The Resident Coordinator Office

The Secretary-General’s reform process initiated in 1997 stressed the need to achieve a greater unity of purpose and coherence in country-level operations of the UN system, highlighting the need to strengthen the Resident Coordinator System and promoting a more united UN presence at the country level.

The Resident Coordinator system (RC system) encompasses all organizations of the United Nations system dealing with operational activities for development, regardless of their formal presence in the country. The RC system aims to bring together the different UN agencies to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of operational activities at the country level. Resident Coordinators lead UN country teams in more than 130 countries and are the designated representatives of the Secretary-General for development operations. Working closely with national governments, Resident Coordinators and country teams advocate the interests and mandates of the UN drawing on the support and guidance of the entire UN family.

There are 17 UN agencies and programmes represented in South Africa with offices in Pretoria. The Bretton Woods Institutions, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the International Finance Corporation, also have offices in Gauteng. Most of the UN agencies are housed in the UN House located in Pretoria. Substantially, three Thematic Interagency groups (HIV/AIDS, Integrated Sustainable Rural Development and Regional Integration) ensure coordination.

In South Africa, the Resident Coordinator is the head of the United Nations and representative of the UN Secretary-General. She facilitates and coordinates the United Nations operational activities in South Africa.

Specific Duties and Responsibilities of the Resident Coordinator

1) Advocacy for the United Nations System:

  • Speak to and support the advancement of United Nations system objectives and mandates
  • Follow-up to United Nations global conferences
  • Information activities

2) Operational Coordination:

  • Support to national coordination, including the country strategy note
  • United Nations Development Assistance Framework (including the common country assessment and the common database)
  • Establish Field-level committee
  • Foster the Establishment of Inter-agency thematic groups

3) Management Coordination:

  • United Nations House and common services
  • Team-Building and Inter-Agency Training
  • Representation of Organizations of the UN system without field representation
  • Security

4) Humanitarian and Emergency Assistance

5) Annual Reporting, Appraisal and Hiatus Arrangements:

  • Annual Reporting, including the annual work plan
  • Resident Coordinator and country team performance appraisal
  • Hiatus Arrangements

The Resident Coordinator in South Africa

Dr. Ayodele Odusola is the current Acting-Resident Coordinator in South Africa. Dr. Odusola is the UNDP Resident Representative in South Africa since June 2019. Prior to this appointment, he was the Chief Economist and Head of the Strategy and Analysis for the UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa team in New York. He is no stranger to South Africa having previously served as Senior Economic Adviser for UNDP South Africa.

Prior to joining the United Nations, Dr. Odusola worked with the Presidency of Nigeria (1993-2015). Dr Odusola has lectured in several universities in Africa and has published over 50 articles in national and international journals, editing and authoring books as well as technical reports. In 2001, he was the African Visiting Scholar to the International Monetary Fund.