UNDP works in about 170 countries and territories, helping to eradicate poverty, reduce inequalities and exclusion, and build resilience so countries can sustain progress. As the UN’s development agency, UNDP plays a critical role in helping countries achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
Partnership is at the heart of everything UNDP does. We offer a nearly universal presence. Our substantial expertise—both intellectual acumen and practical experience—cuts across diverse development issues and settings.
In order to achieve its mandate, UNDP relies entirely on voluntary contributions from UN Member States, multilateral organizations, private sector and other sources, in the form of unrestricted regular resources (core), and contributions earmarked for a specific theme, programme or project.
Accountability is the obligation to demonstrate that work has been conducted in accordance with agreed rules and standards and report fairly and accurately on performance results vis-à-vis mandated roles and/or plans.
Human development is about expanding the richness of human life, rather than simply the richness of the economy in which human beings live. It is an approach that is focused on people and their opportunities and choices.
To meet the objectives of the Strategic Plan in line with the 2030 Agenda, UNDP is implementing six cross-cutting approaches to development, known as Signature Solutions. A strong, integrated way of putting our best work, or 'distinctive' skill set, to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
Next Generation UNDP builds on our existing assets—worldwide presence, thought leadership, and over 50 years of experience—to help countries and communities respond to a fast-changing development landscape.
The 2030 Agenda is a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity. It also seeks to strengthen universal peace in larger freedom. It recognizes that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development.
Our News centre is a one-stop shop for multimedia press coverage and in-depth information on development-related issues. We provide news announcements, press releases and statements by UNDP leadership.
UNDP’s photo library is available at photos.undp.org, which features a great selection of UNDP images from projects around the world. Through the digital asset portal, you can find more than 5,000 images from every region, searchable by thematic areas, regions, countries, and key words.
UNDP works in more than 170 countries and territories, helping to achieve the eradication of poverty and the reduction of inequalities and exclusion. We help countries develop policies, leadership skills, partnering abilities, institutional capabilities and build resilience in order to sustain development results.
UNDP plays a pivotal role in international development as a knowledge broker, capacity builder, innovator, and facilitator of exchanges in the global development debate.
We identify, disseminate and apply lessons from past projects, strengthen knowledge exchange and networking, as well as fostering openness and public engagement.
The vision of UNDP’s Global Policy Network is to instantly connect countries to the knowledge, resources and networks to achieve development breakthroughs.
Responding in an integrated and coherent manner, we are determined to end poverty and hunger, protect the planet from degradation, ensure that all citizens have prosperous lives, with growth that occurs in harmony with nature, and to foster peaceful and inclusive societies. We are determined to mobilize the means to implement the 2030 Agenda through a revitalized Global Partnership for Sustainable Development, based on a spirit of strengthened global solidarity.
UNDP works in some 170 countries and territories to support our partners to adopt approaches, reform discriminatory laws, and design and implement public policies that advance gender equality and the empowerment of women as the foundation of achieving the global Sustainable Development Goals. We help governments to identify and address the gender dimensions of human development in areas such as poverty, governance, climate and crisis through its extended network of gender experts in five regions across the world.
Ending gender-based violence (GBV) is a fundamental part of UNDP’s development work to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in all contexts, including crisis settings. UNDP works with countries to address and prevent GBV, including the surge during the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, UNDP provided policy guidance and programme support in more than 80 countries on adapting legal frameworks, designing national action plans for prevention and response, and delivering dedicated services to GBV survivors. This includes the UNDP country offices implementing the Spotlight Initiative, a multi-year partnership between the European Union and the UN to eliminate GBV.
Economic systems and societies must be transformed in order to create long-term women’s economic empowerment. UNDP works with governments to develop fiscal and social policies that boost women’s economic security, place care at the center of economic development and transform social norms for gender equality. We work with national and local governments, the private sector and civil society to reform segregation of the labour market and improve women’s access to and control of green jobs, digitalization, and financial and non-financial assets.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognizes the interdependence of health and development. Health is a driver, indicator, and outcome of sustainable development. UNDP addresses health-related aspects of poverty, governance, climate, crisis, gender, and many other issue areas to help countries make progress on global goals.
