Previous PageTable Of ContentsNext Page


Strategies to Address Cross-Organizational Issues



The Strategic Framework 2000-2015 also outlined strategies for:

  • Ensuring excellence;
  • Enhancing inter-disciplinarity;
  • Broadening partnerships and alliances;
  • Continuing to improve the management process;
  • Leveraging resources for FAO and its Members; and Communicating FAO's messages.

These strategies clearly address important dimensions of FAO's work. They are not tied to a substantive area or problem as relates to the food and agriculture sector, where the membership expects a "programme" response from the Organization in conformity with its mandate, as covered under the preceding Part II. Their implementation is often a matter of "nurturing the corresponding culture" throughout the Secretariat. They require enabling mechanisms, specific actions and, where pertinent, tailored administrative measures.

In addressing each of these strategies below, priorities have been established as to which aspects of the original strategies outlined in the Strategic Framework are to be addressed in the context of this version of the rolling Medium Term Plan. This implies that the actions proposed are those which can be completed in the next biennium unless otherwise stated. It also follows that not all of the elements of the strategies listed in the Strategic Framework are covered in this Plan - in fact, many will be addressed in subsequent versions.

Pursuit of action on the first strategy, "Ensuring excellence," is dependent upon the creation of a programme which is amenable to selection of areas of excellence. As this Medium Term Plan is the first to be built using the new programme model, and as this approach requires, in the first instance, considerable time and effort, energies have been focused on the implementation of the new model. Therefore, the strategy for "Ensuring excellence" will be addressed in the next Medium Term Plan.

It is worth noting that for selected aspects, e.g. cooperation with the private sector and civil society organizations, or the use of advanced approaches to communication with stakeholders, the Secretariat has been able to build on recently developed policy guidelines or specialised corporate plans.

As regards resources, it may be assumed that unless otherwise stated, the work will be performed within existing budgetary allocations. Where amounts are stated, they are intended to be indicative of the incremental requirements to implement the listed actions. However, such additional requirements could, in most cases be funded from either the Regular Programme or through extra-budgetary voluntary contributions.

Finally, these strategies are to a large extent mutually supportive, and some aspects also link up to planned work, presented in Part II. As appropriate, cross-references have been entered to illustrate these close interactions.


Thrust of the Strategy

Actions to Strengthen the Capacity for Inter-disciplinary Planning

100. Establish inter-departmental working groups for each Corporate Strategy to review the programmes which address their respective strategies and identify genuine opportunities for inter-disciplinary cooperation (recognising that the interdisciplinary approach is costly in terms of time and effort and should, therefore, only be applied where it is cost beneficial to do so).

101. These working groups to select Priority Areas for Inter-disciplinary Action (PAIAs) in the medium-term planning period 2002-07, and provide guidance to all potential contributors including: identification of the problem to be addressed, Strategic Objectives and Strategy Components pertinent to the problem, suggested inter-disciplinary approach and objectives to be achieved by 2007.

102. In the planning systems, establish the direct association of major outputs, which although developed independently by the relevant technical units, are agreed as being their contribution to the planned achievements under the PAIA.

103. Design and implement the work planning and implementation monitoring systems (see "Continuing to Improve the Management Process") to include the capacity to monitor implementation of the contributions from all units to approved PAIAs and to include the necessary data on performance against pre-established indicators.

104. Design and implement evaluation modalities, including the capacity to evaluate inter-disciplinary activities as part of the effort to assess progress in the achievement of the Organization's Strategic Objectives.

Actions to apply the New Programme Model to Priority Areas for Inter-disciplinary Action (PAIAs)

105. Develop a flexible approach to the application of the new programme model to recognise the reality that PAIAs can vary in nature and be at different stages of development.

106. For those PAIAs which are well developed and require closely coordinated joint programming in order to achieve a corporate objective (or produce a major corporate output), design the model such that units can programme their contributions in terms of inputs to be provided and outputs to be produced with indicators on each major output.

107. For those PAIAs where joint programming is inappropriate either because of their nature (e.g. thematic areas such as gender mainstreaming), or because they are in an early stage of development which does not allow it, adapt the model so that the relationships between the medium term plans of the units concerned can be recorded in a notional manner to permit general monitoring without tying resource allocations and specific outputs to the PAIA.

