Capacity-building and institutional strengthening of UNDP country offices in the English-speaking Caribbean

  • Executing agency: UN/DESA Division for Public Economics and Public Administration
  • Senior advisor: Ms. Angela Capati Caruso
  • End date: 1 April 2004
  • Total budget: USD 667,000

Over-all objectives:

The objectives of the project are: 1) to improve the capacity of Caribbean country offices to function as credible and useful providers of development services to governments and other development partners; 2) to strengthen the substantive contributions of Caribbean country offices to the development needs and priorities of programme countries in the sub-region; and 3) to ensure a secure financial base and a sustainable operational presence of UNDP in the countries of the sub-region.

Activities implemented to-date:

It is difficult to report on this in the absence of any report from the field on the results of activities undertaken by country offices.

Problems encountered:

This is an SPPD that was negotiated with unclear substantive role for DESA. In spite of repeated reminders that DPEPA requires a substantive role in the execution of the project, UNDP has continuously undertaken all activities without consulting with DPEPA. Its role has been limited solely to hiring consultants, issuing travel authorizations and other purely administrative services. Even at the last Coordinating Committee Meeting held in February 2002, DPEPA requested that it be provided with a list of substantive needs at the country and sub-regional levels under the project. This request has not been heeded.

Another problem pertains to the practice of UNDP offices to submit to DESA requests for hiring of consultants and issuance of travel ex post facto. What they prefer in fact is for DESA to issue them bulk allotments for the entire year based on the work plan. This would avoid having to involve DESA either substantively or administratively in any phase of the projectís implementation.

Recommendations, if any:

Since the Division is not expected by UNDP to provide substantive assistance nor do they plan to do so in the future, it is recommended that DESA terminates its participation in this SPPD. At the very least, if DPEPA were to continue to be involved, its responsibility should be transferred to the Office of the Director or to another Division that is willing to provide purely administrative support. It should not continue however to be supported by the Public Policy Analysis and Development Branch.