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 on 18 June 2014 were approved as UNDP policy by UNDP senior management.  The standards will be rolled out across UNDP 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, which were approved on 18 June 2014 as UNDP policy by UNDP senior management and the Investigation Guidelines for UNDP's Social and Environmental Compliance Unit, which have been revised following the public comment period from March 11-May 2, 2014 and have been approved, 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

Investigation Guidelines for UNDP's Social and Environmental Compliance Unit
English | Spanish | French