The United Nations Common Country Analysis (CCA) is an integrated, forward-looking and evidence-based analysis of the national context for sustainable development. It is an impartial, collective and independent analysis undertaken by the UN to help determine its priorities for the next programming cycle to help the country achieve its development vision and achieve the 2030 Agenda. It aims to ensure that United Nations support to the host government is relevant and linked to national development priorities as well as to its normative role, as mandated by the United Nations Development Group (UNDG) and guided by States. members. The CCA is both an assessment of the current situation and an analysis of gaps, challenges and opportunities. Together with the 9th National Socio-Economic Development Plan (NSEDP) outlining the government’s development priorities and the results of a recent independent evaluation of the current Lao PDR-UN Partnership Framework 2017-2021, the CCA has been a key document key to the country of the United Nations. the visioning and strategic prioritization exercise of the United Nations Country Team (UNCT), and the development of a theory of change for each of the priority areas identified, in the perspective of the formulation of the Cooperation Framework for United Nations Sustainable Development 2022-2026 (UNSDCF) with the Government of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR).
The CCA reflects the integrated nature of the SDGs and is structured to provide a cumulative and logical articulation of key development challenges and opportunities for Lao PDR to inform future strategic programming decisions. It takes into account the links between the subjects, to assess the implications of development trends on the development vision for 2030, and pays particular attention to cross-border perspectives, given the geographical and social context of Lao PDR. In line with Member States’ commitments to the 2030 Agenda, CCA further integrates efforts to leave no one behind, addressing gender equality and women’s empowerment, sustainability and resilience, as outlined in the Principles UNDG1 Directors for Development Cooperation, in line with UN Member State guidance in the Quadrennial Comprehensive Review of Operational Activities of the UN Development System (QCPR).
The background analysis in this CCA begins by outlining the broad national context in terms of policy and institutions, economic transformation, demographics, and vulnerability to climate change and disasters in Chapter 3, followed by a description in Chapter 4 of how the national development vision is linked. to the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This is followed by an in-depth analysis of the situation, prospects and drivers of each SDG, structured around the 5 global dimensions of the 2030 Agenda, namely people, prosperity, planet, peace and partnerships.
Based on this analysis, with the aim of facilitating potential course corrections, Chapter 6 examines the factors and vulnerabilities in the prospects of achieving these development goals and identifies the population groups most at risk of be left out of the development process as it is currently being rolled out. Chapter 7 assesses compliance with Lao PDR’s obligations to the international human rights instruments to which it has subscribed and compliance with international norms and standards more generally. Chapter 8 analyzes the financial landscape to identify key issues and challenges in sourcing resources to meet the identified development challenges. Chapter 9 assesses the risks, and Chapter 10 concludes by identifying key gaps and challenges for achieving the 2030 Agenda in Lao PDR.
The CCA is prepared on the basis of secondary and primary information. Secondary information came from strategy documents of UN entities, reports on the country’s international commitments, national strategy documents, knowledge products and international organizations. A repository of these documents was created by the Office of the United Nations Resident Coordinator (RCO) and regularly updated during the process. Primary information was gathered from interviews with key interlocutors representing the interests of a wide range of population groups, including those often labeled as marginalized, and from surveys conducted by United Nations entities among various target groups (young people, women, migrants, people with disabilities, etc.). Secondary qualitative sources, such as government submissions to the Universal Periodic Review (UPR), were triangulated with interviews with UN agencies and civil society to gather and verify different perspectives. Any gaps in perceptions, such as compliance with human rights mechanisms, are flagged in the CCA.
Additionally, in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak in early 2020, the CCA considers available assessments on the impact of the pandemic on lives and livelihoods. These assessments, carried out by individual UN and non-UN organizations in their respective areas of mandate, have been synthesized into Lao PDR’s UN Socio-Economic Response Plan (SERP) to COVID-19. The SERP is a forward-looking plan that examines how multiple risks can affect the lives of different segments of the population with a focus on those who are at pre-existing risk of exclusion and marginalization.
Led by the United Nations Resident Coordinator (UNRC) and day-to-day management of the RCO, the UN Country Team had full ownership of the process. This included providing information and data, enriching the document with country-specific information and comments. Resident and non-resident members of the United Nations country team made substantial contributions to the document. They also helped to facilitate consultations with key stakeholders, including with national counterparts. Regular consultations have taken place with the thematic results groups for the outcome areas in the current UN partnership framework and a CCA task team composed of technical and program staff from the member agencies, funds and programs of the team of United Nations countries.
The main stakeholders consulted are government officials, in-country and off-site development partners and diplomatic missions of Member States, civil society and representatives of vulnerable and marginalized groups. Virtual consultations were held with civil society organizations representing the perspectives of vulnerable groups. Government and development partner perspectives were further captured through extensive in-person and online participation in the six policy dialogues of the multi-stakeholder working group tasked with studying the impact of COVID-19 in preparation for the 9th NSEDP and the localization of the SDGs. in Lao PDR. In addition, surveys conducted by the UN, including in the run-up to the 75th anniversary of the UN and during COVID-19, including in preparation for the SERP, have been used to reflect voices from the ground and to understand their needs, aspirations and visions.