United Nations Development Programme

United Nations Development Programme

Infobox UN
name = United Nations Development Programme

image size = 150px
caption =
type = Programme
acronyms = UNDP
head = Kemal Derviş
status = Active
established = 1965
website = [http://www.undp.org www.undp.org]
parent = ECOSOC [Citation
title=Background Guide;: Executive board of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
(from internet archive)
commons = United Nations
footnotes =
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations' global development network. The UNDP is an executive board within the United Nations General Assembly. The UNDP Administrator is the third highest ranking member of the United Nations after the United Nations Secretary-General and Deputy Secretary-General.

Headquartered in New York City, the UNDP is funded entirely by voluntary contributions from member nations. The organization has country offices in 166 countries, where it works with local governments to meet development challenges and develop local capacity. Additionally, the UNDP works internationally to help countries achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

UNDP provides expert advice, training, and grant support to developing countries, with increasing emphasis on assistance to the least developed countries. To accomplish the MDGs and encourage global development, UNDP focuses on poverty reduction, HIV/AIDS, democratic governance, energy and environment, and crisis prevention and recovery. UNDP also encourages the protection of human rights and the empowerment of women in all of its programs.

Furthermore, UNDP publishes an annual Human Development Report to measure and analyze developmental progress. In addition to a global Report, UNDP publishes regional, national, and local Human Development Reports.


The UNDP was founded in 1965 to combine the Expanded Programme of Technical Assistance and the United Nations Special Fund. In 1971, the two organizations were fully combined into the UNDP.


In 2005, UNDP’s entire budget was approximately $4.44 billion. Of that total, core, unrestricted financing reached approximately $921 million. Non-core, earmarked contributions grew to over $2.5 billion, and resources to support countries’ own development programs totaled $1.02 billion.


UNDP’s offices and staff are on the ground in 166 countries, working with governments and local communities to help them find solutions to global and national development challenges.

UNDP links and coordinates global and national efforts to achieve the goals and national development priorities laid out by host countries. UNDP focuses primarily on five developmental challenges:

Democratic governanceUNDP supports national democratic transitions by providing policy advice and technical support, improving institutional and individual capacity within countries, educating populations about and advocating for democratic reforms, promoting negotiation and dialogue, and sharing successful experiences from other countries and locations. UNDP also supports existing democratic institutions by increasing dialogue, enhancing national debate, and facilitating consensus on national governance programs.

Poverty reductionUNDP helps countries develop strategies to combat poverty by expanding access to economic opportunities and resources, linking poverty programs with countries’ larger goals and policies, and ensuring a greater voice for the poor. UNDP also works at the macro level to reform trade, encourage debt relief and foreign investment, and ensure the poorest of the poor benefit from globalisation.

On the ground, UNDP sponsors developmental pilot projects, promotes the role of women in development, and coordinates efforts between governments, NGOs, and outside donors. In this way, UNDP works with local leaders and governments to provide opportunities for impoverished people to create businesses and improve their economic condition.

Crisis prevention and recoveryUNDP works to reduce the risk of armed conflicts or disasters, and promote early recovery after crises have occurred. UNDP works through its country offices to support local government in needs assessment, capacity development, coordinated planning, and policy and standard setting.

Examples of UNDP risk reduction programs include efforts to control small arms proliferation, strategies to reduce the impact of natural disasters, and programs to encourage use of diplomacy and prevent violence.

Recovery programs include disarmament, demobilization and reintegration of ex-combatants, demining efforts, programs to reintegrate displaced persons, restoration of basic services, and transitional justice systems for countries recovering from warfare.

Environment and EnergyAs the poor are disproportionately affected by environmental degradation and lack of access to clean, affordable energy services, UNDP seeks to address environmental issues in order to improve developing countries’ abilities to develop sustainably. UNDP works with countries to strengthen their capacity to address global environmental issues by providing innovative policy advice and linking partners through environmentally sensitive development projects that help poor people build sustainable livelihoods.

HIV/AIDSHIV/AIDS is a big issue in today's society and UNDP works to help counties prevent further spreading and reduce its impact.

UNDP’s environmental strategy focuses on effective water governance, access to sustainable energy services, Sustainable land management to combat desertification and land degradation, conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity, and policies to control emissions of harmful pollutants and ozone-depleting substances.

Human Development Report

Since 1990, the UNDP has annually published the Human Development Report, based on the Human Development Index.

UN co-ordination role

UNDP plays a significant co-ordination role for the UN’s activities in the field of development. This is mainly executed through its leadership of the UN Development Group and through the Resident Co-ordinator System.

Disarmament and controversy

In mid-2006, as first reported by [http://www.innercitypress.com/unhq062806.html Inner City Press] and then by [http://www.newvision.co.ug/D/8/13/506557 The New Vision] , UNDP halted its disarmament programs in the Karamoja region of Uganda in response to human rights abuses in the parallel forcible disarmament programs carried out by the Uganda People's Defense Force.

