By Daniel Forti


Since 2018, the Division of Policy, Evaluation and Training (DPET) of the United Nations Department of Peace Operations (DPO) has been deploying the Comprehensive Planning and Performance Assessment System (CPAS) in all operations United Nations peacekeeping. The CPAS establishes a framework for mission leaders to interrogate the impact of their operations on in-country stakeholders and processes and to determine whether these impacts are helping missions achieve their mandate priorities. While DPET has developed a standard methodology for the CPAS, missions have adapted it to their own contexts and needs.

The CPAS is a multi-faceted system that engages many parts of mission operations, but it has had a particularly notable impact in three areas: data collection and analysis, impact assessment, and disaster planning. assignments. The CPAS has helped the missions to collect more regularly quantitative and qualitative data on their performance and impact, to centralize this data, to visualize it easily and to analyze longer-term trends. At the same time, missions continued to face challenges related to data collection, quality and interpretation.

The contributions of the CPAS to mission-wide impact assessments are among its most impactful, clearly understood and widely accepted contributions. The CPAS offers a clear methodology and various tools to help missions undertake impact evaluations to complement their traditional narrative-based reporting and analysis. However, CPAS impact assessments can take a long time and they do not always feed clearly into external reports.

Compared to its well-known value as an impact assessment tool, the role of the CPAS in the mission planning process is coming under much greater scrutiny within missions and across the board. from the headquarters. Although the CPAS has the potential to help missions improve strategic planning, so far it has had less impact on how missions adjust their priorities or plan their future operations.

Several cross-cutting issues have impacted how missions understand, implement and value CPAS, including: mission-wide integration; mission leadership and mission-wide ownership; abilities and skill sets; alignment of the CPAS with other peacekeeping planning tools; thematic priorities for UN peacekeeping; and the dynamic between UN headquarters and field missions.

The CPAS is a valuable and flawed experiment in UN peacekeeping that has challenged missions to rethink the way they assess performance and undertake strategic planning. With the CPAS now operational in all peacekeeping operations, the following recommendations are intended to assist missions, headquarters and Member States in maintaining the CPAS in the future:

  • Peacekeeping operations must include information specific to the CPAS in the handover notes; share core CPAS frameworks and impact assessments with UN Headquarters; improve the design, monitoring and communication of CPAS recommendations; provide detailed overviews of CPAS impact assessments in the Secretary General’s reports to the Security Council; broaden the participation of the CPAS in the UN Country Team and other UN entities in the country or region; and integrate local views of mission performance and impact into the CPAS

  • UN headquarters publish the CPAS sheets on the mission sites; integrating CPAS exercises and assessments into senior management training exercises; develop training materials on data analysis and visualization; and align the CPAS with other UN planning and reporting processes.

  • Member States should give consistent political support and attention to the CPAS; increase funding for civilian planning and data management positions; and include the CPAS in the peacekeeping programs of national peacekeeping and police training centres.