2018 WAS A REMARKABLE YEAR FOR UNDP. It was our first full year of implementing a new Strategic Plan—a plan built to help countries deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals.
At a time of change for the United Nations, we worked with our partners to help people get on their feet and stay there—meeting short-term needs while laying the foundations for a hopeful, confident future.
In Syria, Yemen, and the Lake Chad region, though conflict and fragility continue to block the arteries of progress, we saw a new way of working between humanitarian and development actors take root, bridging life-saving response with recovery and development.
From India to Fiji, we saw a surge of innovation connecting people with the services they need to get out of poverty, shaping governance solutions of the future. A youth employment and entrepreneurship initiative started with UNDP in Rwanda back in 2013 is now in 10 countries and set to be scaled up continent-wide by the Africa Union.
In the next pages you will see some of the many results we achieved in 2018. They reinforce that UNDP is uniquely designed to help solve complex development problems in a courageous, integrated, and innovative way.
They reinforce a trait I have come to admire in this organization: its potential to take change to scale. It is a potential we need to fulfill to help countries meet the ambition of the 2030 Agenda.
In 2018, we demonstrated that we are up to the challenge, with the highest programme delivery in five years, restored financial stablity, increased efficiency, and a geographically-diverse, gender-balanced leadership team—even as we powered UN reform and, now, step back from coordinating United Nations agencies in the countries we serve.
As Administrator, it was a true pleasure to lead #NextGenUNDP last year, disrupting how we think, invest, manage and deliver to accelerate sustainable development.
Today, UNDP’s mission has never been as clear: we are here to help 170 countries and territories to reach their development priorities so that no one on this planet is left behind.
We look forward to your good company on the journey.
United Nations Development Programme
UNDP IN 2018
CONNECTING THE SDGs
The Sustainable Development Goals provide a holistic blueprint for change – an integrated plan to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that all people enjoy lasting peace and prosperity.
UNDP’s role is to help governments and actors throughout society to power and accelerate their progress towards the Goals, while keeping the global vision intact and on track.
Combining the ambition of Agenda 2030 with the SDGs now demands a new kind of approach to development: the more disruptive we are, the more transformational the solutions will be.
DEVELOPMENT IS A VIRTUOUS CYCLE
UNDP knows from experience that incremental change is not enough. Tackling drought in Somalia is not just about water. Fighting poverty in Argentina is not just about income. Promoting hydrogen-based clean mobility in China is not just about technology.
In reality, preventing drought and famine will consolidate peace and security, and increase confidence in the economy. Fighting poverty will improve people’s health through access to medical insurance. Promoting hydrogen energy solutions will improve public services, make cities healthier, and help stop global climate change.
In short, one well-designed, positive change leads to many others.
Where past, present and future meet
#NextGenUNDP builds on our existing assets – worldwide presence, thought leadership, and over 50 years of experience – to respond to a fast-changing development landscape. We are creating new solutions, building collaboration platforms, and sparking new partnerships and financing instruments. These innovations are disrupting the way our organisation thinks, invests, manages, and delivers – so we can perform faster and better than ever.
From reimagining the Human Development Report, to improving how we use data to fight poverty, to speeding up results through the Accelerator Labs, #NextGenUNDP is boosting countries’ progress toward the SDGs.
Investing US$5 billion each year in development progress, and as countries’ partner of choice to access global funding windows, #NextGenUNDP understands finance and risk, and how to bring more investors to the table.
A better workplace means better results, so we are pushing the boundaries to improve our business model, balance our books, increase efficiency, go digital, and invest in our people for a more innovative, effective and efficient #NextGenUNDP.
With our Global Policy Network connecting UNDP’s 17,000-strong workforce, country platforms in 46 countries, and a determination to innovate, #NextGenUNDP is breaking down silos with partners to change how complex problems are solved.
A gender-balanced, geographically diverse new team of Assistant Secretary-Generals and Resident Representatives now leads UNDP in and across the 170 countries and territories we currently serve.
With 17,000 people connected through our new Global Policy Network, UNDP is one of the world’s largest, most diverse, fastest learning organisations. Meet the team.
Gender parity and inclusion at undp
Half of UNDP’s leaders and staff across the world are women. Our commitment to gender equality runs deep and plays a central part in UNDP’s new People 2030 strategy, designed to enhance how we attract, train and retain world-class development talent. But we know there is more to do, because a better workplace means better results. In 2018, new policies and measures on gender parity, sexual harassment and disability inclusion advanced a more inclusive, equal and respectful workplace. A new talent programme for young professionals with a disability – the first of its kind in the UN – was launched by UNDP and UNV.
Our Associate Administrator and nine Assistant Secretary-Generals (ASGs)
lead our teams and connect UNDP’s local results for global change.
