How WFP Demonstrates Accountability and Transparency

Photo: WFP/Hugh Rutherford
World Food Programme
Published November 3, 2021

Trust among donors, partners and supporters is key to the success of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP)’s work – being an open book is how we maintain it. 

Transparency is fundamental to the U.N. World Food Programme. The U.N. World Food Programme is at the forefront of the United Nations system in sharing information with its donors and the general public, and is committed to demonstrating effectiveness and efficiency. The U.N. World Food Programme shares information through various channels, including its website and its Executive Board site.

Strategic Plan

The organization’s direction is mapped out in its Strategic Plan, which is renewed every four years. The 2017–2021 Strategic Plan aligns the U.N. World Food Programme with the 2030 Agenda, focusing on ending hunger and contributing to revitalized global partnerships to implement the Sustainable Development Goals. It sets out the U.N. World Food Programme’s vision to lift the most vulnerable and marginalized people out of hunger through all of us working together.

woman receiving cash standing in flooded waters
Photo: Sayed Asif Mahmoud

Key fact: A new strategic plan has been developed for the period 2022-2026 for the U.N. World Food Programme which is to be approved by the board before the end of the year.

Country Strategic Plans

U.N. World Food Programme Country Offices prepare country strategic plans (CSPs) reflecting the local needs, the added value U.N. World Food Programme programming can bring, and the presence and capabilities of other actors. A CSP defines the U.N. World Food Programme’s entire portfolio of assistance within a country and specifies the strategic outcomes the U.N. World Food Programme will help achieve. The CSP formulation process is an open and transparent process.

man standing on WFP truck
Photo: WFP/Claire Nevill

CSPs are informed by reference to a country-led national zero hunger strategic review, prepared with the involvement of a wide range of stakeholders from government, private sector, civil society and international organization as well as by in-country evidence, such as national plans, analyses, assessments, evaluations and consultations.

Key fact: The CSP Data Portal delivers an informative overview of CSPs, providing U.N. World Food Programme Member States with the information to fulfill their governance and oversight roles and facilitate funding decisions by donor governments. It includes program, financial and performance-related information for approved plans.

Annual Performance Report

The Annual Performance Report (APR) measures the U.N. World Food Programme’s work against the Strategic Plan (a results matrix that outlines the U.N. World Food Programme’s Strategic Objectives and Management Results).

woman in WFP vest holding baby
Photo: WFP/Arete/Damilola Onafuwa

Key fact: The U.N. World Food Programme’s total funding needs for 2020 was $13 billion. The U.N. World Food Programme received a total of $8.4 billion in funding which was used to assist 115.5 million people in the 80+ countries where we work.

The APR details how the U.N. World Food Programme used the resources entrusted to it in any given year consistent with its mandate and in support of expected programmatic and management results.

Key fact: The APR dashboard shows a global overview of key results of the U.N. World Food Programme’s program performance in terms of people reached, food and cash-based transfers, capacity strengthening, service delivery and related direct expenditures.

Annual Country Reports

U.N. World Food Programme Country Offices produce Annual Country Reports (ACR) to inform donors on how their funds were used during the reporting year. Their purpose is to tell the U.N. World Food Programme’s performance story in an accurate, transparent and evidence-based manner by assessing the effectiveness, efficiency and economy of our operations in our pursuit towards Zero Hunger.

woman in white shirt handing over bag of food to woman in orange shirt
Photo: WFPElio Rujano

Key fact: In the ACR, each Country Office provides an annual financial report covering all activities in its portfolio, with separate reporting by activity, cost category and contribution. The ACRs contribute to the U.N. World Food Programme’s annual corporate statistics and Annual Performance Report.

Annual Accounts

The U.N. World Food Programme publishes consolidated audited financial reports, the Annual Accounts, that are audited by the auditor general (or equivalent position) of a state member of the UN or FAO. In addition to certifying the accounts of the U.N. World Food Programme, the external auditor has authority to report to the Executive Board on the efficiency of financial procedures and the general administration and management of the U.N. World Food Programme.

women in covid health masks
Photo: WFP/Damilola Onafuwa

The audit of the U.N. World Food Programme is conducted in accordance with the International Standards of Auditing. The most recent accounts were audited by the French Cour des Comptes and received an unqualified audit opinion.

Internal Audit

The Office of the Inspector General of the U.N. World Food Programme conducts objective and independent assurance and oversight activities to protect the integrity, efficiency and effectiveness of the U.N. World Food Programme’s programs and operations. The Office detects and deters fraud, waste and abuse through internal audit, advisory services, inspections and investigations.

a woman in blue and grey headscarf smiles
Photo: WFP/Hussam Al-Saleh

Internal audits are carried out in conformance with the Institute of Internal Auditors’ International Standards for the Professional Practice of Internal Auditing. Internal audits are completed according to an approved engagement plan and take into consideration the risk assessment exercise sent out prior to the audit.

Key fact: Internal audit reports issued by the Office of the Inspector General are publicly available. The Office of the Inspector General also publishes an Annual Report providing its assessment, based on the scope of the work undertaken, of the effectiveness of the U.N. World Food Programme’s governance, risk management and control processes.


The U.N. World Food Programme’s Evaluation Policy (2016–2021) sets the vision, strategic direction and model for the agency’s evaluation function. It embeds evaluation as an integral part of all the U.N. World Food Programme’s work and thereby helps strengthen the U.N. World Food Programme’s contribution to ending global hunger.

woman in purple shirt smiling in farm field
Photo: WFP/Andy Higgins

The Office of Evaluations manages the Evaluation Function Reporting System, which tracks progress in detail. Evaluation recommendations are assigned to specific entities within the organization (units at headquarters, regional bureau and country office level) who become responsible for their implementation.

The status of evaluation recommendations is updated on annual basis and tracked. The results achieved towards the Evaluation Policy implementation are reported to the Executive Board through the Annual Evaluation Report.

Key fact: The publicly available Evaluation Library allows to browse past and current evaluations by country, type, year and topic.

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This story originally appeared on WFP’s Stories on November 3, 2021.