Practice Parliament for Women participants around a table

Integrated Governance Programme III (IGP III)


The IGP launched by UNDP Maldives, is a unique integration of democratic governance streams of work, with the aim to consolidate the democratic gains in the Maldives. The 3rd Integrated Governance Programme is founded and sustained on the learnings and partnerships formed through two consecutive IGP cycles beginning from 2013. 

The programme aims to strengthen institutional capacities in line with global development agendas, international standards and good practice. In addition, promotion of collaboration and dialogue to foster community participation and empowerment is a core focus, towards long term peace and stability among Maldivian communities. 

In order to do this, the programme harnesses the power of citizen-led decentralised, open democracy, digital transformation and anticipatory governance, while enhancing independence, transparency, and accountability of the governance and justice system. Thus, resulting in democratic, sustainable, and meaningful human development for the people of Maldives. 

The programme provides: technical support to independent institutions; efforts to reform the judiciary, legal and justice sector; support towards creating an independent and empowered civil society and media; formative and sustained support to decentralization and local governance; and support to enhance women’s empowerment and gender equality.  


Over a decade ago, Maldives went through a democratic shift. What followed has been marked by increased political polarisation, mistrust, socioeconomic challenges, socio-political turbulence, increase in populism, and deteriorating social cohesion. After the 2018 elections, the government put forth policies prioritizing; 

  • Enhancement of local governance and decentralization  

  • Strengthening of integrity and anti-corruption. 

  • Reform of legal and justice system, including transitional justice. 

The National Strategic Action Plan 2019-2023, and the subsequent COVID-19 adjusted National Recovery and Resilience Plan 2021-2023 of the government identifies decentralization as a core government focus. The plans outline the government’s progressive policies to incorporate democratic principles in governance, by upholding fundamental human rights and ensuring accountability of state and government institutions.  

Post COVID-19 Context

COVID-19 has exacerbated pre-pandemic inequalities and vulnerabilities in the Maldives across socio-economic domains. In addition to adverse impacts on the healthcare system, the pandemic brought forward a crisis of governance as well. Digitalization emerged as a critical need and tool, to enhance effective and accessible governance and public services across the archipelago.   


Major Achievements

  • Open, decentralized, and gender-responsive governance systems established 

  • Equitable access to justice and human rights enabled 

  • Empowered, cohesive and resilient communities fostered 

Project Outcome

The project aims that by 2026 Maldives has: 

  • Strengthened decentralized and accountable governance under the rule of law where people are empowered;  

  • Transparent and transformative processes for public policy and full access to justice, public services, human rights, gender equality and women’s empowerment in a tolerant and peaceful society.  


GEWE Impact

  • Trainings for Women’s Wings and Youth Wings: capacity building for Women’s Wings and Youth Wings undertake their roles and engage more women and young girls in their committees and activities. In addition, to advocate for greater representation and participation within the party structures and leadership positions.
  • Working with CSOs to promote awareness of the importance of women leaders and the quota system. Grassroots activities have tackled harmful norms and stereotypes hindering women's political participation. The 2021 local council elections allocated a 33% quota for women, resulting in 982 representatives elected, with 370 (38% of seats) being women, which is 5% more than the quota. 
  • Practice Parliament for Women: this initiative was designed to provide a platform for women to learn about the parliamentary system, dispel stereotypes and myths regarding women’s participation in the parliamentary processes, and to sharpen their skills in a similar setting.
  • 'Vaane' Web Series: A camp-turned-web series that aims to empower young girls and break gender stereotypes to engage in public life and community development. The episodes feature skits and interviews with guest speakers on areas such as social and gender norms, decision making, networking, improving financial skills and career guidance.
  • Transforming Future of Work for Gender Equality (girls in STEM): sessions for young girls in secondary school and their parents, to demystify STEM education and careers. The programme is facilitated by women working in STEM, and the students are provided the opportunity to be mentored by these experts to encourage them to pursue their education and careers.
  • Updating National Gender Equality Plan: formulated in 2017 to align with SAP, NRRP and SDGs, and to establish a monitoring framework to evaluate the impact. The goal was gender mainstreaming in different sectors of the government.
  • Training on Domestic Violence and Sexual Offences for the Judiciary to increase women’s access to justice.
  • Supporting the development of handbooks and videos covering the services of WVSU, to improve transparency in the systems in place within the state institutions to increase awareness among victims of their rights and access to justice.
  • 'Kiyeveni' learning portal: The portal was designed to build capacity and confidence of women contesting for elected positions, and to improve their accessibility to such opportunities, especially in COVID-19 circumstances. Additionally, the portal introduced the Mothers Model toolkit, which aims to build capacities of women and peacebuilders, hence work towards ensuring an equal footing of women in community resilience building programmes and prevention of violence. The toolkit is accessible to the public, and is specifically designed for women leaders, WDC members, and women led community groups, among others.




April 2022


April 2027






United Nations Development Programme


Australian DFAT

Foreign,Commonwealth & Dev.Off.




Ooredoo Maldives










Full Project information