UN Under-Secretary-General and
UNDP Associate Administrator
Bureau for Management Services
*Mr. Tegegnework Gettu completed his term in December 2018.
Strategically on track
UNDP’s Strategic Plan for 2018-21 to help accelerate progress towards Agenda 2030 has three integrated objectives: to eradicate all forms of poverty, accelerate structural transformations, and build resilience to shocks and crises. In 2018, UNDP delivered results against each, accelerating local action to drive global change while embarking on a major shift in the way it works.
In 2017, UNDP defined and implemented six cross-cutting approaches to development, known as Signature Solutions. A robust, integrated way to put our best work – or “signature” skillset – into achieving the SDGs. The following pages explain the Solutions, highlighting the impact each one made in 2018.
A prerequisite of UNDP’s Strategic Plan is to mainstream gender throughout its work, so that everyone in a society has the freedom and opportunity to thrive.
KEEPING PEOPLE OUT OF POVERTY. 31 MILLION AT A TIME.
It’s no coincidence that our first Signature Solution relates directly to the first Sustainable Development Goal: to eradicate all forms of poverty, wherever it exists. For UNDP, helping people to get out and stay out of poverty is our primary focus. It features in our work with governments, communities and partners across the 170 countries and territories in which we operate.
In 2018, we helped nearly half of the countries in the world to make the SDGs relevant at home, aligning local and national priorities with the Goals for both immediate and long-term benefits. Given the interconnected nature of the SDGs, this advanced progress towards ending the many faces of poverty – once and for all.
people living in or recovering from crisis got a job or improved their livelihood
people gained access to financial services
people had stronger livelihoods in the face of climate change
UN partners with whom we worked most frequently on Poverty in 2018
SPREADING GOOD GOVERNANCE. STOPPING THE OTHER KIND.
People’s lives are better when they have peace, freedom and opportunity, when government is efficient and responsive, when rights and the law are respected and upheld, and when the forces of globalization pull people up rather than hold them back.
In 2018, UNDP supported 56 counties in their electoral processes. We put digital solutions to the test to improve civic engagement, manage health commodities, and address corruption – helping to shape the next generation of governance solutions.
UNDP helped to deliver last mile health services in 45 countries through our partnership with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. We continued to advocate for those less heard because of stigma, discrimination and violence. This developed the first round of investment portfolios for The Spotlight Initiative – a $500 million partnership between the UN and the European Union to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls. Meanwhile, we supported the expansion of the UN Partnership to Promote the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to 38 countries through the Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office – strengthening our focus on leaving no one behind.
PARTNERED WITH US TO REFORM DISCRIMINATORY LAWS
WOMEN AND INFANTS IN INDIA VACCINATED WITH THE SUPPORT OF A NEW VACCINE INTELLIGENCE NETWORK
PEOPLE REGISTERED TO VOTE IN 2018
UN partners with whom we worked most frequently on Governance in 2018
CRISIS RESPONSE, RECOVERY AND PROTECTION. DONE BETTER.
For the millions of people across the world living in or recovering from crisis, there is no quick or easy way out. Conflict, war, epidemics and disasters drive poverty, inequality, weak governance, and the destruction of the environment. It is time to break this cycle.
In 2018, UNDP spent over $1 billion to strengthen resilience to shocks and crisis with the support of partners and advocated for integrated, risk-informed approach to development, including planning for and recovering from disasters.
A new way of working with humanitarian partners has taken root in UNDP, bridging urgent, life-saving response with resilience, recovery, stabilization and development needs, because helping communities to find or return to lives of dignity as quickly as possible is everyone’s long-term goal.
INVESTED TO STRENGTHEN RESILIENCE TO CRISIS
SUPPORTED TO DEVELOP OR IMPLEMENT STRATEGIES TO PREVENT VIOLENT EXTREMISM
DISPLACED PEOPLE ACROSS 12 COUNTRIES REGAINED ACCESS TO BASIC SERVICES LIKE HOUSING AND ENERGY
UN partners with whom we worked most frequently on Resilience in 2018
ENVIRONMENTAL SOLUTIONS. THE WAY NATURE INTENDED.
The Sustainable Development Goals set out an integrated global plan to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that all people enjoy lasting peace and prosperity. Climate change and environmental damage threaten that plan – all of it.
Working across our development mandate, UNDP helps countries to protect the people most vulnerable to shocks, defend the diversity of nature, and stop climate change from further altering the balance of our planet. At the same time, we work with our partners to accelerate an evolution to green economic pathways, investing in future-focused partnerships, industries, jobs and livelihoods.
A long-standing partner of the Global Environment Facility, and now with the second-largest Green Climate Fund portfolio in the world, UNDP is the primary actor on climate change in the United Nations. Our portfolio is built on countries’ trust in our work. Our aim is to help build the Paris Agreement and all environmental agreements into the heart of countries’ development priorities. After all, the food, shelter, education and opportunities of billions of people depend on getting this right.