United Nations Development Group

The United Nations Development Group (UNDG) was created by the Secretary General in 1997, to improve the effectiveness of UN development at the country level. The UNDG brings together the operational agencies working on development. The Group is chaired by the Administrator of UNDP. UNDP also provides the Secretariat to the Group.

The UNDG develops policies and procedures that allow member agencies to work together and analyse country issues, plan support strategies, implement support programmes, monitor results and advocate for change. These initiatives increase UN impact in helping countries achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), including poverty reduction.

Over 25 UN agencies are members of the UNDG. The Executive Committee consists of the four "founding members": UNICEF, UNFPA, WFP and UNDP. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights is an ex-officio member of the Executive Committee.

Resident co-ordinator system

The Resident Coordinator system co-ordinates all organizations of the United Nations system dealing with operational activities for development in the field. The RC system aims to bring together the different UN agencies to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of operational activities at the country level. Resident Coordinators, who are funded, appointed and managed by UNDP, lead UN country teams in more than 130 countries and are the designated representatives of the Secretary-General for development operations. Working closely with national governments, Resident Coordinators and country teams advocate the interests and mandates of the UN drawing on the support and guidance of the entire UN family.


The UNDP has been criticised by members of its staff and the Government of the USA for irregularities in its finances in North Korea. Artjon Shkurtaj claimed that he had found forged US dollars in the Programmes safe while the staff were paid in Euros. The UNDP denied any wrongdoing, and keeping improper accounts. [Citation
title=UN denies firing 'whistleblower'
date=July 7, 2007
publisher=BBC News


The UNDP Administrator has the rank of an Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations. While the Administrator is often referred to as the third highest-ranking official in the UN (after the UN Secretary General and the UN Deputy Secretary General), this has never been formally codified.

In addition to his responsibilities as head of UNDP, the Administrator is also the Chair of the UN Development Group.

Current Administrator

On 5 May 2005, the United Nations General Assembly, representing 191 countries, unanimously confirmed Kemal Derviş, a former finance minister of Turkey and senior World Bank official, as UNDP Administrator. Derviş started his four-year term on 15 August 2005.

Associate Administrator

The current Associate Administrator of UNDP is Ad Melkert, a Dutch national appointed on the 1 March 2006. During meetings of the UN Development Group, which are chaired by the Administrator, UNDP is represented by the Associate Administrator.

Previous Administrators

The first administrator of UNDP Paul Hoffman was much revered as the former head of the Marshall Plan. One of his successors Bradford Morse was a former Republican congressman from Massachusetts. His successor William Draper, a successful venture capitalist and friend of George H.W. Bush, saw one of the UN system's major achievements, the Human Development Report, introduced during his tenure of the post. More recently one of UNDP's former Administrators, Mark Malloch Brown who had worked formerly as a Vice President of the World Bank, was appointed Chief of Staff to then UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, for whom he had worked previously. Subsequently, he was appointed UN Deputy Secretary General. Since the arrival of the new Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, Malloch Brown has been appointed as the head of a Hedge Fund owned by George Soros, a successful and astute Hungarian financier with one arm.

Goodwill Ambassadors

UNDP, along with other UN agencies, has long enlisted the voluntary services and support of prominent individuals as Goodwill Ambassadors or Youth Emissaries to highlight and promote key policies. According to UNDP’s website: “Their fame helps amplify the urgent and universal message of human development and international cooperation, helping to accelerate achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.” Global Embassy [http://www.globalembassy.org] has a complete list of UNDP Goodwill Ambassadors as well as Goodwill Ambassadors of other UN Organisations.

Global Ambassadors

* Nadine Gordimer
* Misako Konno
* Ronaldo
* Zinedine Zidane
* Crown Prince Haakon Magnus of Norway
* Didier Drogba
* Maria Sharapova
* Angelina Jolie
* Lang Lang [http://www.langlang.com]

Regional Goodwill Ambassador

* Muna Wassef
* Hussein Fahmy

Honorary Human Development Ambassador

* Princess Basma Bint Talal of Jordan

Honorary Advisor on Sports and Development

* Syndiely Wade

Youth Emissaries

* Dikembe Mutombo
* Baaba Maal
* Maria de Lurdes Mutola


ee also

* United Nations
* Economic development
* Development assistance
* International development
* List of UNDP country codes
* U.S. Committee for the United Nations Development Program
*Global Governance Watch

External links

* [http://www.undp.org/ Official UNDP web site]
* [http://www.undp-usa.org/ U.S. Committee for the UNDP web site]
* [http://www.sas.undp.org/documents/UNDP_for_beginners.pdf UNDP for Beginners] : a short, comprehensive introduction to the UNDP; an updated, second edition from June 2006 is now available online
* [http://www.undg.org/ Official UNDG web site]
* [http://www.globalembassy.org Global Embassy]
* [http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/m_progre.htm Declaration on Social Progress and Development]
* [http://www.palgrave.com/products/Catalogue.aspx?is=0230500587 Palgrave Macmillan, official publisher of the Human Development Report 2006]
* [http://globalis.gvu.unu.edu/ Interactive maps]

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