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1.      As recalled in the Director-General’s introduction, the format of the Programme Implementation Report (PIR) 2002-03 has been revised according to proposals endorsed by the 91st Session of the Programme Committee and the 107th Session of the Finance Committee in May 2004 (FC 107/24a). The revised PIR examines the outputs and outcomes of the Organization’s work from three perspectives – strategic, regional and programme – and provides the usual background information on resource use, as it relates to and has an impact on programme implementation.

2.      The Strategic Framework for FAO 2000-2015 provides the broad context for results-based planning and reporting through five corporate Strategies to Address Members’ Needs, which are further facilitated by six Strategies to Address Cross-organizational Issues (SACOIs). Progress Towards Implementation of the Strategic Framework, which is also the title of the first part of the report, is demonstrated by the delivery of sectoral and interdisciplinary outputs directly linked to the twelve Strategic Objectives under the five Strategies to Address Members’ Needs.

3.      Strategy A: Contributions to the eradication of food insecurity and poverty involved multiple means of action, including direct advice, methodologies and guidelines, and information exchange. Sustainable rural livelihoods and more equitable access to resources were addressed by outputs aimed at improving access to land, mitigating gender inequality, enhancing small farmer livelihoods, and promoting nutrition education, small-scale fisheries and participatory forestry. Access to sufficient, safe and nutritionally adequate food was supported by development of assessment tools, participatory community-based programmes, food insecurity and vulnerability mapping systems, and advice on extension and training policies and programmes for disadvantaged groups. Work on planning for emergencies and response focused on strengthening disaster preparedness and mitigating the impact of emergencies that affect food security and the productive capacities of rural populations. Activities also concentrated on forecasting and providing early warning of adverse conditions and of impending food emergencies, strengthening programmes for agricultural relief and rehabilitation, and facilitating the transition from emergency relief to reconstruction and development as well as on the plant pests components and livestock component of EMPRES.

4.      Strategy B: Promoting, developing and reinforcing policy and regulatory frameworks was carried out mainly through support to many international undertakings, information exchange and direct advice. International agreements, conventions and standards supported include the following:

5.      The focus of support to these elements of the international regulatory framework was the facilitation and informed participation of all FAO Members, with due consideration to the special concerns of developing countries and countries with economies in transition, and their national policies, legal instruments and supporting mechanisms.

6.      Strategy C: Sustainable increases in the supply and availability of food and other products were facilitated through information exchange, direct advice, studies and analyses, and methodologies and guidelines. Policy options and institutional measures to improve efficiency and adaptability in production, processing and marketing systems were provided through country processes such as common country assessment (CCA), United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) and Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs). These covered areas such as land use options, sustainable crop and grassland production systems, organic agriculture and horticulture, integrated production systems including Good Agricultural Practices, fertilizer use policies, agricultural marketing, rural finance, mechanization, post-harvest, and small-scale fisheries. The adoption of appropriate technology to sustainably intensify production systems and to ensure sufficient supplies of food and agricultural goods and services was promoted by all the major technical disciplines as well as by several inter-disciplinary activities (e.g. PROD PAIA) as well as through the expansion of the Special Programme for Food Security (SPFS). Specific achievements were in conservation agriculture, alternative crops and cultivars, integrated plant nutrition management, alternative animal feeds and animal food safety, the use of mutation induction and biotechnology contributing to higher yielding varieties of basic food crops, support to National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS), aquaculture production intensification and integration with farming systems, and best practices for forest harvesting and engineering.

7.      Strategy D: The conservation, improvement and sustainable use of natural resources for food and agriculture were supported through coordination and information exchange, and studies and analyses. Work on integrated management of natural resources included enhanced national capacity to protect and sustainably manage natural forests and woodlands, and support to the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (CCRF) on sustainable aquaculture practices and inland fisheries management, mitigation of environmental damage, and biodiversity concerns. The conservation, rehabilitation and development of environments at greatest risk received modest attention, but achievements were registered in monitoring and assessing the state of fragile ecosystems, and building capacity to sustainably develop and conserve these environments within the framework of international conventions.

