Multilateral Aid Review summary - United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

UNFPA leads on sexual and reproductive health rights (SRHR) and supports countries to use population data for policies and programmes to reduce poverty. It has a central role on MDG 5 (maternal health) & supporting role on MDG 6 (HIV/AIDS) and MDG 3 (gender equality).



Contribution to UK development objectives

+ Its role is critical in advancing MDG 5 and related MDGs through global level advocacy and delivery.
+ Its work on SRHR is unique, especially around family planning and population issues.
+ UNFPA reports comprehensively against its global objectives, but 
these are mainly set at the activity and outcome level.
_ Delivery in-country is mixed. Systems reform is not bringing consistency.
_ Policy on conflict and fragility is limited to security awareness and there is no evidence of a nuanced organisational approach.
+ It has a wide range of policies to tackle gender. Management is held to account (though evidence of impact is at times unclear).
_ No evidence of policies for consideration of environmental issues.

Organisational strengths

+ Has a good track record on procurement. Its procurement strategy considers value for money related principles.
_ Administration costs are high and UNFPA does not systematically report on prices achieved or track procurement savings. 
+ Strong partnerships with civil society, partner countries and other agencies. It reinforces country-led approaches and incorporates beneficiary voice in policies and programmes.
_ Management has strived to improve strategic and performance management, but leadership in country remains mixed.
_ Evaluation culture and global level results chains are weak.
+ Oversight and financial resource management have strengthened, with flexibility to respond to country needs.
_ Audit concerns have been made a priority but progress on this is slow, especially on national execution. No evidence that poor performing projects are curtailed and savings recycled.
_ Accountability to partner governments is strong, but transparency is weak; there is no presumption of disclosure and insufficient programme information is published.

Capacity for positive change

+ There is a strong track record on reform but overlapping change management initiatives should be simplified.
Last updated: 03 Oct 2011