Actions to Enhance Inter- and Intra-departmental Mechanisms

108. For each PAIA, develop the necessary cooperative mechanism to facilitate planning, implementation monitoring and eventual evaluation.

109. Strengthen the reporting relationship between the selected mechanism and senior management so as to ensure that planned achievements under the PAIA are duly reported.

Organizational arrangements and resource implications: all units are involved under guidance of senior management. Apart from systems requirements, which are covered under "Continuing to Improve the Management Process", no additional resources are envisaged.


Thrust of the Strategy

Actions for Continued Partnership with UN System and Other Intergovernmental Organizations

UN System Partnerships

110. Full participation in inter-agency consultations at both global and country levels, including
country-level programming exercises. In particular, FAO to participate actively in the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) process both at country and Headquarters levels. In this way, FAO can have its strategic objectives reflected at country level, participate in the identification of needs for technical assistance and be involved in those technical assistance activities in which it has comparative advantage and where the chances of a successful outcome are high.

111. Guidelines would be developed to assist FAORs in their participation in Common Country Assessment (CCA) and UNDAF exercises, in order that agriculture and food security be properly considered. These will be based upon the lessons learned from the exercises already completed.

112. An important activity in ensuring coordinated country-level action by the main development partners to fight food insecurity will be the ACC Network on Rural Development and Food Security which FAO will manage in cooperation with IFAD. This activity is more fully described under entity 253P1 in Part II above.

113. Extensive partnerships with UN system organizations through joint activities (e.g. WHO for food standards, IAEA for nuclear applications in agriculture, UNESCO in the use of information for sustainable development, UNFPA, etc.) aimed at leveraging FAO's limited resources.

Partnerships with International Financial Institutions

114. Strengthened joint programmes with international financial institutions for investment generation in the food and agriculture sector, and with funding organizations for technical and emergency assistance. This includes the long-established partnership with the World Bank whereby FAO will play a strong role in contributing to the Bank's new Vision-to-Action exercise for rural development which is expected to set the framework for deepened collaborative activities over the next several years.

115. Similarly, FAO and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) will work jointly on a new enhanced cooperative arrangement which will move from the current system of ad hoc work to the establishment of longer-term agreed programmes.

116. Efforts will be ongoing with other regional development banks, the African Development Bank (AfDB), Asian Development Bank (AsDB) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to further improve existing partnerships through more extensive use of FAO's technical capacities and longer-term planning and programming.

Other Partnerships

117. Further strengthened bilateral cooperative links with CGIAR (see entity 251P4), its international centres (several entities), National Agricultural Research Systems (see entity 251A5) and Intergovernmental Organizations.

Organizational arrangements and resource implications: responsibility for partnerships in general lies with the substantive programme managers who must consider them in programme entity design both to maximise the effective use of resources and to evaluate FAO's comparative advantage vis à vis other actors. The country-level relationships are led by the FAOR, whereas the Headquarters input into UNDAF, etc. lies with TCA. The ACC Network on Rural Development and Food Security is the responsibility of SDA, while cooperation with CGIAR/TAC, etc. lies with SDR. This strategy will rely on existing resources, although there may be a need for some reallocation (e.g. to assist FAORs in contributing to UNDAF exercises).

Actions for Enhanced Cooperation with CSOs and NGOs

Information Exchange and Analysis

118. Follow-up to the policy for disseminating documentation and information generated by FAO to NGOs, CSOs and other actors, taking into account other UN agencies' policies. This would include the development of an interactive Website for NGOs and CSOs, within the FAO Website, in collaboration with NGO/CSO networks as well as cooperation with regional and sub-regional NGO/CSO networks. It should include joint campaigns with NGO/CSO networks on issues of food security and sustainable agriculture, including the production and exchange of information materials (at least one joint campaign to be organised per year).

Organizational arrangements and resource implications: under aegis of the Technical Cooperation (TC) and the General Affairs and Information (GI) Departments. Extra-budgetary support to be sought.

