Core government functions

Societies, across the world, increasingly demand higher levels of accessibility and quality of services.  Recent evidence shows that citizens call for responsive and inclusive public institutions with capacity to efficiently deliver services. This capacity to deliver is affected by the ability of the State to manage a set of core government functions in any development setting, including transitions and post-conflict.

To advance these aspirations from societies, UNDP helps countries to strengthen responsive and accountable institutions. UNDP is now at the forefront of recent debates and initiatives marked by an increasing recognition of the foundational importance of core government functions for wider development of a State’s capacity to lead sustainable development efforts.

UNDP supports Core Government Functions, particularly in post-conflict and fragile contexts, as a priority focus to meet long-term state-building, institutional capacity, and national development objectives. This helps governments in fragile settings to gain control of the recovery process, deliver essential services and support peacebuilding processes.

Mandated by the UN Secretary-General to lead the UN system on support to Core Government Functions, UNDP has developed jointly with the World Bank, the first ever diagnostic assessment tool on core government functions in the aftermath of conflict.

UNDP supports public service reforms to supplement the focus on political processes and security and leads initiatives to support public service reform in transitions, promoting new and more inclusive social contracts.

UNDP offers strategic assistance to countries to assess and determine how responsive key government agencies are to internationally agreed standards. For instance, UNDP has developed a toolkit on “Assessing the Respect for Rule of Law Principles in Public Administration. It provides government agencies with an easily applicable method to assess their relations with the societies they serve.

With the launch of the “Gender Equality in Public Administration” (GEPA) Global Report in 2014 UNDP cemented its ongoing engagement in the under-examined field of women’s participation and leadership in the public administration.

Responsive and accountable institutions imply collaboration between Governments and civil society actors. As multilateral partner of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) our support helps build bridges between the State and citizens.

UNDP has facilitated a global dialogue to define the institutions and capacities that will be required to ensure the role of responsive and accountable government in the Post-2015 development agenda.

UNDP uses its leading role on core government functions to foster partnerships that will support institutions to respond to the aspirations of all branches of society, and contribute to just and peaceful societies.

UNDP chairs the UN Interagency Working Group on Public Administration and fosters UN system wide collaboration with the Departments of Political Affairs (DPA), Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), and the World Bank. UNDP also plays a key role in multilateral initiatives such as the Open Government Partnership (OGP) and works with trusted partners such as the Folke Bernadotte Academy of Sweden, Princeton University and others.


UNDP Around the world