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  • WFP/EB.A/2010/15-B

    108. The Representative of the Czech Republic gave a brief account of the joint visit to Rwanda from 20 to 30 March 2010, during which the members of the boards of UNDP, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), UNICEF and WFP had been impressed by the innovative approaches employed by WFP in its food assistance projects and by the progress of the Delivering as One pilot scheme. The group had also had instructive meetings with the President and with ministers, representatives of local authorities and NGOs, and heads of private-sector organizations. The members of the Boards noted that the MDGs were central to Rwanda’s national strategies on food security, education, health and environmental sustainability; they had also observed that United Nations reform was having positive effects in Rwanda, backed by the vision and commitment of the Government. The group had been impressed by the work of the United Nations country team (UNCT), much of whose success was a result of its determination to overcome constraints.109. The visiting Board members observed, however, that shortages of skilled staff impeded some reform processes, and that there was scope to align WFP’s new hunger solution tools and other United Nations activities with government priorities. The group suggested that a fund be set up to support Delivering as One pilot countries.110. The members of the Boards thanked the Government of Rwanda and the UNCT for their hospitality and support.

    The Board took note of “Report on the Joint Field Visit to Rwanda of the Executive Boards of UNDP/UNFPA, UNICEF and WFP” (WFP/EB.A/2010/15-B) and encouraged further action on the recommendations, taking into account considerations raised by the Board during its discussion.

  • WFP/EB.2/2016/5-B/1/Rev.1

    38. Introducing the paper, the Secretariat observed that the FFR, as the fourth component of the Integrated Road Map, set out a new country portfolio budget structure for WFP that replaced the current project-based structure and would lead to increased operational effectiveness, enhanced transparency and more detailed reporting on performance to the Board.WFP/EB.2/2016/16 839. The Board noted that the new structure would encourage donors to allocate more flexible funding, while the formulation of WFP Strategic Outcomes tied to single focus areas would ensure alignment with donors’ funding lines. It would also provide greater traceability regarding costs and cost drivers; however, improved gender disaggregation would require enhanced data-collection methods.40. The Board approved of the country-level and calendar-year budgeting approach and of the harmonization of cost categories with other United Nations agencies, and noted that bilateral approvals would continue to be required for trust funds. Board members were confident that the new financial structure would support WFP’s food assistance approach by encouraging flexible, predictable multi-year funding, promoting transparency and enhancing the effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability of operations through realistic resource-based planning and improved performance management. The Board noted that issues including staffing, risk management and administrative capacities in country offices would require further attention.41. The Board approved the transitional arrangements required for implementing the 16 pilot CSPs and Country Portfolio Budgets in 2017. The Board requested that it be kept up to date on implementation and on what refinements would be made on the basis of lessons learned from the pilot schemes. Board members observed that further consultation was required on the proposed thresholds for delegations of authority and the changes envisaged in the General Rules and Financial Regulations.42. The Secretariat appreciated the Board’s engagement and provided assurance that extensive consultation and bilateral engagement would continue in 2017, to inform Member States and donors about the pilot experience, discuss proposals for delegated authority thresholds and outline draft amendments to the General Rules and Financial Regulations. The need for effective knowledge transfer to country offices was recognized: the single integrated project management structure based on revised planning and budgetary assumptions would support this. The Secretariat noted that in addition to existing organizational resources, USD 15 million was earmarked in the Management Plan for corporate initiatives such as the Integrated Road Map, which would be discussed further, prior to sharing the formal costed proposal in February 2017.

