How We Work
Gender Equality in Public Administration
Public administration is the bedrock of government and the central instrument through which national policies and programmes are implemented. In an ideal world, public administration is guided by principles of fairness, accountability, justice, equality and non-discrimination. However, globally, this is not yet the reality and, women remain underrepresented in decision-making in public administration. In many developed and developing countries, public administration often remains a patriarchal institution, perpetuating gender-biased traditions, attitudes and practices.
UNDP’s Global Initiative on Gender Equality in Public Administration (GEPA) was developed, with two key priorities:(i) Supporting women’s empowerment and expanded participation and leadership in the executive branch of the state; and (ii) Contributing to the availability of up-to-date information on gender equality in public administration and of evidence and analysis to facilitate informed policy and decision-making. Learn more about the GEPA Initiative.
Improving chances for sustainable democratic change
Aligning public administration reform with democratic transition is key to democracy's success, especially in new and restored democracies. So too is encouraging the interaction and exchange of information between citizens and governments. In Maldives, UNDP supported the BEST project: Building an Effective, Service-oriented and Transparent Administration, a key component in the President's Roadmap for Democracy, Human Rights and Reform.
Advancing the MDGs
An effective public administration can overcome obstacles to equitable service delivery and advance the MDGs. In Mongolia, the Strengthening Ethics and Good Governance in the Health Sector project developed and adopted a set of benchmarks on transparency and accountability requirements; designed training manuals and guidebooks on ethics, conflict of interest and code of conduct; and introduced these issues into performance reviews, in order to improve the public administration.
Building states and peace after violent conflict
Public administration and local government are central to reconciliation and development processes. UNDP supports programmes to improve capacities for planning, budgeting and public investment management, especially at the local level. In Afghanistan, the Sub-national Governance Programme works to strengthen policy design at the parliamentary sub-committee level. It has provided training in good governance to all 364 district governors, and in management and governance to 1,590 local civil servants.
Programming for reform at the regional level
Regional initiatives are a framework for regional reform planning. Current efforts include the Public Administration and Anti-Corruption Practitioners Network at the Bratislava Regional Centre and the POLE project at the Regional Centre in Dakar. Other examples include Strengthening Administrative Capacity for Democratic Governance (SIGOB) in Latin America, the Programme for Governance in the Arab Region (POGAR), and the Asia Governance Programme (ARGP).
Promoting democracy at the country level
UNDP country offices work with government partners including public service commissions, ombudsman offices and Ministries of Information and Communication. They are carrying out public administration and decentralization projects in Indonesia and Macedonia, information communication and technology (ICT) projects in support of civil registry in Burundi and Cape Verde, public financial management and aid coordination in Venezuela, and institutional development in Egypt.
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. This is done through knowledge networking and multi-disciplinary team work, as well as through close partnerships with leading policy and research institutions in different parts of the world.