United Nations Development Group

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United Nations Development Group
United Nations Development Group
Emblem of the United Nations.svg
Abbreviation UNDG
Formation 1997
Type Group
Legal status Active
Helen Clark
Parent organization
Website www.undg.org

The United Nations Development Group (UNDG) is a consortium of United Nations agencies, created by the Secretary-General of the United Nations in 1997 to improve the effectiveness of UN development activities at the country level.

Its strategic priorities are to respond to the Triennial comprehensive policy review (TCPR) - which became in 2008 the Quadrennial comprehensive policy review (QCPR) - and global development priorities, as well as to ensure the UN development system becomes more internally focused and coherent. The UNDG strategic priorities give direction to UNDG members efforts at the global, regional and country level to facilitate a step change in the quality and impact of UN support at the country level.[1] Currently, the UNDG is one of the main UN actors involved in the development of the Post-2015 Development Agenda.[2]

UNDG brings together 32 UN agencies and groups, plus five observers working on various development issues. These agencies include United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), World Health Organization (WHO), International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Telecommunications Union.[3]


By 1997, there were calls within the United Nations to draw all UN agencies working on development issues together; for the many UN Development Programmes, Funds, and Specialised Agencies were encroaching upon each other's activities. An initial proposal was to merge the UNICEF, the World Food Programme and the UNFPA into the UNDP. Finally, then Secretary General Kofi Annan worked to form the UNDG and won praise from then UNDP Administrator James Speth.

Members of the UNDG[3][edit]


Leadership and organization[edit]


The United Nations Economic and Social Council and the United Nations General Assembly provide oversight and mandates for the UNDG.[4][5] The UNDG is overseen by the Economic and Financial Committee (Second Committee) of the General Assembly. The UNDG has provided reports such as the Comprehensive statistical analysis of the financing of operational activities for development of the UN system for 2006 and the Comprehensive statistical analysis of the financing of operational activities for development of the UN system for 2007 to the General Assembly.[6]

The UNDG's chairperson is the UNDP's Administrator. Since its inception, the following have been the Chair of the UNDG:[7]

Executive Committee[edit]

The Executive Committee comprises the four founding agencies—the UNDP, the UNFPA, the UNICEF and the WFP (The High Commissioner for Human Rights is an Ex-Officio member of the Committee).[8]

UNDG Advisory Group[edit]

Under Kemal Derviş' leadership, an "Advisory Group", which provides the UNDG Chair with advice and guidance on managing the operational dimensions of the UNDG and the Resident Coordinator System, was established.[4][9] In 2009, the non-rotational members of the advisory group were: the FAO, ILO, UNDP, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNHCR, WFP, WHO and UNIDO. The rotational members (for a period of one year, as of 1 August 2009) were: the UNAIDS, DESA and the Economic Commission for Europe (representing all five Regional Commissions).[10]


Development Coordination Office[edit]

The UN Development Operations Coordination Office (DOCO) is a key component within the UNDG, promoting social and economic progress by providing support. It was key part of UNDG's formation in 1997, uniting the UN system and improve the quality of its development assistance. Coordination leads to more strategic UN support for national plans and priorities, makes operations more efficient, reduces transaction costs for governments, and ultimately helps people attain the Millennium Development Goals and other internationally agreed development objectives.[11]

For more about DOCO's work, see its official page.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]