UNIDO within the CCA and UNDAF

The Common Country Assessment (CCA) and the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) for China

The United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) for China is a planning framework, which outlines the common objectives and strategies shared by all UN organisations providing development assistance to China. The current UNDAF period is 2006 - 2010 and it coincides with China's “Eleventh  Five-Year Plan”. The process of UNDAF formulation began in 2003 with the preparation of a Common Country Assessment (CCA), which provides an analysis of the country situation and selects a number of priority areas in which the UN system has comparative advantages and can provide interventions. The CCA was published in 2004. Based on the conclusions reached in the CCA, the UNDAF has been prepared by the UN Country Team (comprised of all resident UN organisations in China). The work was carried out in close cooperation with the Government “Mirror Team” (representatives from all Chinese government counterparts of the UN system). The UNDAF took into consideration China's Eleventh Five-Year Plan, and the strategic themes proposed by the CCA in its formulation of three crosscutting themes, five outcomes, and twenty-one objectives. The crosscutting themes are: equity; gender equality; and global norms, conventions and their mechanisms.

The five UNDAF outcomes are as follows:
  • Social and economic policies are developed and improved to be more scientifically based and human-centered for sustainable and equitable growth.
  • Enhanced capacities and mechanisms for participation, co-ordination, monitoring and evaluation for effective policy implementation in the social sectors.
  • More efficient management of natural resources and development of environmentally-friendly behaviour in order to ensure environmental sustainability (with special focus on energy, biodiversity, and water resources).
  • HIV/AIDS, TB, and malaria infection and disease rates reduced, care and support for those infected improved, and the rights of those living with HIV/AIDS protected.
  • Within the framework of international norms, conventions and their mechanisms, and of the Global Compact, China's role in the international arena is enhanced, including through providing increased levels of South-South Cooperation.

The 21 objectives that have been identified for the UNDAF are together expected to have a discernible impact on achieving the five UNDAF outcomes by reducing disparities, balancing social and economic development, ensuring environmental sustainability, fighting disease, and strengthening China’s contribution to the efforts of the international community. Each objective contributes to the attainment of all five outcomes to a varying degree.

Given China's large population, its complex development needs, and the substantial amount of resources China itself commits to resolve these needs, the UN has recognised in the UNDAF that its development cooperation is financially very limited. However, the UN has been able to demonstrate in the past that it can provide timely and appropriate solutions to some of China's concerns and that it can still make an impact. The UNDAF provided the opportunity to think through how the UN can optimise its resources even more.

The CCA/UNDAF process has been invaluable in strengthening the partnership among resident UN agencies by providing them with the opportunity as a team to take a look at China's development in its entirety. At the same time, it has provided the opportunity to identify problems as well as possible approaches to solutions by pooling experience and knowledge that each agency has accumulated while working in China. It has also enabled the team to identify, despite their diverse organisational mandates, a common set of goals and objectives, which can enhance further cooperation among UN agencies in China by preventing duplication and opening up potential for complementing each others activities to maximise impact. The UN Country Team, as well as the Theme Groups, which were established during the CCA process continued to act as the main modalities for UNDAF follow-up.

It has also been agreed that the UNDAF outcomes and objectives would be reflected in the respective programmes of the different UN agencies, as it is the case of UNIDO. A major feature of the UNDAF is that it remains flexible and open to new priorities or situations that may emerge as a result of new developments in China or international initiatives.