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Evolving priorities and new opportunities would be sufficient in themselves to suggest that FAO needs to adapt itself to continue serving its Members effectively in the coming years. It is also evident that the Organization has been constantly adapting over the past six decades and that it could continue to do so through a process of gradual change and improvement over a period of years, in response to new and differing requirements. Such would be a "business-as-usual" scenario.


The Director-General's decision to propose, instead, a far-reaching reform for immediate implementation has been prompted both by developments in the wider environment of the UN system, and by reflections and consultations within the Secretariat and in the deliberations of its Governing Bodies, primarily during the year 2005. This section examines these developments and explains the process followed so far in consulting on the proposals, with a view to implementing the decisions taken by the Conference in November 2005 and facilitating consensus on the remaining proposals by the time of the Council in November, 2006.

UN system reform


The year 2005 saw a remarkable succession of significant developments of high relevance to FAO. The UN's 2005 World Summit brought into even sharper focus the actions needed to achieve the internationally agreed goals, in particular, the overarching MDG 1, which explicitly recognizes the interrelationship between hunger and poverty and the imperative of reducing both. This message was at the core of the two World Food Summits FAO has held in the past decade: that it is acknowledged in the broader context of these global development goals is a vindication of the Organization's advocacy on behalf of the food-insecure. But while stating the goals was a crucial step, they are far from being attained, and UN organizations are seen as having an important role in assisting countries to achieve them.


The expectations of UN Members are that the system must reform itself in order to rise to this challenge. In an important section of the Outcome Document of the 2005 World Summit, Heads of State and Government pledged to "enhance the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, accountability and credibility of the UN system". As one of the oldest of the specialized agencies, FAO must reflect seriously on the situation in which the system finds itself, facing such pressing calls for reform in order to eliminate overlap and duplication in mandates and ensure stronger system-wide coherence and effectiveness. Part of the momentum for change comes from the concepts of partnership, coordination and harmonization that are reflected in the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness: ownership, harmonization, results and mutual accountability, adopted at the Paris High-Level Forum in March 2005. UN organizations are expected to take account of changes in the approach adopted by major multilateral financing institutions and by bilateral donors, aiming at promoting full national ownership of development strategies and programmes, and national accountability for results. Following adoption of the Resolution on the Triennial Comprehensive Policy Review of Operational Activities for Development of the UN System by the UN General Assembly in 2004, the FAO Conference requested the Director General to take appropriate actions and to submit an interim report on the implementation of the resolution to the next Conference.


The process of UN reform began several years ago. However, initially the concentration has been on achieving greater coherence among the UN funds and programmes, both centrally and at the country level. In future, attention is expected to focus particularly on the specialized agencies, and it is within this framework that a proactive response from FAO is required. Recent donor studies claim that the agencies, including FAO, have been slow to adapt themselves to the changes in the wider environment of development cooperation. Having global sectoral mandates, the agencies are very different in nature from the UN funds and programmes, the IFIs or donor organizations. They have important responsibilities for norm-setting and the production of global public goods in the areas of their mandates; with respect to supporting country efforts, their principal comparative advantage is seen by some as being in the areas of advocacy, policy and technical advice, and capacity building, and by others in developing pilot projects as a basis for upscaling at national level and coordinating regional and international programmes.


In general, the agencies face similar challenges in maintaining the appropriate balance between their global work and the need to provide services to individual member countries. However, they are custodians and depositaries of knowledge in their respective fields of competence and represent a significant investment by their Members, over many years, in building up a wealth of information, experience, technical expertise and analytical capacity, which makes them well-placed to provide evidence-based advice on policy and technology options, and to facilitate capacity building and the transfer of knowledge. It is therefore essential that the specialized agencies participate proactively in the next phase of UN reform, which is expected to find ways of drawing on all the knowledge and experience available within the system to support development in member countries.

Addressing the MDGs


The urgent need for decisive action on FAO's part to respond to these concerns became even more apparent in the context of discussions in the UN Chief Executives Board (CEB), during which the developments outlined above were addressed collectively by the heads of UN organizations. In early 2005, FAO re-examined all of its programmes in the light of the MDGs and of the ongoing process of UN reform. The review found that much of FAO's work is already contributing directly or indirectly to achievement of the MDGs. It concluded that about half of the Organization's effort in relation to the MDGs is directed towards MDG 1 - to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger. Important contributions are made to MDG 7 - to ensure environmental sustainability, as well as to MDG 3 - to promote gender equality. Significant indirect contributions are made to MDG 4 - to reduce child mortality; MDG 5 - to improve maternal health; and MDG 6 - to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases. FAO's increasing engagement in alliances and partnerships, as well as its work on commodities and trade, responds to MDG 8 - to develop a global partnership for development.


The review also recognized, however, that the Organization needed to "critically re-examine its own role within the [UN] system and articulate how it will adapt to face the challenges ahead". It noted that the focus of efforts to achieve the goals will be at the country level, and that FAO needs to determine where and how its capacities should be most effectively deployed at this level in the context of the UN system's overall contribution to the process. The proposed strategy to enhance FAO's contribution as part of collective action by the UN system to respond to the MDG challenge, had four main elements: advocacy to boost momentum in addressing the Goals; better targeting of FAO's own programmes; strategic alliances and partnerships; and cooperation, within the framework of the UN Resident Coordinator system, at the country level.


It was concluded that FAO should develop its role as a privileged adviser to governments in the spheres of its competence and engage fully in UN-wide reforms, strengthening its capacity to work in closer partnership within UN mechanisms such as the CEB and other relevant coordinating arrangements. It should also contribute to coordinating processes at the national level, especially Common Country Assessments (CCAs) and UN Development Assistance Frameworks (UNDAFs). The Organization must take these frameworks, as well as the Poverty Reduction Strategies or other relevant national strategies, as the key points of reference for improving priority setting for its own programmes at country level.


The review also pointed out the considerable scope that exists for expanding the range of joint programmes with other UN agencies, building on the successful experience of the Joint FAO/International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Division of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture, the Joint Programme for Codex Alimentarius with WHO and the FAO/World Bank Cooperative Programme. One conclusion was that FAO might do more, in future, to assist countries in addressing the MDGs concerning child mortality, maternal health and combating diseases, all areas in which the importance of adequate nutrition is capital, and that this should be envisaged in the framework of joint work with other UN organizations dealing with these target groups.

Developments within FAO


In parallel with the review of FAO's contribution to the MDGs, a thorough survey was conducted on the nature of FAO as an organization that collects, generates, processes, standardizes, disseminates, transfers and applies knowledge in a continuous cycle. The conclusion that 80 percent of the knowledge was in the heads of individuals, within and outside the Organization, had far-reaching consequences, leading to the concept of knowledge networks.