    Having considered the Financial Framework Review (FFR) (WFP/EB.2/2016/5-B/1/Rev.1), the Board: i) noted that the FFR was composed of three work streams: budgeting for operational effectiveness; resource-based planning; and macro-advance financing; ii) noted, in connection with the budgeting for operational effectiveness work stream, that under the Policy on Country Strategic Plans (WFP/EB.2/2016/4-C/1/Rev.1*) (CSP Policy) each Country Strategic Plan, Interim Country Strategic Plan and limited emergency operation would include a country portfolio budget (CP Budget), to which the approval mechanisms and transition and implementation arrangements set forth in the CSP Policy would apply; iii) noted that, under the CSP Policy, Country Strategic Plans containing pilot CP Budgets (Pilot CSPs) would be submitted for Board approval in 2017, and requested the Executive Director to ensure that the experience of such Pilot CSPs informed the final design of the CP Budget and CSP structure; iv) noted that the roll-out across WFP of the CP Budget structure was expected to begin in 2018, following its finalization and the approval of amendments to the General Rules, Financial Regulations and Executive Director delegations of authority at EB.2/2017; v) in line with the recommendations set forth in the FFR, approved the following principles to guide the introduction of pilot CP Budgets in 2017 and the finalization of the CP Budget structure: a. that the CP Budget structure encompass all operations in all contexts, replacing the multiple programme and project budgets and also reflecting the trust fund budgets where possible, that currently exist within a country; b. that the CP Budget be summarized in four high-level cost categories – transfer costs, implementation costs, adjusted direct support costs, and indirect support costs; c. that each CSP include a CP Budget, broken down by the four high-level cost categories set forth in point v) b of this decision and approved by total budget per WFP Strategic Outcome; d. that the CP Budget be results-oriented with clear links from WFP Strategic Results to WFP Strategic Outcomes to activities to costs; and e. that the principle of full-cost recovery, applied to contributions, would employ the high-level cost categories of transfer and implementation costs, adjusted direct support costs, and indirect support costs; and that the full-cost recovery norms approved by the Executive Board in the General Rules be simplified. vi) consistent with these principles, the Executive Board further approved the following elements for inclusion in the CP Budget structure: a. that the CP Budget be stated by calendar year; b. that, where a country has a Country Strategic Plan or Interim Country Strategic Plan, the initial response to an emergency be handled either by modifying an existing strategic outcome or by introducing new strategic outcomes in a CP Budget; c. that more detailed cost planning elements be aligned with harmonized United Nations cost categories, where possible; and d. that, as a complement to CSPs, country-level budget and operational information from WFP’s annual planning process be made available for information purposes to Member States, as outlined in paragraphs 50–57 of the FFR. vii) noted that the application of the principles set forth above would derogate from, and eventually require amendment of, provisions of the General Rules and Financial Regulations relating to cost categorizations and the manner in which full-cost recovery is achieved; viii) expected that experience of the Pilot CSPs would assist in identifying the necessary normative amendments to the General Rules and Financial Regulations, and requested the Executive Director to present the necessary proposals for approval at EB.2/2017; ix) authorized, as a temporary measure pending the Executive Board’s approval of amendments of the WFP General Rules and Financial Regulations at EB.2/2017, derogations from provisions of General Rule XIII.4 and Financial Regulations 1.1 and 4.5 concerning cost categorizations and the manner in which full-cost recovery was achieved, solely where these were necessary to permit application to the 2017 Pilot CSPs of the CP Budget principles that are listed at point v of this decision; x) noted that adoption of the CSP framework would require revision of the programme category terminology and the budgetary thresholds that are included in the Delegations of Authority to the Executive Director and looked forward to the Secretariat’s proposal on the revised delegations of authority, to be presented to the Executive Board for approval at EB.2/2017; xi) granted, as a temporary measure for 2017, authority to the Executive Director to make revisions to the Pilot CSPs, subject to existing delegations of authority with respect to emergency operations, with the understanding that any such revisions would be reported promptly to the Executive Board; and xii) noted that informal consultations would be scheduled in 2017 to ensure informed and extensive engagement with the Board regarding the finalization of the CP Budget structure and approval of amendments to the General Rules, Financial Regulations and Executive Director delegations of authority at EB.2/2017. The Board also took note of the comments of the ACABQ, (WFP/EB.2/2016/5(A,B,C)/2, WFP/EB.2/2016/4(A,B,C)/2) and the FAO Finance Committee (WFP/EB.2/2016/5(A,B,C)/3, WFP/EB.2/2016/4(A,B,C)/3*).

  • WFP/EB.A/2008/5-B

    The Executive Director introduced the WFP communications strategy, presented to the Executive Board for consideration, recalling that communications at WFP could be a matter of life and death, and commending the communications team for the work it was doing with limited resources. The Secretariat emphasized that the strategy was intended to ensure that awareness of hunger and WFP’s role and efficiency featured prominently in the worldwide media; the document spelled out the audiences, tools and core messages for the strategy. The tactics to be used were to be adapted and evolved according to contexts.The Board commended the strategy and welcomed the fact that views expressed during the consultative process had been accommodated in the latest version. Several members encouraged working to raise consciousness among the public, governments and potential donors of hunger and malnutrition and of WFP’s comparative advantages. While Board members supported the paper, some expressed interest in a more detailed version. Several members stressed the need for WFP communications to emphasize the Programme’s neutrality, impartiality and independence, and its mandate in relation to governments. In this respect national governments, taking into account their means and tools, should be important partners in the communications strategy of the programme. The Secretariat was asked to clarify whether the communications strategy was part of, or a complement to, fundraising strategies. It was pointed out that some of the technological tools to be used by the Communications Division would be less effective in developing countries, and it was suggested that WFP undertake capacity-building in the use of communications tools, including for staff members.With regard to the length of WFP’s permanence in some countries, it was emphasized that hand-over strategies be components of the communications strategy and that it could include clearer reference to gender. Some members had expected the document to reflect the External Auditor’s recommendation that recovery of the expected cost of the strategy be quantified and funding targets set.The Secretariat welcomed the additional input provided by the Board, recalling that the strategy was flexible. It was agreed that it was necessary to tailor communications tools, means and messages to target audiences, but limited communications staff was a hindrance in that regard. Given that the delivery of food aid continued to dominate public perception of WFP’s work, more would be done to raise awareness of broader food assistance activities. Results of communications work were often intangible; the costs of communications were more than offset by donations and funds raised through events. The “Fill the Cup” campaign was advancing and it had been suggested that it be adopted as a centrepiece of the strategy.The Executive Director framed WFP communications within the context of WFP being accountable to the public through the media, and of connecting with people through stories about WFP’s work. Only a tiny fraction of WFP’s budget was spent on communications but individual initiatives undertaken on the internet had had enormous success at raising WFP’s profile and reaching out to people. She agreed that it was important that the neutrality of WFP be communicated.

