Inclusive Development

Inclusive Development
Photo: Ted Adnan/UNDP

Many people are excluded from development because of their gender, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, disability or poverty. The effects of such exclusion are staggering, deepening inequality across the world. The richest ten percent of people in the world own 85 percent of all assets, while the poorest 50 percent own only one percent.

Development can be inclusive - and reduce poverty - only if all groups of people contribute to creating opportunities, share the benefits of development and participate in decision-making. Inclusive development follows UNDP's human development approach and integrates the standards and principles of human rights: participation, non-discrimination and accountability.

There are many elements for a nation to consider in pursuing inclusive development. A vital one is how to create productive and gainful employment. This should be paired with effective and efficient social safety nets to protect those who cannot work or who earn too little. To reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), many developing countries will also need to enhance public services by building schools and hospitals, training teachers and doctors, and providing access to water, sanitation and transportation, all of which requires public spending. Well-designed fiscal policies - the way a government collects and spends public resources - can play a major role in stimulating growth and reducing poverty.

UNDP works with developing countries to improve how inclusive development policies and programmes like those mentioned are designed and implemented. It provides policy advice in areas such as employment strategies, job creation and social safety nets. We help develop the capacity of governments to formulate strategies and fiscal policies that stimulate pro-poor growth, reduce poverty and achieve the MDGs. At the same time, UNDP advocates for a stronger role for the state, enhanced public investment and economic governance to ensure that everyone has access to vital public services.