NGO/CSO Participation in Policy Dialogue

119. Promotion of NGO/CSO involvement in national policy discussions, through fora like the Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC) Network on Rural Development and Food Security (see programme entity 253P1), and in sectoral and country planning exercises in collaboration with other UN agencies. Furthermore, biennial consultations, feeding into the FAO Regional Conferences, and facilitation of NGO/CSO participation in policy dialogue with sub-regional intergovernmental organizations on issues of food security and sustainable agriculture.

Organizational arrangements and resource implications: led by TC, SD and GI Departments with support from decentralized offices. Extra-budgetary funds will be required (approximately US$ 250,000 per biennium).

120. Support to NGO/CSO thematic groups and networks for their input into FAO technical committees and other fora, based on a review of procedures for NGO/CSO meeting attendance and best practices within the UN family to be considered by the November 2001 FAO Conference (at least one thematic group/network to follow each technical committee, contributing effectively to its deliberations, and communicating with its members). At global level, FAO-NGO/CSO advisory committee, bringing together representatives of the thematic and regional networks with which FAO is actively cooperating, along the lines of mechanisms already existing in most UN Agencies and Programmes. This will provide an instrument for monitoring and enhancing FAO's cooperation with NGOs and CSOs and for identifying emerging issues on which collaboration would be opportune.

Organizational arrangements and resource implications: involving all departments concerned.
Extra-budgetary funds may also be required to facilitate NGO/CSO networking and attendance at key FAO meetings.

Contributions of NGOs and CSOs to Field-level Work

121. Capacity-building programmes in technical areas within FAO's mandate at the request of farmers' organizations, NGOs and other CSOs, building on existing experience, coupled with support to participation by farmers' organizations, NGOs and CSOs in major field programmes promoted by FAO, in particular the Special Programme for Food Security (SPFS), including assessments of existing participation, sharing of positive experiences and exchange visits with a view to achieving effective NGO/CSO participation in SPFS projects.

Organizational arrangements and resource implications: to be part of field programme development activities by all concerned units. Some additional funds will be required for the assessments, preparation of case studies and exchange visits.

122. Participation by NGOs and CSOs in FAO's early warning systems, disaster preparedness planning and relief and rehabilitation activities, building on existing cooperation, and two-way communication with rural peoples' organizations to help identify impending emergencies and disseminate information on how to deal with them.

Organizational arrangements and resource implications: already built-in component of pertinent activities (222P6 and FAO emergency work). Some additional resources will be required to undertake case studies and organise workshops.

123. Innovative "triangular" approaches to resource mobilisation involving governmental, intergovernmental and NGO sources of funding for normative and field programmes of common concern. Likely areas of joint interest are: food security projects in selected countries, SPFS, organic agriculture, civil society capacity-building, NGO/CSO networking on issues of food security and sustainable agriculture, the UN Horn of Africa initiative.

Organizational arrangements and resource implications: will be part of field programme development efforts.

Actions for Enhanced Cooperation with the Private Sector

Dialogue with Agribusiness Interests, Compatible with FAO Objectives

124. Maintained database, covering inter alia development areas and technical sectors of joint interest with foundations, associations and companies, either with ongoing cooperation arrangements with FAO, or as new potential partners. This should facilitate dialogue with the management of selected agribusiness companies, private sector associations and federations, also assisted by the distribution of information material on FAO, ad hoc meetings on subjects of common concern, mutual visits and attendance at conferences and other meetings organised by them providing information on FAO policies, programmes and activities.

Organizational arrangements and resource implications: shared by TC and other units, as appropriate. Scale of activity would clearly depend on resources available for this purpose, now rather limited.

Private Sector Support for FAO Programmes and Investment in Technologies of Benefit to Developing Countries

125. Information to industries, associations, companies, etc. on projects and programmes in developing countries requiring new technologies, on the investment facilities offered by the governments concerned and on successful FAO experiences, in particular through the SPFS. This is coupled with the promotion of FAO programmes of particular interest to foundations, non-profit organizations, industrial associations and other companies concerned by specific aspects of development, such as environment and conservation of natural resources, increase of food production, improvement of animal health, sociologic aspects in rural areas, etc.

