Definitions of UNDP


Known as United Nations Development Program on, UNDP is the global network of the United Nations for Development, promoting change and connecting countries with the knowledge, experience and resources necessary to help people build a better life.

Creation and representation

Presence in 176 countries, working with them to help them find their own solutions to global and national development challenges. While strengthening their local capacity, countries draw on the expertise of UNDP staff and the wide circle of partners.

The United Nations Development Program, was created in 1965, belongs to the United Nations system and its function is to contribute to the improvement of the quality of life of nations.

UNDP promotes change and provides the knowledge, experience and resources necessary to help people build a better life.

Areas in which UNDP carries out its work

World leaders are committed to achieving the Millennium Development Goals, including the overarching goal of halving poverty by 2015. The UNDP network links and coordinates global and national efforts to achieve these goals. Its goal is to help countries develop and share solutions that allow them to respond to the challenges they pose:

  • Democratic governance
  • Poverty reduction
  • Crisis prevention and recovery
  • Energy and the environment

UNDP helps developing countries use assistance efficiently. All activities work towards the protection of human rights and the realization of the potential of women.

UNDP has identified in its Strategic Plan 2008 – 2011, lines of action for each of these practice areas.

Components of the main program

  1. Eradication of poverty and achievement of development goals.
  • Promoting inclusive growth, gender equality and the achievement of the MDGs.
  • Promotion of an inclusive globalization.
  • Mitigation of the effects of HIV / AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria on human development.
  1. Democratic governance.
  • Promote inclusive participation.
  • Consolidate responsible and responsive government institutions.
  • Base democratic governance on international principles.
  1. Prevention and recovery from crises.
  • Promote capacities in conflict prevention and disaster risk management.
  • Ensure the improvement of government functions after the crisis.
  • Restore foundations for local development.
  1. Environment and sustainable development.
  • Mainstreaming of the environment and energy.
  • Mobilization of environmental financial sources.
  • Promoting adaptation to climate change.
  • Expanding the access of the poor to energy and environmental services.

Among the funds and special programs administered by UNDP, the following stand out:

  • The United Nations Capital Development Fund, which provides capital grants to poverty reduction programs in least developed countries.
  • The United Nations Development Fund for Women, which offers financial and technical support directly to the poorest countries, in order to promote innovative projects that contribute to the sustainable and equitable development of women.
  • The United Nations Volunteers, a group of technically qualified individuals who put critical practical knowledge at the service of developing countries.

Directorate of UNDP

UNDP is headed by the Administrator, who is accountable to the Executive Board, in which donor and recipient countries, as well as all regions of the world, are represented. Of the high-level officials of the United Nations System, the UNDP Administrator ranks third among high-ranking positions, after the Secretary-General and the Under-Secretary-General. He is appointed by the Secretary General and confirmed by the General Assembly for a period of four years.

Helen Clark assumed her duties as Administrator of the United Nations Development Program on April 17, 2009 and is the first woman to hold that position. In that capacity, she is also chair of the United Nations Development Group, a committee made up of the directors of all UN funds, programs and departments working in the area of ​​development.

Millennium Development Goals

World leaders pledged in 2000 to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, including the ultimate goal of halving poverty by 2015.

Its goal is to help countries develop and share solutions that allow them to respond to the challenges they pose: democratic governance, poverty reduction, prevention and recovery from crises, energy and the environment, Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and HIV / AIDS. Likewise, clear goals were established to reduce illness, illiteracy and discrimination against women for the aforementioned.

Democratic governance

An increasing number of countries are striving to establish governance in a democratic context. They face the challenge of developing institutions and processes that are more responsive to the needs of ordinary citizens, including the poor.

UNDP brings people together in nations and around the world, creating partnerships and sharing ways to promote participation, accountability and effectiveness at all levels.

Countries are helped to strengthen their electoral and legislative systems, improve access to justice and public administration, and develop greater capacity to deliver basic services to those who need them most.

Poverty reduction

Developing countries are striving to create their own national strategies to eradicate poverty, based on local needs and priorities. UNDP encourages these national solutions, and helps ensure their effectiveness.

Innovative pilot projects are sponsored; connects countries with world best practices and resources; the role of women in development is promoted, and governments, civil society and external donors are brought together to coordinate their efforts.

One strategy that may result is to reinforce the education levels of each of the inhabitants of a country, so that the State is concerned with verifying whether each of the school-age children is really studying, learning literacy and not working.

Crisis prevention and recovery

Many countries are increasingly vulnerable to violent conflict or natural disasters that can erase decades of development and intensify poverty and inequality. Through its global network, UNDP seeks to arbitrate and share innovative approaches to crisis prevention, early warning and conflict resolution. UNDP is present in almost all developing countries, so when the next crisis hits, UNDP will be there to help bridge the gap between emergency relief and long-term development.

Information and communication technology (ICT)

ICT are an increasingly powerful instrument to be able to participate in world markets; promote political responsibility; improve the provision of basic services, and enhance local development opportunities. But without innovative ICT policies, many people in developing countries – especially the poor – will be left behind. UNDP helps countries use expertise and best practices from around the world to develop strategies that expand access to and leverage ICTs for development. UNDP also relies on ICT solutions to make the most effective use of its own global network.


In order to prevent the spread of HIV / AIDS and reduce its consequences, developing countries need to mobilize all levels of government and civil society. As a credible development partner, UNDP advocates placing HIV / AIDS at the heart of national planning and budgets; it helps build national capacity to manage initiatives that include individuals and institutions normally not directly engaged in public health issues, and promotes decentralized responses that support initiatives at the community level. Because HIV / AIDS is a global problem, UNDP supports these national efforts by providing knowledge, resources and best practices from around the world.

Reports on human development

The UNDP also engages in extensive advocacy work. The annual Human Development Report, commissioned by UNDP, focuses the global debate on key development issues, providing new measurement tools, innovative analysis and often controversial policy proposals.

It is guided by the belief that development is ultimately “a process of expanding people’s choice”, not simply a matter of national income.

The independent team of experts producing the report uses the contribution of a global network of prominent figures from academia, government and civil society who contribute data, ideas and best practices. Developing countries and their international partners use the Report to calibrate results and shape new policies.

The global analytical framework and broad focus of the Report is continued in reports on human development across nations and localities, also supported by UNDP. As of 2003, more than 420 National Human Development Reports have been published in 135 countries.

These reports are produced by national experts and intellectuals, who turn to the UNDP global network for advice and inspiration; its success demonstrates how quality research and advocacy can spark policy debates, bring pressing issues to political attention, and help countries develop their own solutions to development issues.