    The Board took note of “WFP Communications Strategy” (WFP/EB.A/2008/5-B).

  • WFP/EB.2/2015/8-A/2

    The Regional Director stated that the nature of WFP’s assistance within each of the CP’s components had been adjusted at the request of the Government. WFP was adapting its approach to evolving needs.The Board welcomed WFP’s shift to technical support for the Government, and urged WFP to support national programmes addressing widespread malnutrition. Board members appreciated WFP’s intention to place itself as a coordinator and facilitator with a view to optimizing disaster response mechanisms; the use of CBTs; and WFP’s ongoing micronutrient powders programme in collaboration with partners. The suspension of other direct nutrition interventions pending evaluation outcomes was queried. Some members sought additional information on care for the disabled and on WFP’s engagement with the Purchase from Africans for Africa programme. Board members noted the CP’s alignment with the UNDAF and with other partners.The Regional Director explained that South–South cooperation was facilitating the transition to a national HGSF programme. Tools for urban needs assessments were needed to extend capacity development, for which funding would be required.The Regional Director thanked the Board and observed that detailed questions would be referred to the Country Director, who was attending a course for potential Resident Coordinators.

    The Board approved the proposed budget increase of USD 12.9 million for country programme Mozambique 200286 with a 12-month extension from 1 January to 31 December 2016 (WFP/EB.2/2015/8-A/2).

  • WFP/EB.2/2012/9-C/2

    The Country Director drew the Board’s attention to the scale of food insecurity among vulnerable people in the Karamoja region; 50,000 new refugees had arrived from DRC and 3,200 from South Sudan in 2012, and WFP was working with the Uganda Red Cross to provide immediate assistance. WFP’s interventions had been planned on the basis of extensive consultations with donors, the Government and partners and was linked to the ongoing CP. After four decades of relief assistance WFP was moving to resilience-building, promoting the development of human capital through mother-and-child health (MCH) and school feeding programmes and supporting households with no labour capacity. The support to households with no labour capacity was expected to be handed over gradually to the national social protection programme. Cash-based modalities, to be introduced on the basis of beneficiary preference, would support refugees’ economic integration without causing inflation, and would support the Government’s policy of promoting self-reliance among refugees.The Board noted the scale of the refugee problem and added that the issues were exacerbated in Karamoja by drought and land degradation. Board members approved of the alignment of the PRRO with the Government’s generous policies for refugee support, which promoted stability and economic development. Board members strongly approved the focus on supporting the food security and nutrition status of the most vulnerable groups. They expressed support for the proposals for partnerships and hand-over, urging the country office to establish a hand-over timetable and to enhance government capacities appropriately. Some Board members recommended that the targeting criteria be made more rigorous to ensure that only the most vulnerable groups benefited from the limited resources available. WFP’s plans for joint interventions with UNHCR and with UNICEF to address malnutrition among refugees were fully approved, but some Board members requested clarification as to the allocation of responsibilities in long-term development projects and the methods used to select intervention modalities.The Country Director noted that in 2010 the country office had carried out a comprehensive census-like survey that had identified food-insecure households and enabled WFP to categorize them. Targeting was updated every year; before beginning distributions under the new PRRO a full verification of the lists of extremely vulnerable households was to take place. WFP and the Government had agreed that after the three years of the PRRO extremely vulnerable households would be covered by the national social assistance programme to ensure that their food needs continued to be met. The nutrition assistance to the refugees under the PRRO were to be implemented by UNICEF in consultation with WFP; UNICEF had come on board with recent funding from the CERF. As part of the handing over of nutrition activities in Karamoja, the country office was scaling up community participation and sensitization; village health teams were also formed and trained with a view to eventual hand-over. The Country Director thanked the Board and donors for their support.

