The role of UNDP in relation to critical enablers

The role of UNDP in relation to critical enablers

As an UN agency and central to its mission, UNDP is committed to reducing inequality and promoting inclusion. UNDP works with partners to tackle stigma and discrimination and remove punitive laws to enable universal access to health and social services. Through its programs UNDP works to address current and future challenges across the three pillars of the UN’s work: peace and security, development, and human rights. Within these pillars UNDP has a specific focus on providing support around the globe in the area of Gender Equality, Human Rights and Legal Environments which interface with global health and other development sectors. To this end, UNDP through its headquarters, regional and country level offices:

  • Generates evidence for law reform through LEAs, Research and Collaborative Advocacy
  • Convenes or co-convenes interagency working groups on key populations
  • Develops, documents and disseminates policy papers, guidance notes and best practice

For further information please refer to UNDP’s HIV, Health and Development Strategy 2016-2021: Connecting the Dots. The strategy elaborates UNDP’s work on HIV and health in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (2030 Agenda).


At the global level UNDP provides leadership to the Global Commission on HIV and the Law convening on behalf of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS).  During 2010-2012, the Global Commission was established and undertook extensive research, consultation, analysis and deliberation to examine links between legal environments and HIV responses in respect to 6 focus areas of:

  • HIV-related discrimination
  • Criminalization of HIV transmission, exposure and non-disclosure of HIV status
  • Risk and stigma experienced by key populations
  • Gender-based violence and disempowerment of women
  • Children and youth
  • Intellectual property law and access to treatment

Since the release of the Commission’s comprehensive review and report in July 2012 the Commission has completed its work, UNDP now supports the follow up and stock taking phase. The Commission’s final report – HIV and the Law: Risks, Rights and Health and the comprehensive database of resources found on the Global Commission on HIV and the Law website are valuable resources.

UNDP strategically leads the implementation of the Global Commission’s report through the provision of country level Technical Assistance in facilitating and supporting Legal Environment Assessments and National Dialogues on HIV and the Law.

Legal Environment Assessments are national legal and policy frameworks that aim to identify and examine all of the important legal and human rights issues affecting a country.

National Dialogues on HIV and the Law are national stakeholder meetings where government, civil society and other partners share insights and experiences on HIV, law and human rights. The meetings create an environment in which those who influence, write and enforce laws, and those whose lives who are impacted by specific laws engage in a constructive dialogue with the aim of addressing HIV-related human rights issues. A few examples include the First National Symposium on HIV, Law and Human Rights in Kenya and the United States National Dialogue on the Criminalization of HIV Transition, Exposure and Non-disclosure: The Role of States and the Federal Government


Gender equality is a core component of UNDP’s work on HIV, health and development. It is central to the three pillars of UNDP’s ‘Strategic Plan: 2014–17’: sustainable development pathways, inclusive and effective democratic governance, and resilience-building. Furthermore, it underscores the reduction of inequalities and exclusion as central to sustainable human development as informed by outcomes of inclusive growth and universal access to basic services. This focus on gender equality is also aligned with UNDP’s role in the Joint UN Programme on AIDS, in which together with UNFPA and UN Women, UNDP jointly convenes inter-agency efforts to meet the HIV-related needs of women and girls and address gender-based violence.

Other gender-related initiatives in which UNDP provides a leadership role include:

The Global Gender and Economic Policy Management Initiative (GEPMI) which offers policy advisory support and provision of capacity strengthening activities. The initiative includes:

  • A three-week course on Gender-Responsive Economic Policy Management
  • GEPMI- Tailored Country level advisory services and capacity development workshops
  • A Master’s of Arts in Gender-Aware Economics

UNite to End Violence Against Women Campaign is an advocacy campaign that calls on governments, civil society, women’s organizations, men, young people, private sector, the media and the entire UN system to join forces in the goal of ending violence against women through:

  • Adoption and enforcement of national laws that address and punish violence against women and girls
  • Adoption and implementation of multi-sectoral national action plans that emphasize prevention
  • Data collection and analysis systems on the prevalence of violence against women and girls
  • National and/or local campaigns and the engagement of civil society
  • Systematic efforts to address sexual violence in conflict situations, war and humanitarian disasters