematic groups of the above UN System Network, initiating collective action and mobilising funds for rural development and food security activities; this will range from national food security strategies, through country nutrition profiles, participatory needs assessments and information systems, to the design and implementation of rural development programmes (entity 253P1).
Enhancing partnerships with International Financial Institutions (IFIs)
825. Both on an individual basis and as part of inter-agency consultative mechanisms, FAO will seek to strengthen partnerships with international financial institutions through:
- continuation, and where possible expansion, of joint programmes for investment generation in agriculture and broad-based rural development, and cooperation for post-emergency recovery and rehabilitation assistance;
- joint work to support domestic and external fund mobilisation at country level to meet the goals of the World Food Summit (entity 224A1, World Food Summit Monitoring and Follow-up) with special emphasis on collaboration with other Rome-based UN Organizations;
- due attention to reversing declining trends in investment in the rural sector, and mobilising non-traditional sources of funding to this key sector;
- associating international financial institution partners with the implementation of FAO's field programmes (e.g. Programme 2.5.6, Food Production in Support of Food Security in LIFDCs126); and
- cooperation with the Global Environment Facility (GEF) focusing on priority areas related to organic pollutants, biodiversity, sustainable land and water management and international waters.
Promoting other partnerships
826. FAO will also continue to cooperate with other organizations beyond the UN system and IFIs, covering a broad range of technical fields and geographical regions, and in terms of both normative and operational work. In particular, close links will continue with the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), its international centres and relevant inter-governmental organizations, e.g. through FAO's hosting of the Secretariats of the Science Council of the CGIAR and of the Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR) [entity 251P4, Secretariat of the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) of the CGIAR]. Cooperation with the CGIAR permeates a number of entities under Chapter 2 of the PWB.
827. The following may be highlighted:
- FAO's continuing support to regional and sub-regional research and technology development organizations (e.g. AARINENA127, APAARI128, FARA129);
- joint initiatives for information sharing and exchange mechanisms at national, regional and international levels, particularly in support of the Special Programme for Food Security (SPFS); and
- promotion of international harmonisation of biosafety policies and regulatory frameworks and associated intellectual property regimes.
828. Resource implications: requirements for the above actions are built into existing provisions of the concerned units.
Actions for Enhanced Cooperation with NGOs and CSOs
829. As underscored by the World Food Summit Plan of Action, the involvement of civil society organizations will be indispensable if the goal of halving the number of people who suffer from food insecurity is to be attained by the year 2015.
830. The actions envisaged below are based on FAO Policy and Strategy for Cooperation with Non-governmental and Other Civil Society Organizations (December 1999). Their expected impact will be at national, sub-regional, regional and global levels, in particular in the context of the World Food Summit: five years later follow-up.
Information exchange and joint information activities
- an interactive and regularly updated NGO and CSO Web site; created in 2000, the Web site provides an effective tool for communication with civil society actors seeking information about, and dialogue with FAO; links will be made with other parts of the FAO's Web site targeting civil society organizations (e.g. DIMITRA130 and the UN System Network on Rural Development and Food Security) and to NGO and CSO Web sites which contain information of value to FAO's technical programmes;
- a corporate NGO and CSO database, in the context of the Field Programme Management Information System (FPMIS), as an increasingly effective means for monitoring and reporting on NGO and CSO cooperation with FAO;
- databases and information networks at national level, covering both national and local NGOs and CSOs most relevant to FAO's mandate and activities. Pertinent information will be linked to the corporate database and maintained by FAO offices in selected countries. A target of 5-10 countries per region per year is envisaged with a view to covering all countries in all regions by 2009;
- Regional Office bulletins and/or Web sites directed to NGOs and CSOs;
- joint information campaigns with selected NGO and CSO networks, to be supported by TC in collaboration with GI (see strategy on Communicating FAO's messages);
- assessments of FAO's information products, based on successful recent experience with selected NGOs and CSOs, to ascertain extent of attention to gender balance and sensitivity; this could be extended to other dimensions and to Regional Offices' information materials; and
- development of an information disclosure policy as regards cooperation with NGOs and CSOs.
NGO and CSO participation in policy dialogue
- strengthened participation, at national and sub-regional levels, by building on FAO's experience of facilitating NGO and CSO participation in agricultural and food security policy-making, through:
- FAORs who will play an important role in this area, in view of their responsibility for country programmes;
- TCA which will also contribute in the context of policy advice to Members; the national thematic groups of the UN System Network on Rural Development and Food Security will seek due NGO and CSO participation in its country-level work and promote exchange of experience through its Web site;
- regional NGO and CSO consultations, based on recent experience, and to be held in conjunction with the FAO Regional Conferences throughout the Plan period;
- interaction between NGO and CSO networks and the Secretariats and Bureaux of FAO's technical committees and commissions, especially on the main technical issues to be discussed at each sessions; this could include their involvement in preparation of technical papers, information sharing, informal meetings outside sessions, and formal multi-stakeholder dialogues; and
- mechanisms to support interfacing with NGOs and CSOs, based on the positive experience with the International NGO and CSO Planning Committee for the World Food Summit: five years later and drawing on the outcome of the Summit and the parallel NGO Forum.
NGO and CSO cooperation in FAO's normative and operational activities
831. This is expected to take several forms as follows:
- ongoing collaboration between selected NGO and CSO networks and PAIAs, as the latter's inter-disciplinary, issue-oriented nature can attract interest of, and fruitful exchanges with NGOs and CSOs; for example, the Integrated Production Systems PAIA envisages active collaboration with NGOs and CSOs under programme entity 210A1; the PAIA on Local Institution Building to Improve Capacity for Achieving Sustainable Rural Livelihoods, specifically targets small farmer and rural producer organizations under entity 253A2;
- strengthened involvement of farmer organizations and NGOs in the implementation of the SPFS at national level, ensuring links to governments and donors for which civil society participation is an important concern;
- capacity building projects for NGOs and CSOs; FAO will further seek to formulate and secure funding for projects and programmes aimed at building capacity of organizations which assist and provide services to farmers, rural women, fisherfolk, agricultural workers and indigenous peoples;
- collaboration with NGOs and CSOs in the context of the TeleFood Special Fund Projects; e.g. as members of national TeleFood coordinating committees, as technical advisors to FAORs in the appraisal of project proposals, or as beneficiaries' representatives or partners in project implementation;
- involvement of NGOs and CSOs in FAO's field programme at national level, to be sought by FAORs in the context of their responsibility for field activities; and
- cooperation with NGOs and CSOs in resource mobilisation (see strategy on Leveraging resources for FAO and its Members).
