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 approach to management designed to improve programme delivery and management effectiveness, efficiency and accountability that focuses on achieving defined results, and should be applied in all stages of programming”.

Source: “Results‐Based Programming, Management and Monitoring (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, 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.

The RBM principles are being applied to all activities, whether funded by regular programme budget or from extra budgetary resources by UNESCO’s organizational units at the various stages of the programme cycle, from programming throughout implementation and monitoring to evaluation and reporting.  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 HQ and in the field, including in category 1 institutes, 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 outcomes of the Medium-Term Strategy, down to the expected results defined in the Programme and Budget to the expected results of the activities and projects, ensuring a seamless transition from one programmatic level to another. It is built on the principle of the 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




Back to top