|Overview : |
The Poverty Environment Initiative (PEI) is a joint Global Programme between the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and UN Environment, that supports country-driven efforts to mainstream poverty-environment linkages into national, sectoral and district development plans and budgets across 25 country, regional, and global level projects.
P-E mainstreaming involves establishing the links between environment and poverty, and then identifying which policies, planning and budgeting processes can bring about better pro-poor environmental management to help achieve the Sustainable Development goals (SDGs). The PEI provides an important example of UN agency collaboration that has provided and refined a more integrated, programmatic approach to support countries. The focus of PEI work is on capacity development to ‘operationalize’ P-E mainstreaming in development policy frameworks and their implementation.
The PEI scale-up phase 2008-2012 demonstrated economic, social and environmental results from integrating poverty and environmental linkages in development policy, planning and budget processes. The process required a sustained engagement over time to realise direct economic, social and environmental gains. The PEI lessons learned from the first phase were incorporated into the PEI strategy for the period 2013 - 2018 which was based on an enhanced theory of change.
The intended Global Programme Outcome of PEI (2013-2018) is: “Enhanced implementation of development policies, plans and budgets that combine environmental sustainability and poverty reduction to contribute to inclusive and sustainable development goals.” To achieve this Outcome, the 2013-2018 phase of PEI focussed on three key areas, including:
Strengthening outcomes from current country portfolio: Effective P-E mainstreaming requires a concerted programme of support over a 10 to 20-year horizon. The 18 PEI country programmes, and technical support in another 10 countries, were largely all nearing between 2-6 years of PEI support as the beginning of this phase.
Deepening engagement on regional implementation strategies: The establishment of joint UNDP-UNEP PEI regional teams supported effective PEI country implementation and the application of PEI lessons and approaches in the work of UNDP and UN Environment. They also played an important role to leverage funds to support country programmes through linkages with UNDP CO programmes.
Informing the global sustainable development debate: PEI continued to analyse achievements and lessons learned to build on Poverty-Environment-Nexus knowledge and prepare products to influence regional and global development agendas in support of sustainable development.
The main outputs of the 2013-2018 PEI included:
- P-E approaches and tools for integrated development policies, plans and coordination mechanisms applied;
- Cross-sectoral budget and expenditure processes, and environment-economic accounting systems institutionalised;
- P-E approached and experience documented and shared to inform country, regional and global development programming by the UN and Member States.
Programme structure and implementation arrangements
The PEI is a joint UNDP and UNEP programme operating through: 1) joint teams at regional and global levels; 2) a single management agent (UNDP); and 3) a pooled fund (i.e. a single account). The PEI organisation structure consists of country programmes, 4 regional programmes, a global programme facility, a joint institutional board, and two advisory bodies. The country programmes are implemented by joint government-UN PEI country teams (CT), with support from and in coordination with joint UNDP/UNEP regional teams (RTs). The Poverty-Environment Facility (PEF), based in Nairobi, provides the overall programme, operations and financial management coordination. The PEF is answerable to and under instructions of the strategic management of the Joint PEI Management Board (JMB), composed of UNDP and UNEP staff members. The PEF and the JMB are supported by the Technical Advisory Group (TAG). Similarly, the PEF and the JMB are accountable and receive important strategic feedback from the Donor Steering Group (DSG), which is composed of all contributing partners to the PEI. The PEI programme document provides more detailed descriptions of this structures and implementation arrangements.
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