Democratic governance

Photo: UNDP Zimbabwe

In depth

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 strengthen a wide range of democratic institutions, including governments, parliaments, judicial institutions and local authorities.

Because development is about expanding people’s choices and meeting their needs and aspirations, we help to maximize the participation of women and men in making decisions. UNDP supports elections across sub-Saharan Africa, reaches out to governments for the introduction of gender quotas in parliaments and supports constitutional reform processes that empower local communities and advance human rights.

Recognizing that gender equality, centered in human rights, is both a development goal on its own and vital to accelerating sustainable development, we advocate for women’s and girls’ equal rights, combat discriminatory practices and challenge the roles and stereotypes that affect inequalities and exclusion.

Globalization, demographic growth and rapid social change bring both challenges and opportunities for managing development. We help governments create partnerships with the private sector, encouraging entrepreneurship among young people, building new business models and finding innovative ways of stimulating change among communities. UNDP also works with governments and local institutions to reach marginalized populations in complex urban settings, improve the delivery of local services and create more effective early warning systems.

Without both responsive and inclusive state institutions and a vibrant civil society, there is unlikely to be sustained peace nor a basis for long-term development. UNDP works to build social cohesion in countries experiencing conflict, bringing together different groups so they can work out long-term solutions for peace. We also help to shape a more robust social contract, by increasing interactions between citizens and representatives from local and national institutions.

In crisis contexts, UNDP helps governments to rapidly restore justice and security services. In the long-term, this includes implementing measures for justice and security reform, including through training for justice sector professionals, such as judges and prosecutors, while helping citizens to understand their rights and access the justice system. UNDP supports mobile courts which resolve disputes in remote or rural communities that are often excluded from the traditional justice system.

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