Global Fund Implementation Support and Health Procurement
Healthy populations are critical to sustainable development. As a trusted Global Fund partner, UNDP utilizes its operational strength and collaboration with governments and partners to support countries to access the Fund’s resources to build resilient health systems that can deliver care in some of the most challenging operating environments.
Promoting Effectiveness and Inclusive Governance for HIV and Health
Legal, policy and regulatory environments continue to undermine the response to the HIV epidemic and other health challenges in many countries. UNDP supports countries to scale up access to justice programmes for HIV and health, strengthen multi-sectoral governance of NCD and tobacco control responses, and expand innovative financing for HIV and health responses.
Reducing Inequalities and Social Exclusion That Affects Health and Drive Epidemics
Inequality is growing, at least half of the world’s population still do not have full coverage of essential health services, and millions of people are still being pushed into extreme poverty because they must pay for health care. UNDP is supporting countries to connect innovation and evidence on addressing inequalities and exclusion in rights-based multisectoral HIV and health responses, which in turn can yield progress across multiple SDGs.
Building Resilient and Sustainable Systems for Health
Health systems in many countries remain chronically weak. Additionally, climate change poses an ever-growing risk to health systems, potentially damaging infrastructure, isolating communities from health facilities and contributing to the spread of diseases. UNDP supports building the resilience of countries to both preventing and mitigating the risks of crises and conflict, as well as developing more integrated approach to human, animal and environmental health.
UNDP's Nature, Climate and Energy practice spans 137 countries, with a portfolio directly benefiting 86 million people. Our support to Governments focusses on enabling an inclusive, resilient, green recovery by: building competency to accelerate access to sustainable energy and climate and nature-positive policies and finance; scaling capacity to ensure No One is Left Behind; catalyzing SDG and Paris-aligned investments (public and private); delivering client focused solutions that respond to countries' immediate, mid and long-term recovery and socio-economic development priorities, and; leveraging our on-the-ground presence and networks to unlock bottom-up solutions that deliver lasting impacts at country level.
Resilient Ecosystems and Desertification [Nairobi Global Policy Centre]
Land degradation, desertification and drought are significant and growing barriers to sustainable development as the impacts of climate change and environmental degradation impact human health, productivity and resilience for billions of people. In support of the implementation of the UNCCD, UNDP Global Policy Centre on Resilient Ecosystems and Desertification (GC-RED) in Nairobi provides technical expertise and capacity building services to countries to integrate land, biodiversity and climate priorities into policymaking and public investments.
Due to their global impact on human health and the environment, some highly dangerous chemicals are controlled by international law. The successful implementation of these conventions requires systematic intervention and international cooperation. UNDP’s chemical and waste portfolio supports national strategies and sector plans, institutional capacities, demo projects to validate alternative technologies, chemicals management and elimination, technologies to improve air quality and more.
The transformation towards more resilient, resource-efficient and less polluting economies requires a decoupling of economic growth from the unsustainable use of our natural resources. Circular Economy policies help accelerate the shift to incentivize sustainable consumption and production. UNDP offers expert support to the design and implementation of Circular and Green Economy approaches, leveraging UNDP’s convening and partnerships strengths within and across all parts of government, private sector, civil society and other stakeholders.
Climate change could drive an additional 100 million people into poverty by 2030. Countries have increasingly included adaptation priorities in their NDCs pointing to issues of water and food security, safeguarding economic assets from extreme climate events and disasters, and protection and regeneration of natural capital. Building on the experiences and lessons from a portfolio of initiatives in over 137 countries, UNDP continues to support countries access and catalyze public and private finance to implement their adaption priorities.
UNDP sees nature-based solutions as essential solutions for tackling multiple development challenges: the climate and biodiversity loss crises, inequality and poverty, insecurity and migration. UNDP works to increase government, business and public support for biodiversity conservation, accelerating the actions necessary for systemic change and achievement of global biodiversity goals, through (i) programming support, (ii) policy and capacity development advisory and technical support, (iii) advocacy.
The direct involvement of local communities who depend on natural resources for their livelihoods and therefore have the strongest incentive to develop appropriate solutions is pertinent to effectively address the environmental and planetary crises we face. UNDP supports community-based initiatives led by civil society and community-based organizations through a decentralized small grant funding mechanism.
