In 2017-18, MOPAN, the Multilateral Organisation Performance Assessment Network, assessed the performance of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The assessment looked at UNFPA’s organisational effectiveness (strategic, operational, relationship and performance aspects) and the results it achieved against its objectives. This was the third MOPAN assessment of UNFPA; the first was conducted in 2010 and the second in 2014.
The scale of the problems UNFPA addresses through its mandate is huge, and the organisation works to deliver its ambitious results in a world where humanitarian and climate-related crises are a constant and increasing reality. While overall poverty rates, maternal mortality, AIDS-related deaths and the unmet need for family planning have declined globally, there are growing levels of inequality and vulnerability among and within countries. Populations in Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa in particular, have the greatest level of vulnerability. UNFPA’s latest strategic period saw a significant decline in core funding, largely due to the United States’ “defunding”, and is representative of the growth in international pushback against family planning. Over UNFPA’s 2014-17 strategic period, development aid funding was reduced. This trend continued into the 2018-21 strategic period, with resources often diverted to address humanitarian needs. UNFPA has carved out a significant role for itself providing core services as part of the international humanitarian response.