Our Work

The UNDP Seoul Policy Centre began its work in January 2011, tasked with

  • representing UNDP in Korea
  • working with Korea on international issues
  • sharing Korea's development experiences with other countries

The Centre’s work is organized under four headlines:

  • Global Development Issues
  • Development Solutions Partnerships
  • Policy Analysis 
  • Communications and Outreach

Across these headlines, we use the Seoul Debates as a signature platform for convening policy discussions.

Through the Seoul Debates, we bring experts, government representatives and practitioners as well as civil society to discuss select development issues in the context of our work on Development Solutions Partnerships and policy analysis.

To date, we have organized two Seoul Debates on the following topics:

‘Challenges of the middle-income countries: Seoul Debates 2013’ focusing on country experiences to effectively tackle challenges faced by middle-income countries.

‘The 2015 Seoul Debates: Lessons learnt on Anti-Corruption from Korea and Around the World’ discussing effective measures to tackle corruption.


1. Support to the post-Busan Global Partnership on Effective Development Cooperation (GPEDC) and other global agenda


The Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation (GPEDC) helps 160 governments and more than 45 international organisations work better together to end poverty.

Developing countries, donors and a range of organisations endorsed the commitments at the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness that was held in Busan, Korea in 2011. They aim to improve the quality of development co-operation by ensuring developing countries lead their own development, boosting the impact of development co-operation and ensuring all involved in development work together in a transparent and accountable way.

The UNDP Seoul Policy Centre (USPC) works in partnership with the Joint OECD-UNDP support team and the Government of Korea to support the review of the GPEDC implementation at the country level organizing global and regional meetings to take stock on country level progress. Representatives from governments, civil society and international organisations meet in Seoul on annual basis to share experiences and challenges in implementing the GPEDC in their countries.

In addition, the Seoul Policy Centre partners with KOICA to train officials from developing countries on principles of effective development co-operation and modalities of GPEDC implementation.


2. Development Solutions Partnerships (DSPs)


One of the main reasons for establishment of the UNDP Seoul Policy Centre (USPC) was to facilitate access to knowledge and expertise on Korean development and link it with UNDP’s wider network. Development Solutions Partnerships (DSPs) is a new approach for USPC, as a knowledge broker and facilitator, to connect Korea with the wider UNDP network and enhance the Korea-UNDP partnership on strategic development issues globally. The DSPs are rooted in the know-how and experience Korea gained from its own development, which could be shared with developing countries in areas where UNDP also has experience. The DSPs seek to create innovative knowledge partnerships, identify potential opportunities for collaboration and systematic mapping and engagement of the Korean expertise within select areas.

2.a. Development Solutions Partnership on Anti-Corruption 

The Development Solutions Partnership on Anti-Corruption (DSP-AC), initiated in 2014, envisions to bring together experiences and lessons learned from Korea and around the world, in synergy with UNDP’s substantive expertise and country-level engagements, to help design, scale up, and support anti-corruption initiatives in developing countries through a triangular cooperation modality, involving Korea, UNDP and partner countries. USPC implements the DSP-AC in partnership with the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Korea Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission, the Seoul Metropolitan Governmentthe UNDP Global Anti-Corruption Initiative, the UNDP Bangkok Regional Hub for Asia and the Pacific, the UNDP Global Centre for Public Service Excellence in Singapore, as well as UNDP country offices worldwide.

On 29-30 January 2015, we organized the 2015 Seoul Debates on anti-corruption with some 80 participants from Korea and 10 other countries. The main takeaways and recommendations are summarized in the meeting report. USPC continues to work with partners to facilitate knowledge exchange between Korea and developing countries; to document lessons learnt and produce policy products, and to help apply Korea’s innovative anti-corruption tools to fit the particular contexts of developing countries.

2.b. Development Solutions Partnership on Green Energy

The Development Solutions Partnership on Green Energy brings together various Korean stakeholders working on green energy with policy makers and energy practitioners around the world. Working together with the Green Technology Centre Korea (GTC-K) and other Korean partners, USPC is working on tools for sharing Korean green energy technology and elements of policy framework that enable spread of green technologies and its use for the benefit of the poor and vulnerable in a world where over 1.3 billion people still lack access to electricity globally.

In 2013 and 2014 USPC organized Workshops on Equitable Energy Access in partnership with the GTC-K and the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The workshops highlighted the importance of knowledge sharing and capacity-building exchanges amongst central and local governments, the private sector, as well as financial and research institutions. Bringing together representatives from Korea and a number of developing countries, the discussions also drew attention to the interest that the Korean energy policy and technologies solicits across the world.


3. Policy Analysis


Policy analysis is an integral part of our work in the context of the wider UNDP agenda and the themes outlined for all UNDP’s global policy centres. Our policy analysis work links up with Korea’s development experiences and may also contribute to building a Development Solutions Partnership in a specific area.


4. Outreach and communications


Outreach is another important part of our work. This includes delivering presentations and lectures on international development issues and UNDP’s work at graduate schools, in Model UN conferences, and international conferences in Korea.

Based on demand, recent themes and issues include the post-2015 development framework and the Sustainable Development Goals, the role of the G20 in the post-2015 development framework, sustainable development governance, green economy, climate change, gender, youth, social entrepreneurship, conflict prevention and recovery, rural development, as well as inequality.

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