Organizational arrangements and resource implications: should be a joint effort of TC and technical departments (cf. strategy below on "Leveraging Resources for FAO and its Members"). Use of TCP resources may be possible to support studies and preparatory phase of investment projects.

126. Consider the possibility of setting up an FAO-private sector consultative committee, with the participation of selected companies, associations, foundations, etc. with a view to identifying projects and partnership arrangements, including coalitions of partners for activities of mutual interest. Would be supplemented by specialised donors meetings, information campaigns, distribution of booklets and audio-visual material on FAO services and activities, as well as tailored trust fund arrangements to facilitate financial and in-kind contributions.

Organizational arrangements and resource implications: led by TC. (Also linked to the strategy on "Leveraging Resources".)

Enhancement of Cooperation with the Private Sector in Developing Countries

127. Continuous identification of industry groups and companies active in the agriculture and food sectors in developing countries which offer potential for cooperation.

Organizational arrangements and resource implications: to be done mostly by FAORs and Regional Offices, as part of their monitoring activities.


Thrust of the Strategy

Actions Related to Accountability and Information Systems

128. Improved formulation of Regular Programme activities through the further application of the new programme model which will include, where possible, time-bound objectives, milestones for the production of outputs and indicators for both objectives and outputs. This should contribute to instilling a results-based approach in the Organization and to providing stakeholders with a clearer understanding of expected outcomes and performance in their attainment (also linked to Ensuring Excellence).

Organizational arrangements and resource implications: ongoing effort by all units, with improvements at each successive stage of the Medium Term Plan and Programme of Work and Budget formulation process. Generally to be achieved by re-directing existing staff capacity to this end.

129. Fully integrated systems in support of the management process, so that the most appropriate information technology environment will support each business process in the most efficient manner, taking into account the philosophy of aligning authority, responsibility and accountability.

Organizational arrangements and resource implications: already initiated in past biennia, implementation will spread across the initial part of the medium-term planning period, which will witness the following additions:

Substantial resources (in the range of US$ 12-15 million) are likely to be required and, therefore, timeframes cannot yet be established.

130. Maintained Data Warehouse for corporate administrative data as the primary source of management information, with formats that facilitate wide access to and availability of appropriate tools for the users of such data.

Organizational arrangements and resource implications: implementation will need to rely on two parallel processes: the development of various supporting systems, and a participative design process involving all departments in identifying needs and in assigning responsibility for the various data domains. Building on work in the present biennium 2000-2001, the entire task can be expected to be completed in 2004 subject to the allocation of resources and successful implementation of the supporting systems. Substantial additional resources may be needed, although the full extent is difficult to determine. It is currently estimated that a total of US$ 1.5 to 2.5 million will be required for development work.

Actions Related to Human Resources Development

131. Given the expected turnover of FAO's staff over the Plan period, measures for orderly replacement of current staff departing on retirement with new staff, both professional and general service who have the skills and competencies identified by the Organization as critical for its future work. To include:

132. Complementary to previous activity, systems for more flexible deployment of staff and ensuring an optimal mix of staff on short- and longer-term contractual arrangements which are attuned to programme needs.

133. Performance management systems, allowing a shift of emphasis from controlling inputs (transaction controls) involving low accountability for programme delivery and low delegated authority for resource management, to an outputs-focused environment with accountability for delivering defined programme results (as developed through the Medium Term Plan and Programme of Work and Budget) and delegated authority for managing resources to achieve these results. (Also relevant to Ensuring Excellence.)

134. Continued monitoring of developments at the UN common system level, while ensuring that FAO's employment conditions and entitlements are competitive; coupled with active consultative process with the recognised staff representative bodies with a view to promoting an open dialogue and achieving consensus and collaboration in the implementation of human resources management projects and initiatives such as staff/career development, introduction of flexible work practices, performance management, and work/family policies.

135. Need to build a management culture that fosters gender equality and national diversity and promotes initiative and teamwork, within a clearly defined framework of accountability for human resources management.

136. In order to maintain the professional and technical competence of staff, accelerated programme of staff development including continuing professional development for technical staff. This will be supported by the availability of cost-effective and quality staff development opportunities for both staff at Headquarters and in the decentralized offices.