Energy consumption worldwide continues to increase, and the sector remains responsible for the largest share of global CO2e emissions. Yet millions of people still lack access to electricity. The energy transition is critical to achieving both the SDGs and the NDCs under the Paris Agreement. UNDP is the largest UN implementing agency supporting over 100 countries with their energy transition.
Forests support the livelihoods of over 1 billion people and host the largest share of the world’s biodiversity. UNDP provides expertise in stakeholder engagement, social and environmental safeguards, governance, institutional coordination, strategic planning, implementation of policies and measures to address drivers of deforestation, access to innovative finance and accessing results-based payments. UNDP also facilitates the necessary partnerships to address the complex elements of the REDD+ process.
Environmental issues, such as the planetary crises of climate change and biodiversity loss, have a profound impact on sustainable development. The UNDP Global Environmental Finance Unit focuses on securing climate and environmental financial resources from global trust funds to catalyze and unlock other types of public and private financing for sustainable development.
Current production and consumption patterns are taking food systems on an unsustainable trajectory with multiple impacts on human development. UNDP works on Food and Agricultural Commodity Systems (FACS) to support a new paradigm of agricultural production based on diversified, resilient agroecological systems which work simultaneously to achieve economic, environmental, social, and health outcomes.
Climate change presents the single largest threat to sustainable development, and to life on earth as we know it for future generations. NDCs are the unique actions each country has defined to reduce GHG Emissions and, for many, to adapt to the impacts of climate change. UNDP works with countries to revise their NDCs and support NDC implementation through it extensive technical and financial assistances and its support on mitigation and adaptation actions around the world.
Despite the enormous importance of nature in sequestering carbon and avoiding emissions, and in enabling humans to adapt to climate change, its value is lost or ignored in traditional economic and pollical decision-making. Building on a global portfolio of nature-based solutions to climate change mitigation, adaption and resilience, UNDP offers expertise across a comprehensive range of nature-based climate solutions for the achievement of a sustainable, livable future.
SIDS are among the world’s most vulnerable countries to the impacts of climate change. Vulnerabilities that are compounded by degradation and depletion of natural capital which sustain livelihoods and the economy. UNDP’s support to SIDS focuses on (i) Climate Action; (ii) Blue Economy; and (iii) Digital Transformation, with the access to financing as a key enabler, in line with the S.A.M.O.A. Pathway and the 2030 Agenda.
Cities and urban populations face significantly increasing exposure and vulnerability to climate-related threats. UNDP’s comprehensive mandate to eradicate poverty in all its forms, its global network of over 170 countries and territories and its work across the rural-urban divide, and across stakeholders at all levels enables provision of context-specific and demand-driven solutions to urban climate challenges.
Oceans contribute substantially to human development, including to the provision of food security, transport, energy, tourism, critical ecosystem services, and around $3 trillion per year to the global market economy. Due to governance and market failures this vast value is significantly threatened. UNDP helps advance existing or anticipated regional or global multilateral agreements to address threats to large-scale ocean sustainability and support the creation of an enabling policy environment for ocean restoration and protection.
Water is essential for sustainable development. There is significant potential to use water more equitably, more efficiently and in line with the functioning of natural systems. UNDP works across the full range of the water resources challenge, addressing them from a ‘governance’ perspective to promote equitable and efficient use and protection of water resources, supporting institution-building and capacity development for participatory governance of water and coastal resources.
UNDP supports countries to reduce multidimensional risks including disasters. Our solutions foster coherent policy, legal and institutional arrangements that encourage greater accountability for reducing risk, including through risk governance, risk-informed planning and budgeting, early warning and preparedness, and urban resilience.
By developing recovery processes before disasters strike, UNDP supports risk reduction through strengthening national governments and communities’ abilities to recover quickly and build back better, including in livelihoods, shelter and governance. UNDP supports preparedness, Post-Disaster Needs Assessments and resilient recovery plans.