Supportive mechanisms and activities
- an effective internal NGO and CSO Working Group, composed of representatives of all FAO's technical units and field offices, and serviced by TCDS131;
- improved procedures, based on the results of the Review of FAO's Procedures for Establishing Formal Relations with NGOs and for their Participation in Inter-governmental Meetings undertaken during 2002;
- incorporation of NGO and CSO concerns into FAO's briefing and training programmes; e.g. in the orientation programme for new staff, and in training courses on topics like programme design, management and evaluation; and
- updated guidelines on working with NGOs and CSOs at country level.
832. Organizational and resource implications: leadership for the above work will be ensured by TCDS. Some limited additional resource requirements may be foreseen for specific actions.
Actions for Enhanced Cooperation with the Private Sector
833. Collaboration with partners in the private sector aims at their increased participation in the sustainable development of agriculture, forestry and fishery sectors of developing countries either directly, or through FAO's programmes and initiatives. "Private sector" is taken to relate to all aspects of the agricultural system, from production to consumption; and to all sizes of enterprises, from the family farm to the global company, as well as related trade-oriented technological, financial and other service organizations.
Institutionalising FAO's cooperation with the private sector
834. Principles and Guidelines for FAO's Cooperation with the Private Sector were issued in 2000, covering both the general framework for such cooperation and practical aspects, including the use of the FAO logo, voluntary contributions to FAO, co-sponsorship, patronage and other forms of involvement in meetings and events. A sponsorship committee was also established to review the eligibility of companies interested in collaborating with FAO. Deepening of cooperation will be served by the following actions:
- periodic assessments of past experiences and systematic analysis of lessons learnt, in order to fine-tune strategies and modalities of cooperation with potential partners;
- a supportive information system on private sector partners, as well as past and present initiatives and projects of cooperation with the private sector; this system will be linked to the corporate FPMIS and ensure institutional memory on key dimensions such as:
- handling private sector requests or proposals for cooperation and co-sponsoring;
- seeking private sector support for FAO's activities;
- monitoring and coordination; and
- promotion of innovative types of partnerships, such as, for example, an equivalent of the Associate Professional Officer (APO) programme funded by private companies.
Dialogue and exchange of information between FAO and the private sector
835. Many substantive areas addressed by FAO and related information resources, such as international food standards and norms, sustainable agricultural practices including organic farming, and fish marketing, are of considerable interest to private sector companies. In this context, FAO will seek to:
- mobilise extra-budgetary resources in support of FAO activities;
- raise awareness among the private sector of developed countries on hunger and food insecurity issues; and
- explore how investments in new technologies can be directed to bring greater benefit to member countries.
836. The following actions are to be carried out:
- maintenance of a Web site and database on FAO's cooperation with the private sector, with a primarily non-institutional content, i.e. oriented to success stories as well as external initiatives related to private sector partnerships;
- dissemination of targeted informative and promotional materials to potential partners;
- exchange of information in areas of mutual interest through various means: e.g. exchanging virtual or hard-copy documentation; linking respective Web sites; joint publications and contributing to each other's information products; and
- joint policy and technical consultations and seminars.
837. A wide range of programme entities under PWB Chapter 2 are concerned, inter alia 213A6, Veterinary Public Heath Management and Food and Feed Safety, 251A3, Partnerships for Improving Application of Biotechnology in Agriculture, and 222P8, Facilitation of WAICENT Outreach. The work also is relevant to several PAIAs, for example, Ethics in Food and Agriculture.
Promoting and facilitating international and local private sector investment in developing countries
838. There are three ways in which FAO can play a role:
- by facilitating dialogue as an "honest broker" between the public and private sectors, and amongst the private partners themselves or private investors such as banks;
- by promoting agricultural policies that attract private investments while, at the same time, addressing hunger and food insecurity issues; and
- by strengthening capacities of local enterprises in areas falling within FAO's mandate.
839. More concretely, medium-term action will seek:
- to facilitate dialogue between public and private sector partners at local, national and international levels by factoring such dialogue into programmes such as SPFS, EMPRES132, Codex, BOBP133, or IPM134; this would also apply to work on fair trade, Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development (SARD) or organic agriculture; or take place through such mechanisms as the EBRD135-FAO Framework Agreement on public-private policy dialogue on food chain issues or initiatives like the Community-based Small-scale Enterprises Development in the forestry sector;
- to furnish policy assistance on enhancing private sector involvement and investment in the agricultural sector (i.e. enabling institutional measures, legislation, privatisation and investment policies); and
- to strengthen capacity of private actors in the agriculture, fisheries and forestry sectors (e.g. private forest owners in Central and Eastern Europe, in partnership with private forest owner associations in Western Europe and with IUCN136).
840. This work concerns various programmes or entities, inter alia Major Programme 3.1, Policy Assistance, Programmes 2.3.3, Fisheries Exploitation and Utilisation, and 2.5.6, Food Production in Support of Food Security in LIFDCs, and entities 232A1, Promotion of Responsible Inland Fisheries and Aquaculture, 214A4, Agribusiness Development, 212P2, Pesticide Management, 243A3, Strengthening National Institutional Capacity, 243A4, Forest Policy and Governance. Furthermore it relates to several PAIAs, for example, Biosecurity for Agriculture and Food Production and Biotechnology Applications in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.
Private sector support to FAO's programmes and activities
841. Linking closely to the strategy Leveraging resources for FAO and its Members, FAO will seek:
- private sector sponsorship of activities such as TeleFood events, the FAO Ambassadors' programme and technical conferences; and
- in-kind and financial support from the private sector to normative and field programme activities, where appropriate.
842. Organizational and resource implications: leadership lies mostly in TCDS, with wide consultations with those departments and decentralized offices where FAO staff are developing contacts with private sector partners. No significant resource implications beyond existing levels are foreseen.
Actions for Cooperation with Local Authorities
843. Collaboration with sub-national and local authorities in both developing and developed countries, represents a new and promising avenue of technical cooperation, as local entities are particularly effective in poverty alleviation and local development. The main component actions over the medium term are:
- establishing a policy framework for cooperation with sub-national and local entities, based on successful experiences;
- incorporating information and experience on such cooperation in the pertinent FAO's information systems and enhancing information exchange with and between these entities from both developed and developing countries;
- mobilising financial resources from these decentralized entities for FAO's programmes and projects in developing countries (see strategy on Leveraging resources for FAO and its Members); and
- promoting technical assistance from decentralized entities in developed countries to their counterparts in developing countries, with particular reference to the SPFS.
844. Organizational and resource implications: TC will guide this work within existing budgetary provisions.
CONTINUING TO IMPROVE THE MANAGEMENT PROCESS
Thrust of the Strategy
845. Over a relatively short period of time, new technologies and systems have revolutionised the way the Organization is going about its business and fulfilling its mission. A great deal of this change relates to information systems (IS) and information and communications technology (ICT). Barely 10 to 15 years ago, computers were restricted to a few experts running limited administrative systems or statistical databases. In the current workplace, the computer is an essential tool on almost every staff member's desk, and problems with central servers can potentially translate into thousands of hours of lost productivity. IS/ICT innovations, like e-mail, distributed systems, Internet access, and video-conferencing, have led to widespread efficiency gains and improvements in the quality of the products and services delivered.