Organizational arrangements and resource implications: all actions led by AF Department and, in particular, AFP after consultations and involvement of the concerned units as well as Staff Associations as appropriate. Resource implications are limited to the need for the new Human Resources (HR) system, covered under "Accountability and Information Systems" above.


Thrust of the Strategy

Increasing Extra-budgetary Resources for FAO Technical Assistance Services

137. Continuous assessment of FAO's services in accordance with effective demand as reflected in country needs for technical assistance, and based on the Organization's comparative advantages in the various technical fields of its mandate. This will imply surveys of demand for technical assistance (e.g. types of services, modalities, partners, etc.) in the field of agricultural and rural development, including FAO's relative strengths and weaknesses to respond to this demand. The framework for these surveys would take account of such perspective studies as Agriculture Towards 2015/30 and FAO's objectives as defined in the Strategic Framework.

138. Partnership agreements concluded with multilateral and bilateral donor agencies (and private sector institutions) to provide enabling policy frameworks and evolving mechanisms for coherent longer-term cooperation in selected areas of agricultural and rural development, as opposed to ad hoc,
project-by-project cooperation.

139. Consolidated information on profiles of potential donor's (public and private) policy, geographical and programmatic preferences, should be maintained and widely disseminated to assist the match of demand to possible supply in FAO's funding requirements.

140. Based on the above determination of demand and the scope of expanded partnership agreements with potential donors, submission of programmes adequately prepared and packaged for fund mobilisation. The prospective donors will be involved as early as possible in the project preparation process.

141. Analysis of lessons learned from project implementation, as well as from FAO's and other institutions' normative work, and their translation into effective tools for project formulation and into suggestions for improvement of the normative work of the Organization.

142. Close monitoring of FAO's performance (including the provision of advisory and technical support services) through an effective field programme management information system (see also under the strategy for "Continuing to Improve the Management Process").

143. Results of FAO's services effectively communicated to all stakeholders, including recipients and donors (public and private) through:

Organizational arrangements and resource implications: actions led by TC, with the active involvement of the technical departments and decentralized offices. The incremental resource implications are relatively minor being linked to some small amounts for surveys and missions.

Expanding Support for FAO Regular Programme Activities

144. A database on potential funding sources (private and public sector) interested in supporting FAO's Regular Programme activities, including updated information on individual donor preferences (cf. also strategy for "Broadening Partnerships and Alliances").

145. Submission of packaged proposals to donors (public and private sector), emphasising the synergies obtained between pertinent Regular Programme activities and the activities of its partners.

146. Dissemination of results of FAO activities (in terms of improvements in poverty reduction and food security) to be effectively communicated to all stakeholders, including recipients and donors (public and private sector) through:

Organizational arrangements and resource implications: also, joint effort of TC and concerned departments. No significant resource implications.

Ensuring Multiplier Effect of FAO Programmes

147. Built-in links in FAO's field projects and programmes to those of other agencies, with a view to creating synergies and catalysing additional technology transfer and capital flows, as appropriate. This will imply close consultation with all stakeholders at local level, including other technical and donor agencies (public and private sector) active in the same field; consultative meetings; and focus on "programme approach".

Organizational arrangements and resource implications: will be a prime concern of all units involved in field programme development, including decentralized offices.

148. Consistent with Corporate Strategy B2 addressed in Part II, assistance to countries in the creation of a policy environment conducive to expanding public and private sector capital flows to support poverty alleviation and food security. This would involve sector policy reviews (preferably multi-donor funded, in order to safeguard FAO's independent role) in close collaboration with all stakeholders, with a view to identifying key constraints to the achievement of World Food Summit objectives.

Organizational arrangements and resource implications: of primary concern to TCA and TCI
(cf. activities under Major Programme 3.1 in Part II above).

149. Continue to assist countries in the preparation of investment projects and programmes with a view to optimising resource allocation to reflect priority goals, paying due attention to national institutional and financial absorptive capacities, and promoting private sector investment in agricultural and rural development.