    The Board approved the proposed protracted relief and recovery operation Uganda 200429 “Stabilizing Food Consumption and Reducing Acute Malnutrition among Refugees and Extremely Vulnerable Households” (WFP/EB.2/2012/9-C/2).

  • WFP/EB.A/2009/13-E

    In presenting the documents, the Secretariat emphasized its view that security should be a centrally funded function of the United Nations rather than a matter for individual agencies. Under the current system, WFP made its contribution to United Nations security costs – US$25 million in 2008 – and also funded its own security needs through the mechanisms approved by the Board. WFP's approach to staff safety was a proactive one based on its field security officers, security assessments and security training. The Security Report gave a clear idea of the nature and scale of threats to humanitarian personnel; WFP was particularly concerned about the vulnerability of its locally recruited staff and about the dangers faced by the staff of contractors and partners.
    The Board welcomed the documents, and expressed its condolences to the families of those who had lost their lives in security incidents. Several Board members emphasized their support for the concept of centralized United Nations funding for security, noting that the topic was under consideration in various United Nations committees and urging Board members to promote discussion of the issue. Board members stressed that all governments should as a matter of priority maximize their efforts to enhance security arrangements for humanitarian workers. The Board commended WFP security staff on their work.
    In response, the Secretariat expressed appreciation for the Board's support, noting that WFP's work on security matters was fully coordinated with the United Nations Department for Safety and Security and other agencies and NGOs. Work was ongoing to develop security agreements with host governments and to extend security training to partners and contractors through the security cells that operated in each country and through initiatives such as Saving Lives Together.

    The Board took note of “WFP Security Report” (WFP/EB.A/2009/13-E).

  • WFP/EB.2/2015/8-B/4

    With the establishment of the Federal Government in 2012, Somalia was transforming from a failed to recovering state, with emerging regional and local authorities becoming even more important WFP partners. However, 40 percent of the population remained food-insecure and 20 percent of children under 5 were malnourished. The new Somalia PRRO would assist 2.5 million people over three years, informed by an external evaluation of the previous PRRO. WFP would continue to roll out biometric technology for electronic registration and management of transfers. Up to 40 percent of programmes would be implemented through CBTs.Board members expressed satisfaction with the PRRO design, noting WFP’s partnership with other agencies and requesting more information about how WFP would share biometric data. While the Board supported the operation’s asset-building activities, it sought clarification about how WFP would ensure community access to and sustainability of assets. Board members also asked for more details on outcome measurement, the feasibility of significantly increasing CBTs and how a recent nutrition causal analysis drove the PRRO design.The Country Director explained that the SCOPE platform had improved security for CBTs and supported scale-up and monitoring. Mobile technology would be used for assessment and interaction with beneficiaries. WFP was finalizing an agreement with UNHCR on a common approach to avoid duplication in registration. Given that not all regions had functioning markets, WFP had maintained its capacity for in-kind assistance; the nutrition causal analysis has been central to the PRRO design. WFP would hold consultations with communities to ensure sustainable access to assets created.

    The Board approved the proposed protracted relief and recovery operation Somalia 200844 “Reducing Malnutrition and Strengthening Resilience to Shocks for a Food-Secure Somalia” (WFP/EB.2/2015/8-B/4).

  • WFP/EB.2/2013/11

    The Vice President of the Board outlined highlights from the visit to WFP field operations in DRC; seven Board members had participated. The Board members had visited WFP operations and supported programmes in Goma. The country’s capacities had been affected by years of armed conflict and violence, and the security situation warranted a United Nations stabilization mission (MONUSCO). WFP had a good relationship with the Government and with the UNCT, but NGOs were concerned that MONUSCO operations could be confused with humanitarian work and put humanitarian space at risk.Funding for programmes was extremely limited: only 13 percent of the planned budget was funded. School feeding rations had to be cut by 40 percent and the assisted population by 25 percent. WFP’s C&V distributions had positive impacts on food markets, although beneficiary movements made registration difficult. WFP planned to introduce electronic registration and cash distribution.Board members had suggested that: i) MONUSCO’s Islands of Peace be analysed to ensure that humanitarian principles were not compromised; ii) WFP collaborate with the Government to keep track of the most needy people, particularly among IDPs; iii) local purchases be promoted, with the Government providing some free warehouses; iv) WFP develop an infrastructure development plan with the Government; v) WFP’s role in settling displaced families be encouraged; vi) the Government be encouraged to apply the voluntary guidelines for land tenure for food security; vii) public relations campaigns be carried out to make people aware of the United Nations’ work; viii) WFP and UNICEF work with the Government to enhance school feeding; and ix) the UNCT enhance its collaboration with government structures at all levels.The Board thanked the team for this report, which highlighted the situation in DRC, including the security issues.

    The Board took note of “Report on the Field Visit to the Democratic Republic of the Congo of the WFP Executive Board” (WFP/EB.2/2013/11).