846. This process of change will continue over the medium term, requiring FAO:
- to build on existing administrative, information and communication systems, and continually extend their scope, taking advantage of further innovation and related opportunities;
- to continue to streamline administrative processes where possible, and to pursue the process of decentralization and delegation of authority; and
- to manage necessary transitions, with particular attention to the implications of change on the human resource element.
847. The updated strategy below necessarily deals selectively with key component actions, while many other aspects could be considered as falling within the purview of the "management process." This should not be interpreted as lack of attention to other management improvements, which will continue to be sought apace. Some are, in fact, addressed under other strategies such as Ensuring excellence and Leveraging resources for FAO and its Members.
Actions Related to Information Systems
New generation of integrated systems
848. FAO's corporate administrative systems need to rely on proven system solutions, and must be based on firm accountability principles, realigning authority, responsibility and accountability. They should support the management process in a cost-effective manner, to meet flexible demands for services in a large organization with an extensive field office network, and to facilitate the implementation of inter-disciplinary work.
849. FAO's new generation of corporate administrative systems is being put in place in a phased manner to meet administrative and financial requirements and to support planning and reporting on the implementation of programmes. It is comprised of five main components:
- the Programme Planning, Implementation Reporting and Evaluation Support System (PIRES) which deals with programme planning and management, including the preparation of key documents such as the MTP and the biennial PWB and major corporate reports such as the Programme Implementation Report (PIR) and the Programme Evaluation Report (PER);
- the Human Resources (HR) component, which is to be based on standard Oracle HR functionality including Payroll processing. It will support management, servicing and administration of staff human resources;
- the Procurement/Fixed Assets module, which relies on Oracle Procurement and Fixed Assets functionality and captures information on suppliers (including consultants), requisition transactions and fixed assets recorded in the Organization's inventory;
- the Financial modules, which track the budgetary, accounting and cash aspects of all financial transactions, rely on the functionality of Oracle products, i.e. Financials - General Ledger, Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable, complemented by external modules dealing with Travel (ATLAS), Field Accounting (FAS) and Budget Management and Monitoring (BMM); and
- the Data Warehouse (DW), as the corporate repository of all budgetary, human resources, procurement and financial data handled by the Organization.
850. Within this integrated set, at the time of writing, the Financial and Procurement/Fixed Asset modules and the Data Warehouse have already been implemented; PIRES is under development; and groundwork is being laid for the introduction of the Human Resources module.
851. FAO will also enter the 2004-09 period with a new Wide Area Network (WAN) in place. The WAN will allow access by FAORs to the telecommunications facilities and administrative systems of the Organization, providing opportunities for on-line access to centrally maintained databases and tools. The WAN, coupled with increased access to the Intranet by decentralized offices, will assist the streamlining of workflow and on-line access to self-service modules. The WAN also allows for integration of applications, procedures, documents and training across all FAO locations, which can significantly improve the management processes.
852. Once completed over the medium term, the availability of these greatly enhanced IS/ICT facilities will have further profound implications on the work environment and human resources management.
853. Organizational and resource implications: the Oracle and related external modules are the responsibility of the Administration and Finance Department, while PIRES is being developed under the aegis of PBE. One-off costs for future systems development are programmed under the capital budget. The development costs are estimated at US$ 23.7 million for Oracle and related external modules, US$ 1.0 million for PIRES and US$ 1.0 million for upgrading the local and wide area networks. The entire amount would be funded from the payment of arrears from the major contributor.
Supportive tools to make full use of available data
854. The Data Warehouse (DW) has been a key component of the above new generation project, from its inception in 1996. Access to easily available and up-to-date management information had been a long-standing issue for administrative systems in FAO, and one of the main reasons for the replacement of the previous generation. The main objectives of DW are to make financial and administrative data widely available to managers and staff, to eliminate data redundancy and inconsistency, to standardise outputs and to provide up-to-date information to users at all FAO locations. The DW is, therefore, used extensively across the Organization as the primary tool for accessing detailed and summary information. Its scope covers all the main administrative data sources, namely of a financial, human resources, budgetary and procurement nature.
855. A Data Warehouse typically evolves over time, and FAO's case is no exception. DW reports currently cover primarily financial information, but will be expanded to cover other data over the period of the Medium Term Plan. The Organization will seek to adjust the capacity of DW to address an expanding variety of reports. Users will also be given the capability to generate custom reports.
856. Other tools will be available through the Field Programme Management Information System (FPMIS) and PIRES.
857. Organizational and resource implications: the Information Systems and Technology Division (AFI) will develop new reports in cooperation with data owners. Ongoing maintenance costs can be met within current budget levels, but major enhancements would require additional funding.
Actions towards a Results-based Culture
Realignment of authority and accountability with primary responsibility for budgetary management to programme managers
858. One of the key features of the new financial systems introduced in May 1999, including phasing out of Management Support Units (MSUs) at Headquarters, was the inception of the key budget holder responsibility vested on programme and project managers. The budget holder is accountable for the efficient use of allocated funds and has the authority to approve transactions against those funds, subject to normal threshold and other administrative rules that apply to particular transactions.
859. In order to consolidate the role of budget holders in the Regular Programme context, further initiatives will be undertaken to better align the responsibility for delivery of programme and project outputs and the authority to spend budgeted funds. The overall objective will be to strengthen the budget-holder framework through the availability of improved information and training targeted to budget holders, as the foundation of an effective results-based culture.
860. This will imply continuous critical review of procedures and system support in line with upgrades of financial systems and, in particular, improvements in the following areas:
- procedural guidance on transaction approval and budget management;
- system reporting;
- close integration of training and application development;
- introduction of representation letters;
- information available to budget holders at decentralized locations;
- availability of core applications to all offices through improved electronic connectivity (WAN); and
- rationalisation of the support environment, including clerical support, provided to budget holders.
861. This enhanced framework would also entail the need to identify appropriate levels of delegated authority, coupled with accountability based on reporting against work plans and goals as described under Actions Related to Human Resources Development below.
862. Organizational and resource implications: AF and PBE would have prime responsibility in the above tasks, while incremental resources may be required for the various IT projects to be undertaken (new systems and extension of systems to all offices).
Formulation of regular programme activities and field projects with state-of-the-art design principles
863. The new programming model endorsed by FAO Governing Bodies moved even further away from traditional emphasis on controlling inputs (transaction controls) to a decisive focus on outputs and outcomes. In consistency with the preceding actions, including consolidation of the budget holder concept, this model embodies accountability for delivering defined programme results and authority for managing resources to achieve these results.
