United Nations Development Programme

Our Focus Areas


Development Cooperation and Finace

 The ability of a country to reduce poverty and increase its development depends on a number of things: its physical geography, the policy choices it makes, and the resources, institutions and capacities it has access to. On top of these, money is also needed to enable a country to invest in infrastructure or programmes that support economic growth and development.

Making aid more effective is a responsibility shared by donor and recipient countries. The focus of UNDP’s work in this area is on support to recipient governments to improve the national aid management architecture, ensure national leadership of aid coordination, and support monitoring arrangements that include the private sector and civil society. In addition to new aid, countries can also finance their development when creditors cancel their unpayable and unsustainable debts. UNDP advocates for debt cancellation and sustainability that safeguards the financing required to meet the MDGs, and advises developing countries on how to achieve debt sustainability consistent with reaching the MDGs.



Participatory Local Development

Achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) can only happen through action at the local level -- in villages and towns, provinces and regions. Local actors -- community leaders, local government officials, civil society activists, farmers and entrepreneurs -- know best what does and does not work within their communities and they should have the voice and support they need to work their way towards a better quality of life. At the same time, local development should be embedded in the national development process.

UNDP partners with various organizations like United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), UN-Habitat, Netherlands Development Organisation SNV and Action Aid to implement various pilot projects at the local level.



Poverty Assesment and Monitoring

 Fighting poverty and making progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) requires effective policies to reduce poverty and promote inclusive development. The design and implementation of policies for social inclusion require a good system of information to better understand the problem: what is poverty, what causes it, who does it affect, how does it evolve over time and what impact do development policies and programmes have on poverty. Setting up a poverty monitoring and assessment system to answer these questions is fundamental to the design of effective poverty reduction policies. Such systems are also necessary to help governments and the development community to keep track of progress towards the MDGs.

However, many developing countries lack consistent, reliable and timely data on poverty and inequality, making it difficult to establish effective poverty monitoring and assessment systems.

UNDP works to fill this gap, helping developing countries to set up comprehensive poverty monitoring systems. We also work to ensure that when and where data and information are available, they are used as evidence to inform policy-making to reduce poverty and advance human development.



Inclusive Development

Many people are excluded from development because of their gender, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, disability or poverty. The effects of such exclusion are staggering, deepening inequality across the world. The richest ten percent of people in the world own 85 percent of all assets, while the poorest 50 percent own only one percent.

UNDP works with developing countries to improve how inclusive development policies and programmes like those mentioned are designed and implemented. It provides policy advice in areas such as employment strategies, job creation and social safety nets. We help develop the capacity of governments to formulate strategies and fiscal policies that stimulate pro-poor growth, reduce poverty and achieve the MDGs. At the same time, UNDP advocates for a stronger role for the state, enhanced public investment and economic governance to ensure that everyone has access to vital public services.



Trade, Intellectual Property and Migration

Globalization has the potential to advance human development around the world. It can boost economic growth and create jobs. It can enable developing countries to access new technologies that improve their productivity. It can facilitate access to capital to make needed investments.

UNDP works in several areas to support developing countries:

  • Advocating for the Global Partnership for Development - a more favorable international policy environment in areas such as international trade, foreign direct investment (FDI), intellectual property rights, technology transfer and migration;
  • Enhancing developing country capacity to better integrate into the global economic system in a way that prioritizes human development and reduces poverty and inequality;
  • Through the Enhanced Integrated Framework and the Aid for Trade initiatives, collaborating with UN agencies and international development partners – including International Monetary Fund (IMF), International Trade Centre (ITC), Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), United Nations Conference on Trade and Devleopment (UNCTAD), World Bank (WB) and World Trade Organisation (WTO ) – to provide trade-related technical assistance designed to help LDCs and other developing countries to strengthen their supply-side capacity;
  • Advocating for solutions to the distinct challenges faced by LDCs, LLDCs, SIDS and other commodity-dependent countries in a globalizing economy;
  • Implementing innovative projects in the context of international intellectual property agreements, such as facilitating access to affordable HIV and AIDS drugs and advising on how to protect native plant variety rights, traditional knowledge and natural resources.



Private Sector

UNDP recognizes that achieving the Millennium Development Goals depends on vibrant economic growth, driven by private enterprises that create jobs and provide goods and services for the poor, as well as generate tax revenues to finance essential social and economic infrastructure. The private sector - from large multi-national companies to small enterprises and cooperatives servicing local markets - also has an essential role to play in achieving broader UNDP goals in areas such as energy and environmental service delivery, crisis prevention, gender equality and democratic governance.

For more information on UNDP’s work with the private sector and our current initiatives and projects, please visit the private sector website.



Development& Transition

Social Inclusion

UNDP, 2010









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Handbook on Planning, Monitoring and Evaluating for Development Results

UNDP, 2009


This ‘Handbook on Planning, Monitoring and Evaluating for Development Results’ is an updated edition of the 2002 edition of ‘Handbook on Monitoring and Evaluation for Results’1. It seeks to address new directions in planning, monitoring and evaluation in the context of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) corporate strategic plan, the requirements of the UNDP evaluation policy approved by the Executive Board in 2006 and the United Nations Evaluation Group (UNEG) ‘Standards for Evaluation in the UN System’2. The updated Handbook also incorporates information recommended by key users of the Handbook during various workshops held by UNDP units.

The guiding framework of UNDP for planning, monitoring and evaluation is provided in the ‘Programme and Operations Policy and Procedure’ (POPP)3 , the evaluation policy , and the UNEG ‘Standards for Evaluation in the UN System’. The POPP and evaluation policy4 aim to provide guidance to UNDP management and staff on key functions and mechanisms through which the results and principles enshrined in the overarching programmatic documents of UNDP, including the strategic plan, are to be achieved. They reflect the intentions of the Executive Board and also inform UNDP stakeholders of how UNDP conducts its work.

These documents provide the prescriptive content on what needs to be done, by whom and by when. This Handbook complements this content by providing UNDP programme units with guidance on ‘how to’ and practical tools to strengthen results-oriented planning, monitoring and evaluation in UNDP.

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