smiling man hold the rim of his hardhat on a UNDP project to respond and recover from crisis

Investing in hope – from jobs to justice

Sustaining development throughout crisis 


In the midst of conflict and crisis, UNDP works with local authorities, communities and people affected by crisis. We initiate early recovery processes, bridging towards longer-term structural transformation, resilience-building and sustainable development, with a focus on green and equitable recovery pathways. 


Crisis Category: Countries experiencing a sudden-onset-crisis triggered by either disasters or man-made shocks. 


Well-planned crisis response can provide an opportunity to transform the development road map of a given country and overcome even pre-existing development gaps and vulnerabilities.

Recognising this, UNDP acts to sustain delivery of development throughout the occurrence of crises, from early assessments to recovery planning and financing, in full complementarity to humanitarian and peace actors. New tools include integrated cross-practice approaches to recovery assessments and programming.


What we offer

    Based on its long history of supporting countries in crisis, UNDP has developed the following crisis response packages that can be deployed quickly during the early phase of a crisis:

    1. Emergency livelihoods, employment and enterprise recovery projects
    2. Community infrastructure projects
    3. Debris management support
    4. Cash-based interventions

    In addition, UNDP provides local governance support during the early phase of a crisis to strengthen the capacity of local authorities to plan, coordinate, and implement early response and recovery programmes.

    Specific programmatic packages were also developed for disaster recovery.

    All of UNDP’s engagements focus on women’s and girl’s informed engagement and differential needs, address gender inequalities in recovery, and integrate gender-based violence prevention in responses. 

    UNDP supports countries to undertake gender-sensitive socio-economic recovery assessments, including post-disaster needs assessments (PDNAs), recovery and peacebuilding assessments (RPBAs) and COVID-19 recovery needs assessment (CRNAs), to help decisions on forward looking priority national and regional recovery plans.

    This includes economic impacts of wars, conflicts, disasters including pandemics. This also takes into account human, physical, environmental, financial and natural capital; economic factors that heighten the risk of crisis recurrence; and the role of the state/institutions in facilitating economic recovery and development in crisis and post crisis countries.

    Where buildings and businesses are damaged and affected, the Household Building Damage Assessment (HBDA) tool can assess and quantify infrastructure, economic and social damages early on.

    Within the UN System, UNDP is the technical lead on the socio-economic response to COVID-19 (governance, social protection, the green economy and digital disruption and innovation), leading on the socioeconomic response in over 130 countries. Assessments are conducted jointly with the EU and the World Bank following the tripartite agreement for post-crisis assessments.

    UNDP leads international recovery coordination in close collaboration with humanitarian, development and peace actors (when relevant).

    UNDP supports governments in their recovery assessments, planning, and mobilizing the required financing.

    UNDP supports the institutional and regulatory systems for recovery, for example the government's capacity to lead recovery and reconstruction. Important areas of support include clarifying legal mandates, supporting multi-level coordination mechanisms, setting up recovery aid management systems, and ensuring oversight functions of the recovery process.

    UNDP supports the expansion of state presence and services to stabilize communities and create conditions in which development responses becomes possible again.

    In contexts where political settlements or change in conflict dynamics have established a basic level of security, UNDP can contribute to stabilization through time-bound, localized, integrated, civilian programmes with the primary purpose of building trust between communities and legitimate authorities.

    The stabilization approach focuses on:

    1. Contributing to minimum security conditions through liaison with security forces and local authorities, and supporting their deployment
    2. Rehabilitating social and productive infrastructure, and
    3. Boosting local economies by creating immediate livelihood opportunities, focusing on those most left behind.

    UNDP supports core government functions, including the following three support areas:

    • Restoring public administrative capacity to resume the delivery of essential service delivery like power or water and sanitation
    • Strengthening the outreach of law enforcement, justice and security services to protect the security and safety of affected individuals and their property
    • Reshaping social cohesion by investing in dialogue, mediation and peaceful resolution of conflict.

    UNDP supports local governance capacities to increase effectiveness, accountability, inclusion, resilience and delivery of core government functions and delivery of basic services to meet citizens’ expectations.

    UNDP supports countries to strengthen justice, human rights and security systems for service delivery, accountability and effectiveness and empowers rights holders to claim rights, in a protected and inclusive civic space.

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    UNDP supports countries to leverage digital transformation to spark innovation and accelerate resilient response and recovery.

