UNDP development support services to middle income countries

Report Cover Image
Evaluation Plan:
2018-2021, Independent Evaluation Office
Evaluation Type:
Thematic
Planned End Date:
09/2020
Completion Date:
08/2020
Status:
Completed
Management Response:
Yes
Evaluation Budget(US $):
250,000

Share

Document Type Language Size Status Downloads
Download document TOR-MIC Evaluation .pdf tor English 343.77 KB Posted 1943
Download document ANNEXES-MIC Evaluation.pdf related-document English 1098.70 KB Posted 2038
Download document Evaluation of UNDP Development Cooperation in MICs re.pdf report English 2688.06 KB Posted 2691
Download document Evaluation iIlustrated_Summary.pdf related-document English 2065.87 KB Posted 2127
Download document EB_paper_DP_2020_21_E.pdf related-document English 336.64 KB Posted 2003
Download document Video_MICs.pdf related-document English 103.43 KB Posted 1787
Title UNDP development support services to middle income countries
Atlas Project Number:
Evaluation Plan: 2018-2021, Independent Evaluation Office
Evaluation Type: Thematic
Status: Completed
Completion Date: 08/2020
Planned End Date: 09/2020
Management Response: Yes
Focus Area:
  • 1. Others
Corporate Outcome and Output (UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021)
  • 1. Organisational Output 2.3 Quality and efficient management services to support programme delivery
Evaluation Budget(US $): 250,000
Source of Funding:
Evaluation Expenditure(US $): 250,000
Joint Programme: No
Joint Evaluation: No
Evaluation Team members:
Name Title Nationality
Deqa Musa Evaluation Specialist
Thi Kieu Oanh Nguyen,Deqa Musa Evaluation Specialist,Evaluation Specialist
Amanuel Zerihoun ,Nana Gibradze Evaluation Specialist,Research Consultant
Natalia Acosta Evaluation Specialist
Tobias Schillings Research Consultant
Boris Houenou Research Consultant
Landry Fanou Research Consultant
Eduardo Gomez Rivero Research Consultant
GEF Evaluation: No
Key Stakeholders:
Countries: GLOBAL
Lessons
Findings
Recommendations
1

UNDP should revisit its positioning in MICs, including rethinking the incomebased approach. The HDI and/or other criteria should be utilized to create a more differentiated programmatic approach, which could also include new financial strategies to assist newly classified MICs.

UNDP should stimulate a broader discussion among development partners on the use of the HDI and other human development parameters for developing more differentiated programmatic approaches to support the wide diversity of MICs. Rethinking the income-based approach to programming is especially needed for recently classified MICs, whose development challenges are similar to those faced by least developed and low-income countries.  

2

UNDP should seek balanced programme portfolios in MICs, with development services support generating opportunities for strategic thought leadership aimed at enhancing the effectiveness of public policies and achievement of the SDGs. 

UNDP has a comparative advantage in having both operational and conceptual/analytical arms, which it needs to use to the greater benefit of national partners. UNDP strategic thought leadership should be an integral component of country programming. It should support Governments in their efforts to rethink the effectiveness of public policies and prioritize actions for achievement of the SDGs. UNDP should continue to make use of its flagship products such as the HDI and MPI as entry points and maintain equality and social inclusion as central themes for development dialogue and advocacy in MICs. 

Under the new United Nations resident coordinator system, with UNDP no longer responsible for United Nations country team coordination, UNDP has an excellent opportunity to redefine and promote its strategic advisory capabilities, including through SDG integration and impact finance, as well as other cross-cutting areas such as climate finance and energy efficiency. UNDP should leverage its internal corporate knowledge networks effectively to respond to the diverse needs of MICs, including the Global Policy Network and knowledge- sharing initiatives such as SparkBlue. 

3

UNDP governance work in MICs should maintain its focus on the effort to build inclusive and accountable institutions and strengthen the enabling environment for institutional reform. 

As UNDP alone does not have sufficient human and financial resources and standing to address the root causes of weak institutions, it should promote long-term change processes required for systemic transformation of accountable institutions, and seek to better leverage knowledge networks and multidisciplinary partnerships that include civil society as an essential actor with a crucial role to play in improving the quality of governance and demanding transparent, free and accountable institutions.

4

UNDP should consolidate and sustain the results achieved to date under the environment, natural resources management and climate change programmes in MICs.  


