U.S. Statement to the IAEA Technical Assistance and Cooperation Committee

IAEA Technical Assistance and Cooperation Committee Meeting

November 20-22, 2017

Agenda Item 3 Evaluation of Technical Cooperation Activities in 2017

U.S. Statement as delivered by U.S. IAEA Counselor Keith Anderton

 

Mr. Chairman,

 

As have others, the United States thanks the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS), under the leadership of Director Carsten Meyer, for its comprehensive evaluations of six Technical Cooperation-related activities in 2017. An objective and comprehensive evaluation of the TC Program and the Agency’s work is an essential element and invaluable tool for measuring program performance and results. We note with appreciation the OIOS conclusion that the IAEA’s undertakings consistently contributed to positive outcomes.

 

The OIOS’s efforts are enhancing accountability and transparency and facilitating Agency-wide organizational learning and improvement. Mindful of those objectives, the United States welcomes the proposed OIOS work plan for 2018-2019. We look forward to reviewing the resulting OIOS conclusions and recommendations. We call on the Secretariat to continue to take steps to respond to and implement the recommendations of the OIOS within the timeframe specified. Let me highlight a few of these recommendations.

 

We support the OIOS recommendation to improve the quality of Logical Framework Matrices (LFMs) so that they are designed with project-specific indicators and aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. We support the OIOS recommendation that the Secretariat introduce an outcome monitoring system as well as a system for tracking progress at outcome level. We support the Technical Cooperation Department’s launch of the electronic system for submitting Project Progress Assessment Reports (PPARs), which OIOS had recommended to address the low submission rate of the paper-based reports. In addition, we support the OIOS recommendation to benefit from synergies of potential partnerships and to reduce the risk of duplicating efforts of organizations working in areas similar to those of the Agency. We also appreciate the attention the OIOS evaluations paid to the issue of gender equality and hope that future reports will note improvements in this regard.

 

Mr. Chairman, The United States would like to address one particular issue of concern mentioned in the OIOS Report. We strongly believe that indications, even preliminary ones, of issues that could pose a reputational risk to the Agency should not become hostage to bureaucratic stovepipes or left unresolved. We would like to ask the Secretariat to identify what lessons have been learned and what steps the Agency will take to ensure, with a true “One House” approach, that established processes are always promptly followed in the future.

 

Mr. Chairman,

 

The United States encourages the Agency to ensure that all project management-related guidance applicable to TC is reviewed and consolidated in a single document available to all TC project stakeholders. The guidance should cover the development of the project concept and design, as well as the subsequent phases of the TC project cycle, including project monitoring and reporting, change control processes, baseline data, assumptions and means of verification, and risk management. We also encourage the Agency to work closely with Member States to prepare their next Country Programme Frameworks and to make project designs specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound or “SMART.” This would ensure that the projects fulfill the development priorities of Member States, achieve the desired results, and are sustainable.

 

The United States notes the continuing need to strengthen communication between the IAEA and its counterparts to ensure efficient and effective implementation of TC activities. In addition, we reiterate our encouragement that further emphasis be placed on results-based management and outcome monitoring across the TC Program. Mr. Chairman, With these comments, the United States takes note of this year’s OIOS Evaluation Report, as contained in IAEA document GOV/2017/44.

 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.