Focus Areas

With activities in 130 countries as well as regional and global programmes, democratic governance adds up to the largest single area of investment for UNDP. The institutions of democratic governance, and their systems and services, are part and parcel of our efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. When countries seek UNDP support to consolidate and deepen democracy, they move towards transparency, accountability and the participation of all citizens in decisions affecting their lives.

Access to Information and E-Governance

Access to a free flow of information is vital for transparency, accountability and rule of law — all hallmarks of good governance. It empowers people to participate in political decision-making. more

Access to Justice and Rule of Law

Fairness, equity and justice are essential for democratic governance. Respect for the rule of law promotes peace, protects human rights and sustains progress for all people. more


Corruption strikes at the heart of democracy and is a major obstacle to development. For the poor, women and minorities, it means even less access to jobs, justice or equal opportunity. more

Civic Engagement

A fundamental aspect of a democratic state is the right of citizens to participate in decision-making processes. Civic engagement refers to that process whereby citizens or their representatives are able to engage and influence public processes, in order to achieve civic objectives and goals. more

Electoral Systems and Processes

Voting gives people a voice in the democratic process. Yet many countries lack a national system for managing elections. UNDP supports an election somewhere in the world every two weeks. more

Human Rights

Good governance is grounded in the principles of human rights, transparency, honesty and gender equality embodied in the United Nations Charter and internationally agreed mandates. more

Local Governance and Local Development

Our local focus is about better laws, more capacity and people's voices. It responds to community needs. Decentralization brings service delivery and decision-making closer to the poor. more

Parliamentary Development

Parliaments play a critical role in spurring and supporting national action towards sustainable human development. They can be powerful agents of change, particularly during, and after, times of crisis. UNDP supports parliaments in recognition of its important role in democratic governance and development. more

Public Administration

UNDP helps government institutions to work in ways that are more transparent, accountable and responsive - worthy of trust from society's most vulnerable. more

Women's Empowerment

Increasing women's participation in politics is a goal that gives women a voice in decision-making and opens doors to leadership in elected public office. more


In 2012, UNDP embarked simultaneously on consultations on the post-2015 development framework, on the preparation of its new Strategic Plan for 2014-2017 and on the preparation of its first organization wide strategy to inform on-going and future programming and policy development on youth. more

Oslo Governance Centre

The Oslo Governance Centre (OGC) works to position UNDP as a champion of democratic governance, both as an end in itself, and as a means to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. 

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