UNDP Europe and Central Asia



Partnership is at the heart of everything UNDP does. At UNDP in Europe and Central Asia, we are working closely with development assistance and financing providers in the region, mobilizing means to implement the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and the Paris Agreement

The strength of our partnerships has enabled us to be more agile and innovative – quick thinkers and quick responders – swiftly meeting the needs of the people we serve, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, to reduce the socio-economic impacts and accelerate progress toward a greener and more inclusive future. We embrace partnerships at all levels, working alongside international financial institutions and the private sector to scale up our initiatives. We acknowledge the enormous potential of collaboration in areas such as digital transformation and green recovery, with the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement as cornerstones of our complementary approaches.

UNDP is committed to continually drive innovation and ingenuity, delivering maximum value for every dollar invested. We are continuously improving: overhauling our business processes to match the best management practices of the 21st century.

The COVID-19 crisis hit as UNDP was already driving organizational effectiveness, efficiency, and transparency as part of its #NextGenUNDP commitments. That existing momentum has helped us to accelerate rapidly today to meet the demands of the crisis.

Our goal? To remain a trusted development partner, able to respond effectively to new and emerging needs in an increasingly turbulent world. Our strong partnerships help us do that.

Partnerships for Development Impact

Development assistance providers in the region have unique comparative strengths, building on the experience of transition to market economies or cherishing close historical ties with neighboring developing countries. What is common among our partners is the desire to explore innovative solutions to development challenges in a spirit of global solidarity and strong South-South cooperation.

With its global presence and experience in delivering development solutions, UNDP offers a unique range of tools to development assistance providers in the region, focusing on:

  • Capacity development at the institutional, organizational, and individual levels, ranging from setting up legislative frameworks for official development assistance (ODA), to establishing aid agencies, and training personnel (e.g.  SlovakAid, RoAid, KazAid).

    In addition, development assistance providers learn, exchange ideas, and experiences with peers and experts through our ODA Learning Series jointly organized with the OECD. Launched in 2014 as Capacity Development Series for Emerging Donors, the learning events are delivered at the request and based on the needs and priorities of partner development assistance providers in the region and often hosted by them. In 2020, the Series transformed into the ODA Learning Series, adapting to an online format, and will continue in hybrid format starting from second half of 2022.
  • Organized jointly by UNDP and the European Commission, the Kapuscinski Development Lectures invite top global thinkers to universities for discussions around development issues such as climate change, economics, human rights, and aid effectiveness. Our partner universities have hosted over 125 lectures gathering over 40,000 participants since 2009.
  • Implementation support: Through trust funds such as the Russia-UNDP Trust Fund for Development, regional initiatives like the Slovak Republic strengthening public finance management, or tools like Challenge Funds, we ensure a results-based implementation, reaching the most vulnerable even in places where development assistance providers have limited presence.

    Challenge Funds – also called Innovation Challenges – provide a great opportunity to involve various stakeholders towards a common goal of achieving sustainable development. Created as financing mechanisms to allocate (donor) funds through a transparent competition among organizations (e.g. private sector companies, NGOs, research institutes, universities etc.). Challenge Funds are set up to meet specific development objectives, such as reducing air pollution, or waste management in mountain areas, which cannot be achieved through traditional solicitation processes.

    Examples include Challenge Fund: Czech Solutions for the SDGs, the Polish Challenge Fund, the Slovak Challenge Fund, and most recently, the Challenge Fund supported by the Russian Federation. In addition to these separate challenge funds, donors also pool funding for a joint cause together with private actors in the BOOST Impact Accelerator.
  • Global network of development expertise: UNDP’s Global Policy Network boasts experts who provide cutting-edge timely development advice based on best practices from around the world. Tapping into South-South development cooperation experiences as well as resources of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation, partners gain access to global and regional networks and increased visibility in UN fora. In addition, through UNDP’s presence, development assistance providers can share their own expertise for development around the world (Russian Experts on Demand programmeCzech Experts on Demand).

To learn more about UNDP partnerships in Europe and Centra Asia, please contact Oana.Maria.Rebedea@undp.org and Berna.Bayazit@undp.org.

Partnerships with the European Union

Natural partners at core, the European Union and UNDP cooperate extensively in Europe and the CIS region, both in terms of policy dialogue and resource mobilization. EU and UNDP share the same values and objectives for advancing peace and security, human rights and development. Both are committed to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the supporting countries’ progress and investing in their efforts to end poverty, protect the planet and build prosperity for all. With only a decade left to meet its commitments to eradicate poverty, build social cohesion and strengthen universal peace, the EU-UNDP partnership is needed now more than ever to accelerate and scale up development results to bring the SDGs back within reach, fostering collective action and investment. Our partnership with the EU is essential for us to address development challenges with multidimensional risks, compounded by the COVID-19 crisis. 

Since 2016, the EU has provided over $639 million to UNDP in the region, making it the largest recipient region of the EU’s contributions to UNDP.

DAC Partners

Our DAC partners are vital in UNDP’s mission to work with countries to expand people’s choices for a fairer, sustainable future, to build the world envisioned by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with planet and people in balance.

Together we offer integrated solutions to tackle inequality, reduce poverty, promote good governance, build resilience to shocks and crises, address climate chance and put the world on a green recovery path.

DAC donors’ contribution to the region goes beyond the non-core funding provided at the country level as DAC donors have the largest share of funding to core, funding windows and vertical funds.

Learn more about the contributing countries that make UNDP’s work possible.