SUPPORTED TO MOVE CLOSER TO MEETING THEIR PARIS PLEDGES
ACRES OF PROTECTED AREA IN 54 COUNTRIES WERE BETTER MANAGED WITH OUR SUPPORT
TONNES OF CARBON EMISSIONS CUT WITH OUR SUPPORT (EQUIVALENT TO 50 MILLION CARS IN ONE YEAR)
UN partners with whom we worked most frequently on Environment in 2018
GOODBYE FOSSIL FUELS. HELLO CLEAN AFFORDABLE ENERGY.
UNDP helps countries transition away from the use of finite fossil fuels and towards clean, renewable, affordable sources of energy. Our sustainable energy portfolio spans more than 110 countries, leveraging billions of dollars in financing, including public and private sources.
With this financial support, we partner with cities and industries to increase the share of renewables in countries’ national energy mix; establish solar energy access to people displaced by conflict; fuel systemic change in the transport industry; and generate renewable ways to light homes for millions of people.
Given the fact that clean, affordable energy will power progress toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, UNDP adapts to the needs of each country across all the development settings in which we work.
IN GRANT FINANCING DELIVERED TO 110 COUNTRIES
372,000 RURAL HOUSEHOLDS
IMPROVED THEIR ACCESS TO CLEAN, AFFORDABLE AND RENEWABLE ENERGY
SUPPORTED BY UNDP’S SUSTAINABLE ENERGY PORTFOLIO
UN partners with whom we worked most frequently on Energy in 2018
EMPOWERING WOMEN AND GIRLS. ENGAGING MEN AND BOYS.
Gender equality and women’s empowerment drive change for the good of everyone. Today, women, girls, and gender minorities are subverting inequalities and stereotypes. And we’re here to help. As the UN’s leading development agency, we seek to integrate gender equality into every aspect of our work, collaborating with our partner countries to end gender-based violence, tackle climate change with women farmers, and advance female leadership in business and politics.
In 2018, we positively impacted the lives of millions of women. We helped countries and communities change the rules on access to finance, land and decision-making. We worked with the disproportionate number of women affected by crisis and conflict. And we broke down barriers that prevented women from voting. Because no one should be left behind.
PROMOTED WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP AND DECISIONMAKING POSITIONS
WOMEN REGISTERED AS VOTERS WITH UNDP SUPPORT
OF PEOPLE WE SUPPORTED THROUGH RECOVERY PROGRAMMES IN 16 COUNTRIES WERE WOMEN
UN partners with whom we worked most frequently on Gender in 2018
Rethinking development from within
As the UN’s lead development agency, no organisation is better qualified to drive the future of development. This is fueled by our scale plus our network of partners in and outside the United Nations: public sector, private sector, long-standing and emerging.
The ambition of the Sustainable Development Goals requires an accelerated pace of change. We are pushing boundaries in the way we manage our systems and resources, and adapting our business model for a more effective, efficient and innovative UNDP. By improving internally, we also improve our development results.
BALANCING THE BUDGET
UNDP’s budget was balanced for the second consecutive year, reversing a downward trend.
Changes in the way we do business saved 33 days of staff time per year previously spent on bureaucracy.
A cutting-edge Digital Strategy was adopted to transform UNDP by 2021.
PEOPLE FOR 2030
In 2018, UNDP launched a new People Strategy, improving the ways we attract, train and retain world-class talent.
GLOBAL POLICY NETWORK
A new Global Policy Network is changing the way we deliver integrated results by connecting 17,000 personnel in virtual communities across 170 countries and territories.
UNDP won the CSO50 cybersecurity award for the fifth time in six years.
country support platforms
Introduced 46 Country Support Platforms - 36 more than the target.
REAL-TIME DEVELOPMENT MONITORING
40 UNDP Country Offices used satellite data to improve real-time development monitoring.
UNDP ACCELERATOR LABS
Launched labs in 60 countries to support our teams in innovation, acceleration and scaling up.
Powering UN reform
As the United Nations changes to meet the challenge of the Sustainable Development Goals, UNDP is supporting the process at every step. In 2018, UNDP invested huge efforts to ensure a successful reform – from seconding dozens of its senior staff to doubling its contribution to the resident coordinator system. UNDP did so while investing $5 billion* in development results, our highest level of investment over the past five years.
* $5 billion includes programme delivery and institutional expenditure.
The UNDP family
Hosting specialized functions of the UN System
UNDP hosts a wider family of partnerships and programmes that are crucial for the UN’s work around the world.
