Guidelines for the Development of the IODE short-term (2008-2009) and medium-term (2008-2013) Work Plan and Budget
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Results-based management has become important because both Member States and the management of the United Nations want to have a more effective United Nations that is able to respond to new demands within the limits of resource constraints. And both want to be able to demonstrate this. Its purpose is to shift managerial and administrative emphasis from a processfocused approach to one based on performance and results (outcomes). The premise is that if organizations plan in terms of the results they expect to achieve and then verify that they have achieved them, resources will be used effectively and public support will be maintained. A key element is programme performance assessment, which can be defined as determining whether expected accomplishments were obtained and why or why not. The United Nations began to implement results-based management through the programme budget process. After 1998, the Organization began its transition to a results-based budget. Resultsbased budgeting was defined in terms of a process in which programme formulation revolves around a set of predefined objectives and expected accomplishments. These expected accomplishments justify the resource requirements to produce the outputs required to achieve such results. Finally, actual performance in achieving results is measured by objective performance indicators. The logical framework, or Logframe as it is called, was developed in the 1970’s as a method for programming and evaluating development programmes and projects. Subsequently most international organizations, including the United Nations, have adopted it to help guide results-based management. The Logframe involves structured thinking -- starting with problems addressed, defining desirable end-states and the conditions that have to be met to obtain them and determining the outputs, activities and resources necessary to achieve them. To summarize, the logical framework for results-based management is a planning process from top-down and a management process in the reverse direction. Planning starts with defining objectives -- future end-states, deciding what accomplishments are expected if the objective is to be achieved, determining which output will lead to those accomplishments, defining the activities necessary to produce those outputs and, finally, identifying the inputs that are necessary to carry out the activities. The management process is exactly the opposite. The inputs are acquired and deployed to carry out the activities, the activities lead to the production of outputs and, if they are well designed and executed, the output will lead to the expected accomplishments (or expected results). The Logframe provides a conceptual structure for the RBM process. Simply put, there are three elements: programme planning, implementation and, finally evaluation. However, these are not linear processes. Instead, they are interactive elements, where each contributes to and provides feedback to the other. This is an over-simplification. In practice in the UN, the cycle is defined by specific required documents. The programming process now begins with the establishment of a two-year strategic framework which becomes the basis for defining the biennial programme budget. Once that is approved, each programme prepares an annual work plan, which is monitored on a continuous basis by programme managers. Reporting is now done online on SISTER (UNESCO). Oversight monitoring is done internally at the 12- and 18-month stages as well as at the end of the biennium for reporting to Member States. Self-evaluation should take place as needed, but is essential at the 18-month stage of the biennium so that it can influence the preparation of the strategic framework for the next cycle.