Multidimensional poverty indices track multiple sets of deprivation relating to health, education, basic standards of living, employment and other relevant dimensions of poverty, and can be adapted to fit national contexts and policy priorities. UNDP supports governments set up comprehensive poverty monitoring and assessment systems to inform the design and targeting of effective poverty reduction and sustainable development policies.
Workers in informal employment hardly benefit from social protection or opportunities to thrive. This will lead to further marginalization and inequality if left unattended. UNDP support countries to develop national and sub-national strategies integrating issues related to the future of work, and to design and implement integrated gender and youth responsive solutions to protect and empower those who depend on the informal sector.
Social protection is now more critical than ever as the COVID-19 pandemic has brought into a harsh light the gaps in coverage throughout the world that are amplifying poverty and inequality. UNDP offers integrated social protection solutions for strengthening the capacity of our national partners to design, implement and manage social protection policies and programmes.
UNDP provides technical assistance for putting in place environmental & social safeguards in mining; Advisory services on formulation of mining policies and legislations; Entrepreneurial capacity building support to small-scale miners, and more.
UNDP supports the coherence across national and local planning and budgeting instruments and processes and helps build capacity of municipal authorities to address targeted urban development issues using tools such as poverty data analysis, vulnerability assessments, futures analysis and scenario-building, integrated urban planning, participatory design thinking, coalition-building, reporting and measuring outcomes, amongst others.
Integrated Planning for Inclusive and Sustainable Growth (new)
Considering different national realities, capacities and levels of development and respecting national policy and priorities mean that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. UNDP supports countries to reduce poverty and promote sustainable and inclusive growth through national and sub-national efforts with SDG-based planning, budgeting and financing for development.
Conflict and disasters shatter peoples’ livelihoods, especially in communities with pre-existing vulnerabilities. UNDP designs interventions that alleviate immediate needs while promoting the transition to sustainable recovery, building more resilient and inclusive economies, and contributing to the prevention of future crisis.
Human Mobility (Migration and Forced Displacement)
UNDP applies a development approach to human mobility by mainstreaming it into development policies, mitigating the adverse drivers of migration and displacement, harnessing diasporas contributions in communities of origin and fostering socio-economic (re)integration and social cohesion in communities of destination, transit and return.
As a key contributor to the UN Mine Action Strategy and in partnership with a broad range of actors, UNDP leverages its global footprint and development mandate to strengthen national mine action institutions and strategies, integrate mine action in recovery and peacebuilding processes, as well as implement victims assistance programs.
UNDP supports our partners to make choices that build inclusive social contracts, fully reflective of people’s agency, that build trust in governance systems, that close the gap between people and ensures the inclusive provision of public goods, and that address the nature-climate crisis.
Within UNDP’s governance agenda, the Oslo Governance Centre (OGC) undertakes applied research and policy dialogue by providing innovative spaces for discussion and a neutral place for thinking. It supports the implementation and monitoring of SDG 16 for inclusive, peaceful and just societies.
UNDP supports member-states to organize credible, inclusive, peaceful elections, as a key mechanism of democratic governance. In partnership with EAD/DPPA and other UN entities, UNDP is the largest provider of electoral assistance, contributing to human rights, gender and peacebuilding, as well as responding to trends related to ICT and social media.
Corruption undermines the achievement of all the SDGs by preventing access to public services and depleting valuable resources. UNDP supports countries to integrate anti-corruption in development by working with governments, businesses and civil society on SDG 16, social accountability, business integrity, and innovation & technology.
Cities and territories concentrate ideas and innovations and are usually the locus of people’s contact with public authorities. They represent a natural integrator where socioeconomic issues, environment and culture interlink. UNDP supports local governance processes as enablers for SDG achievement where it matters most: at the local level.
Achieving the 2030 agenda at the local level is a shared responsibility across levels of government, population, and sectors. UNDP plays a leading convening role in supporting SDG localization in 170 countries using our global reach, broad expertise, and extensive experience in supporting decentralization, local governance and local development
SDG 16 on peace, justice and inclusion reflects an aspiration for a world free from fear and violence, with the principles of accountable, inclusive and effective governance upheld. UNDP offers policy and programmatic guidance to achieve SDG 16, expertise to measure progress and research support on the role of SDG 16 in enabling sustainable development.