The UN’s Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office (MPTFO) has channeled over $10 billion of pooled funding to development, incentivizing integrated UN responses to complex issues. The Office supports the $27 million UN Partnership on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which reached 38 countries in 2018, and provides the platform for the Spotlight Initiative, a $500 million partnership between the UN and the European Union to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls.
UN Volunteers deploys over 7,000 professionals each year – 83% from the global South -- to 38 UN entities in over 140 countries, alongside 17,000 online volunteers. In 2018, 137 Volunteers served in 62 Resident Coordinator Offices, focused on assignments from coordination, to peace and development, to the SDGs. UNV also champions people’s participation in their own communities’ development, strengthening ownership and fortifying results.
As part of our support to advancing South-South cooperation, UNDP hosts the UN Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) which promotes, coordinates and supports South-South and triangular cooperation globally and within the UN system. In 2018, UNOSSC brought together 200 Southern think tanks to foster dialogue and research on development solutions.
United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) offers “last mile” finance models, primarily to Least Developed Countries, to unlock public and private finance for the poor. With a focus on financial inclusion, local development finance, and investment finance, UNCDF collaborates with other UN entities to combine its capital tools, expertise, and risk tolerance with their thematic knowledge – taking an integrated approach to test financing innovations, tackle exclusions, and take proven models to scale.
Shaking hands with the world
The Sustainable Development Goals provide one agenda for everyone to unite behind: from CEOs and Prime Ministers, to activists and scientists, to academics and financial leaders. At UNDP we are proud that our partnerships span small social enterprises and large global brands like Mars Inc., Baidu, Microsoft and Visa; that we collaborate with small island nations and the world’s most populous states; and that we are breaking down the language of North and South.
Thank you to our partners, including:
THE GLOBAL FUND, TO FIGHT AIDS, TUBERCULOSIS AND MALARIA
As principle recipient of grants from the Global Fund, UNDP helped deliver last-mile health services in 35 countries.
GREEN CLIMATE FUND (GCF)
The GCF is a critical global platform to respond to climate change by investing in low-emission and climate-resilient development.
GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT FACILITY (GEF)
UNDP is a key partner of GEF, a partnership of governments, implementing agencies, the private sector and civil society to tackle the world’s most complex and pressing environmental problems in an integrated way.
THE WORLD BANK
UNDP’s partnership with the World Bank is growing to better support the 2030 Agenda, in particular in crisis settings. Beyond finance, in 2018 we launched the Pathways for Peace report and advance critical research for better development results.
Through the Montreal Protocol, UNDP has worked with 120 countries to help eliminate ozone depleting substances – to reverse the damage to the Earth’s ozone layer.
Lending Star Power to the SDGs
The influence of Goodwill Ambassadors and celebrity advocates transcends national borders, shining a spotlight on the biggest global issues and promoting the SDGs. Prominent figures in entertainment, arts and sports, they help to raise awareness through campaigns, events, and on-the-ground project visits. Their names, voices, media appeal and social media platforms amplify our reach, tap into new audiences, and mobilize support for the work we do around the world.
Women’s equality, climate action
Climate action, gender equality
Former professional footballer
Health, economic empowerment
His Royal Highness
CROWN PRINCE HAAKON
Youth & women’s empowerment
TV personality, author
JOAN, JOSEP & JORDI ROCA
Sustainable food production & consumption
Musician, social media influencer
Protection of oceans
Legendary musician, Grateful Dead
Climate action & sustainability
Women’s equality, sustainability & wildlife protection
Resources and contributions
At UNDP, we can’t do our work without the financial support of our partners. On behalf of the millions of lives that have been changed for good in 2018, and for helping the planet we all inhabit, we say, “Thank You” in every language.
A special thank you to the following regular resources supporters who increased their contributions in 2018:
Republic of Korea
Contributions by Funding Channel, 2017 vs 2018*
*These are voluntary contributions received from funding partners, including Government Local Office Costs, as of May 2019.
Top 2018 UNDP funding partners
|Global Environment Facility||$429,781,733||$429,781,733|
|Multi Partner Trust Funds||$372,245,601||$372,245,601|
|United States of America||$79,582,829||$172,068,920||$251,651,749|
|World Bank Group||$152,808,865||$152,808,865|
|Green Climate Fund||$80,286,451||$80,286,451|
|Republic of Korea||$8,600,000||$38,476,045||$47,076,045|
* More information on all regular contributors to UNDP available at open.undp.org/donors
Connecting the world
Helping countries connect knowledge, build capacity, and facilitate partnerships
UNDP is a trusted and active partner in advancing South-South Cooperation, with diversifying financial flows. In 2018, over 100 country offices advanced South-South and triangular cooperation, supporting partnerships with 180 countries through 900 initiatives.
At the same time, 20 percent – or $1 billion – of UNDP finances came from programme countries for investment in their own countries in 2018, illustrating how development finance flows are changing.