Strategic Planning and Results-based Budgeting
One of the specific responsibilities of the Bureau of Strategic planning is the implementation of the principles of the results-based management (RBM) approach in programming, monitoring and reporting.
“RBM is a participatory and team-based management approach to programme planning hat focuses on performance and achieving results and impacts. It is designed to improve programme delivery and strengthen management effectiveness, efficiency and accountability.”
Source: “Results‐Based Programming, Management, Monitoring and Reporting (RBM) approach as applied at UNESCO: Guiding Principles”
A central feature of the UN reform, as defined in 1997 by the UN Secretary General in his Programme for Reform, has been to “[…] place greater emphasis on results in planning, budgeting and reporting and shifting the focus of planning, budgeting, management, monitoring, reporting and oversight from how things are done to what is accomplished”. The United Nations Organizations have since been undertaking wide-ranging efforts to integrate RBM in their work culture. RBM is today one of the five core programming principles applied by the UN country teams in the preparation of common country programming documents such as the UNDAF (United Nations Development Assistance Framework).
UNESCO has introduced RBM in programming at the end of the 90’s s with the aim of improving programme and management effectiveness. This has required a major shift in the programme management culture. It implied a change in the way the Organization develops its strategy, designs its programmes, monitors implementation, evaluates and reports on programme execution, and placing the focus on results rather than on activities or outputs/deliverables.
The RBM principles are being applied to all activities, whether funded by regular programme budget or from extrabudgetary resources by UNESCO’s organizational units at the various stages of the programme cycle, from programming throughout implementation and monitoring to reporting and evaluation. This is enabling a process through which results are formulated, programme achievements are monitored, decision-making is better informed, reporting is facilitated and transparency and accountability are ensured.
BSP provides coaching and organizes training sessions to UNESCO staff, stationed both in Headquarters and in the field, including in Category 1 Institutes and Centres, and to Permanent Delegations and National Commissions at their request. BSP has developed training material and tools to strengthen capacities in the application of RBM principles throughout the whole UNESCO programme cycle, where emphasis is placed on the formulation of “SMART” expected results and related performance indicators, baselines and targets. See staff training webpage.
UNESCO’s RBM Results Chain
The Results Chain flows from the expected Strategic Objectives of the Medium-Term Strategy (C/4), down to the C/5 expected results defined in the Programme and Budget to the expected results of the quadrennial Workplans (activities and projects), ensuring a seamless passage from one programme level to another. It is built on the principles of alignment and aggregation of results, which implies that the combination of results achieved at one level should contribute to the achievement of the higher level expected result.
The UNESCO RBM Results Chain