The themes of environment, natural resource management, climate change and energy will continue to be critically important in MICs as economic and population growth will continue to pressure the global community. There is a strong link between the effectiveness of programme results in the area of environment and energy and the relevance of the overall UNDP programme actions. 


Many of the issues in the environment and energy sector have their grounding in governance. UNDP should capitalize more on its implementation role in environmental funding platforms such as the GEF to engage in high-level policy discussions with Governments of MICs and leverage domestic financing in addressing cross-sectoral institutional barriers to achieve scale and sustainability on environment and energy initiatives. UNDP should leverage its innovation agenda to come up with new business approaches to fully harness partnerships with private sector and United Nations organizations that have financing instruments which UNDP could use in MICs.  

5

UNDP should establish clear corporate norms for implementing private sector initiatives in MICs, including appropriate standards for programme staff and implementation processes.  


Private sector engagement is an important aspect of UNDP partnership, particularly in MICs. UNDP is placing greater emphasis on private sector funding partnerships, but there remains considerable ambiguity as to the derived benefits for all partners and insufficient consideration of reputational risks. UNDP should strike a balance between its role as convener of SDG platforms promoting impact investments and that of implementer of corporate social initiatives of large conglomerates. 

Management Response Documents
1. Recommendation:

UNDP should revisit its positioning in MICs, including rethinking the incomebased approach. The HDI and/or other criteria should be utilized to create a more differentiated programmatic approach, which could also include new financial strategies to assist newly classified MICs.

UNDP should stimulate a broader discussion among development partners on the use of the HDI and other human development parameters for developing more differentiated programmatic approaches to support the wide diversity of MICs. Rethinking the income-based approach to programming is especially needed for recently classified MICs, whose development challenges are similar to those faced by least developed and low-income countries.  

Management Response: [Added: 2020/08/20] [Last Updated: 2020/09/23]

UNDP acknowledges that there is wide heterogeneity among the middle-income countries and that the Human Development Index and other measures beyond income might provide a more accurate categorization of countries’ development challenges and therefore of appropriate programmatic approaches. For UNDP, programming and prioritization on the ground are primarily informed by country context and demand.

Rethinking the income-based approach requires a better understanding of different alternatives, examining potential thresholds, adequate development parameters to be considered, countries’ categories and financial implications. UNDP also recognizes that such a decision implies a deep transformation in both programmatic approaches and financial operations. Therefore, this decision rests with Member States in general and the Executive Board in particular.

UNDP recognizes that the middle-income country concept is a bidimensional (income and population-based approach) categorization of a complex reality, with middle-income countries home to 75 per cent of the world’s population and representing about one third of global GDP. UNDP has pioneered several indices and options which were explored, in the context of the 2018-2022 budget, to alter the GNI-based methodology for allocation of regular resources. Those options included the proposed use of the Human Development Index, inequality or Multidimensional Poverty Index or a hybrid. These proposals resulted in extensive discussions within UNDP and with the Executive Board as part of the preparation of documentation for approval by the Board. UNDP will engage with the Executive Board for a more adequate methodology to address the diversity and needs of the huge variety of countries classified as middle-income as it prepares its 2022-2025 budget, noting the financial context in which it is operating in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hence, the volume of available regular resources is not guaranteed and may be one of the main challenges as UNDP re-engages with the Executive Board in this discussion.

