The portfolio is guided by Vision 2036[1], National Development Plan 11[2], the Sustainable Development Goals (5, 8 and 16), and the African Union Agenda 2063. These priorities are also reflected in the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF), the Country Programme Document (CPD) (2022-2026), and the UNDP Strategic Plan 2022-2025. 

The objective of the portfolio, through the two projects and initiative, is to provide technical support to Government, Civil Society and Communities, Business Actors, Media and Leaders to foster:

1. A more civically and politically engaged population, including women, youth, people with disabilities and other marginalised segments, who are able to capitalise on their own skills and claim their space in national and local decision-making;

2. A human-rights compliant business sector, which through inclusive dialogue and coordination, drives a knowledge-based economy towards high income status where people create and are responsible for their own livelihoods; and

3. A cohesive and resilient society where state authorities, including local, and communities will respect, protect, promote and fulfil the rights of all, including women, youth, people with disabilities and other vulnerable segments of the population, and implement best practices through apt, context-sensitive social protection programmes.

The expected outcome of the portfolio is to achieve transformational change for a just, peaceful, and prosperous Botswana through the collaborative work of the Justice and Prosperity portfolios, underpinned by key principles and in partnership with the end-users. The key principles and methods are: inclusion and participation; gender, disability and youth lens; ‘Leave no one behind’; human rights-based programming; risk-informed; and digital- and data-driven.

The portfolio strategy is based on: a) a hybrid and integrated approach to justice; b) SDG 16 as a goal, an integrator and an approach; c) six key design principles; and d) a partnership-oriented methodology across all aspects of the programme.

  1. A hybrid, integrated approach to justice

Justice is at the heart of society. As such, a hybrid and integrated approach to this programme is applied. In practice, this means that certain aspects of the portfolio will specifically target issues related to the justice of political power broadly understood, while other aspects of programme will be focused on the justice of the economy. Justice in this sense is understood both as an objective and as approach to realising our objectives.


In practice, there are three key elements to this hybrid approach, and which fall under this portfolio:

  • Mainstreamed approach (Justice Project): In the mainstreamed approach, those working on the Justice portfolio will integrate aspects related to the economy and the environment into their programmes, similarly the Prosperity and Green portfolios will incorporate Justice into theirs. Each portfolio will seek the support of the others to mainstream effectively and efficiently and avoid gaps/overlaps.
  • Joined up approach (Prosperity-Justice Project): The Justice and Prosperity portfolios will jointly deliver specific programmes to respond specifically to the challenges associated with justice of the economy, with a primary focus on social protection and public service delivery.
  • Integrated approach (Flagship Project): The justice, green and prosperity portfolios will jointly deliver one key flagship project designed to address a critical issue/bottleneck of developing an inclusive, sustainable, and independent private sector able to drive green, diversified growth and reduce inequalities.


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  1. An SDG-16+ -based portfolio

The SDGs, the commitment to ‘leave no one behind’ and human rights-based programming provide a unifying framework, supported by the Government of Botswana, around which local, national, regional and international actors from both public and private sectors can and should coalesce. Rather than being government-owned strategy, the SDGs and human rights represent a global partnership and a vision in which all actors—public, private, state and non-state—have a critical role to play.

More specifically, SDG 16+ —on peaceful societies, justice, and accountable/inclusive institutions —provides a cross-cutting framework and a rallying ‘call’ behind which all actors can unite. SDG 16+, with its strong links with all other goals provides a motor to not only address the most pressing issues in Botswana—including inclusion, accountability and transparency—but also a motor through which to achieve the other SDGs.

As outlined in the Roadmap for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies[1] “without peace, justice and inclusion, none of the SDGs can be delivered in full since the “patterns of exclusion, and the grievances they feed, undermine societies and may lead to insecurity and violence.”[2] SDG 16, moreover, is widely recognised as “having the potential to catalyse profound social transformation” because it is designed to address the root causes and drivers that generate and reproduce economic, social, political and environmental problems and inequities, not merely their symptoms.[3]

Given the pressing issues in Botswana, the portfolio will use three key facets of SDG 16+ as the organising framework for the work on all three core pillars of the UNDP Botswana programme: green, just and prosperous. Those three key lenses through which to organise the work are:

  • Inclusion;
  • Peace and justice; and,
  • Transparency and accountability.

These three key issues go to the very heart of the challenges in Botswana and, if mainstreamed across UNDP’s work have the potential to be both catalytic and meaningful.

  1. Key principles and methods

All parts of the portfolio are underpinned and informed by the following key principles and methods (as outlined in the Chapeau - Appendix 6):

  • Inclusion and participation
  • Gender, disability, and youth lens
  • Leave No One Behind
  • Human rights-based programming
  • Risk-informed
  • Digital and data-driven
  1. Partnerships at the core

Following the principle of inclusion and participation, all projects will engage the following core partners in different ways depending on the specificity of the project at hand, in order to build synergies between these actors, and ensure each engagement is leveraging the ‘how’ of the engagement to foster greater levels of inclusion, transparency and trust.