    This includes supporting public and private sector organizations to offer transformative technologies for the next generation. It also includes assisting governments to develop investment and innovation strategies that help leverage the benefits of digital technology; unlock digital employment opportunities; and strengthen their capacities to develop digital policies and regulatory frameworks that are gender-sensitive and inclusive.

    UNDP is currently supporting countries on digital initiatives including e-commerce, e-governance, digital livelihoods, connectivity and e-transfers.

    UNDP supports countries to build local economies and provide ‘green’ jobs and livelihoods, as well as basic services, in order for the state to regain the confidence of the population and rebuild trust.

    For communities and local government that means revenue sharing, institutional strengthening and relative fiscal autonomy.

    For business it means political stability, clearly articulated economic policies and a commitment to rebuilding investment-enabling institutions.

    This also includes emergency employment, such as cash for work, enterprise recovery and short cycle skills training.

    UNDP works with humanitarian and development partners such as the World Bank and UNHCR to address the wide range of needs of refugees, IDPs, migrants and host countries affected by protracted crisis by investing in national systems, economies and capacities.

    UNDP supports local municipal bodies to upscale basic services, provide access to legal services and skills training, and create jobs and livelihoods opportunities to support displaced families in the crisis context.

    In some contexts, UNDP also supports inclusive social protection systems for migrants and host communities.

    UNDP helps countries to become mine-free and contributes to mine risk-free recovery and sustainable development.

    UNDP’s development approach to Mine Action focuses on integrating mine clearance and victim assistance in recovery and peacebuilding processes, while strengthening capacities of national institutions to manage the mine clearance, land release, land utilization for development, and advocacy.

    UNDP also helps countries to comply with international norms and adhere to international treaties, such as the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention and Convention on Cluster Munitions.

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    UNDP engages with national and regional stakeholders to facilitate the social and economic reintegration of former members of armed forces and groups, including youth, women and people with disabilities into communities, addressing drivers of conflict linked to financial exclusion.

    Reintegration is supported, whether spontaneous exits from armed groups take place or as part of official processes, in the following ways:

    1. Disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) for state security forces and non-state armed groups which sign peace agreements
    2. Prosecution, rehabilitation and reintegration (PRR) strategies as called upon by the UN Security Council for armed groups designated as terrorist organizations
    3. Complementing security sector reform (SSR) following rightsizing of security forces, weapons and ammunition management (WAM), community violence reduction (CVR) and/or mediation initiatives

    UNDP supports countries to create an enabling environment for businesses and local markets to continue and to thrive in times of crisis and post crisis while working to adapt the labour force to the needs of the future (the future of work).

    UNDP programmes aim to create an enabling environment for the local private sector - often consisting of micro-, small- and medium-enterprises (MSMEs) - to thrive and prepare it for crises or post crisis environments as well as to accelerate recovery and a more inclusive economy.

    UNDP also invests in repairing broken value chains to ensure strong catalytic effect on restoring livelihoods and creating new opportunities to access and develop markets, particularly in the context of cross-border agreements.

    The private sector is also a partner in developing strategies to advance digital-related livelihoods by looking at access to Internet connectivity as a public good, and addressing digital gaps in rural areas which limit the ability of many to generate livelihoods.

    UNDP supports countries to develop social protection systems and offer large scale cash transfers and financial inclusion options, such as Temporary Basic Income and Universal Basic Income.

    These are parts of a renewed social contract, the future of work, social protection measures and fiscal stimuli that reflect the care economy.

    They are inclusive, reaching domestic and informal workers, people with disabilities, IDPs, women migrants and other groups, working with many other partners.

    UNDP supports the promotion of decentralized renewable energy systems including mini- and micro-solar grids, stand-alone solar systems, micro-, and pico-hydro initiatives or local biomass systems through its recovery interventions.

    These energy solutions support livelihoods and restore energy for the provision of health, education, agriculture and water services while sustaining commercial activities and businesses.

    Together with the World Health Organization and other partners, UNDP promotes the advancement of universal health coverage and supports countries to strengthen health care systems and services, including for key populations and people living with HIV.

    This includes displaced groups, irregular migrants, and refugees who have limited access to health services, as demonstrated during the COVID-19 pandemic, where the exclusion of specific vulnerable groups exacerbated the health-related risks.

    During crises, UNDP-supported health systems can rapidly pivot to support the needs of crisis contexts. During the COVID-19 pandemic, UNDP has supported governments to improve access to vaccines and other data, and to monitor affected people.