IPI HomePublicationsPolicy PapersDriving the System Apart? A Study of United Nations Integration and Integrated Strategic Planning

 

print print  |  share share back back

Policy Papers - August 28, 2013

Driving the System Apart? A Study of United Nations Integration and Integrated Strategic Planning

Arthur Boutellis

 

 

This new IPI report examines the evolution of integrated planning efforts at the United Nations, which has undertaken a series of institutional innovations over the last two decades to promote greater coherence in the organization’s conflict and postconflict engagements. Yet, the UN integration agenda faces a number of obstacles that threaten to roll back some of the hard-won gains.

The report finds that signs of integration fatigue in the UN system are partly due to structural impediments, high transaction costs, lack of incentives, and difficulties in communicating integration’s benefits. In addition, in places where UN engagement is taking on multiple forms—such as Mali, Somalia, and Syria—integration is proving all the more complex.

After reviewing progress made thus far, the author identifies next steps for advancing a realistic integration agenda, including

  • Short-term fixes to help the UN integrate where it matters, analyze as one, upgrade the capacity of system-wide planners, remove managerial impediments, and provide incentives and leadership; and
  • Structural reforms to clarify the division of labor in peacebuilding activities, create a client-oriented UN headquarters, build on partnerships, address the changing nature of crises on the ground, and forge a new integration consensus.
The report concludes that if the integration agenda is to reclaim adherents, the UN will need to rekindle its leadership’s enthusiasm for integration and foster renewed support for its efforts from a broader base of member states.

About the author
Arthur Boutellis is a Research Fellow, Adviser to the Peace Operations and Africa Programs at the International Peace Institute.

The Global Observatory

Airstrikes on ISIS Bring New Dimension to Aid Worker Safety: Q&A with David Miliband
A conversation with David Miliband, CEO of the International Rescue Committee, about US-led airstrikes on ISIS and their effects on the humanitarian response in Syria.

Key Global Events to Watch in September
A list of key upcoming meetings and events with implications for global affairs.

2014 Top 10 Issues to Watch in Peace & Security: The Global Arena
A list of ten key issues to watch that are likely to impact international peace and security in 2014, compiled by IPI's Francesco Mancini.

The Global Observatory, produced by IPI, provides timely analysis on peace and security issues, interviews with leading policymakers, interactive maps, and more.

Recent Events

September 25, 2014
Estonian President: Russia’s Actions Threaten International System
On September 25th, President Toomas Hendrik Ilves of Estonia warned that Russia’s recent aggression in Ukraine is a threat to the norms of the international system as we know them, and that it may lead to a drastic reassessment of foreign policy priorities in Europe.

September 22, 2014
Kevin Rudd, Former Australian PM, to Chair Independent Commission on Multilateralism
Kevin Rudd, former Prime Minister of Australia, will chair the newly launched Independent Commission on Multilateralism (ICM). The Commission will be co-chaired by Børge Brende, Foreign Minister of Norway, and John Baird, Foreign Minister of Canada.

September 22, 2014
IPI Hosts Ministers, Officials at Annual Mideast Dinner
On Monday, September 22nd, IPI held its Ninth Ministerial Dinner on the Middle East in its Trygve Lie Center for Peace, Security, and Development. The working dinner saw the participation of foreign ministers and other high-level representatives from the Middle East and North Africa, Europe, and beyond.

View More