Is the UN Development System Becoming Irrelevant?

Publication details

Title:Is the UN Development System Becoming Irrelevant?
Type:Development Dialogue Papers
Author:Stephen Browne and Thomas G. Weiss

DD paper no. 4The challenges described in development dialogue paper no.3, ‘UN Development at a Crossroads’, are elaborated further here. One particular problem is the lack of a unifying paradigm consolidating the ideational and operational parts of the UN Development system. Human Development could have been such a paradigm but failed to achieve a universal status partly due to the compartmentalized structure of the UN. Furthermore, the UN Development system faces challenges from a lack of coherence, undefined capacity and increased competition. Referencing the 2006 UN report ‘Delivering as One’, Thomas G. Weiss and Stephen Browne suggest a way forward:

  • Continue to press for the UN development system to deliver as one at the country level, thus forcing UN Organisations to work more closely.
  • Consolidate whole UN entities, as examplified by the merger of four entities to form UN Women.
  • Strengthen the collaboration of the UN with the World Bank.