Currently, the United Nations is going through a reform. Delivering as One gives the United Nations a foundation to make the fastest progress and thus, deliver better quality of work to the government and people of Bhutan.
As a response to the changing world, the United Nations is committed to Delivering as One to ensure effective development assistance and accelerate progress toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
This also comes as a test as to how the United Nations family can provide development assistance in a more coordinated way as One United Nations.
Bhutan adopted the Delivering as One approach in 2008 to overcome systematic fragmentation with the United Nations and focus well on collective performance, efficiency, accountability and results.
According to the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in Bhutan, Gerald Daly, Delivering as One responds to the challenges of a changing world and practically demonstrates how the United Nations family provides development support that effectively responds to national priorities and is value for money.
“Delivering as one ensures that different United Nations agencies do not duplicate each other’s work,” said Gerald Daly.
This new initiative has helped the United Nations to work in a smarter way with various partners including the Royal University of Bhutan on issues related to Climate Change, Civil Society Organizations on issues such a capacity building and the Bhutanese private sector in order to find new ways to finance important development work.
In the United Nations efforts to improve how the agencies can deliver together as one, the United Nations in Bhutan has seen progress. The United Nations Country Team works together on how they plan, program, communicate, co-ordinate logistics, and demonstrate results.
Gerald Daly said this initiative has helped the United Nations enhance their business efficiency by implementing common business processes like the provision of United Nations system common staff roster, Long Term Agreement for service providers, and common services, which in turn, according to him, reduces the cost of the United Nations operation in Bhutan.
“This helps us focus more on our resources on programmes that support the most vulnerable,” said Gerald Daly. “In 2017, we made a cost saving of USD 45,000 on business efficiency.”
Almost 95% of Delivering as One countries state that this initiative helps the United Nations better align with country development needs and priorities.
According to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 56% of governments reported that the introduction of Delivering as One made it ‘much easier’ to deal with the United Nations system in their country.
The United Nations in Bhutan comprises of eight resident agencies and 14 non-resident agencies. A total of 22 different United Nations agencies work in Bhutan to solve complex problems and the Delivering as One initiative ensures that there is no duplication in the work that the agencies undertake.
Gerald Daly added some issues like climate change requires global intervention because of which it is too expensive for one United Nations agency to tackle on their own, for which the Delivering as One approach gives agencies who wish to work together as joint programs.
Given the fact that each United Nations agency has its own mandate and area of work, there are challenges that the Resident Coordinator faces. According to him, it is sometimes difficult to bring the non-resident agencies together as they are spread from Bangkok to New Delhi to New York to Geneva.
However, the advantages of working as one United Nations works the best as it allows the Resident Coordinator bring knowledge and expertise together to be more innovative and address complex development challenges.
“We as the United Nations are also better prepared for emergency response with different expertise of emergency clusters so that we can work together to support the people of Bhutan in the case of an emergency.”
Chencho Dema from Thimphu