8.      Strategy E: Contributions to improved decision making through provision of information and assessments and promotion of knowledge management were provided through information products, systems and databases. Significant contributions were made by nearly all programmes to an integrated and accessible information resource base, with current, relevant and reliable statistics, information and knowledge. The main corporate information systems - the World Agricultural Information Centre (WAICENT) and Corporate Database for Substantive Statistical Data (FAOSTAT) - were further enhanced, along with more specialized tools such as Food Insecurity and Vulnerability Information and Mapping Systems (FIVIMS), the Fisheries Global Information System (FIGIS), the Rural Water Statistical System (AQUASTAT) and databases on basic food commodities. Member countries and intergovernmental bodies were assisted in making effective use of these resources. Regular assessments, analyses and outlook studies were produced including the flagship publications on World Agriculture Towards 2015/30, The State of Food and Agriculture (SOFA), The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture (SOFIA) and The State of the World's Forests (SOFO), as well as food insecurity assessments through the Global Information and Early Warning System on Food and Agriculture (GIEWS). The World Food Summit: five years later (WFS:fyl) reinforced the central place of food security on the international agenda and aimed to expedite action on implementing the WFS Plan of Action.

9.      Implementation began on five of the six Strategies to Address Cross-Organizational Issues. Progress on Enhancing inter-disciplinarity was made principally through establishment of 16 PAIAs. The Broadening of partnerships and alliances included active participation in the UN Development Group mechanisms and inter-agency UN/World Bank Emergency Needs Assessment Missions for reconstruction in post-conflict situations, a letter of agreement with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), a Memorandum of Understanding with the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and collaboration in common areas of work, intensified interaction with the international financing institutions, assistance to the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), and enhanced cooperation with Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs), civil society and the private sector. Efforts in Continuing to improve the management process centred on the implementation of Results-Based Budgeting for all technical programmes, systems enhancements to Oracle Financials and related systems, and human resources planning and management. Leveraging resources for FAO and its Members was facilitated by the development of new modalities of multi-bilateral cooperation including for strategic partnership and national execution, along with streamlining of procedures and further expansion of the Field Programme Management Information System (FPMIS). Communicating FAO’s messages was enhanced through an expanded communication process, development of a new intranet and extranet accessible to all staff including many FAO Representations, and the strengthening of multi-lingual media relations.

10.      A section on Regional Dimensions in this PIR meets the need to report implementation results of regional significance. This summary-level analysis is based broadly on the presentation of regional dimensions in the Programme of Work and Budget (PWB) 2002-03 and provides cross-sectoral views of activities implemented in the 2002-03 biennium of particular interest to individual regions.

11.      The section on Organizational Performance, summarized below, reports on the evolution of available resources, the cost of field programme support, the FAO language policy and geographical and gender balance of professional staff.

12.      Total expenditure in 2002-03 was US$ 1,400 million, US$ 96 million (7.3%) more than in 2000-01. Expenditure under General and Related Funds, which increased by US$ 110 million (16.4%) over the previous biennium, showed significant changes in the mix of items between 2002-03 and 2000-01. In particular, the Regular Programme appropriation was constant in real terms but expenditure against it was 2% higher in 2002-03. This was partly possible because of significant increases in income firstly through jointly funded investment activities, which showed significant gains of 22%, and secondly from support cost reimbursements which rose by 12%. There was a higher level of expenditure against the 2000-01 biennium Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP) appropriation (US$ 13.1 million) as well as higher expenditure against the 2002-03 appropriation resulting in a lower level of deferred TCP income (US$ 15.7 million). The currency variance on staff cost, which was a favourable US$ 24 million in 2000-01 became an adverse US$ 34.8 million in 2002-03 (although, in practice, this loss was offset by gains on the forward purchase of euro requirements credited to the Special Reserve Account).

13.      Expenditures to implement the programme of work totalled US$ 723.4 million against a corresponding final budget of US$ 724.0 million. Income earned was US$ 72.2 million. Overall net expenditure against the Regular Programme appropriation of US$ 651.8 million was US$ 651.1 million. Adjustments were necessary because the implementation of the programme of work inevitably diverged from that planned as the result of factors such as unforeseen and unbudgeted inflation and other costs as well as shifts in priorities reflecting the changing external environment and the Organization’s efforts to respond to Members' most pressing needs. The technical work of the Organization accounted for 79% of expenditure in 2002-03, with 41% spent under Chapter 2, 25% under Chapter 3 and 13% under Chapter 4. General Policy and Direction, including the cost of governance and public information, amounted to a further 10%, leaving a balance of 11% spent for Administration and Common Services.

