Health & Poverty

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

UNDP works in about 170 countries and territories, helping to achieve the eradication of poverty, and the reduction of inequalities and exclusion. It helps countries to develop policies, leadership skills, partnering abilities, institutional capabilities and builds resilience in order to sustain development results. This is a critical time for the world. UNDP sees this period as a huge opportunity to advance the global sustainable development agenda.

In September 2015, world leaders adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. UNDP is working to strengthen new frameworks for development, disaster risk reduction and climate change. It supports countries' efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, or Global Goals, which will guide global development priorities through 2030.

UNDP's Strategic Plan (2018-2021) has been designed to be responsive to the wide diversity of the countries it serves.

The diversity is reflected in three broad development contexts:

• Eradicate poverty in all its forms and dimensions

• Accelerate structural transformations

• Build resilience to shocks and crises

To respond to these issues, and better focus its resources and expertise to deliver on the 2030 Agenda, UNDP has identified a set of approaches called Signature Solutions:

• Keeping people out of POVERTY

• GOVERNANCE for peaceful, just, and inclusive societies

• Crisis prevention and increased RESILIENCE

• ENVIRONMENT: nature-based solutions for development

• Clean, affordable ENERGY

• Women's empowerment and GENDER equality

In all our activities, UNDP encourages the protection of human rights and the empowerment of women, minorities and the poorest and most vulnerable.

The annual Human Development Report, commissioned by UNDP, focuses the global debate on key development issues, providing new measurement tools, innovative analysis and often controversial policy proposals. The global Report's analytical framework and inclusive approach carry over into regional, national and local Human Development Reports, also supported by UNDP.

Photo by Ben Richardson

UNDP and the UN development system

UNDP remains committed to working even more closely with partners across the UN system. The UNDP Administrator is the Vice-Chair of the UN Sustainable Development Group (UNSDG), which unites the funds, programmes, specialized agencies, departments and offices of the UN system that play a role in sustainable development. The Administrator also convenes the UNSDG Core Group comprised of DESA, FAO, ILO, UNDP, UNFPA, UNHCR, UNICEF, UN Women, WFP, WHO and the rotating chairs of the Regional Economic Commissions.

Created by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and endorsed by the General Assembly, the UNSDG is the main UNDS internal coordination mechanism at the global level. It is instrumental in enabling action on the ground and ensuring that United Nations Country Teams (UNCTs) have the support, guidance and impartial oversight required as they assist governments to deliver on the 2030 Agenda. As UNSDG Vice-Chair, the UNDP Administrator is responsible for the coordination of UNSDG operational work, including the elaboration of program, policy and financing instruments and guidance, the functioning of the UNSDG Strategic Results Groups, as well as day-to-day management of the Resident Coordinator system.

UNDP also administers the UN Capital Development Fund, which helps developing countries grow their economies by supplementing existing sources of capital assistance by means of grants and loans; and UN Volunteers, which fields over 6,500 volunteers from 160 countries, serving with 38 UN partners in support of peace, security, human rights, humanitarian delivery and development through volunteerism worldwide.

On average, UNDP supports an election somewhere in the world every two weeks.

Fit-for-purpose to deliver on Agenda 2030

As countries implement the 2030 Agenda, UNDP is by their side.

UNDP’s strength comes from having the trust of developing countries, owing to his impartial character, longstanding presence and commitment to the poorest and most vulnerable. It also plays a key role as the support platform of the wider UN Development System, helping agencies work together for sustainable development.

UNDP's Strategic Plan 2018-2021 sets out the direction for a new UNDP, optimized to help countries achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. With an improved business model making us more effective, transparent and accountable, it can deliver stronger results for those in need.

UNDP's new Integrated Results and Resources Framework clearly shows the allocation of resources and results achieved, allowing stakeholders to easily monitor performance, learn lessons, and hold the organization accountable for the funds entrusted to it. Executive Board members were pleased with the new reporting format based on the Framework, and welcomed the 2015 Annual Report as a step towards greater results-based management.

UNDP has improved standards for programme planning and quality assurance, and a robust process for programme appraisal. Country Programme Documents show better targeting of resources. Data is used more rigorously to inform programming, and new quality standards for projects have been rolled out.

UNDP is today a leaner and more efficient organization, operating even closer to the field. UNDP’s new structure reflects a staff reduction of 12 percent at headquarters and regional levels. It has also moved a further 20 percent of staff from New York to regional hubs to strengthen his support to country offices.

For two consecutive years, the Aid Transparency Index has recognized UNDP as the most transparent development agency in the world, while AidData (2015) names UNDP among the development partners that communicate most frequently with host government counterparts. It has put in place an open data platform that enables wide global usage of data. More details of UNDP’s activities, budgets and results are being published than ever before on, covering more than 4,000 projects in 155 countries and territories.

As of 1 January 2015, UNDP adopted mandatory Social and Environmental Standards for all of its projects and programmes. These standards will strengthen UNDP’s efforts for increased quality in its programmes and ensure social and environmental benefits for the people we serve.

UNDP is guided by the United Nations Development Group’s common approach implementing the SDGs, called MAPS, or Mainstreaming, Acceleration, and Policy Support.

Adequate levels of Core Resources and lightly earmarked funds are essential for UNDP to carry out its mandate and to coordinate UN system support to help countries “land” the SDGs. With about US$5 billion in voluntary contributions annually, UNDP remains a partner of choice and passes the “market test” in an environment in which partners can choose from many organizations to work with.

All sources of finance — domestic and international, public and private — are needed to achieve the SDGs. UNDP is redoubling efforts to develop partnerships with International Financial Institutions, civil society, the private sector, as well as individuals. The aim is to have UNDP support governments in securing increasingly diverse sources of innovative financing for development and ensure that such financing is risk-informed.

Photo By Mohit Tomar

UNDP's mission

On the ground in about 170 countries and territories, UNDP works to eradicate poverty while protecting the planet. It helps countries develop strong policies, skills, partnerships and institutions so they can sustain their progress.



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