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Results-Based Management approach (RBM)

Results-Based Management approach (RBM)

In the “Programme for Reform”, presented by the UN Secretary General to the UN General Assembly in 1997, it is proposed that the UN “place greater emphasis on results in its planning, budgeting and reporting and that the General Assembly moves the budget of the United Nations from input accounting to accountability for results… shifting the focus of planning, budgeting, reporting and oversight from how things are done to what is accomplished”. Since then, the notion of results and “Results-Based Management” (RBM) became a central aspect within the UN system and a global trend among International Organisations.

RBM has been on UNESCO’s agenda for several years and has been one of the main items of the Organization’s reform process. This process is not a mere technical one as it involves a radical shift in the way we conceive interventions and in our approach to our work, with an increased emphasis on partnership, accountability and transparency for the achievement of well-identified expected results, implying changes in the very working culture of the organization.

Expected results are the change(s) and situation(s) expected to be brought about as a result of UNESCO intervention An emphasis on results requires more than the adoption of new administrative and operational systems, it needs first and foremost a performance-oriented management culture that will support and encourage the use of the new management approaches: with the adoption of the RBM-concept, project/programme managers stay aware of relative objectives and responsibilities in terms of expected results to be achieved (i.e. effects on society), and not in terms of controlling expenses and producing outputs. In several cases, results are directly measurable, in other cases, their qualitative or descriptive nature requires to capture them through one or several performance indicator(s), which taken together are designed to provide as complete a coverage and reflection of the scope of an expected result as possible. Performance will then be judged against pre-defined benchmarks, which constitute reference points or standards for a performance indicator built on the basis of past experience and available resources and which UNESCO targets to deliver.

While from an institutional point of view, the basic purposes of RBM systems are to generate and use performance information for accountability reporting to external stakeholders and for decision-making, actually the first benefiting from the implementation of the RBM approach are the managers themselves. They will have much more control on the activities they are responsible for, be in a better position to take well-informed decisions, be able to learn from their successes or failures and to share this experience with their colleagues and stakeholders.

The RBM approach is to be applied to all organizational units and programmes, including extra budgetary projects. Each of them is expected to define anticipated results for their own work, contributing to achieving the overall expected result(s) defined for the organization. The integration of RBM in the implementation of large-scale organizational reforms can be seen as important as the application of RBM in small and definitive projects.

In order to accompany UNESCO staff in this process, BSP has created in June 2003 the RBM Training Programme to improve the knowledge of the staff on RBM with a special focus on expected results and performance indicators in the context of UNESCO Programme Management Cycle and thus improve the quality of programming documents, especially the quality of expected results and performance indicators, and the monitoring of implementation

DocumentsLa Gestion axée sur les résultats (GAR) à l’UNESCO
Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie  
DocumentsPresentation to Geneva Group - Paris
Results-Based Programming, Management and Monitoring  
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