864. Refined application of the programme model for Regular Programme activities and the implementation of similar advance design methodologies for field project will require, inter alia:
- updated guidelines, taking account of problems experienced in previous programming cycles and developments in the relevant literature, or known successful experiments made by governments in their national contexts;
- continued use of working groups and resource persons, involving as necessary "facilitators" from outside FAO, to assist the staff at large in the application of these principles;
- periodic training courses in project and programme formulation, particularly for newly appointed junior officers;
- arrangements to enhance the participation of staff at decentralized offices;
- continued development of the corporate computerised planning and monitoring system (PIRES), including extensive computer-based training and context sensitive help on methodology and definitions; and
- continued development of systems for support of the implementation of activities in decentralized offices and field projects.
865. Organizational and resource implications: PBE, under the guidance of Governing Bodies and in association with AF (for training activities and to ensure interfaces with key administrative systems) will continue to guide the application of the new model. No significant additional resource implications are foreseen.
Comprehensive evaluation regime, including formal auto-evaluation procedures
866. Evaluation forms part of FAO's oversight regime, and must be strengthened to ensure programme value and excellence. All programmes and operations, irrespective of the source of funding and whether carried out at Headquarters or decentralized offices, will be subject to evaluation in the context of the Strategic Framework and the Medium Term Plan.
867. As programmes become increasingly result-oriented, with indicators and time-bound achievement targets for the medium term, in pursuit of the corporate objectives set out in the Strategic Framework, an appropriate evaluation regime must be introduced.
868. This evaluation regime will need to examine the results of programmes, or clusters of programme entities, contributing towards corporate objectives, as well as the performance of individual programme entities. It will also need to assess the implementation of the strategies to address cross-organizational issues. The regime as proposed will comprise:
- field project evaluations, including external evaluations and internal corporate evaluations with due attention to dissemination of evaluation findings;
- auto-evaluations - a systematic process of evaluation by managers focusing on achievements in relation to the programme objectives, but involving peer group reviews;
- programme evaluations - individual and cluster evaluations in terms of the strategic objectives;
- thematic evaluations addressing topics cutting across programmes and funds; and
- periodic synthesis evaluations - aggregate level evaluations of corporate interest built on lower-level evaluations.
869. Organizational and resource implications: the Evaluation Service of PBE will support the above evaluation regime in coordination with the Office of the Inspector-General, external evaluation resources and other units as appropriate. In doing so, it will institutionalise the use of Peer Review Groups for all evaluations so as to enhance the quality of professional judgements. Programme managers will be responsible for pre-evaluation monitoring and assessment and auto-evaluations of the programmes and projects under their responsibility. While most of the work can be implemented within existing resource levels, US$ 250 000 per biennium is proposed to be made available to PBE for peer reviews.
Actions Related to Human Resources Development
870. FAO has adopted a broader approach to human resources (HR) management and is developing integrated HR management systems, linking the HR function more closely with FAO's strategic directions and programme priorities. Decision-making responsibility for human resources matters should increasingly lie with line managers, with the central Human Resources Management Division (AFH) primarily providing policy guidance, advice and support.
Use of entry-level recruitment and career and staff development to renew staff capacity, with a view to meet evolving programme priorities and to support language diversity
871. A high rate of turnover as a result of retirement is expected during the MTP period, entailing a need to replace a large number of departing staff. This provides an opportunity for assessing future staffing needs in terms of numbers and skills, as well as for renewing the skills of current staff, thus enhancing capacity in line with FAO's strategic directions. Based on work force planning projections, skills replacement should be ensured for both the professional and general service categories, including through selective general service recruitment.
872. To accomplish this:
- workforce planning systems developed during the 2002-2003 biennium, will continue to be used to underpin HR management strategies; these strategies will address issues such as the replacement of skills being lost, the development of workforce structures to take account of new ways of working and overall imperatives of gender and geographical balance;
- the programme for recruitment and development of junior professionals, building on the experience in 2002-03, will use targeted recruitment to identify suitable candidates and support them during their first years of service through development of necessary skills and core competencies; the entry-level professional recruitment programme will be a well-established HR feature by the end of the MTP period;
- on the basis of the review completed in 2002, work will continue on the restructuring of jobs in the general service category to ensure that they match the requirements of the Organization, taking account of the impact of new office technology and the need to identify higher level skills and competencies and requirements for increased flexibility in the deployment of general service staff; in this regard, restructuring of the general service category is expected to be implemented by the end of 2004;
- core organizational competencies will be developed for professional and managerial staff, and development programmes implemented which will allow staff to acquire the necessary competencies and skills for adequate career development, job growth and mobility opportunities; and
- this is to be complemented by the actions to attract and recruit excellent staff as proposed under Ensuring excellence above.
873. Organizational and resource implications: AFH, under the guidance of the Human Resources Committee, and in consultation with all units and staff representatives, will have primary responsibility for these activities, while the resources needed for implementation of the additional competency training would be available from the enhanced staff development budget levels in all organizational units, which would rise from 1.25 percent to 1.5 percent of staff costs.
Flexible, cost-effective arrangements for acquiring and deploying human resources
874. Required flexibility in organizational responses to meet new programme needs and strategic orientations implies support roles which are broader based, and a professional cadre which can take full advantage of core skills and competencies.
875. Systems for more flexible deployment of staff, thereby achieving a mix of staff on short- and longer-term contractual arrangements, would be better attuned to programme needs. Planned actions in this context, include:
- building on the introduction of more flexible non-staff contractual arrangements in 2002, the balance between fixed-term and continuing staff and employees on other contractual arrangements will be kept under review; and is also likely to involve an increasing use of short-term, non-staff human resources; the new non-staff contractual arrangements may require changes which will be implemented in the next biennium;
- jobs and work structures, particularly as relates to general service support, will be re-designed to ensure increased flexibility in the deployment of staff; and
- a new Human Resources Management Information System based on Oracle HR and Payroll will be developed by 2006, to support improved workforce planning and management information.
876. Organizational and resource implications: under the oversight of the Human Resources Committee, and with inputs from other concerned parties, AFH will lead the above actions, in cooperation with AFI on the HR management system. Work on contractual instruments will be carried out within existing resource levels, while the implementation of the HR management system is likely to require substantial additional resources (see action entitled New generation of integrated systems above).
Continue to build a management culture that fosters gender equality, promotes initiative and team work and clearly defines accountability for human resources management
877. As the Organization places increased importance on effective performance management, a key component will be the development of performance management systems linked to objectives, as defined via the Organization's programme planning systems. An effective performance appraisal system should also allow for both recognition of good performance, as well as handling of poor or marginal performance. This should entail greater delegation and flexibility for managers. Successful delegation depends on clearly defined accountability mechanisms and support to managers in undertaking their roles. Work will include:
- development of a system of performance management based upon work plans which reflect the Organization's corporate objectives as established in the MTP and PWB; the system will link individual performance to that of the concerned units and upwards through the organizational hierarchy to offices, divisions and departments; and
- gender equality strategies to ensure:
- gender balance in Secretariat staffing, through advice and assistance to departments and offices in recruitment and selection;
- that staff development and training programmes are gender sensitive;
- monitoring of progress and reporting on key performance indicators.