  • WFP/EB.A/2011/8/3

    The country director in Ghana presented the draft CP document, which was based on evaluation and assessment findings and recommendations from previous WFP activities in Ghana. The CP would target the most food-insecure and vulnerable districts in the country’s three poorest regions through school feeding and nutrition components designed to build government capacities and enhance communities’ livelihoods and resilience to climate shocks. Particular focus would be on promoting national ownership through practical hand-over while building strategic partnerships with the Government, United Nations and other agencies, and increasing local purchases, including through P4P. The hand-over strategy envisioned in the CP would mainly cover the school feeding intervention, whereby WFP was to provide school meals for two days per week, and the Government for the remaining three days.The CP was aligned to Ghana development plans and priorities, the regional/global and donor development strategies, as well as the UNDAF (2012–2016) thematic areas: food security and nutrition; human development and productive capacity for improved social services; and sustainable environment. The CP was geographically focused on the three deprived regions of Ghana’s 10 regions; the activities were aimed at assisting the food- and nutrition-insecure population there in those regions.The Board recognized the CP’s relevance to the situation in Ghana, commended WFP’s leading role in promoting nutrition issues in the country and noted the importance of an effective hand-over strategy for school feeding. Members asked that the final CP document include more details on government capacity development activities, including at the regional level, given the Government’s decentralization policy. They noted the useful linking of school feeding to P4P, and asked to hear more about WFP’s contingency plans for dealing with shortages of locally produced food and management of any other possible risks. Members emphasized the need for strong government commitment to lessening the socio-economic disparities among regions of Ghana, which had recently become a middle-income country. The recent discovery of oil reserves, with extractions starting in late 2010, was likely to have positive effects on the national economy.The country director replied that capacity development for school feeding included helping the Government to develop consistently nutritious menus and to target only the areas where it was needed. WFP would also be creating links between school feeding programmes and small farmers. The discovery of oil would not automatically lead to prosperity and social welfare and might not bring immediate benefits for the poorest people; WFP would monitor the situation as it developed. In the meantime, the Government still needed external support to deal with poverty and food insecurity. More details on points raised by the members – such as government commitment to dealing with the growing development gap between the northern and southern regions of Ghana, as well as WFP contingency and risk management – were to be reflected in the final CP document.

    The Board took note of draft country programme Ghana 200247 (2012–2016) (WFP/EB.A/2011/8/3), for which the food requirement is 52,317 mt at a total cost to WFP of US$44.9 million, and authorized the Secretariat to formulate a country programme, taking into account the observations of the Board.

  • WFP/EB.2/2013/7-B/3

    The Board approved the proposed budget increase of US$48.8 million for Mali country programme 105830 (WFP/EB.2/2013/7-B/3), with a 12-month extension from 1 January to 31 December 2014.

  • WFP/EB.A/2006/6-E/1

    The Board took note of the "Progress Report on the Recommendations of the External Auditor" (WFP/EB.A/2006/5-E/1). The Board took note of the comments of the ACABQ (WFP/EB.A/2006/6 (A,C,D,E,F,G,H,I,J,K)/2) and the FAO Finance Committee (WFP/EB.A/2006/6 (A,C,D,E,F,G,H,I,J,K)/3).

  • WFP/EB.A/2012/6-B/1

    The Secretariat reminded the Board that the Forward Purchase Facility (FPF) had been discussed at a recent informal consultation; the intention was to increase the funds allocated to US$300 million without altering the current 6:1 leverage ratio or the overall funding allocated to procurement. The advantages of the FPF system were outlined, particularly the significant reduction in response times and the flexibility and cost savings achieved through large-scale aggregated purchases at advantageous prices to meet project needs. Also, a range of nutritious food products had been purchased for prepositioning at United Nations Humanitarian Response Depots until needed for urgent requests and immediate response. The main aim of the increase in available funding was to ensure that WFP could maintain or increase level of food inventory in continuous supply lines and as such, increase WFP’s ability to respond faster to urgent needs during crises. The Secretariat recognized that FPF involved a degree of risk, and prudent amounts of commonly distributed foods were purchased to reduce this exposure. WFP was working with donors to resolve issues related to the tagging of FPF deliveries.The Board welcomed the document as an accurate, accessible account of a complex process, noting that FPF saved lives as well as time. It approved the Secretariat’s care to maintain the 6:1 leverage ratio and to make cost savings through aggregate purchases and optimum transport arrangements. Several Board members also noted that the approach would greatly benefit from multi-year unearmarked contributions. Board members urged the Secretariat to ensure that the FPF was fully monitored and that any unintended side-effects such as distortions of local markets were identified and avoided. The Secretariat was asked to report regularly to the Board on developments.Some members asked for clarification as to the scale of FPF, noting that increasing the FPF ceiling would expand the storage facility needs, and recommended that the Secretariat establish ways of handling fluctuations in food prices and any losses incurred in the system. The Board and Secretariat thanked the Government of Canada for its significant support for FPF, which included funding for a new storage depot at Djibouti.The Secretariat thanked the Board for its observations, noting that because food stocks were forwarded to operations within a short timeframe, storage costs were minimal; food consignments were insured against losses. The food procurement activities were carefully planned and very frequently reviewed, and the Board would be kept informed through annual reporting. The Secretariat reassured Board members that WFP’s financing capabilities for non-commodity interventions would not be affected by the changes in the FPF, which would use a maximum of US$300 million of the US$557 million available for procurement. It reminded the Board the FPF would result in a reduced need for advance financing from WFP’s other sources. The Secretariat stated that potential effects on local markets were monitored and minimized and reiterated that the aim of the proposed increase was to prevent pipeline breaks and make food available where it was needed, in the shortest possible time.