UNDP supports member states to implement the vision of inclusion in the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as well as Agenda 2030 through transformational cross sectoral work, the mainstreaming of disability inclusion within its policy and programme work, and supporting UN system wide coordinated action on disability.
Sustainable Development Goal Target 16.9 ("legal identity for all, including birth registration, by 2030") is key to advancing the 2030 Agenda commitment to leave no one behind. UNDP strengthens the capacity of Member States to develop comprehensive birth to death civil registration and national ID management systems.
Inclusive Processes and institutions (old Parliamentary Development)
Effective, inclusive and accountable institutions and processes, capable of sustaining peace and ensuring respect for human rights and the rule of law are key to ensuring sustainable development for all. UNDP supports parliaments and civil society in over 60 countries to collaborate on SDG achievement.
UNDP promotes and supports youth empowerment for development and peace in 100+ countries and territories focusing on participation in decision making and inclusive governance; the role of youth in SDG integration, implementation and monitoring; decent jobs for youth; youth and peacebuilding; and promoting gender equality.
Digital transformation can remove barriers to access, reduce administrative burdens, support transparency and improve interactions between government and people. UNDP offers policy and programmatic support, including on the ethical use of data, and supports our partners in rights-based digital transformation.
Integrity of the information ecosystem is a critical condition for healthy and stable democracies. Information pollution on- and off-line is increasingly undermining democratic values. UNDP aims to address the key drivers and enablers of disinformation while protecting fundamental rights to information, freedom of expression and civic engagement.
UNDP uses a human-rights based approach to development and provides dedicated support to national partners to advance human rights by strengthening accountability and oversight mechanisms and national human rights institutions, including through the Tripartite Partnership to Support National Human Rights Institutions.
UNDP works with national partners to foster a rule of law culture where institutions are just and inclusive and essential justice services are accessible by all. UNDP supports transitional justice processes, accessible digital solutions, protects the rights of future generations and promotes participation of women and girls in decision making.
UNDP supports people-centered security by working with national and local partners to identify both the causes of insecurity and solutions to improve safety, including through Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration (DDR), stabilization approaches, and control of small arms and lights weapons (including SEESAC).
Together with DPO, UNDP facilitates increased coherence of rule of law assistance across the UN system through the GFP by streamlining efforts, developing joint programmes, and deploying on-demand expertise, in collaboration with other UN partners.
UNDP’s Global Programme on Strengthening the Rule of Law and Human Rights for Sustaining Peace and Fostering Development delivers integrated policy and programmatic support via catalytic funding, technical assistance, and quality assurance in over 40 crisis and conflict-affected contexts.
UNDP supports the implementation of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, assists governments in developing and implementing National Action Plans on Business and Human Rights, and strengthens access to adequate remedies for victims of business-related human rights abuses.
UNDP supports building national and local capacities for peace through the development and strengthening of policies, networks and mechanisms, including expanding dialogue, consensus building, social cohesion and insider mediation. Service offers include conflict sensitivity, conflict analysis and social cohesion assessments.
People - centred governance systems and processes at both the national and local level are crucial to sustainable and peaceful development pathways. Strengthening inclusive and accountable governance systems in contexts of sudden or protracted fragility enables countries to better respond to crises and sustain service delivery.
The Joint Programme is a cross-pillar initiative to enhance UN support to national stakeholders on conflict prevention and sustaining peace. Peace and Development Advisors are deployed to strengthen strategies and policies for conflict prevention, build national architectures for peace and help ensure Country Teams’ work is conflict sensitive.
UNDP supports national capacities in 34 countries including partnerships with civil society organizations and the private sector, covering M&E and risk management, use of behavioural science, mental health and psychosocial support, and addressing hate speech.
UNDP supports addressing climate-related risks to peace and security through: improving data and analytics, climate-proofing prevention and peacebuilding; ensuring adaptation and mitigation are peace positive; and delivering integrated approaches to climate action and sustaining peace - with DPPA, UNEP and the Climate Security Mechanism.
UNDP through the SDG Finance Sector Hub (FSH) provides services across seven strategic areas of engagement, as well as four flagship initiatives and works across all areas with an approach focused on strengthening effective governance of both public and private finance. UNDP collaborates with public and private partners to strengthen effective governance of financing for the SDGs.
