UNDP ART, supporting local development

UNDP ART promotes local development. In the Dominican Republic an ART-programme funded by the EU supports the development of markets. Photo: UNDP ART

The ART* Initiative is a global UNDP programme that promotes sustainable human development at the local level. UNDP launched the ART Global Initiative in 2005, as part of its commitment to support countries in their efforts to accelerate progress on the Millennium Development Goals and to achieve sustainable development. Since then, the initiative has demonstrated that regional, municipal and local authorities have an important role to play in promoting sustainable development. ART is also an important entry point for decentralized cooperation partners (such as regions, cities, universities) to UNDP and the development system.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

UNDP ART in Brussels

In Brussels, UNDP ART has been present since September 2012 and from 2014, the International Coordination of UNDP ART fully operates from the UNDP Brussels Representantion Office. Brussels is a hub for European affairs, and in addition to the EU-institutions, many European regions and cities are present in Brussels. Already, several European regions are important partners for decentralized cooperation in developing countries.

Through the gateway that UNDP ART provides, its presence in Brussels has been able to engage more effectively with European actors involved in local development. The aim is that this will create closer links between European regions/cities and regions/cities in developing countries.  The potential for deeper engagement is great, as in 2011 the Programme had the support of more than 1,600 decentralized cooperation partners (600 from the North and 1,000 from the South) and 40 regional networks and associations. Through an active presence in Brussels, UNDP ART aims to link European decentralized partners, with partners in the South.

ART’s presence in Brussels also facilitates UNDP’s partnership with the European Union in the area of local authorities and local development. These areas are articulated priorities for EU’s work on development.

For example, EU funds programmes supporting local authorities and local development in the context of prioritized national policies. These include programmes under UNDP’s ART-initiative such as the one in the Dominican Republic, which focuses on cross-border development together with Haiti.

For more information on UNDP-EU partnership on local development, see the section in Our Work

* Articulation of Territorial Networks for Sustainable Human Development

UNDP ART - 2013 in Review

Relations between the local, national and global levels are becoming increasingly important. Local development challenges require consistent responses, coordinated through an inclusive dialogue.


Read the UNDP ART - 2013 in Review to discover UNDP ART’s contribution to international development processes and the activities implemented with regards to innovative partnerships, local governance and local development and local economic development, among others. The report describes the results of the UNDP ART Initiative in 2013, many of which are the culmination of long term processes, often set in motion in the countries throughout the last decade. 

Read report
Other versions of UNDP ART - 2013 in Review
French version
Spanish version