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The Enhanced Normative and Operational Framework (ENOF) is key to the implementation of UN-HABITAT's Medium-Term Strategic and Institutional Plan 2008–2013. The framework provides a bridge between UN-HABITAT's normative messages and the agency's operational work, seeking to better connect UN-HABITAT's global policy with its regional and country activities.
The vision of the Medium-Term Strategic and Institutional Plan is "to help create, by 2013, the necessary conditions for international and national efforts to stabilize the growth of slums and to set the stage for the reduction of urban poverty and the reduction of the number of slum dwellers". The plan has defined UN-HABITAT's contribution to sustainable urbanization through five main focus areas.
The ENOF strategy focuses on internal harmonization and better coordination, especially between normative and operational work; policy integration and programmatic coherence at the country level; and monitoring, evaluation, and reporting.
ENOF facilitates the coordination of policy development and implementation processes, as well as the alignment of resources. The ultimate goal is to maximize the impact of UN-HABITAT's work at all levels.
The agency is intensifying its work in pilot "ENOF Priority Countries" to support the efforts of national governments, local authorities, and other stakeholders. This support will strengthen in-country synergies and feed into worldwide UN efforts to alleviate poverty and promote sustainable development.
A number of external factors drove the need for the Enhanced Normative and Operational Framework. First, there was the scale and pace of urbanization and slum formation. Second was the ongoing process of UN reform, which emphasizes collaboration at the country level. Third was the Paris Declaration, which emphasizes the need for systemic reforms. Finally, there were changes in development assistance funding, the growing role of private capital, and the devolution of resource allocation decisions to the country level by bilateral donors.
Internal factors, meanwhile, included the need for greater focus, alignment, and coherence in UN-HABITAT activities and greater emphasis on results-based management.
The Enhanced Normative and Operational Framework has two tracks. The first is externally oriented and consists of a strengthened partnership and networking strategy that mobilizes partners behind a common set of principles and development targets within the framework of a new, shared World Urban Campaign. The goal is policy integration and programmatic coherence at the country level. The organization of the National Urban Forum sessions and the development of the Habitat Country Programme Documents provide immediate, tangible opportunities to work towards this goal.
The second track is more internally oriented, aiming to align UN-HABITAT's resources to more effectively achieve impact at the appropriate scale in selected countries. It consists of an integrated programme of activities at the global, regional, and national levels. Towards this goal, the ENOF Task Force provides a platform for internal policy dialogue and coordination among all Medium-Term Strategic and Institutional Plan Focus Areas and the related agency branches.
Getting It Done
Firstly, ENOF supports the World Urban Campaign, which targets selected partners involved in the implementation of the Habitat Agenda to develop a shared vision and strategy to promote sustainable urban development.
Secondly, ENOF supports the national implementation of focus area policies. UN-HABITAT's contribution to sustainable urbanization has been defined through five main focus areas under the Medium-Term Strategic and Institutional Plan, each with its own policies.
Thirdly, ENOF supports an integrated programme of activities at the global and regional levels. This includes:
- Designing an integrated ENOF strategy that builds on the UN-HABITAT work programme
- Mapping the relevant existing activities and developing • criteria for participatory engagement
- Developing the tools and guidelines required to support • implementation in the ENOF Priority Countries
Fourthly, ENOF supports the development and implementation of country programmes outlined in the Habitat Country Programme Documents. The latter are useful for strategizing, planning, coordinating, and monitoring. They also provide a framework for the involvement of partners, linking with various other formal strategies (e.g. the UN Development Assistance Framework) and enhancing visibility.
Fifthly, ENOF contributes to UN-HABITAT's monitoring and evaluation activities.
ENOF's efforts represent collaboration among all the branches of UN-HABITAT on the one hand, and the involvement of all stakeholders – including national and local governments, civil society, and the private sector – on the other hand.
In addition, ENOF increases synergy among the agency's key global programmes: the Global Land Tool Network, Water and Sanitation, the Disaster Management Programme, the Cities in Climate Change Initiative, Safer Cities, and programmes on financing slum upgrading and basic services.