Major Programme 3.1: Policy Assistance
|(all amounts in US$ 000)
||2004-05 Programme of Work
||ZRG 2006-07 Programme of Work
||ZNG 2006-07 Programme of Work
||RG 2006-07 Programme of Work
||Coordination of Policy Assistance and Field Programme Development
||Policy Assistance to Various Regions
||Legal Assistance to Member Nations
|Programme Change from 2004-05 Programme of Work at MP level
Substantive thrusts under ZRG conditions
418. Major Programme 3.1 draws upon the normative policy analysis work of various technical units within FAO and is, for the most part, implemented by Regional and Subregional Offices. Programme 3.1.3 is implemented by the Legal Office (LEG). In 2006-2007, there will be a strong emphasis on developing a baseline of sound knowledge of the agricultural and food sector, including driving forces for change, major opportunities and constraints. This will allow FAO to better target its policy and strategic advice and to identify the most critical entry points for field programme development. In doing so, FAO will ensure close links with national development plans, Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs), and UNDAF141
. Given the extensive involvement of countries in regional integration agreements and treaties, policy assistance will be further extended to regional economic organizations to secure convergence and harmonisation of development policies, strategies and priorities in areas of FAO’s mandate.
419. The major programme will be guided by the recommendations of the inter-departmental Policy Task Force which brings together technical units and the Policy Assistance Division (TCA) as well as decisions of the governing bodies regarding the role of FAO in helping countries to achieve sustainable development, bearing in mind the MDGs142
. Programme entities were subject to progressive rationalisation, in line with the recommendations of the Programme Committee, and combined where possible so as to avoid fragmentation and spreading of resources too thinly. In terms of allocation of resources, there will be a marked shift in favour of Programme 3.1.2: Policy Assistance to Various Regions
both for staff and non-staff resources. Within Programme 3.1.1, the largest reallocation of resources is made in support to country and regional sector information and analysis. The findings of the auto-evaluation exercise conducted in 2004 have also been reflected.
420. As regards thematic coverage, the following three main areas will be most prominent in policy and strategic advice: trade-related policies; competitiveness and regional integration; macro and sector policy reform. Under the ‘country focus’ activities, each decentralized unit will regularly carry out country and regional sector studies. This will permit to identify where advisory services would yield greatest gains and to progressively upgrade the Country Office Information Network (COIN) as well as its interface with the country information system within the Field Programme Management Information System (FPMIS).
Programme 3.1.1: Coordination of Policy Assistance and Field Programme Development
421. This programme includes: bridging and adapting the normative work of technical departments for outreach by decentralized policy assistance groups; development of training and policy materials; direct participation in policy advice; capacity-building and field programme development. Special attention will be given to sharing knowledge across the various regions. The programme will continue inter alia
- enhance country focus by ensuring availability of relevant data on country situations and strategic priorities through a Web-based country information system;
- provide support to country and regional sector information and analysis;
- ensure effective provision of technical assistance under the field programme related to core issues of agricultural development and food security (additional resources have been allocated for this purpose); and
- ensure efficient delivery of policy advice and capacity-building to Members, in particular through interdisciplinary approaches.
Programme 3.1.2: Policy Assistance to Various Regions
422. This programme covers the work of the decentralized policy assistance branches and units in both policy advice and field programme development for countries and regional organizations. It plays a major role in maintaining country focus for FAO activities. Sector and subsector reviews and analyses of selected policy issues are conducted to strengthen policy advice and better target the field programme.
423. Following the guidance provided in particular by the Programme Committee that due priority should be given to maintaining the capacity to deliver policy assistance in the regions, five professional posts will be reinstated under Programme 3.1.2, and non-staff resources augmented to enhance delivery of decentralized groups thereby offsetting the cuts enforced in the revised PWB 2004-05. These groups will aim at:
- improved regional and country sector information and analysis and better targeting of policy and strategic advice;
- closer adaptation of field programme development approaches to emerging development aid modalities; and
- harmonised inter-departmental cooperation with FAO country offices as they develop agreements for priority areas of technical assistance and field programme development.
Programme 3.1.3: Legal Assistance to Member Nations
424. Programme 3.1.3 is designed to improve the legal and institutional framework for agricultural development and natural resources management in countries. It operates through three principal means: technical advice for law design and legal reform; production and dissemination of legal information; and legal inputs to inter-departmental normative work, in particular through the Priority Areas for Inter-disciplinary Action (PAIAs) covering biosecurity, biodiversity, biotechnology, climate change, multilateral trade negotiations and organic agriculture. Under ZRG, it will seek to meet priority demands for legal advice, policy assistance and information from Members, including in emerging areas of food and agricultural law such as ‘right to food’-related national legislation.
Real Growth Scenario
425. Real growth would permit additional legal assistance to countries, especially the smaller ones, to cope with new treaties, regional integration mechanisms and globalisation challenges (under 3.1.3).
Zero Nominal Growth Impact
426. ZNG would force a return to the severe budgetary cuts in the revised PWB 2004-05. It would make it impossible to bring the staffing of decentralized policy branches and units back to critical mass; the Pacific subregion, for example, has only one outposted TCA staff member. FAO’s outreach capacity would be impaired at the very time when the international community is pushing for faster implementation of the Millennium Development Goals and is calling for UN system reforms designed to deliver strategic and policy assistance. TCA capacity to systematically draw the attention of technical departments to field programme opportunities would also be more limited.
427. Extra-budgetary resources are expected in particular to support the detailed formulation and mobilisation of funds for national and subregional agricultural projects and programmes related to the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) in Africa. Some additional funds are also expected in support of on-line training on policy and planning. Programme 3.1.3 benefits from the contributions of several APOs143