IAEA Board of Governors – Technical Assistance and Cooperation Committee (TACC)
Statement by Mr Jarrod Powell, Alternate Resident Representative of Australia to the IAEA
Agenda Item 3 – Evaluation of Technical Cooperation Activities in 2019
18 November 2019
Thank you, Chair.
Australia thanks the Director of the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) for his report "Evaluation of Technical Cooperation Activities in 2019", for the technical briefing on 12 November, and for his explanatory remarks. The evaluations performed by the OIOS ensure that Member States can be confident in the effective and efficient delivery of the Technical Cooperation Programme.
Australia continues to consider the very modest proportion of Agency resources spent on the evaluation of TC activities by OIOS to be well worthwhile.
Australia welcomes the initiative demonstrated by OIOS in piloting a synthesis report on cross-cutting findings from the 2019 CLEAs. We see this as a useful exercise for identifying common issues or trends that may otherwise be treated as stand-alone or country-specific issues, and for generating continuous improvements in the TC Programme, with benefits beyond the immediate scope of each CLEA. We encourage OIOS to continue this practice in future reports.
We commend the commitment to gender equality demonstrated by Argentina and El Salvador as highlighted by OIOS. We also welcome the inclusion of gender mainstreaming in the latest County Programme Framework (CPF) guidelines.
As co-chair of the Group of Friends of Women in Nuclear, Australia strongly supports the recommendation from OIOS that CPFs and the TC Department’s monitoring and evaluation guidelines be updated:
· to include a gender equality perspective in the outcome statements, risks and assumptions of TC projects; and
· to promote the use of gender-disaggregated outcome indicators.
We commend Colombia for its significant progress in improving nuclear security, including for its commitment to improving the safety and security of its radioactive sources through national capacity building. This is an excellent example of a Member State benefiting from effective coordination across the agency.
Australia notes the cross-cutting finding “there was only limited strategic and operative country-level coordination between the Agency and other United Nations entities in the countries visited”. We also note that this is consistent with findings in last year’s OIOS report to TACC. We see this as an important opportunity to improve the effectiveness of the TC Programme, through improved coordination and strengthened partnerships across the UN system.
We urge the Secretariat to improve collaboration between the Agency and the United Nations Country Teams, as recommended by OIOS.
On the evaluations of the TC Department’s Outcome Monitoring Approach and of Corporate Knowledge Management, we support the recommendations of OIOS, including that:
· the Secretariat should formulate a comprehensive outcome monitoring framework for the TC programme; and
· the Secretariat should formulate a Corporate Knowledge Management action plan for the TC programme and project management.
We look forward to hearing more from the Secretariat on their plans for addressing these recommendations.
We welcome the fact that the Secretariat has accepted all recommendations issued by OIOS in 2019, and look forward to their timely implementation.
Australia continues to encourage greater transparency in the response to OIOS recommendations by reporting of projected and actual timelines for implementation of those recommendations. This would facilitate better understanding amongst Member States of the reasoning behind the timelines as agreed, including those that may otherwise seem unnecessarily lengthy.
We also encourage OIOS to deliver more detailed advice on the progress that is being made towards implementation of outstanding recommendations. Such increased transparency would ensure that Member States can remain confident in the value of OIOS evaluations and in the integrity of their outcomes, and would better position Member States to assist the Secretariat to identify potential efficiency gains in implementation.
Australia continues to support the important work of the OIOS. We look forward to engaging with OIOS on its future evaluation work plans.