Terms of Reference UN-Government of Albania Programme of Cooperation for Sustainable Development 2017-2021 Outcome Group (OG)
The Government of Albania and the United Nations' Programme of Cooperation for Sustainable Development (PoCSD) 2017 – 2021 has four expected outcomes in the areas of:
- Governance and Rule of Law
- Social Cohesion (health, education, gender based violence, social inclusion and child protection)
- Economic Growth, Employment and Agriculture
- Environment and Climate Change
The Programme is designed to support the Government's National Strategy for Development and Integration 2015-2020 and the achievement of the SDGs.
Oversight of the Programme is done by the Joint Executive Committee (JEC), which is co-chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister and the UN Resident Coordinator, with the participation of Ministers, Prime Minister’s Office and UN Country Team (UNCT) Albania, and reports to the Prime Minister's Strategic Planning Committee. In addition, the JEC is convened on a regular basis under the leadership of the Director of the Department for Development, Financing and Foreign Aid (DDFFA) and the UN Resident Coordinator.
Outcome Groups- established for each outcome- advise the JEC and UNCT, as appropriate, on opportunities and challenges linked to PoCSD implementation. Outcome Groups are also responsible for operationalizing the Programme through development and oversight of 2-year rolling Outcome Joint Work plans. They describe the specific results to be achieved and form an agreement between the UN system agencies and Government on the use of resources*. Outcome Groups are positioned within the existing national coordination architecture – Integrated Policy Management Groups**- to maximize coordination and minimize additional transaction costs. Alignment of Outcomes with IPMGs remains subject to change, based on the evolution of IPMGs.
Each Outcome Group is led by the Outcome Co-Chairs, namely designated Line Minister and one or two UN Heads of Agencies. Outcome Groups bring together Government, UN and development partners in their deliberations.
Each Outcome Group is comprised by UN Output Working Groups with the participation of the government and development partners that contribute to the specific outcome. At the technical level, under the leadership of the Outcome Co-Chairs, the Output Working Groups prepare, implement and monitor the Joint Work Plans. (please see Annex I for reference to Output Working Group ToRs)
An aggregated UNCT Roadmap on annual planning processes is presented in Annex II.
The key responsibility of Outcome Groups is to oversee and coordinate the implementation of the Programme of Cooperation's four components (Outcomes) and advise the Joint Executive Committee accordingly.
Specific Tasks for the Outcome Groups
- Prepare 2-year rolling Joint Work Plans with strategic deliverables that are measurable through indicators, baselines, targets, means of verification, and assumptions and risks. Each Joint Work Plan comes with an annualized Common Budgetary Framework;
- Identify areas where additional policy analysis, advocacy or communication campaigns, and/or capacity needs assessments are needed, and seek to have such work undertaken;
- Identify outputs where two or more agencies can complete each other’s efforts, including through joint programming and outline the roles of different members in achieving results.
- Integrate the work of the Outcome within the Work Programme of the related Integrated Policy Management Group, hereby ensuring mainstreaming of SDGs and coordination with other partners;
- Track progress and reporting on results within the Joint Work Plan and contribute to the preparation of the Annual Programme Review meeting and report, Annual Progress Report, as well as the mid-year review;
- Identify funding gaps in the Outcome Joint Workplans, and highlight areas where additional resources could accelerate programmes and achieve universal (nationwide) results;
- Encourage and support policy dialogue with government counterparts, civil society and other development partners with substantive inputs;
- Contribute to the preparation of terms of reference for the mandatory PoCSD evaluations (mid-term and final);
- Support planning and reporting requirements of the One UN Coherence Fund;
- Contribute to systematic documentation of lessons learned and sharing of good practices and their dissemination across Outcome Groups.
Role of the UN Co-Chair
The Outcome Group is Co-chaired by the (Government) designated Line Minister and one or two Heads of UN Agencies. UN Co-chairs are identified by the UN Resident Coordinator.