    Having considered “Forward Purchase Facility” (WFP/EB.A/2012/6-B/1), the Board: i) took note of the current status of the Immediate Response Account and the Working Capital Financing Facility; and ii) approved the allocation of up to US$300 million from the Working Capital Financing Facility for the Forward Purchase Facility special account. The Board also took note of the comments of the ACABQ (WFP/EB.A/2012/6(A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I)/2) and the FAO Finance Committee (WFP/EB.A/2012/6(A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I)/3).

  • WFP/EB.A/2012/5-H

    The Secretariat introduced the topic with an update and expansion on the contents of the paper. The Preparedness and Response Enhancement Programme (PREP) initiative had grown out of lessons learned from the 2010 corporate emergencies as a way to prepare for future challenges, taking into account WFP’s shift to new programme modalities. PREP was presented as the means to achieve an end – a New Response Model – involving a risk-management approach to preparedness. It sought to align with external partnerships and programmes and to institutionalize normative and financial tools that enabled an effective emergency response. An evaluation was to be carried out at the end of the initiative in 2014 and an emergency preparedness and response policy developed. Various sustainable funding solutions were being explored.Members commended the work done and appreciated that WFP was learning lessons. More information was requested on WFP’s strengths and weaknesses. Several members expressed concerns at the absence of clear programme objectives, timelines and expected outcomes, including performance indicators and benchmarks. They encouraged better information flow to donors and the regional bureaux. Some members asked for more details on the budget requirements of the programme. It was observed that to improve humanitarian response, PREP’s focus should extend beyond WFP through capacity development of national actors, external partnership and greater inter-agency engagement through the IASC’s Transformative Agenda. Interest was expressed in the civil–military coordination work being conducted; the question of maintaining neutrality was raised. Members asked how PREP involved governments and communities, particularly in early warning systems, and how it addressed emergencies in urban contexts.In response to Board queries and concerns, the Secretariat stressed that it would work to improve information flows to the Board, including concerning the range of resources it drew on. Budget requirements would be better defined once the results of the ROA and WFP’s prioritization of resource allocations were clear. The Boston Consulting Group had developed benchmarks and performance indicators that would be used to measure emergency response. The Secretariat assured the Board that civil–military coordination activities were conducted according to the Oslo Guidelines. Through inter-agency collaboration, PREP was working to harmonize procedures: the WFP Director of Emergencies met regularly with a network of directors of emergencies. PREP was part of WFP’s process to operationalize the disaster risk reduction policy, focusing on building community resilience; several of the broader issues raised by the Board would be dealt with at a later stage. Many aspects of emergency preparedness and response dealt with throughout WFP were not covered by the document.

    The Board took note of “WFP Preparedness and Response Enhancement Programme” (WFP/EB.A/2012/5-H) and expressed its desire to be kept abreast of the development of the programme.

