About UNDP in Bhutan

Earthquake mockdrill
UNDP Bhutan Disaster Preparedness | Students participate in a mock drill for earthquake evacuation

UNDP has been supporting the Royal Government of Bhutan (RGoB) and the Bhutanese people since 1973, and opening its office in 1979. UNDP assistance in Bhutan began with an initial allocation of USD 2.5 million for the first country programme (1973-1976) coinciding with the 5th and 6th Five Year Plans.  Notable areas of UNDP focus, prior to 1996, included assistance in the area of civil aviation, telecommunication, private sector, energy, tourism and media sectors. Currently, the foundation of UNDP's work is to ensure that progress is based on people - on their needs, their efforts and their rights.

The Gross National Happiness Commission (GNHC) is the main aid coordinating agency in the country including the formulation of national development plans, policies and programmes is the national collaborating partner for the UN/UNDP in Bhutan.

What do we want to accomplish?

UNDP activities in Bhutan fall within the framework of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and is derived from the 2006 Common Country Assessment (CCA), the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) 2008-2013. The Country Programme Document (CPD) for the period 2008-2012 is derived from the 2006 CCA, the UNDAF (2008-2013) and UNDP’s Multi-Year Funding Framework (MYFF). All activities are nationally owned and implemented by national partners. Accordingly, our assistance, with a cross cutting emphasis on gender mainstreaming, is focused mainly in the areas of:

Poverty Reduction

UNDP supports the operationalisation of the national M&E system on poverty, MDGs and other national goals. With other UN agencies, UNDP will support the Royal Government in resource mobilization and in following up on the findings of the MDG Needs Assessment and Costing Report. Support in the area of employment and income generation will focus on the enabling environment for private sector growth, particularly of cottage and small rural enterprises.

Democratic Governance

UNDP continues support to the ongoing nation-wide anti-corruption efforts and efficient and effective public service delivery with sound financial management practices. UNDP will also partner with the media and civil society organizations in promoting people’s right to information and promote e-governance at both national and local levels. UNDP, together with UNCDF and other development partners, will continue support to the decentralisation process through capacity development of local governance systems and provision of block grants.

Energy, Environment and Disaster Risk Management 

UNDP focusses on supporting cross sectoral approaches to mainstream environmental concerns into national policies, plans and programmes and provide technical support to enhance national capacities to meet reporting requirements for the Multilateral Environmental Agreement. UNDP partners with government and private sector to support unreached communities to access affordable renewable energy technologies while continuing to support efforts in conservation as well as sustainable utilization of bio-diversity and ecosystems. UNDP will strengthen capacity of key stakeholders to operationalize the national disaster risk management framework, and mainstream disaster/climate risk reduction into national plans and polices and help build community capacity in successful disaster risk management initiatives, to strengthen local and national capacity for disaster preparedness and response.

What are our results?

UNDP’s recent focus has been mainly on creating an enabling environment for alleviation of human poverty and has supported the mainstreaming of the MDGs and poverty reduction in the Government’s Five Year Development Plan (10th FYP – 2008 to 2013), and planning towards the 11th Five Year Plan.

Who are the decision makers?

Ms Christina Carlson is the UN Resident Coordinator and the UNDP Resident Representative. The UNDP Deputy Resident Representative is Ms Hideko Hadzialic.

Programme heads are responsible for each of the four programme areas – democratic governance (Mr. Kunzang Norbu), poverty reduction (Mr. Jigme Dorji)  and environment (Mr. Karma L. Rapten). Programme decisions are made in consultation with counterpart institutions in the Royal Government of Bhutan (RGOB) and donor and other partners, through institutional managerial arrangements established in agreements signed between UNDP and the RGOB.

The operations, administrative and support units including finance, human resources, IT, is led by Ms. Kesang Choden.

How many are we?

41 total staff
18 core posts (including RC unit)
12 XB positions
9 other (JPO, Common Services, UNCDF, UN Women, PEI-UNEP)


Current Staff Count for Bhutan

Contract TypeSub Total
Service Contract 19
UN Volunteers 1
UNDP Staff 26
Total 46

Our Consultants

List of all current consultants (SCs, SSAs) who will receive $30,000 or more from the CO over a 12 month period.  For each consultant, the total amount of compensation and/or compensation rate should be included.

Consultant Name or Number Job Title Project Title Amount of contract (USD)/contract duration
Consultant 1 Supplier Cisco networking equipment for new UN House 150, 000
Contact UNDP in Bhutan
Inquiries Phone: +975 2 322424
Email: fo.btn@undp.org Fax: +975 2 322657