UNDP supports governments as they respond to COVID-19, and establish integrated national financing frameworks, to finance the agenda of building forward better with greater sustainability, resilience, and inclusivity. The SDG Finance Sector Hub (FSH) supports countries in better aligning public finance with the SDGs, through four main action areas and their respective service offerings: Integrated National Financing Frameworks for the SDGs (INFFs), SDG Budgeting, SDG-Aligned Fiscal and Debt Instruments, and Leveraging International Public Finance for the SDGs.
UNDP envisions that by 2030, the SDGs will be the main global guidance framework for businesses, investors and governments, unlocking private capital and increasing the number of businesses of all sizes that align their strategies and operations with the SDGs. This will be supported and regulated by a policy environment that reduces risk and fosters an inclusive and green economy, leading to the eradication of poverty. The UNDP provides support through three main Action Areas and their respective service offerings: Unlocking Private Finance for the SDGs, Aligning Business Strategies and Operations for the SDGs, and Impact Measurement and SDG Finance Reporting.
UNDP Istanbul International Center for Private Sector in Development (IICPSD), one of UNDP’s six Global Policy Centers, leads UNDP’s global work on private sector and foundations and supports UNDP’s 170 offices as well as various governments and institutions all over the world. The Center also leads the implementation of the UNDP’s Private Sector Development and Partnership Strategy (2018-2022).
In an increasingly uncertain and interconnected world, complex challenges like COVID-19 demand new types of solutions, oriented around systems and portfolios of options. UNDP’s SDG integration mandate supports the organization, countries and UN partners to transform systems – to ultimately accelerate SDG progress. The SDG Integration portfolio supports stakeholders with methods, capabilities and spaces to integrate and lead systems change on a daily basis.
The future of development is digital. Adoption of digital technologies, processes, and ways of working is accelerating. UNDP leverages our digital expertise to improve our partner experience and solve development challenges worldwide – by developing thought leadership on key digital topics, integrating digital technologies within our country support models, providing direct advisory support on digital topics, developing new thematic digital development solutions, convening partners across sectors, and more.
Global Knowledge Exchange Through SDG Partnerships [Seoul Policy Centre]
Knowledge exchange through development cooperation contributes to policy innovations for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its SDGs. Drawing on the expertise of Korean and international partners, and UNDP’s country-level presence around the world, the Seoul Policy Centre brokers practical knowledge-sharing through development cooperation between Korea and developing countries for country-level adaptation and application.
UNDP is on the ground before, during and after crisis. We strengthen national capacities for prevention, preparedness, stabilization, recovery and resilience-building for sustainable development. UNDP provides risk analysis, integrated and area-based responses, and delivers surge support that helps countries build back better from crisis.
UNDP’s SURGE mechanisms boost Country Office capacity in crisis, ensuring they are equipped and resourced to support countries recover and build resilience. SURGE support includes deployments through GPN Rosters, training and networking, assessment and analytical support, and operations support through the SURGE Delivery Lab.
The Crisis Bureau supports UNDP Country Offices, the UN System, and its partners to monitor risks to development and enable early preventive action. This is done through: data visualization and modeling for evidence-based analysis; support to horizon scanning mechanisms; and promotion of early action.
Through the close collaboration between UNDP, DPO, DPPA and DCO, the project supports the UN system to plan and manage transitions in a timely, integrated and forward-looking way. The goal is to ensure that host nations are better equipped to consolidate peacebuilding gains during and after the withdrawal of a peacekeeping or special political mission.
The Facility supports country, regional and global teams to drive forward transformational change in crisis contexts with a focus on women’s leadership, economic empowerment, human rights and access to justice, harnessing UNDP’s considerable strengths and resources to tackle the most persistent drivers of gender inequality and crisis head on.
The HDP nexus aims to end humanitarian need. UNDP co-leads global nexus forums to sustain political will, provides advisory support to Country Offices, hosts a helpdesk and promotes peer-to-peer learning. It ensures that UNDP's personnel, processes, tools, partnerships, financing and communications support a nexus approach.