14.      In late 2002 the Organization received from the major contributor a payment of arrears in the amount of US$ 100 million. The use of these funds was stipulated in Conference Resolution 6/2001 as was the authority to carry forward any unspent balance for use in 2004-05. A balance of US$ 41.4 million was brought forward under this provision.

15.      Under Trust Funds and UNDP, where overall expenditure declined by US$ 14 million (2.3%), there were also significant variations between the two biennia where expenditure on non-emergency Trust Funds increased by US$ 10.6 million (3.9%) but emergency operations implementation declined by US$ 16.3 million (5%), mainly as the result of lower delivery in the Iraq Oil-for-Food Programme. Expenditure under UNDP dropped by US$ 8.6 million (25%).

16.      Total Field Programme delivery in 2002-03, including TCP and Special Programme for Food Security (SPFS), increased by just over 3% from 2000-01, while the cost of technical support services increased by US$ 1 million to US$ 57.6 million. As a result, Technical Support Services (TSS) as a percentage of total delivery was virtually unchanged at 8.1% in 2002-03. The funding for this technical assistance was provided by extra-budgetary funded projects (US$ 3.9 million), TCP and SPFS projects (US$ 10.5 million) and provisions for TSS under the Regular Programme budget for technical divisions.

17.      Total Administrative and Operational Support (AOS) rose by US$ 6.8 million, or as a percentage of total project delivery from 9.3% to 10.1% in 2002-03, while reimbursements increased by US$ 2 million to US$ 47.3 million. The net decline in the percentage of cost recovered from 70.4% to 66.1% is entirely attributable to a one-time reduction of income on TCP projects arising from the change in accounting methodology.

18.      Considerable improvements in the overall system of language management were effected to cope with increased work resulting from the implementation of the various operational procedures for simultaneous production of documents and publications in all five official languages. Improvements in the system of language management included new technologies for terminology and translation outputs to facilitate the work of the translation teams, and new technologies to reduce the time taken to produce official meeting documents in both original and translated language versions. One consequence was to enable more rapid simultaneous placement of documents in all languages on the FAO Web site. The Interdepartmental Working Group on Terminology was strengthened to enable timely updating and ensure accuracy of the terminology database. A Special Allotment for Implementation of the Language Policy encouraged additional language versions of publications and contributed to improvements in language management systems.

19.      The principles of geographic representation of Member Nations followed by the Organization were established by the 27th session of the FAO Council in 1957. The norm for a country's representation was based on the percentage of its contribution to the Regular Programme as compared to the proportion of staff of that nationality funded from the Regular Programme with continuing or fixed-term appointments1. At the end of 2003, there were 77 countries that exceeded the top of their range, compared to 73 at the end of 2001; 16 under-represented countries, compared to 11 at the end of 2001; and 30 non-represented countries, compared to 26 at the end of 2001. High priority is given to placement of professional staff from non-represented countries and 5 of the 26 countries not represented in at the end of 2001 were represented at the end of 2003. The FAO Conference, at its 32nd Session held in November/December 2003, adopted a revised formula for the calculation of geographic distribution which is based on the formula implemented in the UN Secretariat and several organizations of the UN common system. The implementation of the new methodology is effective from 1 January 2004.

20.      Efforts to increase the proportion of female staff in the professional category during the last four biennia have resulted in the increase of women in professional posts at headquarters from 21% at the beginning of 1996 to 30% at the end 2003 and an increase in all locations from 18 to 27%. While the percentage of women in professional posts in the FAO offices outside of Rome is significantly below headquarters, the rate of increase has been relative high, growing from 8% in 1996 to 18% in 2003.

21.      The Summary of Programme Implementation is based on the PWB programme structure and describes the main achievements as well as any significant work that has not been completed, for management and accountability purposes. It includes information on budgetary performance and biennial output completion status at Programme level, as well as achievements from a programmatic perspective. It is noted that the results and achievements reported are not generally at the same level or order of magnitude as the major outputs and outcomes in the MTP. However, it is anticipated that the six-year auto-evaluation cycle will fully address outcomes and achievement of the objectives of entities in the MTP.

22.      Finally, the usual report on unscheduled and cancelled sessions for the period 1 January 2002 to 31 December 2003 is provided in Annex II, while the geographical representation of staff is detailed in Annex III.

1  Excludes field project staff, language staff, and staff on posts financed by Support Costs, Trust Funds and Other Funds.

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