The preparation of the reviews both of FAO as a knowledge organization and of FAO's contribution to the MDGs and UN reform coincided with consideration of the outcome of the Independent Evaluation of FAO's Decentralization. The recommendations of the evaluation were not entirely surprising, as FAO was already trying to address some of the problems, but they were far-reaching in their implications. It was clear that the decentralization process - one of the principal aspects of the reorganization in 1994 and further pursued in subsequent biennia - had still not produced the full benefits expected. The evaluation had acknowledged that the context of shrinking resources in which decentralization had taken place had had major implications for its effectiveness. Nevertheless, the recommendations made by the Independent Evaluation involved substantial modifications to the structure and functioning of FAO's network of decentralized offices


The evaluation emphasized the need to strengthen the Organization's capacity to respond to its Members' requirements in a relevant and timely fashion, with staff and consultants of the requisite calibre, familiar with the conditions of the countries. In order to do this, flexible arrangements for identifying national priorities at country level in partnership with multilateral partners were found to be essential, as was effective decentralization of authority and placing staff in proximity to the countries, especially in those parts of the world where physical communications are difficult. It was also considered important to build a more networked Organization with increased interchange between headquarters and decentralized offices. In practice, implementation of these and other recommendations required simultaneous changes in FAO's headquarters structure to permit and reinforce their execution. Measures to address the recommendations needed to be accompanied by actions to bring about what the Council had described as "a major shift in organizational culture" in order to increase flexibility in execution and ensure clearer accountability for results.


The Independent Evaluation of FAO's Decentralization was one of the most recent of a series of external reviews and assessments on which reports had been submitted to FAO's Governing Bodies. These reviews, of which a list is provided in Annex 1, had addressed various aspects of FAO's programmes and operations following the Director-General's initial reform measures launched in 1994. While their recommendations had been carefully considered and accommodated to the extent possible, it was clear that, as was the case for the decentralization evaluation, substantial modifications to FAO's structure and ways of doing business might provide more fertile terrain for implementation of some of the more fundamental conclusions of these reviews.


At the time that discussions were taking place in the Council concerning decentralization, there was also a clear expression by some Members of concerns about FAO's planning and programming process. In efforts to meet past requests for greater transparency, the Organization has greatly modernized and systematized its planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation processes, and increased the amount of reliable data and detailed information that it can provide to the Governing Bodies. At the same time, this may have also reinforced an impression of fragmentation in the programme and in resource allocations. In requesting streamlining and simplification, the Council was calling on the Secretariat not only to reduce the volume of documentation, but to arrive at a programme structure and form of presentation that would allow both Members and the Secretariat to focus their attention on major priorities.

The process


The prospect of formulating proposals that could significantly increase the Organization's capacity to meet the expectations placed upon it led the Director-General to request his senior colleagues to consult their staff and report frankly on management challenges and programme priorities for FAO in the future. Candid views were thus expressed, followed by presentation of priorities for each department. The Director-General's own reflections and the views of staff led to the conclusion that change was essential, and that what was needed was not to add and subtract on the margins, but rather to re-engineer the Organization, both its programmes and its management structure.


Another of the significant aspects of this internal reflection was the conclusion that while some gains have been achieved through implementation of new budget and financial management systems, and more will be attained as these are extended to cover human resources management, FAO needed to move beyond the technology aspects of efficiency gains and focus on broad-based business process transformation to eliminate redundant actions rather than merely streamline them. Programme and organizational restructuring would accelerate this transformation process and enable the Organization to address substantive challenges and opportunities more coherently. A final important aspect concerned the balance to be maintained between "normative" and "operational" activities, a somewhat artificial distinction on which differing views and perceptions had always existed within the Membership. A focus on FAO's core business as a knowledge organization would provide a much more logical paradigm within which to frame programmes in the future.


The Director-General therefore took the decision to present, to the Thirty-third Session of the FAO Conference, a coherent package of proposals for implementation beginning in 2006. The proposals were contained in the supplement to the Programme of Work and Budget 2006-07 (C 2005/3 Sup.1). In the period after August 2005, when the reform proposals were announced, the Director-General engaged in a process of information and consultation with FAO staff, both at headquarters and in regional and subregional offices, as well as with a sample of FAO Representatives (FAORs). This involved meetings with senior management and with the Programme and Policy Advisory Board (PPAB) comprising all department heads, division directors and heads of independent offices, with the participation of the staff associations. He also had a separate meeting with the representatives of the staff associations. He met with all headquarters professional and general service staff in a series of divisional meetings. Following the meetings of the Programme and Finance Committees, he consulted by teleconference with all regional and subregional offices. Finally, he established and met with a number of interdepartmental working groups to examine and recommend detailed measures to implement the reforms.


The Director-General took into consideration the views expressed by the Programme and Finance Committees, the feedback from all of his meetings with staff, the Outcome Document of the 2005 World Summit and the suggestions of individual Member Nations and groups of Members, to amend the initial proposals presented in the Supplement to the Programme of Work and Budget 2006-07. These amendments were contained in the additional information submitted in C 2005/3 Sup.1 Add. 1.


The Director-General also held meetings with Members and groups of Members represented in Rome on a number of occasions since the beginning of the process. As each of the documents was issued, it was placed on FAO's Web site and delivered to all Member Nations in their capitals, as well as to all Members' representatives in Rome, in accordance with established procedures. Personal delivery to Ministers was also arranged in countries in which FAO has a representative.


The Conference considered the Programme of Work and Budget for 2006-2007 including the reforms proposed by the Director-General, and adopted two Resolutions, one on Budgetary Appropriations for the 2006-07 biennium and the other on Reforms in the Organization. As regards the budgetary appropriations, the approved level is US$765.7 million. This represents a nominal increase of US$ 16.6 million over the 2004-05 budget, essentially to meet escalating security costs. The budget does not compensate the Organization for inflation during the biennium, with the consequence that during 2006-07 US$ 38.6 million are to be absorbed through further efficiency savings and programme reductions. The Budgetary Appropriations Resolution adopts the reformed chapter structure proposed by the Director-General, and requests that a revised PWB document be submitted to the May 2006 sessions of the Programme and Finance Committees for their approval.


Reforms in the Organization


Welcoming the initiative of the Director-General to submit to the Conference reform proposals regarding the programmes, structures and ways of work of the Organization.

Noting that the Director-General had emphasized that reforms were necessary and urgent, and that they should be implemented regardless of the budget level, and that he intended to seek extra-budgetary support to meet part of the transitions costs,

Sharing the Director-General’s assessment of the need to enhance the Organization’s ability to fulfil its mandate through its normative and operational activities including through concrete contributions to the well-recognized challenges such as assisting Members and achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and assisting developing countries’ implementation of international agricultural and food standards,

Recognizing the need to respond to the renewed commitment to rural investment by all interested partners, and ever growing opportunities for harnessing knowledge for agriculture,

Taking into account the ongoing reform across the entire UN System, mindful of the necessarily dynamic nature of a process of adaptation to changing contexts and new demands,

Looking forward to the results of the Independent External Evaluation (IEE) of FAO as a guide to enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of the Organization; and stressing that the IEE and the reform proposals should be mutually supportive. Also looking forward to the implementation of the recommendations of the Independent Evaluation of Decentralization and the management response,

1. Requests the Committee of the Council to make available the findings of the IEE.

2. Expresses general support for the rationale and guiding principles underlying the Director-General’s reform proposals as a basis for further deliberation and implementation of the reform of the FAO.