  • WFP/EB.A/2012/5-F

    The Secretariat observed that the aim of the document was to promote discussion of a cross-cutting theme – gender – which over the last years had not been a focus for the organization. However, progress had been made in key areas, including a gender mainstreaming accountability framework which was to hold staff and senior management accountable for implementing the gender policy and which included the oversight functions of the Board. A Gender Innovations Fund, established in 2010, had supported 30 country projects. The Secretariat emphasized the importance of the Fund in promoting the alignment of WFP gender activities with different local and social contexts; country office staff were therefore encouraged to carry out gender analyses with local concerns in mind. The gender units in the Rome-based agencies were working well together, and a partnership with UN-Women had resulted in a proposed joint programme on the empowerment of rural women. A partnership with the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) was focusing on innovations from the field and supporting gender mainstreaming at the country office level.The Board welcomed the document. It commended the focus on accountability for gender mainstreaming and was encouraged by the commitment shown by the Executive Director with regard to focusing on gender in WFP. But concerns were expressed that: i) gender outcomes had not been reported against stated priorities; ii) resources had not been forthcoming to support the action plan, even though gender was a core issue; iii) there was a lack of gender dimensions in programme documents; iv) there was no discussion of violence against women and girls; and v) gender equality targets in WFP staffing were not being achieved.Board members urged the Secretariat to ensure that gender issues were supported by managers and to allocate Programme Supported Administrative funding and other resources to gender mainstreaming and gender-related actions, including training. Indicators to support M&E should be established with a view to measuring outcomes and extending knowledge of the issues involved in making gender an integral part of operational planning. Furthermore, the new Strategic Results Framework and the new Corporate Action Plan should include clear targets on gender equality; The Board expressed approval of the focus on gender training in country offices and regional bureaux.The Secretariat was grateful for the Board’s support and undertook to address the concerns raised in the discussion. The need to improve reporting of results was acknowledged. Work on indicators for M&E and reporting was already under way. WFP had adopted the IASC gender marker to track integration, and training was planned for staff on the use of the marker for self-assessment. Current indicators were being refined to help the Secretariat report better on gender equality results: this included indicators on access and control over food and other resources provided by WFP. A work plan on protection from sexual exploitation and abuse had been adopted. Capacity-development processes were in progress and County Directors, Deputy Country Directors and heads of programme would be targeted for training on gender analysis and the gender marker.The Director of IDS emphasized the centrality of gender in humanitarian work and the need for effective leadership and policies embedded at the field level. Innovations in the field were to be identified and nurtured while also addressing existing capacity needs in various contexts.The Secretariat agreed that gender was critical to achieving WFP’s objectives and was committed to integrating it into all WFP activities. In view of the importance of the concerns raised by the Board, the Secretariat opted to address them in writing with a view to maximizing transparency and understanding.

    The Board took note of “Update on the Implementation of the WFP Gender Policy: Corporate Action Plan (2010–2011)” (WFP/EB.A/2012/5-F). It also took note of the new gender mainstreaming accountability framework developed to increase accountability of staff at all levels and requested WFP to report to the Board on the implementation of the framework on an annual basis. The Board further noted with concern the lack of resources to support the corporate action plan and requested WFP to increase its investments and allocate appropriate human and financial resources to adequately support gender equality in WFP programming, including the development of gender equality results and indicators across all programming areas.

  • WFP/EB.2/2014/5-C/1

    Noting that the term of the current External Auditor was coming to an end, the Board observed that the appointment of the next incumbent required a reasonable length of time. The procedure proposed by the Secretariat was the same as in 2009 and had been considered by the FAO Finance Committee and the Advisory Committee on Administrative and Budgetary Questions (ACABQ). Board members anticipated that a new External Auditor would be identified by August 2015, with Board endorsement at EB.2/2015.The Board agreed that the selection panel would consist of the current Bureau members, who would decide whether they needed to call on external expertise, and was satisfied that the proposed procedure made adequate allowance for delays in the appointment process. The Board was informed that the selection panel would follow standard Bureau practices, according to which the presence of three out of five members constituted a quorum.

    The Board approved the proposed “Process for the Selection and Appointment of the WFP External Auditor for the Term from 1 July 2016 to 30 June 2022” (WFP/EB.2/2014/5-C/1). The Board also took note of the comments of the ACABQ (WFP/EB.2/2014/5(A,B,C,D,E)/2) and the FAO Finance Committee (WFP/EB.2/2014/5(A,B,C,D,E)/3).

  • WFP/EB.A/2012/12

    The Board took note of the “Biennial Programme of Work of the Executive Board (2012–2013)” (WFP/EB.2/2012/12) as proposed by the Bureau and the Secretariat, and of the inputs provided by Board members.