The UN Co-chair(s) will be responsible for the overall performance of the Outcome Group – as outlined in the above tasks - and will be accountable for the coordinated achievement of results stipulated in the Joint Work Plans.
The specific responsibilities of the UN Co-chairs include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Co- lead with the designated Line Minister the development of the Joint Work Plan in accordance with the UN Delivering-as-One Standard Operating Procedures***, NSDI 2015-2020 priorities, and SDGs;
- Ensure UN partners at the technical (output) level are undertaking planning, monitoring and reporting tasks in a timely and inclusive fashion, in order to support the Outcome Joint Workplanning cycle. This should include consultations with all constituencies, including Government, Non-Resident UN Agencies, development partners and civil society;
- Lead preparation, consolidation and submission of the Outcome Group’s contributions to the Annual Programme Review meeting and report, Annual Progress Report, Mid-year review, Mid-Term Report, and any other document requested by the Resident Coordinator and the Government;
- With support from participating United Nations agencies, ensure that the Outcome Group has the necessary M&E support to technically guide the application of results-based management principles;
- Coordinate with the Heads of United Nations agencies for an active participation of their Agency staff in the Outcome Group.
- Ensure necessary coordination with all participating United Nations agencies and other stakeholders as well as with all the other OGs for necessary programmatic alignment and synergy;
- Coordinate with the Joint Data Group to ensure that data collection and dissemination is integrated into the work of the Outcome;
- Ensure, together with the designated Line Ministers effective coordination and cooperation with the with the country’s Development & Integration Partners (DIP), in maximizing synergy for the achievement of the Outcome results in line with EU integration priorities;
Role of the Designated Line Minister Co-Chair
The designated Line Minister ensures efficient integration of UN support into national programmes. The designated Line Minister Co-Chair serves especially to convene cross-sectoral partners to coordinate support.
As part of providing general leadership for the Outcome Group to achieve its tasks as outlined above, the designated Line Minister Co-Chair will focus on:
- Co-convene and co-Chair meetings of the Outcome Group to discuss joint workplanning and other work of the Group, with a particular emphasis on encouraging cross-sectoral participation from Government;
- Include the discussion of the Outcome Work in the IPMG Annual Work Programme.
- Sign the Joint Work Plan in its dual capacity: (i) Outcome Co-Chair; and (ii) Minister of line ministry participating in the Outcome;
- Jointly with the UN Co-Chairs, oversee and be accountable for the implementation of the Joint Work Plan component carried out by UN and the Ministry under his/her leadership;
- Ensure integration of the Outcome contribution into the National Sector Programme, with focus on UN’s expertise into the sectorial policy development and implementation in priority sectors;
- Promote inclusiveness of the Agenda2030 and Sustainable Development Goals into the annual working agenda of the ministry.
Membership and frequency of meetings
Outcome Groups are composed of the Government and UN entities involved in activities in the Outcome area, as confirmed by the Co-Chairs and as listed in the Joint Workplans;
- Additional government entities, Human Right institutions development partners, and relevant civil society (i.e. representatives from National Council of Civil Society) should be invited as observers for transparency, programmatic coordination and policy discussion;
- Each OG will meet a minimum of three times per year in order to ensure timely implementation, monitoring and reporting of the Joint Work Plan. For ad hoc issues requiring urgent action, the OG may conduct its business electronically.
The United Nations Agencies chairing an Outcome Group (OG) will be responsible for providing necessary secretariat support and services, with support from the Resident Coordinator’s Office.
The specific responsibilities of the OG secretariat include:
- Convene meetings and prepare the agenda and all substantive documentation for each meeting;
- Document the meetings and monitor the follow up actions by the members of the Outcome Group.