3. Supports streamlining of administrative and financial processes aimed at achieving further efficiency gains and enhanced human resources policy and management; and authorizes the establishment of the Shared Services Centre.

4. Endorses the new chapter structure as reflected in general terms in document C 2005/3 Sup.1 and its Addendum as a basis for further elaboration of the Programme of Work and Budget (PWB) 2006-07 at the programme entity level for consideration by the Programme and Finance Committees in May 2006.

5. Acknowledges the need for strengthened decentralization of the Organization, and requests that as a first step the Director-General’s proposals be implemented in on Region and one other Subregional office. It mandates the Council to decide on further implementation of the Director-General’s proposals as soon as possible and appropriate.

6. Authorizes the Director-General to start progressive implementation of his proposals on changes to the organizational structure of Headquarters, without an increase in the number of Departments, by implementing a first stage (see Annex), in addition to those reform proposals that fall under his own authority.

7. The Director-General will consult with Members and Governing Bodies regarding the possible need for an Extraordinary Session of the Council at the end of June-early July.


  • integrate the country policy assistance function with the Economic and Social Department;
  • integrate the Investment Centre with the Economic and Social Department;
  • unite the various advocacy activities, including TeleFood, Goodwill Ambassadors, and the International Alliance Against Hunger under one single unit;
  • strengthen the knowledge management and capacity-building aspects of the Organization’s technical and country assistance activities;
  • integrate nutrition and consumer protection within the Agriculture Department, ensuring that emphasis on normative nutrition activities is maintained;
  • integrate security functions.

(Adopted on 26 November 2005)


The Conference’s resolution on Reforms in the Organization is contained in the box above. Through its main operative paragraphs the Resolution: authorizes the progressive implementation of a first stage of the reform proposals related to the organizational structure at Headquarters; acknowledges the need for further decentralization and requests as a first step the implementation of the proposals in one region and one additional sub-region; and supports the streamlining of administrative and financial processes, authorizing the establishment of a Shared Services Centre. The Council is mandated to decide on further implementation of the reform proposals as soon as possible and appropriate.


Since the Conference, the Director-General has continued his internal consultative process with the chairs of the various internal working groups established earlier and through meetings with senior management and the Programme and Policy Advisory Board, with the presence of the staff representatives. He has already arranged for the formation of a Joint Advisory Committee on FAO Reform, in which both management and staff are represented. The proposed reforms call for a well-planned and orchestrated adjustment process, aimed at ensuring that changes are introduced in a logical sequence and with minimum disruption to FAO's substantive work. Building on the Organization's past experience, transparency in the management of staff movements will be ensured through task forces on redeployment with the participation of staff representatives. They will play a crucial role in matching posts and expertise, a task that will be greatly facilitated by the number of posts already vacant and the mandatory retirements during 2005 and in the coming biennium.


Keeping in mind the social and human implications of the reform proposals, the Director-General on 3 August 2005 gave instructions to freeze recruitment of professional and general service staff with a view to having vacancies available to facilitate redeployment of existing staff when and where necessary. Consequently, on 15 December 2005 there were 154 vacancies at headquarters and 38 vacancies in decentralized offices in the professional and higher categories. For the general service, there were 84 vacant posts at headquarters and 79 in the decentralized offices. During the course of the present biennium, there will be additional posts becoming vacant owing to the mandatory retirement of 79 staff members at headquarters and 47 staff members in decentralized offices, in the professional and higher categories. The mandatory retirements during the same period for the general service category of staff will result in 53 vacancies at headquarters and 30 in decentralized offices. Other possibilities for staff redeployments will arise as a result of voluntary departure or retirement of staff.


The vacancies in the professional and general service categories will result in opportunities for lateral transfers, which will be reviewed and discussed with the participation of staff representatives in the framework of the redeployment task forces. Changes approved by the Conference in both headquarters and the decentralized offices are being implemented, and further changes will be implemented progressively, as approval is obtained and as negotiations are concluded with the host countries of the decentralized offices. The redeployment task forces will, as in the past, also address cases of separations on agreed terms.


As foreseen by the Conference, the Director-General has held consultations with Members through their Permanent Representatives in Rome regarding further discussions of the reforms by the Governing Bodies. It was concluded that there was no need for an extraordinary session of the Council in mid-2006, but that modified reform proposals could be submitted to and considered by the September 2006 sessions of the Programme and Finance Committees and the November 2006 Council. This decision makes it possible also to envisage discussion of the reform proposals at each of the Regional Conferences, so that the input of Members in these fora can be fed into the decision-making process of the Committees and the Council in the latter part of the year. Section II describes the substance of the reform proposals, modified to take account of the Conference decisions.




The aim of the reform is to enable the Organization to play an increasingly effective role in assisting its Members to achieve the goals of eradicating hunger and ensuring the adequacy and quality of global food and fibre supplies, produced in ways that safeguard natural resources and the cultural heritage and diversity of the world's rural populations. All of the Organization's activities must contribute to this effort, in fulfilment of the commitments of the 1996 World Food Summit and of the 2002 World Food Summit: five years later.


Evolving priorities and new opportunities require that FAO adapt its programmes and approaches in order to respond better in future to the needs and expectations of countries and the international community. Moreover, there is an immediate need for a proactive response by FAO to the process of reform of the UN system, as well as to the recommendations of the Governing Bodies, external evaluations and internal reviews, which, taken together, call for far-reaching changes.


These changes must be reflected in the Organization's programmes, which must be targeted more clearly and specifically to the priorities identified by its Members, and in its organizational structure, which must reflect the imperative of creating a unified FAO operating through a more coherent and decentralized structure. Measures to streamline FAO's ways of working are required, to achieve both greater efficiency and gains in performance; these must be accompanied by greater flexibility in resource allocation and by reinforced monitoring, evaluation and oversight systems.

Shape of the reform


To achieve these aims, the reform proposals involve a substantial re-engineering of the Organization. They:


In order to facilitate achievement of these objectives, the proposals:


Pervading these proposals is the intent to induce and create space for cultural change within the Organization - a change that will not come overnight but that is fundamental to improving its responsiveness to its Members, establishing its effectiveness as a knowledge organization and enhancing its global impact.

Restructuring FAO's programmes


Achieving the goals of the reform requires a redefinition of the overall structure of FAO's programme. The Conference adopted the new chapter structure as shown in the box below.

