NATCOMS and Regional Office Retreat 2019

UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa successfully held a 3-day retreat from 22 to 24 July 2019, with six recommendations adopted in Nairobi, Kenya. The retreat provided a platform and opportunity for reflections on ongoing UN system-wide reforms, UNESCO’s Strategic Transformation Process, with a focus on communication, review of processes and procedures related to risk management, budgeting, resource mobilization, monitoring and evaluation, professional development of staff, and review of programmatic achievements and challenges in the region. It further provided an opportunity for frank and open discussion between UNESCO staff and representatives of National Commissions, on how best to cooperate and collaborate, to better position the Organization for efficient delivery in Member States, taking into account the changing global environment.

The deliberations, which took the form of plenary discussions and working group sessions, had messages from Mr. Edouard Firmin Matoko, Assistant Director-General for Priority Africa and External Relations (ADG/PAX), Mr. Nicholas Jeffreys, Assistant Director-General for Administration (ADG/ADM), and Ms. Ann Therese Ndong Jatta, Director of UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa. All three underlined the critical importance of strategically positioning UNESCO, to “remain relevant” in this era of reforms and change. Ms Evangeline Njoka, and Ms. Rosie Agoi, Secretaries-General of Kenya and Uganda National Commissions for UNESCO, respectively, also addressed participants, calling for greater cooperation and collaboration between UNESCO offices in the region and National Commissions.

To situate the deliberations in the context of UN and UNESCO reforms, presentations were made by Ms Jacqueline Olweya, Head of the Regional UN Sustainable Development Group (R-UNSDG) Secretariat; Mr. Rogers Dhilwayo, UNDP Senior Economist; Mr. Eliot Minchenberg, Chief of Section for Relations with UN and Intergovernmental Organizations at UNESCO; Mr. Charaf Ahmimed, Head of UNESCO’s Strategic Transformation Support Office; and Mr. Mohamed Djelid, Deputy Director at UNESCOs Bureau of Strategic Planning. The following six broad recommendations were adopted after the 3-day deliberations:

1. Strategically Positioning UNESCO, to be effective in the current environment of reforms

2. Mobilizing and effectively utilizing UNESCO Assets globally for greater impact in the region

3. Strengthening partnerships and collaborative platforms for efficient delivery of results

4. Reviewing UNESCO Structures to better reflect the realities on the ground

5. Devising creative mechanisms to ensure UNESCO’s Presence at Country Level is visible

6. Strengthen Communication across all UNESCO entities and with external partners

The retreat brought together staff from the Regional Office, Headquarters, National Offices, and the Liaison Office at the Africa Union, Category 1 Institutes, and representatives from 12 National Commissions for UNESCO in the region.

Below are links to the workshop Concept note and the copies of presentation made during the workshop.

For more information on the retreat and its outcome, please contact Mr. Abdul Rahman Lamin, Programme Specialist in Social and Human Sciences at UNESCO Regional Office in Nairobi at ar.lamin(at)

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