Implement best human resources practices within the UN common system
878. In order to remain competitive as an employer, FAO must ensure that conditions of service and working life, and the way these are administered, allow it to attract and retain quality staff. The following actions will be pursued:
- monitoring of developments at the level of the UN common system. During the 2004-2009 period, the organizations of the common system will continue to operate under the framework adopted by the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC);
- assessment of FAO's human resources approaches against best practice elsewhere in the UN common system and in other international organizations. It is expected that the common system will continue efforts to streamline the administration of the remuneration package for staff. New approaches developed in the context of the ICSC review of pay and benefits during 2002-2003 will be implemented, allowing individual organizations to tailor specific aspects of UN remuneration to their own human resources needs and strategies; and
- identification of measures (including those covering work-life and family issues) which support the retention of quality professional staff.
879. Organizational and resource implications: AFH will have primary responsibility for this work, which should be implemented within existing resource levels.
Effective staff-management collaboration through consultation with staff, including with the staff associations
880. Effective staff-management communication and consultations and early conflict and dispute resolution, are key to productivity enhancement. It is intended to create a new mediation procedure, with emphasis on early resolution of problems and conflicts and outside the formal appeals procedure. Actions include:
- a programme of conflict and dispute prevention, where managers will be sensitised to participatory approaches with emphasis on information sharing and communication with staff; and
- continued consultative process with recognised staff representative bodies, with a view to promoting open dialogue and achieving consensus and collaboration in the implementation of HR management initiatives such as: staff and career development, introduction of flexible work, performance management and work and family policies.
881. Organizational and resource implications: AFH will have primary responsibility for this work, which should be implemented within existing resource levels.
LEVERAGING RESOURCES FOR FAO AND ITS MEMBERS
Thrust of the Strategy
882. The main thrust is to create the conditions for a substantial flow of extra-budgetary resources to support Members' goals and FAO's programmes in the fight against hunger and poverty. This is to be achieved in the context of sustainable agriculture and rural development, including fisheries and forestry. This main thrust translates into three subsidiary objectives:
- to increase extra-budgetary resources for FAO's technical assistance services, emergency and rehabilitation programmes, and normative activities in support of Members' needs;
- to mobilise resources to improve FAO's infrastructure and logistical capacity and to foster solidarity to fight hunger and malnutrition; and
- to catalyse increased resources - not necessarily managed by FAO - in support of agriculture and rural development, including fisheries and forestry.
883. FAO will seek to strengthen relationships with an increased range of partners, including:
- donor governments in the developed world, a major funding source of FAO's technical assistance, emergency-related activities and increasingly normative activities;
- developing country governments, requesting and also financing FAO's technical assistance, policy advice and programme formulation and implementation services;
- multilateral agencies and International Financial Institutions, as key players in development;
- sub-national and local entities from developed and developing countries;
- private sector; and
- NGOs and CSOs which are active in promoting private sector investment and in gathering support from governments and donor agencies, in particular in response to emergency situations.
884. In the major components of the strategy described below, references to organizational or resources implications have been indicated as appropriate throughout the text for the sake of clarity.
Increasing Extra-budgetary Resources for FAO's
Technical Assistance Services, Emergency and Rehabilitation
Programmes, and Normative Work
High-quality, cost-effective programmes and services responding to donors' interests and recipients' requirements
885. This is to be achieved through:
- continuous assessment of FAO's services which implies surveys of demand for technical assistance in the various fields of FAO's mandate (e.g. by types of services, modalities, costs, partners), to be undertaken:
- by TCA under Programme 3.5.1;
- by the pertinent technical and economic activities under PWB Chapter 2 and Major Programme 3.1; and
- by the FAORs and other field offices;
- preparation of programmes for funding which adequately reflect the three main players: priorities of recipient countries, public or private donors' interest and FAO's comparative advantage; to this effect, it will be important to:
- seek the involvement of all stakeholders as early as possible in the process;
- systematically develop comprehensive FAO country programmes as well as multi-sectoral strategies to ensure a viable transition to development for countries facing natural disasters and/or complex emergencies;
- ensure effective liaison with the beneficiaries and donors in the field, through FAO Representatives (Major Programme 3.4);
- further develop in-house mechanisms to provide resources to technical departments and field offices for programming and formulation (e.g. the PIF137), with support from Programmes 3.5.1 and 3.5.2 and Major Programme 3.3;
- explore opportunities, which look promising, to mobilise funding from private donors for joint identification and formulation missions in areas of common interest, as well as from bilateral donors in the framework of long-term partnership agreements;
- systematic analysis of lessons learned from FAO's activities and those of other institutions, to translate them into effective tools for project formulation, and suggestions for improvement of the normative work of the Organization; PAIAs are expected to play a major role in this, as will FAO's Evaluation Service (PBEE);
- enhancement of project formulation and resource mobilisation skills of staff at both Headquarters and in the field, including:
- practical tools and guidelines will be further developed and disseminated with regard to preparation, formulation and negotiation of new funding proposals;
- in addition to the Project Formulation Toolkit developed under Programme 3.2.2, a Resource Mobilisation Kit summarising the technical services provided by FAO and associated comparative advantages, will be developed, as well as an Emergency and Rehabilitation Toolkit;
- resource mobilisation guidelines will be issued also under Programme 3.5.1;
- training related to the FAO Project Cycle will be refined and made more systematically available to staff, particularly in decentralized offices;
- in order to match the decentralization of both donor funding decisions and FAO's operational activities, specific attention will be given to backstopping and information requirements of the FAO Representations and Regional or Sub-regional Offices; and
- continuous review and dissemination of information on potential donor's policies, priorities and funding modalities; including:
- scrutiny and dissemination by TCAP138 and TCDS of donor priorities for technical assistance and activities of a normative nature, and by TCE139 for emergency and rehabilitation activities;
- contacts between FAO staff at technical level and donor agencies will be encouraged;
- donor profiles will be updated and the Web site on trust fund issues and field programme activities will be further developed and maintained within the Policy Assistance Web site (entity 311P1), in close coordination with the Field Programme Management Information System (FPMIS) (under Programme 3.3.2);
- a new database and Web site on private sector cooperation will also be created, as mentioned under the strategy on Partnerships;
- for emergency-rehabilitation activities, a proactive donor group will be established with a view to catalysing interest from other potential donors;
- FAORs will also play a stronger role in gathering and disseminating information on donor policies and strategic interests for country cooperation, (thereby also fostering effective linkages between donors and respective developing country governments).