Proposed programme structure

Chapter 1: Corporate governance
Chapter 2: Sustainable food and agricultural systems
Chapter 3: Knowledge exchange, policy and advocacy
Chapter 4: Decentralization, UN cooperation and programme delivery
Chapter 5: Management and supervision services
Chapter 6: Contingencies
Chapter 8: Capital expenditure
Chapter 9: Security expenditure


Chapters 1, 5, 6, 8 and 9 contain the budgetary provisions necessary to discharge the Organization's governance and management responsibilities. (The former Chapter 7, Contingencies, becomes Chapter 6 owing to the reduced total number of chapters, but Chapters 8 and 9 are not renumbered because they are specifically referred to with the numbers 8 and 9 in the Basic Texts.) Chapters 2, 3 and 4 cover the three principal interdisciplinary thrusts of FAO's activities, and each of these three chapters brings together several groups of related programmes. Within all of these programmes, activities have been identified for elimination, for implementation through different means, or for reduction in resources to permit shifts towards work of higher priority. As mandated by the Conference, specific proposals in this regard will be contained in a further elaboration of the Programme of Work and Budget 2006-2007 at the programme entity level. This document, presenting revised proposals at the approved budget level, will be considered by the Programme and Finance Committees in May, 2006.


New cross-programme priorities - the use of thematic knowledge networks, the identification, synthesis and dissemination of best practices, and a focus on capacity building for individuals and institutions - will profoundly influence the choice and implementation of activities in all three chapters. FAO will promote the emergence of knowledge networks at two levels: one axis will be to improve knowledge sharing and exchange among staff in different locations while the other will be between FAO and experts in centres of excellence in member countries. By deliberately extending its involvement in theme-based knowledge networks, FAO will strengthen its links with the global knowledge community and thereby have a greater influence in debates on global issues. In relation to best practices, the Organization's experience acquired in programmes and projects, and that of partners and member countries, needs to be synthesized and made more widely available in forms appropriate to various types of users - not only those within the Secretariat and in FAO's technical cooperation programmes, but also policy-makers and practitioners in member countries.


The thematic focus of capacity-building activities will vary over time, but one of the underlying objectives will be to offer training opportunities related to themes of major and emerging significance. The main areas of focus will include:

Chapter 2: Sustainable food and agricultural systems


Chapter 2 includes areas of work that lay the foundation for sustainable food and agricultural systems, including forestry, fisheries and aquaculture. It brings together most of the Organization's activities relating to the food chain - from crop, livestock and food production, through infrastructure and industries to ensuring consumer protection. It also emphasizes programmes that contribute to the responsible management and conservation of natural resources and their sustainable use. Within this overall field, the Organization will increasingly concentrate its resources on those areas of work for which it can retain a capacity for excellence because of its convening powers and multidisciplinary staffing. These will include promoting, developing and reinforcing policy and regulatory frameworks for food, agriculture, forestry and fisheries, in particular through international instruments.

Chapter 2 Sustainable food and agricultural systems

Agriculture, biosecurity, nutrition and consumer protection
Crop production systems management
Livestock production systems management
Diseases and pests of animals and plants
Nutrition and consumer protection

Forestry information, statistics, economics, and policy
Forestry management, conservation and rehabilitation
Forest products and industry

Fisheries and aquaculture
Fisheries and aquaculture information, statistics, economics, and policy
Fisheries and aquaculture management and conservation
Fisheries and aquaculture products and industry

Natural resources, technology and sustainable development
Sustainable natural resources management
Technology, research and extension
Rural infrastructure and agro-industries


Under Agriculture, biosecurity, nutrition and consumer protection, FAO will address the range of issues involved in the food chain, or "farm to table", approach. This new focus will contribute to realizing the original vision of FAO's founders that the Organization must emphasize the larger framework of producer and consumer interests. Specific programmes will address:


Work on Forestry will involve internal adjustments to reflect the importance of forest economics and forest management and conservation. Cross-cutting thematic work will be done on forest fire prevention and control and on reforestation. In Fisheries and aquaculture, increased importance will be accorded to aquaculture, given its growing significance in global fish output and rural livelihoods. Cross-cutting priorities will include promoting the uptake and implementation of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and in particular the monitoring of fishing vessels and measures to ensure the safety of fishers, as well as other initiatives to ensure a better balance between marine fish stocks and capture levels.


Addressing Natural resources, technology and sustainable development involves bringing together and reinforcing the Organization's work on:

Chapter 3: Knowledge exchange, policy and advocacy


Chapter 3 brings together FAO's economic and social development programmes and highlights the importance attached to enhancing the Organization's activities in support of knowledge exchange and capacity building, which are central to the work of the Organization but have not been explicitly recognized in the programme before now.

Chapter 3 Knowledge exchange, policy and advocacy

Economic and social development
Leveraging resources and investment
Food and agriculture policy
Trade and marketing
Agriculture information and statistics

Alliances and rural livelihoods
Alliances and advocacy initiatives against hunger and poverty
Gender and equity in rural societies
Rural livelihoods

Knowledge exchange, communication and capacity building
Knowledge exchange and capacity building
Information technology systems
Communication and public information


Programmes in the area of Economic and social development will continue to provide the analytical and statistical underpinning for policy assistance. They will encourage cooperation among centres of excellence to explore frontier knowledge as well as the lessons from historic and geographic experiences of agricultural development and the interface between the primary sector and the other components of the macro-economy. Areas of work will also include long-term perspective studies, reporting on the state of food and agriculture and of food insecurity, trade and marketing issues, the economics of food and agricultural systems, and statistics, all of which will be drawn upon to furnish policy advice and capacity-building assistance. With regard to the mobilization of investment funds for members, through the Organization's joint programmes with the IFIs, and through cooperation with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and other specialized institutions, the emphasis will be on assisting developing member countries to formulate national Medium-term Investment Programmes and related investment projects that address their most pressing needs. The follow-up to the 1996 and 2002 World Food Summits will include continued servicing of the Committee on World Food Security, as well as other efforts to ensure a central place for food security on the international agenda, and to promote policies and strategies to achieve the MDGs, particularly MDG 1. Support to member countries' participation in the international trading system will continue and be reinforced, particularly through capacity-building and training initiatives.


The set of programmes for Alliances and rural livelihoods responds to the importance that must be attached to engaging with a wide spectrum of stakeholders, within member countries as well as at the international level, in order to amplify the Organization's impact, recognizing that success in achieving the MDGs will depend not only on the actions of governments but also on those of non-state actors and peoples' organizations. Work under this heading will involve mainstreaming attention to gender issues, equity in rural society, community and child nutrition, as well as the special needs of indigenous people and those suffering from disease. These important activities will be closely associated with support to rural peoples' organizations and addressing the issues of rural employment. Partnerships and joint programmes will be particularly crucial in these areas, which address various MDGs and cut across the mandates of a number of UN organizations. With regard to advocacy for food security and rural development, FAO's cooperation with the other Rome-based UN agencies as well as with partners from civil society, parliaments, economic and social councils, national associations and decentralized national entities will be consolidated in a programme that will also provide the secretariats for the IAAH and the UN System Network on Rural Development and Food Security. The programme will promote adoption of the Voluntary Guidelines to Support the Progressive Realization of the Right to Adequate Food in the Context of National Food Security, and will manage activities related to World Food Day and TeleFood.


