UNDP ART Global Initiative
In the last 15 years, the international cooperation has been characterised by the emergence of a large and varied number of actors, as the regional and local governments, private sector, universities and the civil society organizations. These “new” cooperation actors generally work at the country level towards the achievement of common goals but with different modalities, chronograms, administrative mechanisms and technical and evaluation approaches. In one hand, the potentiality is to enrich the quality of cooperation through the exchange of best practices and innovations in the framework of decentralization processes. In the other, the risk is the fragmentation and proliferation of specific projects.
In August 2005, convinced of the importance of regional and local governments and the territories’ social and economic stakeholders as relevant cooperation actors, UNDP’s Bureau for Partnerships (BP) established the ART Global Initiative – Articulation of Territorial and Thematic Cooperation Networks for Human Development - at its Liaison Office in Geneva. ART is conceived as an entry point for all international cooperation actors interested in harmonising their respective actions in support to national strategies for local development and convinced that the territorial approach appraises the role of territorial communities, facilitates country-level complementarity between development actors and concretises the strategic potential of the decentralised cooperation, thereby improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the support provided to the development processes prioritised by the countries themselves.
In coordination with UNDP’s Bureau for Development Polices (BDP), Bureau for Partnerships (BP), Country Offices (COs) and Regional Services Centres (RSCs), ART supports the implementation of a legal, programmatic, operational and administrative framework in the countries that request it: the ART Multi-donors Framework Programme. This framework of reference promotes and facilitates, at the country level, the complementarity between national and international development actors, (national and local governments, civil society organizations, universities, NGOs and the private sector) in order to improve aid effectiveness at local level and its positive impact in the development processes prioritised by the countries and the territorialisation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), as a common goal of citizens and local authorities from the South and North.
WHAT WE DO
Promoting dialogue through an operational framework which contributes to the implementation of MDGs at the local level as a “common interest” of the different countries and development actors from the South and the North in the ART Programmes in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Strengthening local and national capacities for the elaboration of integrated territorial plans so that international cooperation actors can meet the demands of the territories; coordinated actions, instead of the traditional projects and fragmented approach to cooperation. For example, the Local Plans for the International Cooperation of the Regions of Tangiers-Tetouan and Oriental in Morocco, and the department of Nariño in Colombia.
Fostering the complementarities between different cooperation partners and programmes, to support the national development strategies and the MDGs platform. For instance, the joint planning activities in Sri Lanka, which have allowed the reduction of aid fragmentation and cost for the international cooperation thus contributing to aid effectiveness.
Fostering decentralised cooperation as a tool to promote the role of local authorities in the strategy of decentralisation and de-concentration. For example, the Local Development Agencies as a local instrument to implement decentralization policies in the socioeconomic sector. As an example are the LEDAs of Mozambique, Albania, Colombia and Dominican Republic.
Contributing to reinforce the integration of the thematic areas (e.g. local economic development, water, social services, climate change, TIC, local governance, gender, conflict prevention and post-conflict) towards the countries’ MDG platform at the local level. For example, the articulation of the climate change initiative within the ART programming framework in Uruguay.
Facilitating national ownership of those tools developed with the ART Programme considered effective and efficient for the harmonisation of international cooperation actions at local level. For example, there are the cases of Cuba, Uruguay and Morocco
Supporting institutional responsibility and civil society’s capacity to propose and innovate, for example, the articulation between decentralised cooperation networks and Civil Society Organizations in a post conflict context and in peace building local processes: Lebanon, Colombia.
Promoting the exchange of best practices, innovations and South-South cooperation experiences -South cooperation between countries, Indonesia-Sri Lanka, Marruecos-Senegal-Mauritania and between various Latin American countries.
Contribution to national policies, for example, from a decentralised cooperation project to a national policy. As seen in the re-conversion of the sugar industry in Cuba
Devising a tool capable of addressing the added value of coordinated actions among different partners, instead of only assessing each partner’s project.