  • Government/State: The State comprising the executive, legislature and judiciary is an essential partner for UNDP. The role of the State from a policy perspective will be explored in every project as well as efforts to strengthen state-society relationships and the social contract at both national and local levels. Alignment with Government's national development plan (NDP 11/12) and with its national SDG roadmap are therefore critical.
  • Civil society and communities: Civil society and communities are one of the three critical pillars (along with government and business) of UNDP’s work and a vital part of any functioning democracy. Civil society and communities must therefore be strengthened and supported in the context of each project in the justice portfolio; efforts to strengthen internal dynamics within civil society, which is fractured, relationships between civil society, communities and government, and civil society, communities and the private sector are likely to be transformative. The priority issues with regards to civil society have been clearly outlined in the ‘Big Governance Issues in Botswana’ submission to the African Peer Review Mechanism (“APRM”) in 2021 and the BOCONGO Strategic Plan 2021.
  • Business actors: Business actors are a motor of development and can play a critical role in areas associated with political governance, as well as the governance of the economy. The engagement of business actors in all critical areas of governance is vital to ensure the workplace is a model of a vibrant and inclusive democracy, and that business actors are using all their efforts to contribute to inclusive and just forms of governance. It is also crucial that business actors understand and have the commitment and will to play a positive role in upholding the rule of law and respect and protection of human rights.
  • Media: The media play a crucial watchdog role in democratic societies. With the rise of social media and real-time reporting, along with the advent of fake news,” access to accurate information and appropriate reporting on all matters pertaining to justice, governance, the environment and the economy is important and should be a priority across the programme.
  • Leaders: particularly traditional ones and faith-based leaders, play an important role in safeguarding the cultures of Botswana and in the pervading narrative of social and moral value, making engagement with them on justice matters pivotal for in changing the narrative on human rights issues including gender roles, gender equality and LGBITQ+ in society and on promoting and highlighting the importance of youth leadership within the cultural context.
  • International and regional partners: In line with the policy coherence agenda, the portfolio will seek synergies within the UN system and international and regional development partners in Botswana more broadly, in order to avoid gaps and overlaps. The portfolio will ensure alignment and cooperation with the international community broadly speaking, including with the World Bank, IFIs and DFIs, regional and sub-regional organisations, multilateral institutions and bilateral partners, amongst others.
  1. Working modalities

Since the portfolio work will be nationally executed and implemented through mutually agreed modalities based on the most efficient and cost-effective manner:

  1. Each project will be responsible for the budget of planned activities under its project and, for accountability purposes, each project will be allocated resources and a unique identity number in line with the UNDP Enterprise Risk Management policy.
  2. Technical support to all projects will be provided by staff under each portfolio according to thematic area (youth, gender, etc.), where these technical resources will be covered under the project management costs of their respective portfolios.
  1. Portfolio-leveltheory of change’

If the Botswana populace—particularly women, youth, people with disabilities and other marginalised groups—plays a more active role in decision-making at all levels, as a result of increased opportunities, knowledge and skills with a strong and independent civil society and media supported and encouraged by the Government;

 And if local authorities have enhanced ability to leverage sufficient human and financial resources to design and implement inclusive ‘fit for purpose’ social protective programmes that minimise bureaucracy and accelerate public service reform for inclusive, rights based and efficient local public service delivery;

And if SMEs have enhanced knowledge and capacity to grow, expand into new sectors and markets, access financing and improve their sustainability and the business sector has improved technical and operational capacities to organize and self-coordinate to advocate for a more enabling human rights based and inclusive business environment;

THEN there would be increased effectiveness, accountability, and transparency amongst institutions at all levels; the economy would be driven by a strong, inclusive and sustainable business sector with more exports and green jobs;

BECAUSE the population would be more civically and politically engaged, and women, youth, people with disabilities and other marginalized groups have the confidence to capitalise on their own skills and to claim their space in decision-making, where state authorities, including local, and communities will value them as constructive agents for a cohesive, resilient society and replicate best practices through apt social protection programmes; and the business sector through inclusive dialogue and coordination drives a knowledge-based economy towards high income status, where people create and are responsible for their own livelihoods and businesses play a positive role in upholding the rule of law and respect and protection of human rights; all in order to achieve transformational change for a just and prosperous Botswana.

The above are the initial strategies identified within the punctuated equilibrium observed in the Botswana context. The Theory of Change will therefore constantly be tested and adjusted throughout the period of implementation to adequately address the unpredictable and changing futures we face.

Projects Included in the Portfolio:

  1. Justice Project: A more civically and politically engaged population and a just and corruption-free Botswana
  1. Flagship Project: Towards a strong, inclusive and sustainable business sector (in Prosperity portfolio)
  1. Joint Prosperity-Justice Initiative: Inclusive social protection systems and efficient local public service delivery (in Prosperity portfolio)

[1] Pathfinders. (2019, July). The roadmap for peaceful, just and inclusive societies; a call to action to change our world’, Centre on International Cooperation, New York.

[2] Ibid

[3] Global Alliance, ‘Enabling the implementation of the 2030 Agenda through SDG 16+ - anchoring peace, justice and inclusion’, July 2019.

[1] Vision 2036 Achieving Prosperity for All.

[2] Botswana National Development Plan 11.