The imperative for FAO of adopting a more proactive approach to creating and sharing knowledge and best practices within the Organization and with Members and other centres must pervade all of FAO's substantive programmes. Although specialized activities will continue to be undertaken under the relevant programmes, there is nevertheless a need for planning, coordinating and facilitating this effort, as well as monitoring, reviewing and evaluating its results, through Knowledge exchange, communication and capacity building programmes. These must open up greater possibilities for sharing experience, harmonizing methodologies, and standardizing information systems, thus contributing to developing the capabilities of national institutions, as well as generating materials for communication to the general public. Work on the World Agricultural Information Centre (WAICENT) - as a major instrument in fostering knowledge exchange and capacity building in the handling of information - and associated tools would be particularly prominent under this programme, including extension of the WAICENT corporate model components to national levels. The programme would also include FAO's range of library services and the Global Information and Early Warning System (GIEWS). Another important task would be to spearhead the progressive implementation of interactive systems to support "Ask FAO" services, providing more direct and timely access by all potentially interested individuals or institutions to the wealth of information accumulated by the Organization and in Member Nations, in particular the dissemination of best practices. This activity would also feed into the outreach programmes of the Organization.

Chapter 4: Decentralization, UN cooperation and programme delivery


Chapter 4, under the heading Coordination and decentralization, acknowledges the priority that the Organization will give to strengthening cooperation with other UN bodies, both internationally and at the national level. It should foster the programmes of cooperation, undertaken within the framework of various FAO technical programmes, with other UN specialized agencies, funds and programmes. It will also be responsible for promoting and coordinating interaction with intergovernmental organs, particularly the UN Economic and Social Council. FAO's advocacy to raise the profile of the agriculture, fisheries and forestry sectors needs to be carried out not only in its own fora, but also through continued participation in meetings of these other bodies, if it is to convey the message convincingly to decision-makers outside the specific realm of FAO's traditional counterpart ministries. These actions need to be complemented by involvement in policy dialogue and support at the national level, in the context of a coherent UN system approach facilitated by country teams and the Resident Coordinator system. The chapter also provides the framework for coordinating FAO's decentralized services to Members, for monitoring FAO's contributions to the MDGs, for encouraging and facilitating development of further joint arrangements with other UN system organizations in various areas of common concern, and for forging, through the decentralized network, stronger links with regional and subregional organizations.

Chapter 4 Decentralization, UN cooperation and programme delivery

Coordination and decentralization
UN cooperation, integration and monitoring
Coordination of decentralized services

Outreach programmes
Food security, poverty reduction and other development cooperation programmes
Emergency and post crisis management

Technical Cooperation Programme


FAO's Outreach programmes include both normal technical cooperation activities and emergency and post-crisis management interventions. The relevance, coherence, quality, content, scale and financing of these programmes will be assured and monitored closely, through overseeing and backstopping the design and implementation of all technical cooperation and emergency interventions, especially in support of complex National and Regional Food Security Programmes and other undertakings related to the MDGs and Poverty Reduction Strategies. This area of work will also involve assembling and analysing information on country and subregional development objectives and strategies relevant to priority-setting for the Organization. Technical cooperation activities serve a dual function of, on the one hand, translating into action and operation the concepts and knowledge developed through FAO's global and norm-setting activities and, on the other hand, enriching the global work through feedback from field experience. An important aspect of the reform proposals is the introduction of a series of measures designed to enhance the sustainability and impact of all of FAO's technical cooperation activities. These will include adjustments to the design of programmes, the provision of planning for sustainability towards the end of the implementation phase, and the preparation of an obligatory report three months after the end of programme operations on the measures taken to ensure sustainability.


Mobilizing resources for the implementation of FAO's and related national programmes will include managing the Technical Cooperation Programme and handling relations with donors and national funding sources, to ensure that FAO's work is responsive to priority national needs and is carried out within the framework of national development efforts. Because of budget cuts, the amount of technical assistance provided by FAO has declined over the years. The Organization has tried to address this problem by mobilizing more experts with the same resources, through recourse to the retired experts scheme, to programmes of technical cooperation among developing and transition countries, and also through using scientists under the programmes of cooperation with academic and research institutions. In addition, the South-South cooperation component of the Special Programme for Food Security (SPFS) has permitted mobilization of more than 600 technicians and experts, and thousands more could be mobilized for field work with farmers, livestock and aquaculture producers, fishers and foresters, at marginal cost thanks to the solidarity among developing countries, with support from multilateral financing institutions and bilateral donors. Donor support would also be crucial to allow the use of young professionals from developing countries, as is already the case with the programme for Associate Professional Officers (APOs) from developed countries.

Organizational structure



Because it is through the organizational structure that accountability is ensured for the implementation of programmes, the proposal involves a reorganization of the departments and offices at headquarters. The structure originally proposed by the Director-General to the Conference consisted of ten departments, two more than at present though without increasing the number of Assistant Director-General positions, and with the Offices of the Inspector-General and of Programme, Budget and Evaluation, together with the Legal Office, being the only independent offices that would continue to report to the Director-General. The aim in defining departmental responsibilities was to assemble the relevant expertise within the Organization in entities that would address, and be accountable for the achievement of, core corporate objectives, and bring together staff working on common or closely related problems to facilitate greater synergy in programme implementation.


This militated in favour of maintaining separate departments for major technical areas such as forestry and fisheries. It also conditioned the search for a logical balance in departmental size, taking into account the resources to be managed under both the Regular and extra-budgetary programmes. An important corollary of the proposal was to implement a "flatter" and less hierarchical management structure, so that within the departments the number of services would be contained, thereby reducing posts of staff engaged in managerial functions, lowering management overheads, providing greater flexibility in deploying staff and encouraging teamwork. Moreover, the elimination of management layers would considerably streamline decision-making processes.


In line with the Conference guidance, the proposed headquarters organizational structure, as shown in Annex 2, maintains a total of eight departments as at present. Within this constraint, the effort has been to achieve as far as possible the objectives of a) balance among departments, in terms of the technical areas to be addressed and the resources to be managed, and b) delayering of management to free resources particularly in the context of the ZNG scenario, which will also allow for flexibly addressing substantive issues. Four actions approved by the Conference, involving consolidation of various advocacy activities into a single unit, strengthening knowledge management and capacity-building throughout the Organization, integrating nutrition and consumer protection within the Agriculture Department, and integrating security functions, have already been implemented as from January 2006. On the other hand, the need to accommodate the headquarters structure within a smaller number of departments militates against implementation of two proposals which had received the approval of the Conference, namely, the integration of both the Investment Centre and the country policy assistance function into the Economic and Social Development Department. Instead, this department will now include two divisions from the present Sustainable Development Department which were in the earlier proposal to have been located in a department dealing with alliances and rural livelihoods. The rationale for the Director-General’s revised proposal is set out below.


