United Nations coherence, effectiveness and efficiency
UN Coherence and Efficiency
UNCT is now better positioned to support the Government to implement the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs, following a year of targeted efforts to consolidate coherence, effectiveness and efficiency. In 2022, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and UNHCR strengthened their in-country operations by expanding their teams to include liaison staff on the ground, and UN Women finalized discussions with the Government for the establishment of a representative office in the country. The enhancement of UNCT in-country capacities has already contributed to more and better collaboration among agencies and the development and implementation of new joint initiatives.
Collaboration among agencies was also fostered through UNCT coordination mechanisms. First created at the end of 2021, results groups held a total of 15 meetings during 2022 to discuss issues of joint concern, engage in joint planning and assess their performance in the implementation of SCF. As a result, UNCT reviewed its yearly performance for the first time and finalized its first joint work plan that provides a comprehensive overview of UNCT programmes, projects and initiatives in Bahrain. UNCT presented the outcomes of both exercises to the Government, reflecting greater accountability and transparency for results. The development of the next joint work plan was also initiated in the second half of the year.
The strengthening of UNCT coordination mechanisms further enabled formulation of the three joint programme concept notes previously mentioned in the fields of education, combating human trafficking and SDG localization. These are the first such concept notes to be put forward to the SCF Steering Committee and to be approved for further consideration. In addition, results
groups expanded their analytical base on urban agriculture, foreign workers health and the participation of women with disabilities in the workforce as well as engaged in joint advocacy to promote disability-inclusive public spaces. Disability inclusion and safe, orderly and regular migration also continued to be promoted through the UNCT Disability Inclusion Task Force and the United Nations Network on Migration, respectively, which remained active throughout the year.
Integrated interagency support provided to the government in preparation of its second VNR in 2022, further demonstrates the increased coherence of UNCT work. Similarly, the support provided by UNCT to the Government in the context of its participation in the Transforming Education Summit was an interagency effort. In both cases, the now empowered and independent Resident Coordinator, backed by a reinforced Resident Coordinator Office, was the driving force behind the interagency support – a clear success of the United Nations development system reform.
UNCT continued to invest in the capacity of its staff by holding a series of workshops on mainstreaming gender equality, human rights and sustaining peace into joint work planning, ways of engagement with international human rights mechanisms and PSEA. UNCT also contributed to strengthening the capacities of other UNCTs in the region and beyond by sharing good practices, including the effective communication of UNCT results as well as implementation of the UNCT-SWAP Gender Equality Scorecard3 exercise, highlighting the growing importance of interagency collaboration and coordination to achieve gender equality.
UNCTs under the disability inclusion accountability framework
UNCTs under the gender equality accountability framework
Working in line with the United Nations Communication Strategy, the United Nations Communication Group ensured the coherence of advocacy and communication efforts. Opinion pieces and exclusive interviews posted in printed media and messages delivered by United Nations officials on sustainable development topics and amplified through social media, were among the tools used to share UNCT work with partners and the general public more broadly, and to advocate for the advancement of the SDGs. In addition to the successful communication efforts previously mentioned, UNCT also implemented several social media campaigns to celebrate International Women’s Day, International Youth Day and International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, and to commemorate Holocaust Remembrance Day.
To celebrate the work of the United Nations in the country, UNCT hosted United Nations Day in-person for the first time since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. UNCT utilized the opportunity to raise awareness and highlight the value of volunteerism and the role of youth in sustainable development. Notable media products that were developed and disseminated in 2022 included the previous year’s report and a UNCT presentation booklet to communicate key information about UNCT in Bahrain. In the spirit of leaving no one behind and to celebrate the International Day of Sign Languages, UNCT also produced a video on the work of the United Nations using sign language.
On the operations front, UNCT continued the implementation of its Business Operations Strategy for 2020–2022. The estimated gains realized from the implementation of the strategy constituted USD 34,783 for 2020 and 2021, with possibly further gains being realized in 2022 but which remain to be quantified. As in previous years, through the generous support provided by the government amounting to around USD 450,000, UNCT benefited from rent-free joint premises and coverage of
management costs for United Nations House. Notably, as a result of UNCT efforts to mainstream disability inclusion in its operations, several persons with disabilities joined the team. UNCT also achieved gender parity in staffing during the year.
UNCT overall efforts aimed at mainstreaming gender equality and disability inclusion in programming, operations and communications allowed important progress in the implementation of accountability frameworks for UNCTs in these two fields. UNCT went from not meeting any minimum requirements for UNCTs under the disability inclusion accountability framework at the end of 2021 to meeting 21 per cent of those requirements by the end of 2022. UNCT also went from meeting 13 per cent of the minimum requirements for UNCTs under the gender equality accountability framework to meeting 31 per cent of those requirements in the same period. However, renewed efforts will be required to ensure progress in mainstreaming youth in UNCT work.
Photo credit : UNFPA
In September 2022, the PSEA Taskforce of the United Nations organized a series of in-person workshops for UNCT. Over 60 participants increased their awareness on PSEA by attending the workshops, which included separate sessions for non- technical support staff, United Nations senior management, and United Nations technical staff.