Public Administration

Photo: UNDP / Cape VerdePhoto: UNDP / Cape Verde

Enhancing transparency and accountability in public service

"The way in which the public administration operates, provides or restricts information, delivers services in an equitable or discriminatory manner and provides or prevents opportunities for people's voice in the policy making debate has a direct impact on the way citizens perceive the degree of legitimacy of the democratic system."

This statement by the UN Secretary-General speaks to the pivotal role that effective public administration can play in building trust in democracy. By providing citizens with a critical space for interaction, public administration acts as a bridge between government and society, and plays a fundamental role in shaping legitimate state-society relationships.

UNDP focuses its support in four priority areas:

  • Public administration and democratic change: UNDP promotes incremental steps towards reform, supporting the efforts of developing countries to shape public administration institutions into robust, representative, responsive and democratic institutions.
  • Public administration and the MDGs: Public administration can play a key role in the equitable distribution of benefits and opportunities to all — especially the poor, women and minorities — which is of particular significance in areas directly linked to the achievement of the MDGs.
  • Public administration for state- and peace-building in post-conflict societies: UNDP seeks to increase attention to public administration and civil service management as an essential component of state-building in post-conflict societies.
  • Public administration for environmental sustainability: UNDP works to strengthen public administration to better address climate change challenges, environmental sustainability and disaster risk reduction.

In addition, UNDP's work in public administration seeks to foster relationships that are guided by respect for human rights, information sharing, gender equality, rule of law, integrity and transparency. Our initiatives focus on building robust institutions at both national and sub-national levels, and are therefore closely integrated with UNDP's work in the area of local governance.