In the Agriculture and Consumer Protection Department the two divisions dealing with production, management and conservation of crops and livestock will address all on-farm aspects of production systems up to the farmgate. A new division for diseases and pests of plants and animals will bring together work on plant and animal health issues at national and international levels - policies, standards, prevention measures and transboundary questions - with responsibility for ensuring a coherent response by the Organization to national and international crises. The consolidation of the plant and animal health functions in the same division, separate from the structures responsible for promoting production and trade, follows the approach adopted by a number of developed and developing countries. In some cases food safety issues are also integrated, and the WTO deals with plant and animal pest and disease issues together with food safety under a common framework in the SPS Agreement. Such an approach also underscores the validity of the rationale for moving the Nutrition and Consumer Protection Division to this department. As stressed by the Conference in approving the transfer, the division will maintain its emphasis on nutrition planning, assessment and evaluation, and on household food security and education programmes, as well as further bolstering work on the Codex Alimentarius, on food-safety assessment and on food-quality control, as part of the holistic food chain, or "farm to table" approach. The Joint FAO/IAEA Division in Vienna will continue to be organizationally a part of this department.


The Land and Water Division will move from the present Agriculture Department to the new Natural Resources, Sustainable Development and Technology Department, in recognition of the department's responsibility for natural resources on which forestry and fisheries as well as agriculture depend. For the same reason, the department will house divisions for Sustainable Agriculture, Climate Change and Natural Resources Management; for Technology, Research and Extension; and for Rural Infrastructure and Agro-Industries. All these are areas in which FAO needs to develop its own work, and closer links with partners in the public and private sectors, to promote the action and the investment needed for sustainable development in the agriculture, forestry and fisheries/aquaculture sectors. An important cross-cutting issue to be addressed by the department will be the economics of natural resources.


As at present, separate departments are foreseen to cover the forestry and fisheries sectors. The Forestry Department will be somewhat restructured internally to address the areas identified in the restructured programme under Chapter 2 of the budget, A similar approach will be taken for fisheries, with the new name of the department (Fisheries and Aquaculture) reflecting the significantly increased priority to be given to aquaculture in the programme.


The new focus on enhancing knowledge exchange and capacity-building, while it will permeate all FAO’s programmes, requires bringing together various core functions (heretofore scattered in various departments) in a new Knowledge and Communication Department. The Department will include the Library and Documentation Service, the IT Systems, Concept, Development, Management and Maintenance Division (drawing on the present Information Systems and Technology Division in AF), the Knowledge Exchange and Capacity-Building Division and the Communication Division which will continue the work of the present Information Division. The Conference and Council Affairs Division will also move here from the present General Affairs and Information Department.


The Economic and Social Development Department will group the Trade and Marketing Division, the Agricultural Development Economics Division and the Statistics Division, and will be responsible for the implementation of important programmes in the new Chapter 3 with a focus on enhanced knowledge generation. This will include, under food and agriculture policy, FAO’s work on food security monitoring and reporting and follow-up to the two World Food Summits through the Committee on World Food Security, and promotion of policies and strategies to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Divisions addressing Gender and Equity in Rural Societies, and People’s Participation and Rural Employment, will take up, with revised priorities, work heretofore carried out elsewhere in the Organization. The advantage of the transfer will be to reinforce the department’s capacity to deal, in an integrated fashion, with the social as well as economic aspects of development, and to bring together, through networks, in-house expertise with that of centres of excellence elsewhere.


The revised proposal assigns responsibilities for certain aspects of organization-wide importance, under both Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 of the new programme structure, to three offices located in the wider office of the Director-General. An Office for Coordination of Decentralized Activities (OCD) will have the mandate assigned to the present OCD, except for security functions, which will move to the new Security Service, and human resource support functions which will move to the Shared Services Centre, both in the Department of Human, Financial and Physical Resources.


The Office of the Special Adviser to the Director-General and UN Coordination (SUN) will group units working in the present SAD and TCD on coordination of FAO’s cooperation with UN system organizations at both international and country levels. The Office of WFS Follow-up and Alliances (OFA) will, as indicated by the Conference, unite various advocacy activities, including TeleFood, Goodwill Ambassadors, cooperation with NGOs and the private sector, and the International Alliance against Hunger.


The Technical Cooperation Department will remain substantially unchanged in structure at the divisional level, comprising four divisions covering the Investment Centre, Policy Assistance, Field Operations (which will also manage the Technical Cooperation Programme) and Emergency Operations and Rehabilitation. Enhanced priority will however be given, in the programmes managed by the department, to leveraging resources for and investment in the rural sector in developing member countries.


The Department of Human, Financial and Physical Resources (AF) will continue to include divisions dealing with Finance, Human Resources Management and Administrative Services. Its present IT responsibilities will be transferred to the new Knowledge and Communication Department. In addition to the new Shared Services Centre and the Security Service, both authorized by the Conference, the department will continue to house the Medical Service.


In any organizational structure, there is a need for effective mechanisms for facilitating interdepartmental and interdivisional work that can successfully harness multidisciplinary skills to address complex issues. The proposed structure allows for the functions of several Priority Areas for Interdisciplinary Action (PAIAs) to be converted into programmes located within defined structural entities, with a programme framework that ensures ex-ante rather than ex-post cooperation in planning, programming, resource mobilization, monitoring and evaluation, and reorientation of interdisciplinary activities. Sector responsibilities will continue to be assumed by the relevant technical departments. The formal responsibility for coordinating the remaining PAIAs would be assigned to specific units within the structure, with greater responsibilities being given to coordinators.


For the same reason, the proposals also envisage "institutional homes" within the structure for catalytic units to address the horizontal priorities. These comprise the thematic networks to strengthen communications with external individual specialists in centres of excellence within member countries, the cross-organizational work on best practices and the new emphasis on capacity building. In relation to these priorities, the relevant units in the Knowledge and Communication Department will be responsible for consolidating and maintaining corporate information, as well as planning, advising on methodologies, monitoring, evaluating and reorienting activities based on results, while the technical departments will provide the necessary intellectual and scientific framework for the work undertaken.


Finally, the composition and functions of a number of internal committees - which serve as advisory panels, assist in oversight or coordinate work transcending the responsibilities of individual units - are under review with the aim of streamlining or strengthening them. The Programme and Project Review Committee (PPRC) has been reviewed to ensure a focus on the MDGs and also a critical appraisal of project and programme proposals based not only on their individual merits, but also on their synergies with other projects and programmes, both of the Organization and of the countries concerned. This appraisal will cover all projects and programmes to be initiated by FAO.


