UNDP and the UN System

In India, the UNDP Resident Representative is also the UN Resident Coordinator (UNRC) representing the UN system in India. As the chair of the UN Country Team (a team comprising the heads of UN agencies), the Resident Coordinator provides overall leadership for the United Nations strategic initiatives and the operational framework for development in India.

The effectiveness of the UN Resident Coordinator System is central to providing ever higher quality services to programme countries to enable them to accelerate MDG progress, advance peace and stability and achieve sustainable human development. According to UNDP Administrator Helen Clark, “When we empower Resident Coordinators and UN Country Teams, streamline decision-making, and lay out clear lines of accountability, we do improve the coherence, effectiveness, and efficiency of the UN at the country level.” There are 23 UN agencies working in India. Most of them have offices in India, and a few who do not, are supporting projects.

The UNCT developed the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), India for the period of 2008 to 2012. The overarching objective of the UNDAF is to promote social, economic and political inclusion of the most disadvantaged, especially women and girls and the specific goals are in line with the national priorities of the Government of India’s 11th Five-Year Plan. UNDP was an active partner in the development of the UNDAF. It is also the lead agency for many of the thematic clusters such as Governance for implementation, monitoring and evaluation of specific outputs and outcomes under the UNDAF.

Joint efforts

As part of a joint UN initiative, UNDP supports Solution Exchange – an online platform that brings together development practitioners through Communities of Practice (CoP). As part of this initiative, UNDP leads four CoPs - Decentralisation, Microfinance, Disaster Management and Climate Change. UNDP chairs the Operations Management Team (OMT) and have been working with UN agencies to minimise operational costs by agreeing on common services.

UN Agencies in the country

APCTT (UNESCAP): The APCTT works on technology transfer services, technology capacity-building, promotion and management of innovation as well as sub-regional and regional networking.

FAO: FAO focuses on providing technical assistance in facilitating multi-lateral cooperation to reduce the risk to food security and economic growth. It offers support to the national government in strengthening the implementation of national missions and programmes aimed at reducing poverty and piloting innovative approaches with governments, NGOs and private sector in agricultural and rural development.

IFAD: IFAD’s focus is on providing access to improved livelihood opportunities, microfinance services, and the use of new technologies for tribal communities in semi-arid areas.

ILO: The overarching goal of ILO work is to promote equal opportunities for all women and men to obtain decent and productive work in conditions of freedom, equity, security and dignity.

UNAIDS: The UNAIDS in India provides technical support for implementation of the third five-year phase of the National AIDS Control Programme. It also generates strategic information to track and monitor the epidemic.

UNODC: UNODC activities in India focus on drug abuse awareness, preventing transmission of HIV, precursor chemical control, human trafficking and on new areas such as prison reforms, migrants and corruption.

UNDP: UNDP works in more than 170 countries and territories, helping to achieve the eradication of poverty, and the reduction of inequalities and exclusion. We help countries to develop policies, leadership skills, partnering abilities, institutional capabilities and build resilience in order to sustain development results. UNDP has worked in India since 1951 in almost all areas of human development, from democratic governance to poverty eradication, to sustainable energy and environmental management. UNDP’s programmes are aligned with national priorities and are reviewed and adjusted annually.  

UNESCO: UNESCO’s work in India focuses on capacity building in the areas of education, natural, social and human sciences, heritage sites, culture and strengthening communication and information capacities.

UNIC: The UNIC was the first United Nations office to be established in India and also covers Bhutan. UNIC's work includes informing media, governments, NGOs, academia and general public about the work of the United Nations.

UNFPA: UNFPA works within the SWAP on the Reproductive and Child Health programme (RCH II) within the rubric of the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM). It also provides support for addressing pre-natal sex selection and gender based violence, improving adolescent sexual and reproductive health, promoting safe sexual behaviour, mainstreaming RH and gender in disaster response, and promoting population and development strategies.

UNHCR: The UNHCR protects and assists about 11,500 refugees in India. While India is not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention or its Protocol of 1967, it has been a member of UNHCR’s Executive Committee in Geneva since 1996.

UNICEF: The India Country Programme is UNICEF’s largest country programme of cooperation. The overall goal of the Country Programme is to advance the fulfillment of the rights of all women and children in India to survival, development, participation and protection by reducing social inequalities based on gender, caste, ethnicity or region.

UNIDO: The UNIDO’s Regional Office for South Asia acts to mobilize knowledge, information, skills and technology to promote competitive industry, productive employment and sound environment.

UN Women: Advancement of women’s rights being the centre of all its efforts, UN Women focuses its activities on three strategic areas: Enhancing women’s economic security and rights; reducing prevalence of violence against women and HIV/AIDS; advancing gender justice in democratic governance, and capacity building of women elected representatives.

UNMOGIP: The UNMOGIP observes developments pertaining to the adherence of the cease-fire of December 1971 and reports these to the Secretary-General. Based in both India and Pakistan, UNMOGIP has field stations, liaison office in New Delhi, administrative and logistics HQ in Rawalpindi, and operational HQ (alternates six-monthly between Rawalpindi and Srinagar).

UNOPS: UNOPS’ India Procurement Office (IPO) has been operating from New Delhi since September 2007. It operates, currently, as a procurement agent for Government of India, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

WFP: The World Food Programme’s Country Programme (2008-12) has three major components- capacity development to improve the performance of food based schemes, improving nutritional status of women and children through fortification initiatives and support to the ICDS and improving food security by creating assets and reducing vulnerability through food for work projects.

WHO: In India, WHO provides technical assistance and collaborates with the Government of India and major stakeholders in health development efforts. It assists in policy development; capacity building and advocacy. The four main strategic objectives of WHO in India are: reducing the burden of communicable and emerging diseases; promoting maternal and child health; scaling up prevention and control of non-communicable diseases and strengthening health systems development within the national and global environment, with a focus on human resources.

UNCTAD: UNCTAD assists Indian policy makers and other stakeholders in understanding the developmental dimension of key trade issues.

UNDSS: The Department of Safety and Security is responsible for providing leadership, operational support and oversight of the security management system to enable the safest and most efficient conduct of the programmes and activities of the United Nations System. 

UNESCAP: UNESCAP is the regional development arm of the United Nations and serves as the main economic and social development centre for the UN in Asia and the Pacific. UNESCAP carries out work in the following areas: macroeconomic policy and development, statistics, sub-regional activities for development, trade and investment, transport, environment and sustainable development, information and communications technology and disaster risk reduction, social development.  

UN HABITAT: The Programme focuses on: Pro-poor Urban Water Governance, Urban Water Demand Management, Integrated Urban Environmental Sanitation, and Creation of income generation opportunities for the urban poor by involving them in the management and delivery of community-based water and sanitation services.

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