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Social and Environmental Compliance Unit


Responding to Concerns Relating to UNDP Social and Environmental Commitments


UNDP established the Social and Environmental Compliance Unit (SECU) to ensure accountability to individuals and communities. SECU responds to complaints that UNDP may not be meeting its social and environmental commitments.

Policy Basis


Starting on 1 January 2015, SECU ensures compliance with the following commitments:


The compliance review process for pre-2015 projects for which UNDP has committed to provide compliance review will apply to commitments reflected in the project document, and, for projects supported by the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF), the Common Approach to Environmental and Social Safeguards for Multiple Delivery Partners.


Who May File a Complaint?


Any person or community who believes the environment or their wellbeing may be affected by a UNDP-supported project or programme may file a complaint. A representative, such as a civil society organization, may also file a complaint on behalf of affected communities. People who file complaints may request that SECU protect their names and identities.

For specific inquiries

SECU Case Registry
SECU's Case Registry contains detailed information about SECU's current and prior compliance cases.

Contacting SECU:
Please send your SECU-specific inquiries via email to:

Submitting a Request



You may submit requests via our telephone, post, email or social media applications. For more information on these options, please see below.


Complaints should be as specific as possible, describing current or potential adverse impacts that have a plausible causal link to a UNDP-supported project/programme and, if possible, the UNDP social and environmental standards/commitments that are believed to have been violated.

Call (costs are incurred by caller) using 001 (917) 207 4285. Skype is an affordable way to place such a call.

You may also mail any request or communication (in any language) to:


1 U.N. Plaza, 4th Floor
New York, NY USA 10017

You may submit a SECU and SRM request or communication to: and (in any language).

If you choose to email or mail your complaint, please note that there are no strict format or language requirements. It is helpful if the complaint includes the following information:

  • Name, address, telephone number, and other contact information.
  • Whether the Complainant(s) wish to keep their identity confidential, and if so, why.
  • Name, location, and nature of the UNDP project or programme (if known).
  • How the Complainants believe they have been, or are likely to be, adversely affected by the UNDP-supported project or programme.
  • If a third party, such as a civil society organization, is filing a complaint on behalf of an affected individual or community, the complaint should include evidence the third party is working on behalf of the individual or community.
  • Although helpful, it is not necessary to cite to specific UNDP standards or policies (such as the UNDP's Social and Environmental Standards).


For assistance in submitting a request via email or mail, please download this guidance form.

Please message us on WhatsApp, Viber and Signal using 001 (917) 207 4285, or through our WeChat account @SECUSRM.

Related documents


SECU Investigation Guidelines

December 22, 2014
Download this Document

The purpose of the Investigation Guidelines (Guidelines) for the Social and Environmental Compliance Unit (SECU) is to:

- Inform UNDP staff, UNDP-supported organisations, and those affected or potentially affected by UNDP-supported activities about the procedural process of SECU;

- Provide guidance for SECU in order to ensure that investigations of alleged breaches of UNDP social and environmental policy are conducted thoroughly, objectively, and effectively.

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IG JPG1.jpg

SECU and SRM Brochure

November 02, 2015
Download this Document
Download this Document
Download this Document

The Social and Environmental Compliance Unit and the Stakeholder Response Mechanism's brochure includes additional information about SECU and the SRM.


The Social and Environmental Compliance Unit (SECU) investigates alleged non-compliance with UNDP’s Social and Environmental Standards and Screening Procedure from project-affected stakeholders and recommends measures to address findings of non-compliance.


The Stakeholder Response Mechanism (SRM) helps project-affected stakeholders, UNDP’s partners (governments, NGOs, businesses) and others jointly address grievances or disputes related to the social and/or environmental impacts of UNDP-supported projects.


Download the brochure to learn more.


UNDP Social and Environmental Standards

January 01, 2021
Please select for:
Please select for:
Please select for:

The revised Social and Environmental Standards (SES) came into effect on 1 January 2021. The SES underpin UNDP's commitment to mainstream social and environmental sustainability in our Programmes and Projects to support sustainable development.

The SES are an integral component of UNDP’s quality assurance and risk management approach to programming. This includes our Social and Environmental Screening Procedure.

Key Elements of the UNDP's Social and Environmental Standards include: 

Part A: Programming Principles: 

  • Leave No One Behind 
  • Human Rights 
  • Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment 
  • Sustainability and Resilience 
  • Accountability 

Part B: Project-Level Standards:

  • Standard 1: Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Natural Resource Management
  • Standard 2: Climate Change and Disaster Risks 
  • Standard 3: Community Health, Safety and Security 
  • Standard 4: Cultural Heritage 
  • Standard 5: Displacement and Resettlement 
  • Standard 6: Indigenous Peoples
  • Standard 7: Labour and Working Conditions
  • Standard 8: Pollution Prevention and Resource Efficiency 

Part C: Social and Environmental Management System Requirements:

  • Quality Assurance and Risk Management 
  • Screening and Categorization 
  • Assessment and Management 
  • Stakeholder Engagement and Response Mechanism 
  • Access to Information 
  • Monitoring, Reporting and Compliance