 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
1.1 Undertake an analysis of programmatic, operational and financial implications of utilizing the Human Development Index and other development parameters (to be defined) as the paradigm for country categorization, providing alternative scenarios.
[Added: 2020/09/23] [Last Updated: 2022/01/21]
Bureau for Policy and Programme Support Regional bureaux 2021/09 Completed The distribution of UNDP regular programme resources to countries through the TRAC methodology is legislated by the UNDP Executive Board (EB). Allocations to programme countries are calculated based on GNI per capita and population. Application of these criteria result in the majority of TRAC-1 resources being channeled to low-income and least developed countries. At the time of the formal presentation to the Executive Board of the 2022-2025 Strategic Plan (SP) and Integrated Resources Plan and Integrated Budget (IRP/IB) to the EB, the membership was advised that a review of the present allocation methodology would be undertaken over the 2022-2025 Strategic Plan period. More specifically, and as indicated in paragraph 80 of the strategic plan, 2022-2025, during the next four years, (i.e. in the 2022-2025 period), UNDP will pilot and propose to the Executive Board a revision of the criteria for allocation of regular resources (i.e. the TRAC model) to better align with countries’ development needs. This 4-year time frame allows for the time required for formulation and consultation with the Executive Board members, including through the mid-term review process which is taking place in 2024. A change to the methodology for is ultimately subject to the decision-making of the Executive Board. An work plan for this effort will be drafted, which, noting the Strategic Plan linkages, would need to be developed in close cooperation with the Executive Office and approved by the Administrator. The workplan would include an engagement strategy for the reach-out to internal and external stakeholders, including on possible piloting approaches. History
1.2 Launch dialogue process with different stakeholders (donors, Executive Board members, other Member States, country offices, among others) to discuss implications of scenarios for middle-income countries.
[Added: 2020/09/23] [Last Updated: 2022/01/22]
Executive Office Bureau for Policy and Programme Support Regional bureaux Bureau for External Relations and Advocacy 2021/06 Completed Key Action 1.2 is interlinked with Key Action 1.1 and discussions on the resource allocation formula at the OPG and EG levels (with implications to lower middle income countries and TRAC allocation). Technical discussions among BPPS and HDRO in collaboration with DESA were initiated in 2021. History
1.3 Present options to alter the GNI-based methodology for allocation of regular resources as part of preparations for the 2022-2025 integrated resource plan and integrated budget
[Added: 2020/09/23] [Last Updated: 2022/01/29]
Bureau for Management Services, Office of Finance and Resource Management 2021/09 Completed The distribution of UNDP regular programme resources to countries through the TRAC methodology is legislated by the UNDP Executive Board (EB). Allocations to programme countries are calculated based on GNI per capita and population. Application of these criteria result in the majority of TRAC-1 resources being channeled to low-income and least developed countries. At the time of the formal presentation to the Executive Board of the 2022-2025 Strategic Plan (SP) and Integrated Resources Plan and Integrated Budget (IRP/IB) to the EB, the membership was advised that a review of the present allocation methodology would be undertaken over the 2022-2025 Strategic Plan period. More specifically, and as indicated in paragraph 80 of the strategic plan, 2022-2025, during the next four years, (i.e. in the 2022-2025 period), UNDP will pilot and propose to the Executive Board a revision of the criteria for allocation of regular resources (i.e. the TRAC model) to better align with countries’ development needs. This 4-year time frame allows for the time required for formulation and consultation with the Executive Board members, including through the mid-term review process which is taking place in 2024. A change to the methodology for is ultimately subject to the decision-making of the Executive Board. An work plan for this effort will be drafted, which, noting the Strategic Plan linkages, would need to be developed in close cooperation with the Executive Office and approved by the Administrator. The workplan would include an engagement strategy for the reach-out to internal and external stakeholders, including on possible piloting approaches History
2. Recommendation:

UNDP should seek balanced programme portfolios in MICs, with development services support generating opportunities for strategic thought leadership aimed at enhancing the effectiveness of public policies and achievement of the SDGs. 

UNDP has a comparative advantage in having both operational and conceptual/analytical arms, which it needs to use to the greater benefit of national partners. UNDP strategic thought leadership should be an integral component of country programming. It should support Governments in their efforts to rethink the effectiveness of public policies and prioritize actions for achievement of the SDGs. UNDP should continue to make use of its flagship products such as the HDI and MPI as entry points and maintain equality and social inclusion as central themes for development dialogue and advocacy in MICs. 

Under the new United Nations resident coordinator system, with UNDP no longer responsible for United Nations country team coordination, UNDP has an excellent opportunity to redefine and promote its strategic advisory capabilities, including through SDG integration and impact finance, as well as other cross-cutting areas such as climate finance and energy efficiency. UNDP should leverage its internal corporate knowledge networks effectively to respond to the diverse needs of MICs, including the Global Policy Network and knowledge- sharing initiatives such as SparkBlue. 

Management Response: [Added: 2020/08/20] [Last Updated: 2020/09/23]

UNDP acknowledges the need for a balanced portfolio in middle-income countries that combines thought leadership with high programmatic impact. Both UNDP conceptual/analytical and operational interventions on the ground are always guided by national development plans and government-specific demands, supported by context analysis and theories of change and are in alignment with the Strategic Plan as articulated in country programme documents.

