ART Initiative: Supporting local development

UNDP ART promotes local development. In the Dominican Republic an ART-programme funded by the EU supports the development of markets. Photo: UNDP ART

Developing capacity for local governance and local development (LGLD) is essential not just for delivering internationally agreed development goals, but also to support the process of making the state more responsive, inclusive and accountable. At the same time, the creation of multi-stakeholders partnerships has been widely acknowledged as crucial for the implementation of the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at national and local level.


UNDP supports a wide range of interventions to promote LGLD in a variety of contexts. It builds and promotes innovative partnerships by working closely with Local and Regional Governments (LRGs), their associations and other local stakeholders in dozens of countries around the globe to support them in achieving their development objectives, and to stimulate and promote inclusive LGLD initiatives. It also strongly contributes to establishing multi-actor, multi-sector and multi-level governance structure and systems in order to address the complex needs of LGLD.


Since 2005, UNDP, through the ART (Articulation of Territorial Networks) Initiative, promotes sustainable human development at the local level by strengthening the capacities of local stakeholders and by facilitating the sharing of knowledge and expertise. The ART Initiative is also offered as an important entry point to more than 600 decentralized cooperation partners (such as regions, cities, universities) to UNDP and the development system. Furthermore, the Initiative contributes to local economic development while tackling inequality and exclusion and ensuring that development benefits all.


Currently present in more than 20 countries, the UNDP ART initiative applies a territorial approach to development in order to enhance the coherence between the policies and strategies developed and implemented to respond to local, national and global development priorities.


Hub for territorial partnerships

Building on the practices of the last decade, in 2015, the UNDP ART Initiative has launched a Hub for territorial partnerships, within UNDP Brussels, in order to support the implementation of the newly adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the local level. Through this Hub, UNDP aims to harness the potential of LRGs and other social and economic actors of the territories as development partners and to promote the principles of development cooperation effectiveness locally.

Over the years, the initiative has demonstrated that regional, municipal and local authorities, together with other local governance stakeholders, have an important role to play in promoting sustainable development. Capitalizing on the strong alliances forged during the last decade, UNDP through ART aims to support local actors to make the new development goals part of the national and local development strategies and policies and to facilitate the localization of the SDGs.

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