Realising inclusivity: Coordinating approaches at the country level

20 May 2021
This interactive roundtable brought together representatives from Resident Coordinator Offices (RCOs), with a focus on the role of the RCO in coordinating efforts at the country level to strengthen inclusivity, as well as how UN Headquarters can better support RCOs in this work. Through the exchange of best practices and ongoing challenges, the discussions sought to identify ways forward in making inclusive peace and development a reality in their country contexts.

Key takeaways:

  • Opportunities for RCOs within and across regions to discuss, learn about and coordinate different regional efforts to strengthen inclusivity are few and far between.
  • A plethora of guidance notes from UN Headquarters often leads to confusion among RCOs and UN agencies at the country level on how to promote the international normative frameworks identified in the report. The needs of local communities as well as the needs of UN agencies at the country level need to be taken into account when issuing these guidance notes.
  • Adequate, sustained and flexible funding can serve as a catalyst for meaningfully promoting inclusivity throughout the UN’s work at the country level. In particular, engagement with International Financial Institutions (IFIs); local and global pooled funding mechanisms, such as the Peacebuilding Fund (PBF); and Multi-Partner Trust Funds are some best practices for ensuring continued and joint programming to operationalise normative frameworks. Inclusivity markers should be used as criteria for funding allocation.
  • RCOs should ensure that inclusivity and the principle of leaving no one behind form the foundation of their work, and the work of all UN agencies, funds and programmes at the country level. In Indonesia, for example, the RC invited experts from OHCHR to educate the RCO on leaving no one behind, and ensured that the principle was mainstreamed in all Terms of Reference documentation within the RCO.
  • RCOs should prioritise the involvement of young people, important partners in advancing the work of the UN at the country level. However, the UN must develop innovative solutions to engage with young people on all issues that affect their lives – not just on perceived ‘youth issues’.
  • Strengthening contextual analyses and the collection of data, as well as the sharing of this analysis across agencies, are key in ensuring that the UN strategically and systematically reaches those communities left furthest behind. In lieu of this, the UN should utilise experts to ensure that UN colleagues working at the country level are provided with the knowledge necessary to meaningfully engage those communities most marginalised.