With regard to the committees, commissions and other statutory bodies of the Organization, proposals will be made to streamline procedures for meetings and assist in focusing debates among Members, for instance by limiting the number of items for discussion, the others being for information. Secretariat presentations would be shortened. When necessary, side events could be organized.

Decentralized offices


The findings of the Independent Evaluation of FAO's Decentralization, coupled with the results of FAO's internal review of its contribution so far to the MDGs and the UN reform process, indicated the imperative of making FAO's decentralized network more effective in responding to Members' needs and ensuring more efficient use of staff resources in so doing. Based on the principle of locating activities at the level at which they can be most efficiently and effectively implemented, the main focus of the changes is on raising the capacity of the Organization to deliver services at country and subregional level, with the aim of assisting members to attain the MDGs, establishing the priorities for FAO assistance within existing frameworks including Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers, CCAs and UNDAFs, and within the purview of FAO’s National Medium Term Priority Framework (NMTPF)


Country-level capacities will be built up through providing enhanced technical and administrative support to FAORs, staff training, the establishment of additional national professional officer posts, and greater delegation of authority to FAORs. While the principle of universality implies that FAO must make every effort to ensure that all Members can participate in the life of the Organization and draw benefit from it, the need for selectivity in allocation of resources requires that priority be given to assisting the neediest among the Members. Accordingly, FAO proposes to meet the full costs of country representation in the least developed countries (LDCs), low-income food-deficit countries (LIFDCs), land-locked developing countries (LLDCs) and small island developing states (SIDS), which at present number 115. In this group of countries, multiple accreditation arrangements will be used where relevant. In other member countries, however, the Organization would expect governments to meet any cost beyond the direct costs of one international professional and one support staff member to be funded by FAO.


Each country office will be able to access the services of a multidisciplinary team of policy and technical specialists located in one of 16 subregional offices. The heads of the subregional offices will be appointed at D1 level (most of these coming from lateral transfers following the flattening of the headquarters organizational structure) and will be responsible for the coordination of the multidisciplinary teams. The staffing of the subregional offices will be drawn from headquarters and decentralized offices. FAORs will be expected to allocate up to 30 percent of their time to contributing within their areas of technical expertise to the programme development and implementation work of the subregional offices and to transferring experience among countries. Refresher courses for FAORs, and updating of information in their areas of specialization, will be organized, drawing, inter alia, on telecommunications technology.


The regional offices will focus on regional activities, including liaison with regional bodies, formulating regional policies and strategies, servicing regional commissions and coordinating or implementing regional programmes. They will also continue to make arrangements for regional conferences. Subject to the agreement of REIOs, FAO officers would be appointed to facilitate cooperation with these organizations. FAO focal points reporting to the new Communication Division would also be posted in selected developed countries to strengthen the Organization’s outreach to the general public as well as various stakeholder groups through information, communication and awareness-raising activities.

Roles and relationships


In general, FAO headquarters is best placed to deal with global issues and programmes, while decentralized offices have a comparative advantage in shaping, providing and channelling responses from the Organization to regions, subregions and countries. Therefore, the Regional Representatives, the Subregional Coordinators and the FAO Representatives are to be entrusted with providing pertinent and timely responses to demands for FAO services and inputs from member countries, as well as REIOs, in a coordinated and complementary fashion. They will also advise headquarters on the most appropriate way to integrate regional, subregional and country concerns in FAO's strategies, policies, programmes and projects. Effective coordination mechanisms and structures will be put in place to maintain unity of purpose and synergy between the Organization's global public goods functions and the provision of assistance to its Members. Coordination and team work will be promoted through, inter alia, country and project task forces, country-level National Medium-Term Priority Frameworks (NMTPFs), the participation of FAORs in the multidisciplinary teams of subregional offices, staff mobility, and the establishment of knowledge management networks.


In brief, the main responsibilities of the decentralized offices will be:

Subregional offices will continue to be part of regional offices and FAORs will continue to follow the current line of reporting. The subregional offices will be delegated the authority and resources to provide policy and technical assistance to the countries they cover, upon request from the FAORs, without having to refer to the regional office or to headquarters. An adequate financial, administrative and operational system will be put in place to ensure information, planning, monitoring and reporting on activities with the relevant control and audit.


Reporting lines from the decentralized offices to headquarters will be carefully defined, taking into account the functions of the headquarters departments. The Office for Coordination of Decentralized Activities will be responsible for maintaining unity of purpose between headquarters and decentralized offices; reporting on the performance of decentralized offices and the factors affecting such performance; providing guidance to all units on coordination matters and emerging issues, and the delineation of responsibilities between headquarters and various levels of decentralized structures. Technical departments and divisions at headquarters will be responsible, in addition to their work on global issues, for the technical soundness and quality of FAO's programmes and projects, irrespective of location, and for monitoring their continued relevance, results and impact. They will advise the regional offices, subregional offices and FAORs with regard to the most appropriate technical and policy approaches and methodologies, and provide specialized technical expertise on request. The Technical Cooperation Department is responsible for the scale, content, coherence and quality of the Organization's outreach activities, including both technical cooperation activities and emergency programmes. The department will therefore provide advice, guidance and support to those responsible, in the decentralized offices, for the execution of such programmes. All programmes and projects to be implemented at field level will be channelled through the Technical Cooperation Department for execution by regional, subregional or FAOR offices, as appropriate.


The Conference acknowledged the need for strengthened decentralization of the Organization, and requested that as a first step the Director-General’s proposals be implemented in one region and one additional sub-region, while mandating the Council to decide on further implementation. In line with this phased approach, the Secretariat is proceeding with the proposal in the Africa region and in the additional sub-region of Central Asia. In the other geographical areas, while no structural changes will take place for the time being, and current roles and relationships will be maintained, the decentralized offices will be able to benefit from administrative streamlining, increased delegation of authority and other measures as outlined below that are within the authority of the Director-General.

Achieving efficiency and performance gains


Achieving further efficiency gains and greater improvements in performance requires implementation of a new business model, aimed at introducing a flatter, less fragmented management structure, linked to a strengthening of accountabilities and a greater delegation of authority and responsibility to managers, especially the managers of decentralized offices. Most importantly, it calls for a move away from an institutional culture that is based on risk-aversion and deeply embedded hierarchies and discourages individual initiative by requiring multiple layers of approval, to one that encourages and rewards creativity and motivates staff to share experiences and knowledge. The new model will be based on a determination to learn both from the Organization's successes and its failures, and to be transparent in the disclosure of the results of this learning process. It calls for a shift in concern from reporting on activities carried out to assessing the impact and sustainability of the Organization's work. And it will require new mechanisms that allow and provide incentives for staff of different disciplines, working on related themes but in different units or locations, to work together collegially towards the development of best practices and the achievement of shared goals.


