UNDP partnering with UN Volunteers


Since 1971, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has been partnering with the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme to promote human development around the world. Over the past ten years, 10,825 UN Volunteers have served with UNDP in 149 countries, supporting UNDP’s mission to "help countries to simultaneously reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development that leads to transformational change, bringing about real improvements in people’s lives". In 2018 alone, 3,726 Online Volunteers were engaged remotely with UNDP.

Hortika Joshi, national UN Volunteer Civil Engineer, served with the UNDP demolition project which handled the damage assessment of buildings to identify whether they were safe for residents to resettle in or needed to be demolished before the start of the monsoon season, Nepal. (UNV, 2015)

UN Volunteers are experienced personnel available to support UNDP’s mandate. More than 80 per cent of UN Volunteers originate from the Global South, strengthening the potential for South-South Cooperation and the transfer of knowledge within UNDP’s country programmes. UN Volunteers work within communities to provide inclusive and sustainable development assistance and promote the inclusion of youth into development. UNV is a programme administered by UNDP. 

UN Volunteers, the world over, have proven their ability to reach marginalized and vulnerable populations, encouraging people to get involved in finding solutions to the problems of their daily lives. Serving in many of UNDP’s projects around the world, they bring diverse skills and professionalism, as well as tremendous commitment and dedication. I see their work as essential in amplifying the voices of citizens, grounding the work of UNDP to their reality, and strengthening the social trust needed to advance peace and development worldwide. Volunteerism, in all of its forms, is fundamental to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and leaving no one behind. --Achim Steiner, UNDP Administrator

These dedicated individuals assist UNDP in a wide range of duties and are contributing to UNDP’s initiatives for on poverty reduction, HIV/AIDS prevention, democratic governance, social development, crisis prevention and recovery and the preservation of the environment via energy efficiency. Because UN Volunteers often work within communities, they are well-placed to support household surveys and data analysis for use in policy development and monitoring progress towards development goals. UN Volunteers, by the very nature of volunteerism’s inclusiveness, advance UNDP efforts to deliver solutions to global and national development challenges.

Past experiences demonstrate that UN Volunteers are strongly suited to deliver on UNDP’s goals to strengthen democratic institutions and deliver on the promises of human development with a strong focus on gender empowerment. UN Volunteers promote community engagement in peacebuilding, crisis response, disaster risk reduction and community resilience. They encourage environmental protection and climate change adaptation and to localize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through people-centred approaches. Today, UNDP is host to UN Volunteers in more than 100 countries worldwide. More than 50% of these volunteers are serving in Africa, supporting both peace and development in the region.

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