The UN Resident Coordinator Office

The Resident Coordinator’s Office (RCO) in Nigeria coordinates the work of the UN system in support of the roles and responsibilities of the Resident Coordinator and the UN Country Team (UNCT). The Resident Coordinator leads the UNCT in consultations with the Government to define and agree on the UN system’s strategic response to the Government’s development priorities. The UNCT is currently composed of 19 resident and 4 non-resident entities.                                           

The UN system’s strategic response is currently being provided under the 2018-2022 United Nations Sustainable Development Partnership Framework (UNSDPF) signed with the Federal Government of Nigeria. The 2018-2022 UNSDPF has applied Standard Operation Procedures for UN coherence, lays great emphasis on partnerships and, focusses on SDGs as the foundation for development. The 2018-2020 UNSDPF serves as the UN systems collective support to Nigeria’s 2017-2020 Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), the Global 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the Africa Union Agenda 2063.

The RC Office coordinates support to 10 core functions performed by the RC and/or UNCT:

  • Strategic analysis and planning;
  • Oversight of the UN country programming cycle;
  • Representation and support of UN secretariat, UN agencies/NRAa;
  • Support to national coordination systems and processes;
  • Development and management of shared operational support services;
  • Crisis management and preparedness response;
  • External communications and advocacy;
  • Human rights and development;
  • Joint Resource Mobilization and fund management;
  • General UNCT oversight and management.

The UN Resident Coordinator in Nigeria

The UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator (a.i) in Nigeria is Mr. Matthias Schmale. Prior to this position, Mr. Schmale worked with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in different capacities: Acting Chief-of-Staff (August – October 2021) responsible for providing support to the Commissioner-General and Deputy Commissioner-General; Director of Operations (October 2017 - August 2021) leading almost 13,000 strong team in providing essential services and humanitarian aid to more than 1.4 million Palestine refugees in Gaza; Director Representative Office, New York (January 2017 - October 2017); Director for Syria (September 2016 - December 2016); Director Lebanon Affairs (April 2015 - September 2016).

Before his career with the UN, Mr. Schmale worked at senior management level at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) for fifteen years including being the Under Secretary General for six years in Geneva, Switzerland. He is very familiar with trends affecting humanitarian and development work within sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, the Middle-East and Europe.

Mr. Schmale holds a Diploma in economics, University Berlin, 1988; and a Doctor of Philosophy in Development Economics, University Berlin, 1992.