11th Advisory Committee Meeting
Tunis, 04-05 April 2013
The eleventh annual meeting of the Advisory Committee to the Programme was held on 4-5 April 2013 in Tunisia, with the following objectives:
- To launch the new Programme Phase (2013-2016);
- To validate the Results Monitoring Framework of the Programme;
- To present country activities agreed with partners;
- To facilitate experience exchange among partners;
- To discuss Programme management matters (Core Management Group).
The meeting was attended by representatives from four partner countries (Algeria, Lebanon, Morocco, and Tunisia), UNDP and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. Also attending were Programme Team members.
On the first day (04 April), a meeting was held at the Movenpick Hotel in Tunis. It consisted of presentations on: 1) the new Programme phase, its objectives and intended results; 2) sample activities planned in each partner country; and 3) the Results Monitoring Framework and 2013 Workplan. The main discussion points raised during the meeting can be summarized as follows:
Results Based Management: The participants endorsed the Results Monitoring Framework (RMF) of the Programme. The ultimate objective is to better guide the design of interventions and the reporting on results, rather than burdening partners with a tedious monitoring system. The adoption of the RMF will require significant additional efforts by the Programme Team and National Partners, particularly for designing local interventions and measuring their results on the ground in poor/remote areas where the Programme operates.
Gender Equity and Women Empowerment: The increased focus on gender-sensitive programming and reporting was welcomed by the participants. This is a crucial process conditioned by political will, national capacity and local conditions. It will require close attention by the Programme Team and National Partners in terms of technical assistance and capacity building mainly at the local level (e.g. collection of gender disaggregated data, gender budgeting, monitoring of intended results).
South-South Cooperation: The participants identified experience exchange and knowledge sharing as key priorities in 2013-2016. They requested the Programme to step-up its support and secure additional resources for this purpose, including for study tours among partner countries and outside the Region as needed. Proposed topics include integrated development planning, market access of dryland products and services, gender equity and women empowerment, natural resource management and sustainable energy.
Sustainability of Interventions: The sustainability of interventions beyond the lifetime of the Programme is enhanced by strong national ownership as reflected in the integration dryland priorities into national development frameworks and the allocation of significant resources for their implementation (e.g. RRP/Algeria, POS/Morocco, Drinking Water/Tunisia). The Programme will elaborate an exit strategy to enhance the sustainability of its achievements beyond 2016.
The meeting was closed by Ms. Veerle Vandeweerd, Director, UNDP Environment and Energy Group, via Skype from New York. She stressed the strategic importance of the Programme in terms of fighting poverty, combating desertification and adapting to climate change in partner countries, and concluded that the Programme is an integral part of UNDP’s commitment to UNCCD implementation and poverty eradication in the drylands.
On the second day (05 April), a field trip was organized to visit Programme-supported activities in the Governorate of Zaghouan including: a) Improving the management of and access to drinking water in rural areas; and b) Production and marketing of dryland products including livestock, honey and olive oil. The trip included a visit to the Water Temple in Zaghouan. It provided an opportunity to showcase achievements on the ground, network and exchange experience among partners.