Democratic Governance

Under its Democratic Governance work, UNDP Pakistan provides support for strengthening government institutions and governance mechanisms, engaging various stakeholders for enhanced service delivery,  improved Rule of Law and Access to Justice, and expanding democratic space across the country. All portfolio components are needs based, centered on sustainability, and programed around key themes such as strengthening electoral processes, Human Rights, governance reforms, and Rule of Law.  The unit’s five projects collectively work towards improved governance at federal, provincial and district levels by supporting improved transparency and accountability, strengthening of state institutions, capacity and promotion of local participation and ownership.



reached with information on the local government elections and 69,500 (34,055 women) on COVID-19 protocols



(1,884 women) attended legal awareness sessions in the Merged Areas


Action Plan

on Business and Human Rights launched

Technical support to Government of KP for Merged Areas

A comprehensive governance initiative that focuses on technical assistance and implementation support to the GoKP in three main areas:

  1. accelerated development with an emphasis on the delivery of basic services; 
  2. border governance and connectivity; and 
  3. support to local governance. 

The overall objective of the programme is to enhance the capacity of GoKP to successfully integrate the MAs and strengthen border governance and cross-border connectivity by extending laws, policies, and strategies; planning, designing, and delivering development initiatives; and implementing inclusive local government systems. An emphasis is placed on inclusive development to ensure that marginalized population groups benefit from development in the MAs as well as on disaster-risk reduction and improved risk management, to help prevent mitigate and address the effects of climate change and other risks.

Strengthening Rule of law in KP, Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan 

UNDP supports reform processes and sustainable peace by improving access to justice in Pakistan through effective and accountable justice service delivery, in close collaboration with federal, and provincial Rule of Law institutions in KP, Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) and Balochistan. These sustained partnerships have contributed significantly in providing institutional development support, enhancing their capacity to provide efficient and effective service delivery and access to justice. UNDP aims at reducing the supply-demand gap, enabling affordable and accessible delivery of justice through strengthened policy, legal and regulatory frameworks that enhance formal and informal justice mechanisms particularly for the vulnerable and marginalized.

Human Rights and Peacebuilding 

Embodying the ‘leave no one behind’ principle and addressing development issues faced by the most vulnerable and marginalized communities of Pakistan, UNDP supports Pakistan's civil society and provincial and federal administrations for promotion and protection of human rights. UNDP partners with federal and provincial ministries and departments, statutory bodies, civil society and the private sector for enhancing civic space and promote the awareness and acc. The nature of support provided to key government counterparts ranges from conceptual (developing legislation, policies, data portals), to refurbishment, technical, and capacity development initiatives. 

Under its people-centered security initiatives, UNDP partners with the local governments throughout the country, strengthening their capacity and outreach to vulnerable populations – and reinforcing the state-society link, a crucial element in the context of decentralization.

Public services and representation 

UNDP supports federal and provincial governments for enhanced and inclusive service delivery, and enhanced institutional governance and capacity through evidence-based policy making and implementation support. A key part of this support involves the introduction, adoption or strengthening of e-governance solutions and innovative approaches, designed to equip public sector institutions for more inclusive digital societies. An emerging area is the integration of risk Governance in provincial institutional frameworks and mechanisms for better disaster management and risk reduction.

Electoral representation 

UNDP aims at enhancing electoral processes and expanding democratic space in the country through strengthening legislative institutions and leveraging its role as neutral convener for fostering peaceful democratic discourse in the country. Key areas of support include strengthening capacity of the Election Commission of Pakistan and its field offices, providing technical assistance in electoral reform areas, and civic and voter education focusing on women and youth and engagement with the parliaments. UNDP also supports the strengthening of legislative frameworks, processes that promote inclusive political participation in the country, aligning its work with a demands based focus on awareness raising and capacity building-with vulnerable and marginalized groups at the center of its work.

Gender Mainstreaming 

All programmes under the Democratic Governance portfolio have a strong gender focus, each one contributing towards creating inclusive spaces within public sector institutions through policy and advocacy support, technical and capacity building advice for promoting, supporting and including women in government and Rule of Law institutions. UNDP supported the very first gender strategies at Election Commission of Pakistan, and the Anti-Narcotics Force Academy; established seven gender desks across the country to provide legal aid and psycho-social support, and provided critical capacity building support for the Merged Areas’ very first elected Women tehsil and village level councilors in 2022 among other initiatives; and established gender desks across the country to provide legal aid and psychosocial counselling to women and other marginalized groups-among other initiatives.