UNDP South Sudan
Photo: UNDP South Sudan

Involving people in decision-making

UNDP aims to expand people's opportunities in Sub-Saharan Africa to participate in decision-making processes, particularly women, youth, marginalized groups and the poor. In 2012, UNDP supported 19 largely peaceful elections across Africa, lobbied for the introduction of gender quotas in African parliaments and supported constitutional reform processes.

  • UNDP managed a $36 million electoral fund for the 2013 poll in Kenya, with efforts geared towards preventing violence. 240,000 polling staff were trained and nearly 3,000 volunteers to educate voters and spread messages of peace. In Nigeria’s 2011 elections, 2,043 female politicians and candidates were trained in how to engage in electoral processes at the national and state levels.
  • Over the past three years, UNDP supported constitution-building mechanisms in Kenya, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Uganda and Mozambique. In Zimbabwe, voters turned out in large numbers in 2013, approving a new constitution that offers a comprehensive Bill of Rights, imposes limits on presidential powers, strengthens the cabinet and parliament and introduces partial devolution of power to provincial councils.

Making public insitutions work

UNDP’s support for national and local institutions helps to build efficient and accountable public administrations, fight corruption, promote fair and accessible justice systems and ensure public services reach those who need them the most. We help to strengthen a wide range of democratic institutions, including governments, parliaments, judicial institutions and local authorities.

  • UNDP manages the $115 million South Sudan Recovery Fund which sponsors major infrastructure projects in insecure areas, helping to extend government services and mitigate conflict. New police posts, water reservoirs, radio stations and roads have reached 1.6 million people across four states.
  • The Ethiopia Human Rights Commission (EHRC) established 111 free Legal Aid Centres across the country with support from UNDP and its development partners. These Centres have provided legal assistance to more than 12,000 people since 2010.

Promoting norms and principles of governance

UNDP promotes the integration of international and regional norms and principles of democratic governance, including anti-corruption, human rights, women’s empowerment and equal opportunity for all.

  • Through the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), African countries monitor each other’s compliance with a wide range of African and international human rights treaties and standards. UNDP has supported 17 countries to conduct self-assessments and strengthened the capacity of the APRM's operations and technical unit to manage the process.
  • UNDP is assisting the African Union to develop and advance important regional principles, standards and norms through the adoption, domestication and implementation of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance. The Charter came into force in February 2012, ratified by 15 countries.

Promoting knowledge and the sharing of best governance practices

UNDP helps to facilitate the exchange governance knowledge and best practices among African decision-makers across the continent.

Related Publications
The Role of UNDP in Supporting Democratic Elections in Africa

This publication presents UNDP's unique role in supporting democratic elections in Africa. It sets out UNDP’s vision for free and fair electoral processes underpinned by rigorous strategic planning; guiding principles based on a mission for change; and practices informed by national development objectives.

Fast Facts: UNDP and Governance in Africa

In 2012, UNDP supported 19 largely peaceful elections across Africa. Our support for national and local institutions contributes to building more efficient and accountable public administrations, fighting corruption and ensuring public services reach those who need them the most.


Rule of Law and Access to Justice in Eastern and Southern Africa

Drawing on case studies from Botswana, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa and Uganda, this report outlines several achievements and challenges that affect UNDP’s Rule of Law and Access to Justice focus and approach.

View More Democratic Governance Publications