UNDP's Social and Environmental Standards



UNDP’s draft Social and Environmental Standards were shared for comments from March 11-May 2, 2014.  The standards were subsequently revised and approved by UNDP senior management and will be introduced as UNDP policy by December 31, 2014.  Please see a  summary of external comments received and responses, and the final version of UNDP’s Social and Environmental Standards.  

The objectives of the standards are to: (i) strengthen the social and environmental outcomes of Programmes and Projects; (ii) avoid adverse impacts to people and the environment; (iii) minimize, mitigate, and manage adverse impacts where avoidance is not possible; (iv) strengthen UNDP and partner capacities for managing social and environmental risks; and (v) ensure full and effective stakeholder engagement, including through a mechanism to respond to complaints from project-affected people.      

The standards will be underpinned by an Accountability Mechanism with two key functions: 1) A Stakeholder Response Mechanism (SRM) that ensures individuals, peoples, and communities affected by UNDP projects have access to appropriate procedures for hearing and addressing project-related grievances; and 2) A Compliance Review process to respond to claims that UNDP is not in compliance with UNDP’s social and environmental policies.  For more information please see UNDP’s Stakeholder Response Mechanism: Overview and Guidance and the DRAFT Standard Operating Procedures for UNDP's Social and Environmental Compliance Unit, which have been revised following the public comment period from March 11-May 2, 2014. See a summary of external comments received and responses.  

Please contact holly.mergler@undp.org and Jennifer Laughlin jennifer.laughlin@undp.org for further information.

Social and Environmental Standards

English  |  Spanish  |  French

Accountability Mechanism

Stakeholder Response Mechanism - Overview and Guidance

English | French | Spanish


DRAFT Standard Operating Procedures for UNDP's Social and Environmental Compliance Unit
English | Spanish | French