Increased decentralization and delegation of authority, if they are to secure efficiency gains, imply the need to move towards ex-post monitoring rather than ex-ante controls. This, combined with a shift to the use of electronic forms, will reduce transaction costs, speed up decision-making and reinforce the accountability of managers. A reduction in the number of units and locations at which administrative actions are processed will also cut management costs, allow for staff economies and facilitate corporate standardization of transaction processing. These improvements in management systems are an essential element of the reform process. They will be translated during the biennium into a series of measures for improving human resources management, motivating and training staff (including staff rotation between headquarters and field posts), introducing greater flexibility into the staffing structure, and introducing strengthened mechanisms for enhancing staff collaboration and knowledge sharing on priority themes across departments, divisions, locations and disciplines, taking full advantage of the power of ICT systems to ensure excellence and a shared understanding of best practices.


Other efficiency measures will permit the reduction of travel costs, prompt accounting for expenditures incurred by decentralized offices, and framework agreements with suppliers for procurement of non-specialized frequently needed goods. New documents management software will be introduced, along with measures to reduce the printing of publications in Rome in favour of making publications available in electronic form for local reproduction in member countries. The Department of Human, Financial and Physical Resources, charged with providing the Organization's administrative services, will manage the consolidation of human resource and administrative support functions, currently scattered in different locations, in the Shared Services Centre. Some of the Centre's activities would be subject to offshoring and/or outsourcing to other UN and Bretton Woods organizations, the feasibility of both of which is under study. In authorising the establishment of the Shared Services Centre, the Conference also supported streamlining of administrative and financial processes aimed at achieving further efficiency gains.

Aspects of the budgetary proposals


The Director-General’s reform proposals to the 2005 Conference envisaged an overall reduction of 122 established regular programme posts, and included fewer Director-level positions, with a consequent decrease in the percentage of the budget directed towards staff resources, as well as a substantial shift in professional posts to locations outside headquarters. The proposals also allocated increased resources for acquisition of flexible short-term expertise as, when and where needed, and for equipment, travel and operational activities.


The overall thrust of these earlier proposals remains unchanged. Specifically, the reduction in staff resources from 66% of the 2004-05 regular budget to 60%, an increase in the proportion of the budget for other human resources, and an increase in the proportion of professional staff in decentralized locations from 30% to 40% are valid quantitative targets for progressive accomplishment in a managed fashion. The speed of their implementation is hampered by the approval of the 2006-07 budget at a level that is 10% below the reform proposals to the Conference.


Reductions in the overall staff establishment will need to be handled with particular sensitivity to the human implications and the social consequences of change. They must be harmonized to the extent possible with opportunities created by current vacancies and future retirements, thus mitigating supplementary costs of staff separations and agreed terminations. In view of these considerations, and consistent with the proposals to the 2005 Conference, the Director-General will maintain an overall reduction of 122 established regular programme posts, including fewer Director-level positions, together with an increase in the proportion of professional posts located outside headquarters.


Annex 3, Table 1a summarizes the evolution of regular programme posts under each of the distinct organizational structures (i.e. headquarters, regional offices, subregional offices, liaison offices and FAO representations) as proposed to the Conference. The figures therein remain valid objectives for the implementation of reforms at the approved budget level. To mitigate the impact of restructuring on existing staff, four subregional offices would be hosted in the regional office locations, and the outcome is summarized in Table 1b. These tables show that 40 percent of the Regular Programme-funded professional posts (including National Professional Officers) would be located in decentralized offices, compared with 30 percent in the 2004-05 biennium.


It is recalled that, aside from the regular programme which is essentially funded from assessed contributions, the Organization also receives voluntary contributions which provide direct support to implementation of regular programme activities or support technical and emergency assistance to governments. Trust Funds are rising, reflecting in part the increased confidence in the Organization, and Trust Fund activities are now roughly at par with the regular programme. More than 70% of Trust Fund activities are delivered in decentralized locations, and are primarily undertaken through non-staff inputs. Consequently, the implementation of reforms will ensure that the majority of the resources managed by the Organization are spent in decentralized locations, and on non-staff inputs.


Other measures to provide greater operational flexibility would be directed towards facilitating the work of units whose effectiveness depends heavily on their ability to engage staff from other departments in implementing their work programmes. They would be provided with the means to receive the required expertise from other units in a predictable way and with a more relevant system of costing. Following approval by the 2005 Conference, FAO's budget now includes a separate chapter for the Security Expenditure Facility. The two FAO units that previously dealt with security at headquarters and the decentralized offices have been merged and situated in the Department of Human, Financial and Physical Resources. The Director-General, as the most senior United Nations official in Italy, has recently accepted the UN's invitation to serve as the Designated Official for UN security in Italy.

Reinforcing monitoring, evaluation and oversight


The re-engineering of the Organization's programme structure will permit significant strengthening of the results-based management framework, which aims to ensure that the Organization's actions achieve the desired results in a cost-effective manner. The programming model uses a logical framework approach to planning, including establishing rationales, objectives and outputs, and provides for an evolving suite of planning and post-facto reporting documents for comprehensive review of programmes by the Governing Bodies with an emphasis on accountability, evaluation and oversight.


The results-based budgeting and monitoring process will continue to be complemented by a strong evaluation function - covering all activities and designed to examine the Organization's programmes - to analyse what benefits are actually being achieved for Members and how these benefits might be achieved with greater efficiency and impact. Evaluations thus have an accountability function in terms of results, but the emphasis is on organizational and programme improvement. The Evaluation Service, which has an independent function, is located in the Office of Programme, Budget and Evaluation for administrative purposes and to assist the feedback of results into programme and organizational improvement. The Service also has responsibility for evaluation of extra-budgetary funded programmes and for supporting auto-evaluation by units of the Secretariat. Additional funding is proposed for auto-evaluation in 2006-07. Moreover, a new monitoring and inspection function will be introduced in the Technical Cooperation Department. The Programme Committee supervises the evaluation regime and the Director-General is advised on evaluation issues by an Internal Evaluation Committee.


As has been the case to date, the Office of the Inspector-General will remain independent, reporting directly to the Director-General, and at the Inspector-General's discretion to the Finance Committee. It provides assurance to the Director-General and Governing Bodies that FAO's outputs are produced in full respect of its rules and regulations and with due regard to economy, efficiency and effectiveness. The Audit Committee, established in April 2003, advises the Director-General and the Office of the Inspector-General on internal audit matters. The Office conducts comprehensive audits comprising financial, compliance and management or value-for-money audits, and investigations into waste, abuse of authority, fraud, presumptive fraud and undesirable activities. It is supported by local private audit firms in the field. External Audit is the independent oversight authority that reports directly to the Governing Bodies. Financial audit is the most important aspect of external audit; this involves providing an opinion on the financial statements of the Organization. In addition, performance audits of selected areas are conducted.

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