Diversification of funding sources and development of attractive funding modalities
886. Comprehensive, transparent and attractive funding modalities adapted to each type of funding sources will be further developed through:
- long-term partnership agreements (similar to those already agreed with several major trust fund donors, e.g. Netherlands, Italy, Belgium) which are intended to go beyond the traditional project by project cooperation; provide enabling policy frameworks and evolving mechanisms for coherent, long-term cooperation on jointly defined priorities; and will give specific attention given to the operational implications and monitoring of such partnerships under Programmes 3.5.1 and 3.3.2, with support from Programme 1.2.2 (PBE);
- promotion of multi-donor trust funds so as to maximise synergies; in particular, the FAO Trust Fund for Food Safety and Food Security, provides a highly-visible resource mobilisation tool in support of governments' programmes related to food security and food safety and of investment in these areas; implementation of the above will rest with the TC Department and involve several programme entities under Major Programme 2.2, as well as EMPRES (entities 212A4 and 213A7); in order to respond to emergency situations in anticipation of donors' contributions, the establishment of a "Revolving Emergency Response Fund" is under consideration;
- special arrangements for FAO's involvement in the identification, formulation and implementation of investment projects, financed by IFIs such as regional development banks and the World Bank (to be undertaken under Major Programme 3.2; further funding opportunities will also be explored with IFIs that already support FAO's emergency, relief and early rehabilitation activities (under Programme 3.3.3);
- fine-tuning of existing corporate policy on collaboration with private partners and improved arrangements for its smooth and effective implementation under Programme 3.5.2 (see strategy on Broadening partnerships and alliances);
- monitoring of changing conditions in FAO's cooperation with multilateral agencies and the UN system, particularly UNDP140, as well as continued coordination and exchange of experiences with other UN agencies to support streamlining, harmonisation and revision of field programme operations; and
- meeting demands for assistance from developing countries under the Unilateral Trust Fund arrangements, with adapted modalities and procedures, e.g. regarding field projects with substantial national execution (NEX) components.
Sound and efficient management of resources and projects
887. In complementarity to the strategy Continuing to improve the management process, the following actions will have a direct impact on the development of FAO's field programme:
- monitoring by the Field Programme Committee, which was revived in 2001 - this major effort is supported and coordinated especially by Programme 3.3.2 - in particular:
- the continuous adaptation of FAO's procedures related to the project cycle and resource mobilisation, will be based on the reviews carried out by the Inter-departmental Standing Working Group on Administrative and Operational Procedures to meet efficiency, timeliness and accountability requirements;
- reporting, at all levels, will be improved in parallel to increased delegation of authority and responsibility to budget holders;
- procedures will be disseminated via the Field Programme Manual so that they are more accessible and transparent;
- further development of the FPMIS under Programme 3.3.2 to support coordination, planning and tracking of input delivery of technical assistance and emergency-rehabilitation activities, as well as related procedures, formats and tools; and
- other system developments, such as DW and BMM under lead of Programme 5.2.1, and PIRES under Programme 1.2.2, will facilitate accountability to both donors and recipients, and enhance quality of FAO's projects and programmes.
888. Consistent with the strategy on Communicating FAO's messages, to support resource mobilisation efforts, the services made available by FAO to Members and the results obtained, should be more systematically and effectively communicated to all stakeholders, including recipients and donors (public and private) at all levels. This would include:
- brochures on FAO's technical assistance services and success stories prepared jointly by TC and GI141 Departments, for the benefit of both potential donors and recipients;
- targeted promotional materials to donors and recipients, including on FAO's Trust Fund for Food Security and Food Safety;
- an active Web site on Trust Fund and Technical Cooperation, to be systematically updated with success stories and easily accessible information on FAO's services regarding investment support, emergency, relief and early rehabilitation, policy and technical assistance and funding modalities for technical cooperation; and
- briefings for donors (public and private sector) and recipients (including at policy-makers level) on the progress achieved by selected programmes and projects, in close liaison with the technical departments concerned and the FAORs (Major Programme 3.4), including proposals, at country and regional levels, for donor round tables, in close collaboration with the concerned decentralized offices, wherever FAO can play a coordination role to foster donor synergy and resources mobilisation.
Securing qualified staff for FAO's programmes
889. Members' and donor sources will be approached to provide additional human resources, such as seconded staff or APOs, including from developing countries. Funding opportunities for APOs or seconded staff will also be explored with private sector companies under Programme 3.5.2.
Mobilising Resources to Improve FAO's Infrastructure
and Logistical Capacity and Fostering Solidarity
to Fight Hunger and Malnutrition
890. Support provided by public and private donors can reduce the share of FAO's budget used for operating costs, allowing for a larger share of Regular Programme funds to be allocated to technical and operational activities. The following actions are contemplated in this respect.
Increased extra-budgetary support to meet FAO's logistical costs
- resources can be made available for the improvement of FAO's infrastructures to better serve its Members and improve its outreach to the field, e.g. for the upgrading of FAO's technological facilities, such as Internet rooms or digitisation of library - efforts will be deployed to that effect under Programme 5.2.2, Information Systems and Technologies Services;
- larger contributions for FAO's country, Regional and Sub-regional Offices would be sought from host governments, either in cash (e.g. Government Counterpart Cash Contribution), and/or in kind (premises, staff or utilities such as vehicles, computers, maintenance services) - such action is coordinated and negotiations carried out by OCD under Major Programme 3.4; and
- increased contributions to FAO's operating expenses, e.g. in terms of computers, accommodation, vehicles or food items provided during events and conferences - these contributions are generally negotiated under Programme 3.5.2 (TCDS) in close collaboration with the units directly concerned.
Support to the organisation of campaigns and public awareness activities
891. As more amply covered under the strategy on Communicating FAO's messages, the major aim is to secure increased support for the World Food Day, TeleFood and FAO Ambassadors programmes. A number of donors, particularly from the private sector, can support the organisation of outreach activities and campaigns, and further emphasis will be put on mobilising such contributions under Programmes 1.3.1 and 3.5.2.
Catalysing Increased Resources in support of Agriculture and Rural
Development, including Fisheries and Forestry
892. Beyond resources in support of its mandate, the Organization seeks to catalyse increased international funding for agriculture, rural development and food security benefiting its Members and/or their regional organizations. In doing so, use will be made of country (Major Programme 3.4), Regional and Sub-regional Offices which are at the front-line of advocacy efforts, as well as those Liaison Offices (Programme 1.3.2.) which are in a position to interact with donors.
