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Our Focus

Three development settings



The Challenges

UNDP supports countries in their efforts to successfully address diverse development challenges, framed around three broad settings which require different forms of support:


  1. . Eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions;
  2. . Accelerating structural transformations for sustainable development; and
  3. Building resilience to crises and shocks

These three development challenges often coexist within the same country, requiring tailored solutions that can adequately address specific deficits and barriers. Underpinning all three development challenges is a set of core development needs, including the need to strengthen gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, and to ensure the protection of human rights.




Outcome 1: Eradication Of Poverty In All Its Forms And Dimensions


It's estimated that approximately 700 million people still live on less than US$1.90 per day, a total of 1.3 billion people are multi-dimensionally poor, including a disproportionate number of women and people with disabilities and 80 percent of humanity lives on less than US$10 per day. Increasingly, middle-income countries account for a large part of this trend.


UNDP is looking at both inequalities and poverty in order to leave no one behind, focusing on the dynamics of exiting poverty and of not falling back. This requires addressing interconnected socio-economic, environmental and governance challenges that drive people into poverty or make them vulnerable to falling back into it. The scale and rapid pace of change necessitates decisive and coherent action by many actors at different levels to advance poverty eradication in all forms and dimensions. UNDP works to ensure responses are multisectoral and coherent from global to local.




Outcome 2: Accelerating Structural Transformations For Sustainable Development


The disempowering nature of social, economic, and political exclusion results in ineffective, unaccountable, non-transparent institutions and processes that hamper the ability of states to address persistent structural inequalities.


UNDP will support countries as they accelerate structural transformations by addressing inequalities and exclusion, transitioning to zero-carbon development and building more effective governance that can respond to megatrends such as globalization, urbanization and technological and demographic changes.




Outcome 3: Building Resilience To Crisis And Shocks


Some countries are disproportionately affected by shocks and stressors such as climate change, disasters, violent extremism, conflict, economic and financial volatility, epidemics, food insecurity and environmental degradation. Climate-related disasters have increased in number and magnitude, reversing development gains, aggravating fragile situations, and contributing to social upheaval. Conflict, sectarian strife and political instability are on the rise and more than 1.6 billion people live in fragile or conflict-affected settings.


Around 258 million people live outside their countries of origin and 68.5 million are displaced. Disasters and the effects of climate change have displaced more people than ever before – on average 14 million people annually. Major disease outbreaks result in severe economic losses from the effect on livelihoods or decline in household incomes and national GDPs, as demonstrated by the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014-2015.


To return to sustainable development, UNDP is strengthening resilience by supporting governments to take measures to manage risk, prevent, respond and recover more effectively from shocks and crises and address underlying causes in an integrated manner. Such support builds on foundations of inclusive and accountable governance, together with a strong focus on gender equality, the empowerment of women and girls and meeting the needs of vulnerable groups, to ensure that no one is left behind.




[Visit our Crisis Response page for more information.]


[1] OECD , States of Fragility 2016: Understanding Violence (Paris, 2016), p. 16.


[2] Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, p.9.