Democratic governance and peacebuilding

UNDP ensures inclusive and effective democratic governance by advocating, advising, fostering impartial spaces for dialogue, achieving consensus and building institutions.

UNDP helps governance institutions in countries bring constitutional reforms, organize credible elections, strengthen parliaments, and address policy and institutional options for peace, risk-reduction and development through reconciliation, empowerment and inclusion.

Our Goal

UNDP helps create an enabling environment for all social partners, including civil societies, to grow in strength and contribute towards national development.

Our ultimate goal is to bring effective and equitable delivery of service to citizens -- especially the poor, indigenous and local communities -- and reinforce the rule of law and citizen security through the design of appropriate policy, legal and regulatory frameworks and strengthening of local governance institutions.

We assist in bridging the gap between humanitarian, peacebuilding and longer-term development efforts, helping countries in peaceful settlement of disputes and progress towards democratic governance.


We support democratic systems to become more inclusive and accountable, and able to meet expectations for participation, services and security. In 2014, our programmes strengthened electoral processes around the world and helped register 18 million new voters.

In Guatemala, Elena de Paz made history by testifying about the violence she experienced during the country's civil war. UNDP’s Transitional Justice Programme promotes the rights to truth, justice, reparations for victims and a culture of peace to prevent the recurrence of atrocities. Elena is among the indigenous victims of human rights abuses who received legal assistance and psychological counselling. Photo: UNDP Guatemala

Our Stories

Programmes and Initiatives

Response to the crisis in South Sudan

South Sudan became a nation on 9 July 2011 after a decades-long struggle for independence. However, the widespread optimism that defined the national mood on that day has now vanished. Unresolved political conflicts, ethnic and religious tensions erupted into widespread violence across the country in December 2013, which has continued unabated to this day. more

Responding to conflict in the Central African Republic

The sectarian violence in the Central African Republic has uprooted nearly one million people. It is estimated that 3 million, about half of the population, need urgent humanitarian assistance. 5,204 civilians have been killed since sectarian violence erupted after rebels overthrew the Government in March 2013. more

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Recent publications
  • Final Report on illustrative work to pilot governance in the context of the SDGsFinal Report on illustrative work to pilot governance in the context of the SDGsThis report was prepared with substantial input from 5 pilot countries, Albania, Indonesia, Rwanda,Tunisia and the United Kingdom on an initiative to pilot illustrative work on governance in the context of the discussions on the Sustainable Development Goals. The report draws out the main lessons learned from the Pilots experience, and identifies some guidelines for work on implementation of aspects of Sustainable Development Goal 16.

  • The Political Transformation of Armed and Banned Groups - Lessons LearnedThe Political Transformation of Armed and Banned Groups - Lessons LearnedThe paper seeks to answer several key questions: how can we define and explain successful political transformations on the part of armed and banned groups, and how can we account for varying degrees of success regarding integration into the formalised political landscape?

  • The Social Contract in Situations of Conflict and FragilityThe Social Contract in Situations of Conflict and FragilityThis concept note presents an analysis of the use of a “social contract” as a way of framing UNDP’s governance practices in fragile and conflict-affected contexts.

Indigenous Peoples

"The interests of the indigenous peoples must be part of the new development agenda in order for it to succeed. […]  Let us work even harder to empower them and support their aspirations." 

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

UNDP and Indigenous Peoples