The Resident Coordinator is the designated representative of the Secretary General and team leader for the Unit Nations System organizations. The Resident Coordinator assumes the overall responsibility for, and coordination of, the UN System in Zambia at country level.
The UN Coordination Office (UNCO) provides support to the Resident Coordinator and the UN Country Team, facilitating day-to-day collaboration, joint initiatives, and implementation of the UN Programme for Reform. The UNCO organizes monthly coordination meetings, ensures that pertinent UN information flows to all UN agencies operating in Zambia, monitors functioning of the UN theme/working groups and, as a priority task, supports the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), preparation and follow-up processes as key instruments of the Secretary General's programme of reform.
In Zambia, as in the majority of developing countries, the Resident Representative of UNDP is designated as the Resident Coordinator of the UN System.
The UN Country Team in Zambia employs several regular mechanisms for inter-agency coordination and collaboration to ensure more integrated, complementary action at the country level in both programme and administrative matters. The key tool in its coordination efforts is the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF 2007-2010). The UNDAF is a 4-year operational plan for the UN system.
On the programme side, the main instruments for UN collaboration include the monthly UN Country Team (UNCT) meetings, and the UN theme/working groups. On the administrative side, the UN agency senior administrative officers comprise the Operations Management Team and meet monthly to discuss and streamline administrative/operational procedures. The UN Security Management Team (SMT) chaired by the UN Designated Official for Security also meets on a monthly basis, to review and coordinate issues pertaining to UN staff safety and security, medical evacuation and travel arrangements for example. The UNCO provides support to the programme aspects of UN cooperation, with a primary focus on facilitating collaborative programming and implementation of the UN Programme for Reform.
To become more efficient and support cost-effective coordination efforts, the UN Country Team in Zambia has undertaken a number of initiatives including the UN House that hosts four of the agencies. A second house will be built on the premises to host the rest of the UN agencies. In the UN House, the agencies share common services such as administrative support, a common travel agency and a common UN medical service for personnel. A number of other areas have been identified for further efficiency and pooling of services.
Furthermore, the UNCT has established inter-agency/Government sectoral groups that convene on specific issues such as MDG reporting, preparation and implementation/monitoring of the UNDAF.
The UNCO and the UNCT also seeks to enhance donor coordination and strengthen partnership activities with the Zambian Government, to improve aid effectiveness through better alignment of aid activity, identify partnership opportunities and share information about donor activities. The key mechanisms for this are the Joint Assistance Strategy for Zambia (ZASZ) as well as UN participation in the government-led Sector Advisory Groups (SAGS) where donors and the government meet together to oversee the implementation of the Fifth National Development Plan (FNDP).