  • WFP/EB.A/2009/6-I/1

    The Secretariat informed the Board that WINGS II was expected to go live on 1 July 2009 and that 250 staff – including 170 from 60 field offices – had been trained in its use to serve as a support team for others as the system was being implemented. The Secretariat was aware of the need to evaluate the benefits of WINGS II. In order to take into account the inevitable productivity dip during the early months of WINGS II, the assessment was planned for 2010, with the methodology, indicators and baseline established in advance and shared with the External Auditor and the Board. Most of the deferred functionalities were expected to be delivered in the 2010 and 2011 editions of WINGS II; the Secretariat would inform the Board of those plans, with cost estimates, at the Second Regular Session in November. Financial and other corporate reporting would be challenging in 2009 because the information would come from two systems, WINGS and WINGS II. The auditors had been kept informed of the situation, and it had been agreed that reporting done on the basis of the two systems was a better option than incurring the financial and operational costs involved in delaying the introduction of WINGS II to January 2010. On 30 June 2009, the current WINGS system would be de-activated and there would be a short period before the phase-in of WINGS II when transactions would be recorded manually.
    The Board welcomed the implementation of WINGS II and expressed support for the Secretariat in its complex task. Board members looked forward to the results of the planned evaluation, but expressed some concern that WINGS II might not be a fully integrated management software system. There were questions as to its flexibility in terms of incorporating future changes, and some concern regarding the costs incurred in the decision to defer certain functionalities. Some Board members asked about the expected lifetime of the system and what after-sales services could be expected from the software provider.
    In response, the Secretariat stressed that it had decided to use a largely noncustomized and therefore more flexible version of the software than the current WINGS system; it would be easier to incorporate changes into WINGS II. The cost of introducing the outstanding elements of WINGS II would be submitted to the Board for approval as part of the next Management Plan. The Secretariat assured the Board that WINGS II was a much more integrated system, which with future editions would develop into a fully integrated system, and that its interfaces with the other corporate systems were robust.

    The Board took note of “Update on the WINGS II Project” (WFP/EB.A/2009/6-I/1).
    The Board also took note of the comments of the ACABQ (WFP/EB.A/2009/6(A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I)/2) and the FAO Finance Committee (WFP/EB.A/2009/6(A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I)/3).

  • WFP/EB.A/2009/6-J

    The President of the Board presented the rationale for the document, which aimed to expedite the process of selection and appointment of the next External Auditor.
    Responding to questions from Board members, the General Counsel and Director, Legal Office clarified that candidates for External Auditor would be sought through a Request for Proposals, and that the procedures employed to select the incumbent External Auditor in 2001 were being considered in developing the procedure that would be recommended to the Board for approval. In response to a question on the proposed process for Board approval of the arrangements for appointment of the External Auditor, the General Counsel referred to the Board's legal authority to develop its own rules of procedure, including to make general or ad hoc adjustments to them, and to the requirements for carrying out those functions. The General Counsel described, further, how the Board had already exercised its power to develop decision-making procedures in the past, and laid out the rationale for modification of the existing procedure on approvals by correspondence in this case.

    The Board requested the Bureau to develop a recommendation on the arrangements for the appointment of the External Auditor and present it at an informal consultation of the Board after receiving the advice of the WFP Audit Committee, the FAO Finance Committee, and the ACABQ.
    The Board further requested the Bureau to submit to it, after considering input provided during the informal consultation, the final text of the recommendation for approval by correspondence. Approval would occur under the procedure laid out in WFP Rule of Procedure IX.8, modified to allow the Bureau to perform the functions that are otherwise attributed in that Rule to the Executive Director, mutatis mutandis.

  • WFP/EB.A/2014/6-E/1

    The Chairperson of the AC outlined the annual report. The AC supported improvements made by the IG to audit reporting and in management’s progress in the enterprise risk management system. Discussions of treasury and investment oversight had focused on handling food price volatility and trading and hedging practices. Advice and support were also available from the Investment Advisory Panel and the World Bank Treasury. The AC would like the External Auditor to share reports for its consideration when finalized so that it could provide feedback, even between AC meetings.The Board welcomed the report and expressed its awareness of the positive value of the work of the AC, particularly with regard to its support for the introduction of positive assurance and its concurrence with the decision to maintain a single indirect support cost rate. Several Board members expressed support for the improvement in the management of food price volatility, but recognized that time would be needed. Board members supported the AC in recommending that advance financing mechanisms be kept as simple as possible so that risks could be managed effectively and resources utilized to optimum effect. While the AC had raised no ethical concerns, the Board felt that the issues should be kept under observation.The Board fully approved the AC’s commitment to transparency and consultation. Its independent scrutiny of WFP’s plans and actions was seen as a valuable asset that helped WFP to achieve its objectives.The Chairperson thanked the Board for its remarks, observing that work on the statement of positive assurance was in line with developments in the private sector. Discussions of risk management issues to be covered in 2014 by the Office of the IG would focus on food manufacturing and safety, infrastructure projects and C&V programmes. During 2014 the AC was to discuss with management information technology infrastructure and human capital management.The Secretariat thanked the AC for its work, which contributed positively to the development of new approaches in WFP.

    The Board took note of “Annual Report of the Audit Committee” (WFP/EB.A/2014/6-E/1). The Board also took note of the comments of the ACABQ (WFP/EB.A/2014/6(A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I,J,K)/2) and the FAO Finance Committee (WFP/EB.A/2014/6(A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I,J,K)/3).

  • WFP/EB.2/2013/7-B/1

    The Board approved the proposed budget increase of US$17.8 million for Chad development project 200288(WFP/EB.2/2013/7-B/1), with a two-year extension from 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2015.