About us

About UNDP in Sri Lanka

Since 1967, as a key development partner in Sri Lanka, UNDP has been working to achieve sustainable human development in economic, social and environmental fronts.

As the development arm of the United Nations, UNDP is the leading organization working to end the injustice of poverty, inequality and climate change.Working with our broad network of experts and partners in 170 countries, we help nations to build integrated, lasting solutions for people and planet.

UNDP is proud to have worked with the people of Sri Lanka for over five decades, and is now focused on helping the country achieve sustainable human development through the Global Goals. 

What do we want to accomplish?

Starting in 2013, UNDP’s Country Programme will focus on two broad areas: Governance for Empowerment and Social Inclusion, which will include work on socio-economic recovery and development, social inclusion, rule of law and access to justice, local governance, human rights and parliamentary support, and Environmental Sustainability and Disaster Resilience, focusing on ecosystem-based natural resource management, clean energy, climate change adaptation and mitigation and disaster risk reduction.

In its new programme, UNDP will work with national and local government and the private sector, while increasing the capacities of civil society and communities enabling them to jointly plan, implement, monitor and sustain socio-economic development. UNDP will also aim to create sustainable livelihoods and protect human rights with special attention to the needs of the marginalized, including women-headed households, youth, plantation sector workers and conflict-affected communities. UNDP will continue to support the sustainable development agenda, building on the close relationship with Government agencies and others. UNDP will work at the national level on policy issues and at the local level on local economic development, the strengthening of local governance and on environmental sustainability and disaster risk reduction, building on its close relationships with Government.

What are our results?

UNDP has been engaged in Sri Lanka for over five decades and as it transits into a new programme, it builds on the results achieved so far.

In the aftermath of the conflict, UNDP helped communities establish productive livelihoods and rebuild small-scale infrastructure. It also enabled them to become more resilient by engaging in village-level planning, building cyclone and flood resistant houses and improving their capacity to respond to disasters.

UNDP has played a key role in boosting public sector performance. It supported the Government of Sri Lanka’s efforts to improve its monitoring of aid flows (as identified in the Paris agenda) through the establishment of the Integrated National Data Information System (INDIS).  The database monitors a range of key performance indicators, including various parameters based on Results-based Management (RBM) principles.   The database, housed in the Ministry of Finance, strengthens accountability of fund utilization and ultimately, the management of aid.  The INDIS system also has the capability of managing evaluations of past development projects, which includes lessons learned.  This will improve development of project proposals.  In 2011, with UNDP technical support, the Ministry of Finance and Planning made it mandatory to use RBM techniques for performance monitoring and budget preparation.

In supporting governance structures, UNDP has been building the capacities of the central and deconcentrated arms of government, as well as the locally elected bodies. These are now in a strengthened position to plan and coordinate their development activities, using multiple sources of information, and adopting best practices for building design and land use.

UNDP has built a close relationship with Government agencies and other concerned institutions on environmental issues and is well-positioned to support the national agenda for sustainable development. In improving response to disasters, UNDP has provided technical assistance and training to strengthen the National Disaster Management Center. UNDP supported over 30 government agencies involved with development, conservation and planning to conduct an Integrated Strategic Environmental Assessment for the conflict-affected Northern Province, which established environmental baselines and mapped important archaeological areas and wildlife corridors.

More recently, UNDP commissioned the National Human Development Report, 2014. Recognized as a useful input for the National Budget for 2013, the NHDR examines the social and economic disparities across Sri Lanka’s geographic regions and across different groups of the population and assesses the health, education, employment and governance sectors. It serves as an advocacy tool as it puts forth a set of policy recommendations to help overcome disparities, enabling Sri Lanka’s people to contribute to and participate in its overall socio-economic progress.

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