Mobilising public opinion and political will
893. Key supportive actions include:
- monitoring of trends in financial flows to agriculture and rural development, forestry and fisheries whether of domestic or international nature, or stemming from public or private sources - this is undertaken in particular under Major Programmes 3.2 (TCI142), 3.5 (TCAP) and Programme 2.2.4 (ESA143);
- documenting state-of-the-art thinking on increased public resources and sound investment in agriculture and rural development as an effective means for poverty reduction and sustained, equitable growth - this concerns Programme 2.2.3 (ESA) and Major Programmes 3.2 (TCI) and 3.5 (TCAP);
- mobilising public opinion and decision-makers through international conferences and targeted communication campaigns, to attract world-wide attention to hunger and food insecurity issues, and raise political will and resources (see also strategy on Communicating FAO's messages); and
- enhancing the advocacy skills of government officials, ministries and extension services to be able to voice the importance of food security policies and of the agricultural and rural sector, and thus to foster support from the donor community.
Catalysing resource mobilisation
894. This is to be achieved primarily through:
- advice and capacity building to governments so that national policy environments are conducive to expanding public and private sector capital flows, which will require:
- strengthened sector policy work, including the involvement of FAO in multi-donor funded reviews, as well as technical consultations on needed policy dialogue between public and private partners;
- work on reforms of the policy, legal and institutional frameworks in the rural sector, particularly under Major Programmes 3.1 (TCA) and 3.2 (TCI) and the pertinent programmes under Chapter 2 of the PWB;
- with due regard to national absorptive capacities, preparation of investment projects and programmes and feasibility studies to assist governments and regional organizations in seizing funding opportunities from International Financial Institutions or major donors such as the European Community (for instance, under the ACP144-EU Partnership Agreement and its funding tool, the European Development Fund);
- improved integration of FAO's activities in support of policy and programming frameworks at country level (e.g. UNDAF, CCAs, PRSPs145), including issue papers, thematic and sub-sector work; at both country or regional levels, FAO's role is to demonstrate the contribution of the agricultural and rural sector, forestry and fisheries to the livelihoods of households, and how food security programmes and policies can reinforce and are reinforced by activities of other development partners (requiring inputs from all technical programmes under Chapter 2 and also Programme 2.5.6 and Major Programmes 3.1 and 3.2);
- linking FAO's field projects and programmes to those of other agencies, with a view to maximising technology transfer and capital flows - this will imply close consultation with all stakeholders at local level, including other technical and donor agencies active in the same field, and a focus on the "programme approach" and direct budgetary aid to governments; in performing the role of "honest broker," FAO will seek to facilitate the development of multi-donor funded sector-wide programmes; and
- work on alternative capital flows which are not debt or dependency-inducing (e.g. Clean Development Mechanism, Global Environment Facility, Debt for Nature Swaps and Debt for Food Security Swaps) encompassing:
- cooperation with donors and development partners to implement such innovative mechanisms;
- provision of a neutral forum for technical discussion on these subjects;
- development of methodologies and guidelines on relevant issues, such as land use assessments, bioenergy, weather impact assessments, carbon sequestration, carbon fertilisation, etc.;
- contributions towards reconciling the different definitions used in the context of these various international initiatives, as relate to FAO's mandate.
895. The above work will require inputs from the relevant technical programmes and specific attention by TCI and TCA in their established range of responsibilities.
COMMUNICATING FAO'S MESSAGES
Thrust of the Strategy
896. FAO's essential role in the collection, analysis and dissemination of information, and its reputation as a publisher and distributor of valuable technical and statistical information, provide the backdrop to a refined strategy on Communicating FAO's messages. In order to enhance its public information efforts, FAO elaborated a Corporate Communication Policy and Strategy which has guided its work in recent years. The cardinal principles are: participatory planning, corporate focus, decentralized implementation, systematic monitoring and evaluation. Over the period 2004-2009, four main factors are likely to drive FAO's communications activities, i.e.:
- technological change in global communications;
- competition for development resources;
- diversification of FAO's stakeholders and audiences; and
- greater inter-disciplinarity in FAO's substantive work.
897. The challenges for effective communication over the medium term, are to make better use of FAO's global capability to reach and influence key constituencies, to strive for professional excellence in communication technologies and methods, while at the same time continuing to improve the relevance and usefulness of its messages, with due regard to language balance. Effective communication will need adequate commitments of human and financial resources throughout the Organization.
Establishing a "Communication Culture" and Integrating
Information and Communications Concepts in Planning Processes
898. FAO will continue to improve internal communication by encouraging the sharing of knowledge and information among staff at Headquarters and in more than 90 outlying offices, and by facilitating the resulting flow of information. Developing skills and competencies in communication will entail further training for staff across departments and offices. Training is to cover writing and presentation skills, public speaking, media relations, communications planning and audience targeting, information technology. Ultimately, FAO should be able to integrate communication considerations into activities at all locations as part of a "communication culture".
899. Special emphasis will be placed on "mainstreaming" communication planning into the programme of work and budget formulation exercise, to ensure effective links between communication activities and key programmes and resource mobilisation objectives, and to coordinate wide-ranging communication activities.
900. Organizational and resource implications: overall policy guidance will continue to rest with the Corporate Communication Committee, while GI and PBE will further assist departments and offices in integrating communications planning with other planning activities. Some re-alignment of expenditure could result, in order to ensure that corporate communication priorities are adequately funded.
901. The GI and AF Departments will collaborate to deliver training in communications skills to FAO staff, while the Organization will need to maintain a core group of specialists and support staff in all essential aspects of corporate communication (PWB Sub-programmes 22.214.171.124, Multimedia Production, 126.96.36.199, Publishing Policy and Support and 188.8.131.52, Media Relations).
Focusing FAO's Messages on Priority Issues and Programmes,
and Targeting Strategic Audiences
902. Much progress has been made in defining FAO's communication priorities, through such consultative mechanisms as the Corporate Communication Committee and Departmental Communication and Publishing Committees. However, further efforts are required to enhance coverage of FAO's work in the field, to address regional and sub-regional issues and to reach target audiences that are of importance to FAO's decentralized activities. Resource mobilisation efforts, particularly at the country level, also require communications advice and support. Therefore, due emphasis will be placed on enabling Regional, Sub-regional and country offices to carry out necessary communications activities to support FAO's objectives.
903. It will also be important to deepen understanding of expectations of key target audiences, including government decision-makers, bi-lateral donors, multi-lateral agencies, international financial institutions, technical counterparts, the scientific and research community, non-governmental and civil society organizations, the private sector and small and medium size agricultural producers. FAO should further profile the interests and information needs of its various audiences and obtain adequate feed-back on its communication activities. Improved language coverage will be pursued in accordance with guidance from Governing Bodies.
904. Organizational and resource implications: under supervision by the Corporate Communication Committee, GI will provide technical assistance to departments and decentralized offices. Adequate resources are required also in country offices for communication and related activities. The PWB 2002-03 provision of US$ 1.1 million for improvement of language coverage in the official languages of the Organization may be phased out over the 2004-05 and 2006-07 biennia, as improvements in language coverage should be built into the concerned units' budgets.
