United Nations agencies, funds and programmes, which comprise the UN Kosovo Team (UNKT) are coordinated by Ms. Osnat Lubrani, UN Development Coordinator and UNDP Resident Represenative. UN Agencies have a long-standing and solid commitment to Kosovo's people - from the poorest and most marginalized to those responsible for leadership towards deeply cherished goals. The UN as a whole has also reached its own defining moment in Kosovo; following implementation of a major political and humanitarian mandate, a more complex and development-orientated context is challenging the UNKT to move beyond discrete sectoral efforts towards greater policy relevance, cooperation and impact. While its financial resources are limited in comparison to other actors, the UNKT is best positioned of all Kosovo's development partners to accelerate achievement of development goals by bringing the perspective of those most likely to be left behind - and by linking governance more effectively to the communities it serves.
To respond to the challenge, the UN Common Development Plan (CDP) 2011-2015 will focus and harmonize the work of the UNKT over the next five years around four Strategic Themes - (i) Legislative and Policy Frameworks for Social Inclusion; (ii) Accountability for Delivering on Social Inclusion; (iii) Local Participation & Empowerment; and (iv) Environmental Health and Protection. The first two of these address key elements of social policy that, from planning and budgeting to implementation and evaluation, are urgently needed to lay a foundation and framework for social inclusion in Kosovo, and re-build trust in the governance process. The final two seek to make a more immediate impact on Kosovo's most dire living conditions - some of the worst in Europe. They envision a active dialogue between communities and authorities on the kind of society they wish to live in - and a positive cycle of change as people receive and contribute to better services, employment opportunities, social justice and environmental welfare.
Through this framework, the UNKT commits itself to achieving 20 Priority Joint Outputs in Kosovo spanning interconnected institutional and social goals. These represent the UN's common priorities and accountability in Kosovo, intersecting closely with other major development efforts. More importantly, they are the primary areas under which the UNKT will aim to leverage its comparative advantage as a catalyst for development energy, to mobilize much wider and more powerful partnerships towards results for Kosovo's inhabitants. Ultimately, the UN will measure its efficacy on the strength of those partnerships, rather than on the necessarily more limited resources channelled through the UNKT itself. To implement this focused programme for social inclusion, the UNKT will re-organize itself internally and with respect to its relationships with Kosovo's authorities, civil society and international partners.
The UNKT strongly supports Kosovo's recent aid management review, which moves all Kosovo stakeholders close to realizing the principles of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness. The CDP implementation structures aim to reinforce these principles, streamlining UN coordination around strategic outcomes associated with the CDP. Through the CDP, the UNKT will create a new UN Knowledge Hub for stronger policy dialogue. It will also link with broader development action through Kosovo's High Level Forum and other multi-stakeholder coordination structures. The CDP is a modest statement of what the UN can realistically achieve in this context given its financial, human and technical resources. As such, it represents the great majority, although not the totality, of the UN effort in Kosovo. It therefore asks a mutual accountability from Kosovo's authorities and international partners to the UN's collective effort through the CDP before looking to cooperate with the UN on other, discrete projects.
The UN will also work closely with Kosovo's government and private sector to leverage financing for social inclusion, as Kosovo increasingly seeks to take the reins of its own future. Above all, the CDP is grounded in the belief that Kosovo has capacity to match its aspirations, if only that capacity can be unlocked in its people. Human capital is the rich field in which economic growth and social development must be sown, for the best and most sustainable harvest. Despite their many challenges, Kosovo's people - particularly its youth - are its greatest reservoirs of optimism and energy. This CDP is therefore for all of them, first and foremost, and towards realization of their hopes. The analysis of Kosovo's primary development gaps and its future vision of EU membership are together a call to action on the need for social inclusion to become a core part of the legislative and governance process, for more investments channelled to those most excluded to date, for a greater emphasis on implementation, data and monitoring and for a local and Kosovo-wide drive to liberate human capital
In deciding how best to contribute Kosovo's key development drivers, the UNKT considered its comparative advantage in the Kosovo context.
The UNKT with its limited resources, is not best placed to finance capital projects, or work in much-needed macro-economic restructuring and regional economic integration, where other actors are leading. However, the UNKT retains a powerful role as a catalyst for the realization of social inclusion goals - the key to greater life opportunity for Kosovo today and for its EU aspirations in the future. This, in essence, means refining the broader institution-building agenda with specific policy changes that will make the greatest impact on social exclusion, and fostering a deeper social dialogue around policy implementation. The UNKT, with its deep institutional and community-level roots in Kosovo, is particularly geared towards policy enhancement in the following areas: capacity of the public administration, pro-poor economic growth based on local opportunity creation and human capital, quality public services for women and children and social justice/protection stressing gender equity, RAE groups, the displaced and youth. Mapping the UN's comparative advantage against Kosovo's development drivers suggests the following key areas of work:
This theme is designed create a legislative and policy basis for a truly inclusive society in Kosovo, working within the broader context of a governance reform process. The UNKT would work through this theme to (i) replicate in part the effect of a Kosovo-wide development plan focused on the most vulnerable introduced for macro-economic and social reforms, and (ii) engage civil society in the legislative process. The outcome would be to accelerate the impact of legislation on development gaps and link investments more clearly to those most in need.
This theme seeks to address fundamental implementation, accountability and evidence-base gaps that hamper Kosovo's attempts to make new legislation work for people on the ground. Under this theme, the UNKT will strengthen Kosovo's investment flow, impact monitoring and statistical mechanisms and also its capacity to institutionalize these mechanisms at Kosovo-wide and municipal levels.
This theme will bring Kosovans themselves, particularly the excluded, firmly into the broader development processes of the first two themes. UN Agencies and Kosovan society will come together under this theme to nurture Kosovo's human capital in the poorest areas and foster a climate of social justice and livelihood opportunity. The UNKT will cooperate in selected municipalities to bring communities and government into a more productive dialogue - to improve living standards, build equity and quality into service provision, ensure social justice and mitigate the most acute impact of poverty. This theme will focus particularly on RAE groups and Kosovo's young men and women.
Under this theme, the UNKT will tackle the industrial and social causes and consequences of some of the worst environmental conditions in Europe. This theme was selected in response to a remarkable disparity in Kosovo between the scale of the problem and the collective effort to address it.
The process to select these four Strategic Themes was comprehensive and inclusive, encompassing Kosovan authorities, development partners and civil society. The Office of the Development Coordinator and the UNKT established a working group at the Deputy Head of Office/Agency level to manage the key CDP development steps: starting with compilation and analysis of critical data for Kosovo, followed by elaboration of related development priorities and finally agreement on potential areas of convergence for UNKT activities. This process was supported by the UN inter-agency Statistical Working Group, using a comprehensive range of sources from Kosovo's Ministries, UNKT reporting and the work of donor partners including the EU and the World Bank.