UNDP Annual Report

01 Sep 2006

UNDP's 2006 Annual Report was published in July, with an introduction by Administrator Kemal Derviş.

New Horizons - The report covers the global developments of 2005 in the areas of building stronger democracies, generating equitable growth, preventing conflict and supporting long-term recovery, protecting our planet to benefit the poor, halting the spread of HIV/AIDS, empowering women to transform societies, and brokering partnerships for development. Of UNDP's practice area expenditures in 2005 (in $US millions): $1,395 was spent on democratic governance (47%), $744 on poverty reduction (25%), $374 on crisis prevention and recovery (12%), $326 on energy and environment (11%), and $161 on HIV/AIDS (5%). These areas are, of course, interrelated.

In his Forward to the Annual Report, UNDP Administrator Kemal Derviş gave the following message:

Since its creation in 1966, UNDP has been at the centre of the United Nations' operational development system, working both at the grassroots level to help build national capacities for sustainable development, and as a leader in development thinking, as demonstrated by its flagship Human Development Reports and its contributions to critical issues such as global public goods and democratic governance. In many ways, it is this important nexus connecting countries to knowledge and ideas and working with them to strengthen the capacity needed to tackle development challenges that is UNDP's hallmark.

With the advent of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the last few years have seen UNDP scale up its activities in a major way. UNDP is working at the conceptual level with a wide range of partners to advocate for the policy and institutional changes needed to fight poverty more effectively and achieve the MDGs. From elections support in Liberia and Haiti, to recovery efforts after decades of conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), to helping countries deliver services to their citizens in countries with much stronger economies but huge social challenges such as Brazil and Indonesia, UNDP also works with countries in a very practical way to help build the institutional capacity needed to promote, support and accelerate human development and sustainable growth.

Recent years have seen a significant increase in the volume of resources given to support UNDP's work. The greatest amount has come from a rise in country level non-core co-financing, an important affirmation of the confidence partners have in UNDP's role and performance. But we face the challenge of a ratio of un-earmarked regular resources to earmarked resources that is too low to support the unity of strategic management and the flexibility required to respond to the challenges and opportunities UNDP faces. Public finance theory, as well as lessons learned around the world, are clear on the need to protect public expenditure and the budgetary process from excessive earmarking; indeed, it is something international development organizations and experts always warn developing countries against. I, therefore, hope that UNDP can have the support of donors in our efforts to strengthen the integrity of our resource base.

Despite these constraints, UNDP continues to make an important contribution to achieving the MDGs, working increasingly closely with our sister organizations in the UN system. Such cooperation should not mean a lack of competition in ideas or methods, but it should mean that there is a synergy in our actions which allows each organization to take advantage of its comparative strengths, pool resources when needed, and work in partnerships, which enable developing countries to steer their own development.

2005 was an important year for the development agenda, with the international community reaffirming its commitment to the MDGs. In 2007, we will be mid-way towards the 2015 deadline. UNDP remains committed to doing its part to translate the ambitious new partnership for development launched in 2000 into better policies, stronger institutions and greater resources more effectively deployed, all with the aim of achieving concrete improvements in the lives of those who need and deserve our strong support.

TWO SUCCESS STORIES: UN VOLUNTEERS PROGRAMME AND UNIFEM

A vital role in fighting poverty

Collective endeavors to advance human development and achieve the MDGs benefit significantly from the efforts of United Nations Volunteers (UNV), a fund administered by UNDP. From helping to rebuild communities shattered by war or natural disasters to assisting in the fight against HIV/AIDS and creating new job opportunities, UNV volunteers make a distinctive contribution to national capacity building.

In 2005, UNV played a vital role in helping to organize national elections. For example, in preparation for the February 2006 elections in Haiti, UNV volunteers were stationed in the country's 10 departments to help register some 3.5 million voters. In a difficult environment marked by violence and rioting, they worked closely with Haiti's Provisional Electoral Commission, setting up counting centres and putting together voting material.

Through its expanding range of activities, UNV also helps ensure that those who are too often seen exclusively as recipients of aid are empowered to contribute to the development of their own communities. In Ethiopia, for example, UNV volunteers are supporting communities in their own development planning and implementation as well as the improved monitoring of progress towards the MDGs. In partnership with UNDP and the central government, more than 100 Ethiopian UNV volunteers are working to strengthen the capacities of regional administrations to deliver services and develop infrastructure. They have also designed systems to improve access to information, including the creation of an e-government platform providing key social and economic data, and a web-based network linking 200 high schools in the country to foster interactive communication and learning.

In 2005, more than 8,100 women and men from 168 countries served as UNV volunteers in 144 countries. The majority of UNV volunteers were from developing countries, and nearly 40 percent took up an assignment in their home country—eloquent examples of successful South-South cooperation.

For information about the UNV, please visit www.unv.org

Strengthening women's economic security

The majority of women in developing countries are in informal employment. Moreover, women generally earn less than men, have less access to quality jobs, and fewer opportunities for the education that could help them find better, safer means of income. These are some of the findings of 'Progress of the World's Women 2005: Women, Work and Poverty', published by the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM). The report makes the case for an increased focus on women's economic security and argues that more should be done to achieve appropriate legal and social protection for women in the informal economy and ensure that their work is valued and supported in policy-making.

UNIFEM promotes women's empowerment and gender equality through a network of 15 sub-regional and two national offices. During 2005, UNIFEM, which is administered by UNDP, continued its efforts to strengthen women's economic security. Through its initiative in support of women migrant workers in the Arab States and Asia, for example, the Ministry of Labour in Jordan is now evaluating its internal regulations and investigating violations against women migrant workers, monitoring labour recruitment offices and working closely with the Ministry of the Interior and the Police Department. In Indonesia, a local law on the protection of migrant workers is awaiting passage in Blitar; similarly, in Nepal, a Foreign Employment Bill has been drafted.

UNIFEM's efforts to promote budget analyses that look into how the allocation of public resources benefit women and men also showed new and promising results in 2005. In Morocco, the national budget for 2006 included, for the first time, a special annex on how gender equality priorities will be addressed. In India's state of Karnataka, elected local women leaders used training on gender-responsive budgeting to advocate successfully for a doubling of resources to reintroduce a women's health insurance scheme in the city of Mysore.

For more information about UNIFEM, please visit www.unifem.org