Increasing Public Awareness and Understanding of Issues Related to
FAO's Mandate, Particularly the Eradication of Hunger
905. FAO's Communication Strategy must engage the interest of the general public and enlist broad support for the fight against hunger and poverty. Because FAO's messages compete for public attention with many other issues, the challenge is to continually improve mass communication methods and techniques. Key actions are outlined below.
906. To make an impact on the international "24 hour media", FAO will continue to seize opportunities to generate "hard news" concerning important issues in agriculture, forestry and fisheries, particularly as relates to food security, food safety and poverty. Additional attention will be paid to dissemination of FAO's messages through national and regional media, in particular radio.
Public awareness and outreach campaigns
907. Pro-active outreach to civil society and the general public should serve to raise awareness and understanding of the issues related to FAO's mandate. World Food Day will continue to generate, in countries as well as at Headquarters, awareness activities and initiatives for promoting solidarity. The World Food Day special events and TeleFood programmes will support campaigns based on high-profile events and televised broadcasts, which may also have a fund-raising component. Regular feedback on TeleFood projects will be obtained to illustrate - through the media, and television in particular - practical ways of addressing the problem of food insecurity. As emphasised under the strategy on Leveraging resources for FAO and its Members, efforts to mobilise political will and public opinion, will clearly also seek to mobilise resources in support of food security and agricultural development.
908. The FAO Ambassadors programme will harness the appeal and dedication of major figures in the fields of arts, sciences, sports and entertainment to bring the core messages related to hunger eradication to a wider audience. In particular, celebrities can reach out to young audiences to engage their passion, energy and commitment in the fight against hunger. Visits by FAO Ambassadors will also help to promote the Organization's field activities, underscoring their practical orientation.
Local communication networks
909. FAO Representatives will seek to expand local communications networks and alliances, comprising government ministries, NGOs, civil society and the media to focus public opinion on food security, food safety and natural resource issues. The decentralized offices will also make use of virtual library capacities to raise awareness about information as a key resource for development.
Visitors' Service and school outreach
910. The Visitors' Service will continue to attract visitors to FAO Headquarters, while striving to provide useful information to them. Special efforts will be made to reach out to schools and other academic institutions.
FAO's Web site
911. The FAO's Web site (including the components managed directly by Regional Offices, and those elements covering the work of FAORs) is a key interface with the general public, as well as with technical specialists in the Organization's areas of competence. In addition to ensuring effective presentation of FAO's activities and wealth of information, the Web site will highlight key projects and programmes such as the SPFS and public awareness initiatives, including the World Food Day special events, the FAO Ambassadors and TeleFood.
912. Organizational and resource implications: FAO's outreach programmes will continue to be supported by extra-budgetary funding and sponsorship. However, additional core resources need to be allocated to Major Programmes 5.1, Information and Publications Support, and 3.4, FAO Representatives; and to Programme 3.5.2, Civil Society Awareness and Partnerships, to capitalise fully on the opportunities generated.
Ensuring Cost-effective and High-quality Information Products
913. Information and communication technologies (ICTs) offer remarkable opportunities for the cost-effective production and diffusion of information products, tailored to the specific needs of global and local audiences. The Organization will continue to harness modern tools and systems for the dissemination of information products using a variety of media such as: radio, video, CD-ROMs, multi-media exhibits, as well as traditional print materials. Integration of production and dissemination via the Internet will be sought, also ensuring that Web-based processes and tools meet industry standards. Key supportive actions are illustrated below.
Corporate standards for quality publishing
914. Continued development of corporate standards and related guidelines for the preparation of information products, will contribute to quality improvements and global coherence, thereby enhancing FAO's effectiveness as a major multilingual technical publisher in its fields of competence. Appropriate systems and tools will be developed to assist staff in applying the standards. Other quality control mechanisms, such as peer reviews and editorial checks, will be widely used to maintain the high quality of FAO's information products. Indexing standards and practices will be established to ensure electronic archival and retrievability of all information products across a variety of formats.
Corporate visual identity
915. Gradual implementation of the ongoing corporate visual identity project will aim at greater coherence of the Organization's image, promoting the association of the FAO "brand" with the substantive products generated by its projects and programmes. Guidance will be provided to staff at all locations (and to external service providers) on the use of the FAO logo and its association with those of partners. User-friendly guidelines on templates for major information product types will also be issued.
Strategic planning and management of information
916. Throughout the Organization, the planning process will seek due selectivity, with a view to achieving a leaner set of higher-quality information products on key issues and programmes. In addition, more focused dissemination of these products to strategic audiences will strengthen recognition of FAO as a key source of information and ideas among the technical experts working in its fields of competence.
917. An integrated approach to the production of FAO's information materials will be adopted from the planning stages through to storage. This will include virtual archiving for the purpose of facilitating greater use of "print-on-demand," as well as dissemination in print, CD-ROM or electronic formats. Current sales policies will be adjusted to reflect the increased availability of free materials through these formats.
918. The Organization will take full advantage of the most efficient technologies available for content management and formatting, as well as for the production and distribution of information products. The opportunities presented by recent developments such as digital, on-demand and remote printing will be tapped, thereby enhancing cost-effectiveness and increasing timeliness without compromising quality.
919. Organizational and resource implications: Departmental and Regional Communication and Publishing Committees will continue to undertake publications planning and budgeting. GI's specific responsibilities in this area are set out in Major Programme 5.1, Information and Publications Support, but will need to be supported by further resources in order to fully implement the strategy. Corporate standards for communication, normative tools, and quality control mechanisms will involve both the GI and AF Departments.
Building Capacity for Communication through Internal
and External Partnerships
920. In the face of internal resources constraints and rapidly evolving global events, effective partnerships at international, regional and national levels will be essential, if FAO is to maximise the impact of its messages. These partnerships may be based on identification of shared objectives, or on a contractual relationship recognising the comparative advantage of given individuals or organizations in reaching key audiences for FAO.
921. Partnerships with non-governmental and civil society organizations will thus assist in reaching grassroot audiences, targeting decision-makers and informing public opinion. Collaboration will include the preparation of information materials specifically designed for NGO and CSO audiences. Partnerships with other UN agencies, inter-governmental and other development organizations in the area of communication will also continue, including a special focus on the Rome-based UN food agencies to jointly promote the fight against hunger. Collaborative relationships with the private sector will go beyond media and publishing concerns, in extending the reach of FAO's messages and implementing mutually beneficial communication activities.
922. Organizational and resource implications: would involve joint efforts by GI, AF and TC Departments, normally within existing resource levels, while at the country level, FAORs will have an important role in attracting extra-budgetary resources.