Source description last updated: 10 September 2020

In brief: The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), formed in 1965 and headquartered in New York, is the United Nations' global development network.

Coverage on

National Human Development Reports and other selected reports

Covered quarterly on, for countries of priorities A–E (all available countries)


“UNDP works in about 170 countries and territories, helping to achieve the eradication of poverty, and the reduction of inequalities and exclusion. We help countries to develop policies, leadership skills, partnering abilities, institutional capabilities and build resilience in order to sustain development results. […]

In September 2015, world leaders adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. UNDP is working to strengthen new frameworks for development, disaster risk reduction and climate change. We support countries' efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, or Global Goals, which will guide global development priorities through 2030. […]

In all our activities, we encourage the protection of human rights and the empowerment of women, minorities and the poorest and most vulnerable. […]

The annual Human Development Report, commissioned by UNDP, focuses the global debate on key development issues, providing new measurement tools, innovative analysis and often controversial policy proposals. The global Report's analytical framework and inclusive approach carry over into regional, national and local Human Development Reports, also supported by UNDP.” (UNDP website: About us, undated)


“UNDP relies entirely on voluntary contributions from UN Member States, multilateral organizations, private sector and other sources, in the form of unrestricted regular resources (core), and contributions earmarked for a specific theme, programme or project.” (UNDP website: Our funding, undated)

UNDP’s top government contributors in 2019 were Germany, Japan, the United States, Sweden, United Kingdom, Norway, Ukraine, Switzerland, Netherlands, Argentina (UNDP website: Top Contributors, undated). In addition, UNDP received funding from the Global Environment Facility and the Global Fund, amongst others (UNDP: Annual Report 2019, 2020, p. 37).

Scope of reporting:

Geographic focus: More than 170 countries in Africa, Asia, the Arab States, Europe and Central Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean

Thematic focus: sustainable development; democratic governance and peacebuilding; climate and disaster resilience; poverty reduction, inclusive growth and productive employment, gender equality and the empowerment of women, HIV and health, access to water and sanitation, climate change adaptation, access to sustainable energy, sustainable management of terrestrial ecosystems, oceans governance, and promotion of peaceful and inclusive societies.


The annual Human Development Report, whose “editorial autonomy is guaranteed by a special resolution of the General Assembly (A/RES/57/264)”, is written by “independent teams of experts who […] draw on a worldwide network of leaders from academia, government and civil society who contribute data, ideas, and best practices.” (UNDP website: Frequently Asked Questions, undated)

National Human Development Reports and other reports may be based on interviews with key stakeholders carried out during field visits by UNDP-commissioned researchers (see, for example, UNDP: National Human Development Report 2016: Sustainable Development Goals & Capability Based Development in Regions of Kazakhstan, 19. Mai 2017, pp. 5 und 15 and UNDP/UNAIDS: Being LGBTI in Eastern Europe: Albania Country Report; Reducing Inequalities & Exclusion and Combating Homophobia & Transphobia experienced by LGBTI people in Albania, 28 November 2017, p. 10). They may also be based on quantitative analysis of field survey data obtained from national authorities (UNDP: National Human Development Report 2018; Planning the Opportunities of a Youthful Population, 2018, p. 33). In addition, UNDP reports draw on previously published work (UNDP/UNAIDS: Being LGBTI in Eastern Europe: Albania Country Report; Reducing Inequalities & Exclusion and Combating Homophobia & Transphobia experienced by LGBTI people in Albania, 28 November 2017, p. 10).

Languages of publication:

English and other official UN languages

Further reading:

UNDP: UNDP and the UN, undated

UNDP: Human Development Index (HDI), undated

UNDP: Gender Inequality Index (GII), undated


All links accessed 10 September 2020