UNDP has realigned its policy function into a Global Policy Network to enable the mobilization of cross-practice, cross-bureau and multidisciplinary expertise globally across headquarters, regional hubs and country offices to provide more effective integrated responses to the complex development challenges countries face in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and responding to crisis in an integrated and coherent manner. This integrated approach is already being put in practice in the context of COVID-19, with the rapid deployment of high-level expert advisers and training on the use of analytical tools to complement the expertise of UNDP country offices to fulfil the lead technical role on the socioeconomic pillar of the United Nations response to the pandemic.

UNDP will continue to elevate its support to national Governments in implementing policies to ensure the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, together with other United Nations system entities. UNDP will enhance its thought leadership by better harnessing its flagship products and tools and methodologies and developing specific products for evidence-based policymaking, in line with national priorities and context. Through its Finance Sector Hub, UNDP will continue to support middle-income countries in scoping sources of fiscal space, protecting people through social assistance and insurance systems, including through the work of Tax Inspectors Without Borders (a joint OECD-UNDP initiative) and integrated national financing frameworks.

 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
2.1 Advocate and roll out corporate flagship products and solutions such as the Human Development Index and Multidimensional Poverty Index, among others, to advance equality and social inclusion as central themes for development dialogue and agendas in middle-income countries.
[Added: 2020/09/23] [Last Updated: 2022/01/21]
Bureau for Policy and Programme Support Regional bureaux Country offices 2021/12 Completed Flagship reports, thought leadership products and evidenced-based solutions have been consistently launched at the global, regional and country levels (see attached list). Their roll-out were supported by high-level advocacy events and policy dialogues (see attached list) that paved the way for further engagements with policy makers in most regions( for instance in LAC, Arab States and Asia-Pacific) for evidenced-based strategic investments to advance equality and social inclusion. History
2.2 Tailor and build on new and existing corporate solutions to support integration and advancement of the Sustainable Development Goals for reduction of poverty and inequalities, leveraging expertise across the United Nations system and capitalizing on innovations from the network of country Accelerator Labs.
[Added: 2020/09/23] [Last Updated: 2021/05/17]
Bureau for Policy and Programme Support Regional bureaux Country offices and Accelerator Labs 2020/12 Completed Please see enclosed update on Kay Action 2.2 History
2.3 Launch the UNDP Sustainable Development Goal finance web platform, a place where all tools and experts for both public and private financing will be available; encourage and support country offices to use these tools and products effectively to build and strengthen an integrated approach to achieving the Goals in middle-income countries.
[Added: 2020/09/23] [Last Updated: 2022/01/22]
Bureau for Policy and Programme Support Regional bureaux Country offices and Accelerator Labs 2021/12 Completed UNDP launched the SDG Investor Platform in April 2021 at the SDG Investment Fair in partnership with the GISD. UNDP continued to identify SDG-aligned investment opportunities and facilitate the market information to investors: SDG Investor Maps are completed in 16 countries with more than 250 investment opportunity areas identified which are linked to countries NDCs, enabling private sector investment on country climate priorities as well. The methodology has been integrated in the INFFs. In 2021, interest in integrated financing for the SDGs has grown exponentially, as more than 70 countries around the world are now taking the steps to develop and implement INFFs, the process led by UNDP together with the EU, UNDESA, UNDCO collaboration. Key progress includes the establishment of the Technical Assistance Facility, INFF Knowledge Platform, and INFF dashboard. ‘ SDG Investor Platform: https://sdginvestorplatform.undp.org/ INFF Knowledge Platform: https://inff.org/ INFF Dashboard: https://inff.org/inff-dashboard History
3. Recommendation:

UNDP governance work in MICs should maintain its focus on the effort to build inclusive and accountable institutions and strengthen the enabling environment for institutional reform. 

As UNDP alone does not have sufficient human and financial resources and standing to address the root causes of weak institutions, it should promote long-term change processes required for systemic transformation of accountable institutions, and seek to better leverage knowledge networks and multidisciplinary partnerships that include civil society as an essential actor with a crucial role to play in improving the quality of governance and demanding transparent, free and accountable institutions.

Management Response: [Added: 2020/08/20] [Last Updated: 2020/09/23]

In many middle-income country contexts, concerns with inequality, injustice and corruption have heightened tensions and highlighted the need for a new rights-based social contract. The COVID-19 crisis may serve to reinforce disparities, magnify tensions and worsen mistrust in governance systems. Weak State institutions may be unable to respond effectively to the pandemic, further reducing trust in governance systems. On the other hand, in some contexts, the crisis also provides opportunities to discuss the measures needed for transformation, including through leveraging the power of digital technologies to support accountable, effective and inclusive governance.

