UNDP & Capacity Development
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Capacity Development is central to all of UNDP’s work, with a focus on developing national systems for health, to ensure that country infrastructure, systems, and procedures are enhanced.
A comprehensive capacity development strategy of enhancing national health systems, rather than the more traditional, narrower approach of training and technical assistance (TA), creates greater resilience with a focus on long-term sustainability, leveraging UNDP’s global experience.
Why does UNDP focus on Capacity Development?
UNDP contributes to countries progress on UHC, so that all people can access essential health services, without having to suffer financial hardship; recognising the importance of protecting human rights, promoting the empowerment of women and girls to achieve UHC, and providing access to safe, affordable medicines and vaccines for all.
The UNDP Strategic Plan 2018-2021, and the supporting UNDP HIV, Health and Development Strategy 2016-2021, provide the strategic direction for capacity development for resilient and sustainable systems for health.
Capacity Development through developing National Systems
In order to build resilience and to ensure greater sustainability, implementation under UNDP is delivered by national government, NGOs and private sector entities, with supporting capacity development. Greater national ownership is built by ensuring programme performance indicators are aligned to national strategies.
UNDP is not directly involved in implementation with the exception of pooled procurement where international competitive bidding through long-term agreements (LTAs) ensures value for money and a reduction in costs. However, in procurement UNDP works with national entities to ensure they have a central role in forecasting and quantification of health products, as well as using national storage and distribution channels.
UNDP’s approach to Capacity Development
It is built on a participatory process and a tried and tested methodology. The approach ensures that capacity gaps are identified and analysed and feed into prioritised capacity development plans and interventions which are implemented and monitored against performance indicators.
Principles for Capacity Development
- Respect for and promotion of human rights and gender equality, that embodies fairness, integrity, transparency, as set out in the United Nations Charter.
- Meaningful engagement of people living with HIV, key populations, other excluded groups and affected communities is essential for effective governance.
- Building national ownership, capacity and resilience for effective and sustainable responses to HIV, health and related development challenges.
- Being risk-informed to effectively cope with and recover from conflict, natural disasters and other humanitarian crises.
- Being based on evidence - UNDP is committed to continually building the evidence base for action.
- Delivery based on Value for Money (VfM), providing services of the right quality, level and cost.
UNDP support in Challenging Operating Environments
These are countries that are characterized by weak governance and poor access to health services and require dedicated programmes to rebuild capacity. UNDP works to provide integrated support for policy and programme support, as well as the strengthening and utilisation of damaged national systems for health.
The widespread country presence of UNDP globally also serves as an operational platform for UN agencies and donor partners. UNDP is currently providing support to health systems in 60 countries, totalling US$1.3 billion in signed agreements. UNDP’s management enables health partners and programmes to integrate and operate effectively and efficiently in difficult operational contexts.