The specific responsibilities of the Resident Coordinator’s Office include:
- Coordinate and consolidate inputs from each Outcome Group on the specific processes including the preparation of the Joint Work Plans, Annual Programme Review meeting and report, Annual Progress Report, Mid-year review, Mid-Term Report, etc;
- Coordinate and consolidate inputs from each Outcome Group for the preparation of the annual Common Budgetary Framework;
- Coordinate and consolidate inputs from each Outcome Group to fulfill reporting requirements related to programme monitoring including Department of Development Programming, Financing and Foreign Aid Donor Database, DRT-F Fund, etc.
- Participate in the OG meetings and provide technical support accordingly;
- Ensure coordination with the Department of Development, Financing and Foreign Aid, for the work of the Outcome Groups, in the capacity as the Co-Chair of the Joint Executive Committee.
Annex I - Output Working Groups
The new Programme of Cooperation for Sustainable Development 2017-2021 contains 17 outputs clustered within its four outcomes. The role of the Output Working Groups is framed within the Outcome Group work by providing support to the operationalization of the Output in designing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating the rolling biennial join work plans. The Output Working Group is chaired by one Co-Chair from the UN and from the Government at the technical level.
The Output Working Groups are the technical groups formed by representatives from the UN agencies and Government, with roles and responsibilities directly related to the achievement of a specific output. The output working groups are responsible for the coordinated design, implementation, monitoring and reporting of relevant strategic deliverables that are included in the biennial Joint Work Plans.
- Discuss and draft the content of the biennial joint work plan (e.g.strategic deliverables, budgets, budget sources etc) and submit to the Outcome Co-Chairs for further discussion and finalization. The process will take place ahead of the 1st of January of the year that the joint work plan will be implemented;
- Monitor progress towards achieving the output deliverables as designed in the Joint Work Plans and identify challenges and opportunities;
- Draft status update for the mid-year review and the progress report for the annual review and submit to the Outcome Co-Chairs for endorsement;
- Discuss and prepare the requests for funding for the annual round of resource allocations of the Coherence Fund and facilitate Head of Agency approval for submission to the Outcome Co-Chairs and further to the Joint Executive Committee Secretariat.
- Participate in the Outcome meetings and provide inputs to various monitoring exercises, including the mid-year and annual review.
- Coordinate with other Output Working Groups within the Outcome and amongst Outcomes on cross-cutting issues, as appropriate.
Membership and Frequency of meetings
- The members of the output working groups are the staff at the technical level from UN agencies and Government that are attached to one or more outputs and jointly design, implement, monitor and report on the joint work plan.
- Under the leadership of the Output Working Groups Co-Chairs, the members of the output working group are expected to meet not less than 4 times per year; they all work on the same joint work plan and will have regular contact during their daily work.
- The output working group is co-chaired by one technical level representative from the Government (director level) and the UN (programme manager/officer).
- The chair from the UN will be elected by the Outcome Co-Chair (s) in agreement with the Outcome members for a term of one year, with possibility for rotation as necessary.
- The UN Agency of the Chairperson is expected to provide secretarial support to the output working group during his/her tenure. Approved minutes of each meeting (incl. the meeting in preparation of the mid-year review, the annual review and the request for funds) will be shared with the Outcome Group and the RCO.
* See Programme of Cooperation 2017-2021/ Chapter 4- Management and accountability
** IPA II is based on the Sector Approach (SA) defined as a process which aims to broaden government and national ownership over public sector policy and decisions on resource allocation within the sector, thereby increasing the coherence between sector policy, government spending and the achievement of results. A functioning sector approach requires the existence of government policies and strategies, medium term budget frameworks, coordination, and monitoring of results and performance assessments. This approach has been launched almost one and a half years ago by the government with the support of EU Delegation. The Mechanism set up has been legally introduced by the PMO 129/ 21.09.2015. This act stipulated the setting up of four Integrated Policy Management Groups in four key government priorities as well as the lead for each IPMG: Integrated Water Management Group, Good Governance and Public Administration, Employment and Social Sector, Competitiveness and Innovation.
Annex II - Outcome Group Planning Roadmap - annual processes