PRESS RELEASE – The United Nations System across Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados, countries of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), Belize, Guyana, Jamaica and Suriname is in the planning stages of the design and implementation of a Multi-country Sustainable Development Framework (MSDF) for the period 2017-2021.
Once approved, the MSDF will serve as the overarching framework guiding the work of the United Nations system in the region, superseding the six UN Development Assistance Frameworks (UNDAFs) currently in place.
The MSDF represents an innovative approach, which will draw on the complementarity and commonality of priorities across the Caribbean region, while allowing for national specificity in programming. The MSDF will provide participating countries with greater synergies in UN programming and stronger monitoring, reporting and evaluation.
At the same time, it will also increase the UN’s effectiveness, integration and coherence in addressing both regional perspectives and national needs and priorities, improving its strategic positioning and facilitating joint programming both at regional and national levels.
Following initial consultations with governments regarding the feasibility of a multi-country approach, in May 2015 the UN system met in Barbados to discuss the proposed approach and to agree a timeline for development of the MSDF.
A Caribbean Multi-country Assessment (CMCA) report was then drafted between July and August 2015. The CMCA provides insights into the key development challenges facing a country.
By focusing on beneficiaries, the CMCA is naturally grounded in a human-rights-based approach to development. As such, it places development policies and processes in a system of rights and corresponding obligations established by international laws. This contributes not only to promoting the sustainability of development work but also to empowering people to participate in policy formulation, hold duty-bearers to account, and ensure the fair and equal distribution of available resources.
As of September 2015, the CMCA has served as the basis for national consultations. These consultations involve a wide range of governmental and non-governmental stakeholders, and are complemented by a range of virtual and social media consultations.
The goal of the national consultations is to use a bottom-up process to identify a limited number of key strategic priorities around which the UN can focus its efforts across the region. The consultations also provide participants with a clear understanding of the MSDF process and the role of countries, other partners and the UN system in the planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the Framework.
Once the 15 national consultations will be completed, the results will be synthesized to produce a set of strategic priorities and expected results for the UN in the region. It is anticipated that there will be no more than five strategic priority areas. The next step will be the development of sub-regional or national programming documents, aligned with these strategic priority areas at the regional and national levels.
As part of this process, an in-country consultation is being organized in Trinidad and Tobago, in conjunction with the Ministry of Planning and Development.
The National Consultation is scheduled for Friday November 13, 2015 from 8.30 am to 3.30 pm at the Normandie Hotel, St Anns, Port of Spain.
The event will feature the presentation of the CMCA report, which will be followed by panel discussions during which each panelist will react to and comment on the findings of the CMCA, based on the respective areas of knowledge and expertise.