UNDP work on governance recognizes that resilience is manifest in the ability of countries to anticipate and prepare for shocks. This in turn depends on the technical capacities of organizations and institutions at the front lines of the development and crisis response to sustain core government functions, the overall functioning of national and subnational systems, and inclusive, trusted governance structures, based on rule of law, human rights and participation, as envisioned in Sustainable Development Goal 16. The UNDP offer 2.0, “Beyond Recovery: Towards 2030”, which promotes a forward-looking approach to COVID-19 recovery, identifies governance and support to the social contract as one of the four UNDP priority areas in the coming period. The UNDP governance offer in middle-income countries will maintain its focus on: (a) supporting national and local government institutions to uphold rule of law and human rights; (b) strengthening equitable public service delivery, including through strengthening subnational institutions, rights-based advocacy networks and people-centred e-government; (c) strengthening transparency, accountability and effectiveness; (d) promoting social cohesion and peaceful societies, and breaking with drivers of discrimination and bias; and (e) strengthening social capital – the habits, norms and systems for voice, inclusion and solidarity – and engagement with civil society, including through digital governance. These approaches will support long-term change, including creating the enabling environment required for systemic transformation.

Given the challenges of addressing root causes, as well as the lack of human and financial resources, partnerships, including with civil society, networks and the private sector at all levels will indeed be critical. Partnerships around Sustainable Development Goal 16 will be particularly important in this regard.

 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
3.1 With relevant United Nations entities and partners, support Governments of middle-income countries to prioritize accountability and transparency as integral to national COVID-19 response and recovery efforts by enhancing systems and institutions for checks and balances and integrating anti-corruption measures across the five pillars of the United Nations framework for the immediate socioeconomic response to COVID-19.
[Added: 2020/09/23] [Last Updated: 2021/10/28]
Bureau for Policy and Programme Support Regional bureaux 2021/08 Completed 1. 'Transparency, Accountability and Anti-Corruption Service Offer for COVID-19 Response and Recovery' This guidance note outlines UNDP’s service offer to countries in COVID-19 response and recovery, including the Next Generation of Anti-Corruption programming priorities to build forward better from the pandemic: strengthening the role of oversight, human rights and the rule of law institu¬tions for sustainable development; promoting social accountability and the role of civil society; strengthening business integrity; and harnessing the benefits of technology and innovation in enhancing transparency and openness. 2.' Integrating Transparency, Accountability and Anti-Corruption in Socio-Economic Impact Analyses' This guidance note was developed to provide a practical methodology, including checklist questions, on how to integrate transparency, accountability and anti-corruption in social and economic needs assessment and response in the context of COVID-19. History
3.2 Draw on existing and new partnerships to deliver advisory support and tools on digital governance in middle-income countries, with a focus on enhancing knowledge, building capacities for a renewed public sector, shaping policy frameworks for responsive government and inclusive societies in the digital age, and reduction of digital and other inequalities.
[Added: 2020/09/23] [Last Updated: 2022/01/24]
Bureau for Policy and Programme Support 2021/12 Completed In 2021, UNDP delivered specific technical assistances to National and sub-national governments and Country Offices on how to plan transformation agendas and deploy technology solutions. This included conducting Digital Readiness Assessments (DRA) in 6 countries, identifying concrete weaknesses and opportunities in the digital transformation path of counties, including improvements to existing digital services, regulatory and institutional frameworks, and how to leverage digital to improve economic development. Toward redefining the approach on smart cities, UNDP Singapore Policy Centre launched the Handbook on Smart Urban Innovations to showcase the importance of local resources and knowledge to innovate. The Handbook is a tool for city leaders to establish partnerships with local actors, tap into available resources in their cities and promote concrete solutions to urban challenges. With regard to capacity building, the Centre has supported the upskilling of development practitioners on smart cities and digitalisation through several events providing training on the foundations of digitalisation, smart cities and govtech. Through identifying, prototyping, and testing 7 innovative agri-food solutions in collaboration with Country Offices, the Centre was able to forge multistakeholder partnerships at the national level to help solve complex challenges in the sector. History
3.3 Develop adaptive learning programmes and tools to assist middle-income countries to localize the Sustainable Development Goals through integrated, participatory local planning and delivery, supporting the partnerships required for local-level transformation to achieve the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.
[Added: 2020/09/23] [Last Updated: 2022/02/01]
Bureau for Policy and Programme Support 2021/12 Completed Adaptive programming is based on the insight that development is not linear or straightforward, but rather complex, uncertain and context-specific. This calls for national and international development actors to work differently, in ways that are based on dynamic management of portfolios for which UNDP has developed a Portfolio Sensemaking and Acceleration Protocol. The protocol has not only been used by many UNDP offices to make sense of their own work but have also been introduced to some governments as a tool to help them understand and adapt their own responses to complex issues. For instance, in Malawi the CO have designed a new governance and public sector offer for govt and the national planning commission then convened donors (e.g. World Bank) for sensemaking as a way to dynamic manage a portfolio. Similarly, in Burundi the CO has begun to introduce parts of the methodology in its policy development support to the ministry for community development, based on interest from the Director General. In Cambodia and Zimbabwe, the governments have used the sensemaking protocol. The protocol will continue to be applied in additional MICs in 2022. History
4. Recommendation:

UNDP should consolidate and sustain the results achieved to date under the environment, natural resources management and climate change programmes in MICs.  


The themes of environment, natural resource management, climate change and energy will continue to be critically important in MICs as economic and population growth will continue to pressure the global community. There is a strong link between the effectiveness of programme results in the area of environment and energy and the relevance of the overall UNDP programme actions. 


Many of the issues in the environment and energy sector have their grounding in governance. UNDP should capitalize more on its implementation role in environmental funding platforms such as the GEF to engage in high-level policy discussions with Governments of MICs and leverage domestic financing in addressing cross-sectoral institutional barriers to achieve scale and sustainability on environment and energy initiatives. UNDP should leverage its innovation agenda to come up with new business approaches to fully harness partnerships with private sector and United Nations organizations that have financing instruments which UNDP could use in MICs.  

Management Response: [Added: 2020/08/20] [Last Updated: 2020/09/23]

UNDP works closely with Governments in middle-income countries to address their nature, climate and energy priorities in full alignment with their national development strategies. In this respect, UNDP supports the recommendation to leverage domestic and other financing to achieve scale in environment and energy initiatives with seed funding from vertical funds and in partnership with the private sector and other United Nations organizations. To this end, UNDP will continue to strengthen its work in:

  • Leveraging vertical funds to unlock parallel co-financing (public and private) to advance the Sustainable Development Goals; building capacities of State and non-State actors, at national, subnational and local levels, to integrate climate risks into policy/planning/budgeting/decision-making, including with private sector entities.
  • Responding to country requests with top-notch, cutting-edge technical know-how and knowledge to design interventions that not only meet the requirements and objectives of different funds, but also to crowd in partners and other sources of private finance for greater development impacts.
  • Exploring ways of using new innovative financial instruments such as innovation challenge awards and guarantees for catalysing private sector capital.
  • Assisting countries in identifying innovative solutions, by leveraging the UNDP Global Policy Network and its thought leadership.
  • Encouraging cross-cutting and cross-thematic programming to provide integrated solutions that will result in multiplier and dual development and environmental/climate benefits at scale, leaving no one behind.
  • Aligning solutions with those of other United Nations organizations, multilateral development banks, IFIs, development finance institutions and public domestic resources to bring about multiplier effects of development impacts.

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
4.1 Support the development of scaled-up environment and energy programmes in partnership with the private sector in at least three middle-income countries
[Added: 2020/09/23] [Last Updated: 2022/05/31]
Bureau for Policy and Programme Support Regional bureaux Country offices 2022/03 Completed See previous comments. History
4.2 Support the development of scaled-up environment and energy programmes in partnership with other United Nations agencies in at least three middle-income countries.
[Added: 2020/09/23] [Last Updated: 2022/05/31]
Bureau for Policy and Programme Support Regional bureaux Country offices 2022/03 Completed Please see comments for Key Action 4.1 History
4.3 Deliver a COVID-2019 2.0 offer that tackles the challenges and meets the needs and aspirations of middle-income countries in a green recovery, including a focus on green jobs and livelihoods.
[Added: 2020/09/23] [Last Updated: 2021/03/24]
Bureau for Policy and Programme Support Regional bureaux Country offices 2020/12 Completed UNDP’s 2.0 offer to help tackle the impacts of Covid-19 ‘Beyond Recovery: Towards 2030’ (https://www.undp.org/content/dam/undp/library/km-qap/undp-COVID-19_UNDP_2.0_Offer.pdf) was launched in June 2020. Within this framework, UNDP has identified three shifting trends, or “tipping points”, which will underpin and reshape its development support to middle-income countries: a strong shift in social expectations and trust indicating a deeper move towards rule of law, human rights and right-based offers; a shift towards accelerated energy transitions (likely to involve repurposing fossil fuel subsidies and introducing carbon pricing) and nature-based solutions; and tackling the likely debt overhang and fiscal stress post Covid-19, including scoping sources of fiscal space, protecting the poorest and most vulnerable groups, reducing inequalities, expanding social assistance and insurance systems, and restoring livelihoods and supporting micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. History
5. Recommendation:

UNDP should establish clear corporate norms for implementing private sector initiatives in MICs, including appropriate standards for programme staff and implementation processes.  


Private sector engagement is an important aspect of UNDP partnership, particularly in MICs. UNDP is placing greater emphasis on private sector funding partnerships, but there remains considerable ambiguity as to the derived benefits for all partners and insufficient consideration of reputational risks. UNDP should strike a balance between its role as convener of SDG platforms promoting impact investments and that of implementer of corporate social initiatives of large conglomerates. 

Management Response: [Added: 2020/08/20] [Last Updated: 2020/09/23]

The UNDP private sector strategy seeks, in partnership with Governments, civil society and businesses, to make markets work for the Sustainable Development Goals, with a strong emphasis on inclusion of poor and marginalized communities. This strategy builds upon the long-standing adoption by UNDP of a market system approach, which is also the main basis for the work on private sector development and partnerships championed by a number of other international agencies. It is deploying a suite of service offers, in collaboration with other United Nations and non-resident agencies in areas such as sustainable value chains and inclusive business, gender equality in markets, digital finance and closing the energy gap. These are tailored to the specific country contexts in middle-income countries. Furthermore, several relevant initiatives that align business activities with the Sustainable Development Goals, in the context of COVID-19 include: 

  • The recent UNDP focus in developing innovative global partnerships that do not necessarily provide direct financial contributions to UNDP (e.g., Microsoft, GSMA, Samsung, WhatsApp, etc.);
  • UNDP programme engagement with the private sector in middle-income countries (e.g., the Philippines, Turkey) focuses on multi-stakeholder platforms like the Business Call to Action to promote inclusive business impact and reporting; and the UNDP-Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Connecting Business Initiative on disaster response;
  • “SDG Impact” activities in middle-income countries such as the investor maps, in-depth country-level reports on investment opportunities to enable the Goals in targeted markets and sectors (e.g., Brazil);
  • The Gender Equality Seal for Public and Private Organizations has aimed to promote gender equality and women's empowerment in the business world. Since 2009, it has led to the creation of 16 national certification programmes, with more than 600 diverse companies in the fields of energy, telecommunications, service, logistics and tourism in Latin America.

 

UNDP is committed to risk-informed decision-making for private sector partnerships and has a dedicated, rigorous policy for due diligence with regard to such partnerships in its programme and operations policies and procedures. All private sector partnerships are informed by a risk assessment of the proposed partner and expected outcomes, which guides senior management in its decision-making, and are also supported as relevant by risk management and communication plans.

 

Key Actions:

Key Action Responsible DueDate Status Comments Documents
5.1 In alignment with the UNDP private sector strategy, roll out a package of services to support small and medium-sized enterprises in middle-income countries as part of the COVID-19 response
[Added: 2020/09/23] [Last Updated: 2021/03/19]
UNDP Finance Sector Hub Istanbul International Center for Private Sector in Development 2021/01 Completed In close collaboration between the Crisis Bureau and the Finance Sector Hub (FSH)/IICPSD, a joint working group was initiated in order to support MSMEs in a holistic approach, being informed by The Socio-Economic Impact Assessments (SEIAs) that have been conducted in more than 20 countries by the Crisis bureau, in order to assess the needs of MSMEs in the wake of COVID-19. Together with United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, FSH hosts the Connecting Business initiative (CBi), which helps to set up and strengthen private sector networks to establish strategic alliances to support the government and the humanitarian, development, and peace actors. During 2020, the 11 CBi Member Networks consisting of 3,600 core members reached more than 17 million people through COVID-19 and other crisis response activities. Together with their partners, they raised US$45 million. To make MSMEs more resilient to risks including digital disruption and to ensure their economic participation, the COVID-19 Private Sector Global Facility has been founded in collaboration between UN Global Compact and ICC as a public-private partnership initiative, with a key focus on assisting MSMEs to accelerate their sustainable digital transformation, implementing sustainable e-commerce capabilities, and integrating MSMEs into sustainable procurement, responsible supply chains and delivery of essential services, to enhance digital resilience of MSMEs in the global south, dedicated to support youth and women-owned enterprises. The #InMotionDigital initiative in Ecuador, UNDP has assisted MSMEs in their COVID-19 early-stage digital journey including digital marketing, payment methods, and delivery processes. Furthermore, Business Call to Action initiative aims to accelerate progress towards the SDGs by challenging companies to develop inclusive business models that engage people at the base of the economic pyramid as consumers, producers, suppliers, distributors of goods and services and employees. Lastly, FSH is assisting enterprises from start-ups to MSMEs align their business models with the SDGs through the Impact Venture Accelerators across a variety of thematic focus areas including climate, circular economy, Health-tech, fintech, and gender & youth. These impact accelerators are being run in 46 countries (including Indonesia, Bosnia Herzegovina, Turkey, Thailand, and others) in collaboration with different stakeholders such as Draper Venture Network and the Asian Development Bank. History
5.2 Support the deployment of the “SDG Impact” platform tools, products and services to middle-income countries, and leverage innovative financing and partnership solutions to mobilize private capital for the implementation of the Goals.
[Added: 2020/09/23] [Last Updated: 2022/01/22]
UNDP Finance Sector Hub 2021/12 Completed Targeting greater impact integrity and assurance of practice, four sets of the SDG Impact Standards have been finalized and are available on the website: the SDG Impact Standards for Enterprises, Bond Issuers and Private Equity Funds and the OECD/UNDP Impact Standards for Financing Sustainable Development. The standards have been used in the issuances of nearly $5b of SDG-aligned bonds. Additional resources have also been created: About the SDG Impact Standards?; self-assessment tools to help organizations engage with the Standards, map their practices against the practice indicators and prioritize action; draft guidance for the SDG Impact Standards for Enterprises which is designed to ensure more consistent understanding and application of the same.? The document will remain in draft while the assurance framework is piloted in the first half of 2022.? Similar guidance documents will be produced for the Bond Issuer and Private Equity Fund Standards in early 2022. Standards: https://sdgimpact.undp.org/practice-standards.html OECD/UNDP Impact Standards: https://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/development/oecd-undp-impact-standards-for-financing-sustainable-development_744f982e-en;jsessionid=w9ZTBZEHf2L2wV4031W5uQFH.ip-10-240-5-115 History
5.3 Finalize update of the UNDP policy, guidance and tools for private sector due diligence and provide implementation support for the updated policy to build staff capacities for risk-informed approaches for private sector engagement.
[Added: 2020/09/23] [Last Updated: 2022/01/21]
Bureau for Policy and Programme Support 2021/12 Completed BPPS/Effectiveness Group with support of the Finance Sector Hub, in December 2021 launched dedicated guidance on Risk Management relating to Private Sector Engagement. The guidance contains case studies, tools, resources and training material and constitutes part of the updated Private Sector Resource Mobilization (PSRM) Toolkit, In 2021 a series of trainings and webinars on UNDP Policy for Due Diligence and Partnerships with the Private Sector were conducted with all regional Bureaus. BPPS facilitated a series of consultations on zero draft of “UNDP Policy for Due Diligence and Partnerships with the Private Sector” in 2019 (August 14-October 30) with BERA, RBx, Select COs, CB and BMS. The policy updated thereafter was submitted to the Corporate Risk Committee in January 2020 informing updated risk tolerance thresholds, including engagement with Oil and Gas sector. From March 16th - May 13th, 2020 an organization wide consultation engaging 17 business units, including several COs, CBx, RBx, UNCDF, UNV, MPTFO resulted in an updated policy maintaining beverages, alcohol and fast food sector as high risk. The updated version was submitted to OPG for review in January 2021. The policy was revised in response to OPG comments and resubmitted for approval in May 2021. Final approval since then is pending. History

Latest Evaluations

Contact us

1 UN Plaza
DC1-20th Floor
New York, NY 10017
Tel. +1 646 781 4200
Fax. +1 646 781 4213
erc.support@undp.org