Organizational arrangements and resource implications: of primary concern to Policy Assistance (TCA) and Investment Centre (TCI) Divisions (cf. strategy for "Broadening Partnerships and Alliances").

150. Further expansion of catalytic programmes such as the Special Programme for Food Security (SPFS), in order to test possible solutions for identified development constraints, and generate local investment.

Organizational arrangements and resource implications: cf. activities under Programme 2.5.6.

151. Monitoring of domestic and international (public and private sector) financial flows into agriculture and rural development with a view to assessing their adequacy in relation to needs and, as necessary, advocate the mobilisation of additional resources.

Organizational arrangements and resource implications: under aegis of TC, with assistance from technical departments.

152. FAO's consistent inputs to the development of alternative capital flows, which are not debt or dependency inducing (e.g. Clean Development Mechanism, Global Environment Facility, Debt for Nature Swaps and Debt for Food Security Swaps) through:

Organizational arrangements and resource implications: joint effort of TC and competent technical units, which will be invited to provide tailored advice.

153. Training of FAO professional staff in "state-of-the-art" project and programme formulation, continued analysis of lessons learned from project implementation and continuous monitoring (through Internet and periodic donor consultations).

Organizational arrangements and resource implications: training courses to be managed by Personnel Division (AFP). Some additional resources will need to be allocated from within staff development provisions.


Thrust of the Strategy

Focusing FAO Messages on Priority Issues and Programmes

154. Incorporate a communication component (print and multi-media information products, direct information exchange and meetings) into high-priority technical programmes for maximum impact on specifically identified target audiences: e.g. decision-makers, technical counterparts, professional colleagues from partner institutions and other development professionals.

155. Ensure FAO's timely and active contribution, in public fora and the media, to relevant global issues, such as those raised by the UN and other development agencies.

Organizational arrangements and resource implications: with support from the GI Department, the eventual resource requirements are expected to be met by budgetary allocations for information products in the technical departments, in accordance with approved programme priorities and geographic focus. However, more resources would be required to achieve full compliance with language policy standards and to meet the needs for information products in local languages.

Increasing Public Awareness and Understanding of the Issues Related to FAO's Mandate particularly the Eradication of Hunger

156. Special information and interactive multi-media campaigns on current issues in food and agriculture, which are of major interest to civil society (e.g. food safety and security), in particular targeted at raising awareness of FAO's role and work in countries where FAO is not well known.

157. Continued close partnership with local news media to conduct awareness-raising activities in Member Nations, particularly about local-level issues.

158. Outreach to youth and women's organizations, farmers' organizations, the academic community, and other sectors of civil society, using the framework of FAO consultative processes and other initiatives to promote direct communication between these groups and the Organization's flagship programmes.

159. Pursuance of World Food Day and related special events (e.g. TeleFood) with a view to raising public awareness and generating resources for concrete food security and agricultural and rural development activities.

Organizational arrangements and resource implications: actions generally led by GI with special inputs by other departments or offices in the respective areas of responsibility. Actions will be tailored to the level of resources available, although outreach and overall effectiveness would improve if further resources could be allocated.

Ensuring Cost-Effective and High-Quality Information Products

160. Corporate quality standards for information products will be established, under the scrutiny of the CCC, including measures to project a strong visual image on print, multi-media, promotional products, including signage and logo items and a coherent corporate identity that facilitates audience recognition of FAO.

161. Electronic publishing systems will enable the decentralised production and dissemination of information products in a variety of formats and on an "as-required" basis, thereby improving the cost performance of the publishing operation.

162. Greater focus in GI Department services to technical departments and decentralized offices on providing sound professional advice, capacity-building within departments and better systems support for publications management (e.g. costing systems and demand-driven production planning systems); continued availability of GI editorial and design services, particularly for advocacy publications.

163. Training of FAO staff to become effective communicators (including improved information management and language skills; presentation, writing and advocacy skills).

Organizational arrangements and resource implications: installation of electronic publishing systems and other technology will require additional resources, initially and should result in redeployment of staff resources and reallocation of financial resources within GI Department. Training allocations to be met by units' budgets.

Top Of PageTable Of ContentsNext Page