UNDP Funding Windows 2018 Annual Report

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UNDP’s Funding Windows pool resources from diverse funding partners to make carefully selected, catalytic investments that accelerate implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The flexibility of the four windows allows UNDP to pilot and scale up interventions that respond to national priorities and emerging issues, and that advance progress in ending poverty, and promoting resilient, sustainable and risk-informed development.


As this report demonstrates, the Funding Windows made instrumental contributions in countries around the world in 2018. There was consistent emphasis on investing where needs are greatest. This included the least developed countries, particularly in Africa, as well as States affected by crisis and fragility, and lagging regions within middle-income countries with pockets of poverty and high levels of vulnerability.


Every Funding Window investment adheres to this commitment, and is aimed at eradicating poverty, ending discrimination and exclusion, and reducing inequalities and vulnerabilities. Initiatives in 2018 empowered women and youth, marginalized communities and people with disabilities, among others.

In Mexico, localities most affected by the 2017 earthquakes saw housing and business assets restored, including traditional ovens used by indigenous women, based on construction techniques that will lower future risks. Micro-grants for six civil society groups active on different types of disabilities in Rwanda empowered the organizations as well as the people they serve, such as through establishing cooperatives for the deaf. UNDP piloted new ways to improve essential public services in Karakalpakstan, one of the poorest regions of Uzbekistan.

Funding Window support meant that Benin was able to define strategies to respond to the priorities of people in some of the country’s poorest regions, where poverty rates exceed 50 percent. Brazil’s interior region of Piauí began a drive to accelerate progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals by acting on gender equality priorities, such as through policies to reduce women’s burden of unpaid domestic care work.

Communities in Iraq formed local peace committees with the active engagement of women to resolve conflicts and promote reconciliation; communities in Syria are restoring social infrastructure vital to basic services, livelihoods and social cohesion with special attention to women’s rights and gender quality. Preparatory work for climate mitigation actions in Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Vanuatu included feasibility studies for solar mini-grids that could increase electricity access in rural communities.


Of this amount, over $32 million was disbursed to over 70 countries. 40 percent of funds went to the least developed countries. Detailed financial information is provided at the end of this report.
In line with UNDP corporate guidelines, the Funding Windows target 15 percent of resources for activities that empower women and promote gender equality. In 2018, 14 percent of resources allocated to countries went to projects where gender equality was the primary objective (project assessed as ‘GEN3’ on a scale of 1-3). When combined with projects assessed as ‘GEN2’ (projects with a significant, consistent focus on gender equality), this figure reaches 97 percent. As the Funding Windows grow, UNDP will continue to raise the bar for delivering results for women and girls, building on an upward trend in funding commitments over the past three years.

In an increasing number of countries, innovations and new partnerships generated additional resources, including from domestic sources. In Guinea Bissau, UNDP leveraged a basket of funds from international donors for election preparations, complemented, for the first time, by domestic electoral financing. The process enabled the registration of over 760,000 voters and the acquisition of 400 biometric voter registration kits. In the Philippines, initial experiences during recovery from the Marawi conflict in the Bangsamoro region generated strong support for developing Islamic finance as a key dimension of greater financial inclusion.

In pooling funds and expertise, the Funding Windows play a catalytic role in making inroads into persistent development challenges. Funds have gone towards developing a blue economy accelerator lab to define new models of development in local communities in the Caribbean. They have contributed to mobilizing youth ‘techpreneurs’ in Somalia who are incubating technological solutions to foster development and peace.


All Funding Window investments are made in line with UNDP’s Strategic Plan 2018-2021, which sets the direction for a ‘Next Generation’ UNDP, optimized to meet the challenges of the 2030 Agenda. The Strategic Plan supports three outcomes and related development outputs aimed at eradicating poverty, accelerating structural transformation for sustainable development, and building resilience to shocks and crises.

The Strategic Plan recognizes that transformative change calls for an integrated, multifaceted approach to development, and offers six Signature Solutions that can be closely tailored to diverse development contexts. The Funding Windows accordingly support measures so that people who move out of poverty do not slide back; governance is effective, accountable and inclusive; societies are more resilient through better prevention and recovery; the planet is more sustainable due to the adoption of nature-based solutions; clean and affordable energy is more accessible, and energy gaps are closed; and there is greater gender equality and empowerment of women and girls.

In 2018, Funding Window investments were clustered in several areas critical to the realization of the Plan as a whole. These included strengthening national capacities for the peaceful management of conflict, and, in some cases, the prevention of violent extremism.
For example, a basket of support for the Sahel countries—Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger—supported a comprehensive approach, within and among countries, to stem violent extremism. Measures ranged from improving the transparency of elections to empowering women in community watch and early warning mechanisms to opening opportunities for youth as active agents in economies and communities.

Funding Window investments helped make electoral and parliamentary processes more inclusive, transparent and accountable. Elections in Zimbabwe in 2018 marked a point of political transition and an opportunity to advance electoral justice and human rights, including through the first human rights awareness campaign conducted by the national Human Rights Commission and the deployment of human rights monitoring teams in the most atrisk communities. Support to the Independent National Electoral Commission in Nigeria improved transparency and accountability in the gubernatorial elections in Ekiti and Osun States, and fostered prompt detection of electoral-related human rights abuses by deploying 150 election observers. In Jordan, fostering knowledge and capacities on the SDGs among parliamentarians led to the establishment of a Parliamentary Working Group to track all activities related to the goals. Serbia amended its Law on Local Self-government to bolster SDG oversight at the local level.


Recent decades have made abundantly clear that even robust development gains are vulnerable. Amid conflict or multiple forms of crisis, regression can be rapid and severe, destroying infrastructure, livelihoods and safety nets, and undermining human rights. Prevention has thus become a bedrock of UNDP programming, drawing on the organization’s decades of experience across the core issues of conflict prevention, peacebuilding, disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and mitigation, and crisis response.

The Funding Windows are part of a corporate-wide commitment to help countries avoid, mitigate and/or manage crises, and return quickly to a development trajectory if crisis does occur. Resources under the windows continue to support, for instance, the 15-year collaboration between UNDP and the UN Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs that deploys highly skilled Peace and Development Advisors. In 2018, they helped 70 countries develop prevention-related capacities by furthering peacebuilding and deepening social cohesion.

Funding Window support in Djibouti responded to a current crisis in a vulnerable formerly nomadic community, while also developing new national strategies to contend with the country’s acute vulnerability to climate change as well as pressures from refugees from neighbouring countries. Prevention has been integral to efforts in Colombia to hasten the socioeconomic integration of a flow of migrants from Venezuela, before pressures on local services and employment become a flashpoint. A global project is generating new evidence to enhance strategies on the prevention of gender-based violence through pilot programmes in seven countries: Bhutan, Indonesia, Iraq, Lebanon, the Republic of Moldova, Peru and Uganda.

Where crisis does occur, Funding Window support has been vital in backing UNDP’s global leadership in forging links between relief and recovery, and applying principles such as building back better. In Viet Nam, a process emphasizing resilient recovery after Typhoon Damrey led the government to revise its existing disaster risk management law to better incorporate disaster recovery and rehabilitation, and to develop a dedicated decree on disaster recovery.


UNDP now serves as an ‘integrator’ platform at the heart of a new generation of UN country teams, offering its assets and expertise in service of the wider development system, and promoting the ‘whole-of-government’ and ‘whole-of-society’ responses vital for transformational change.
In 2018, Funding Windows support helped enabled an integrated approach to UNDP interventions. Supporting a ‘whole-of-government’ capacity to implement the 2030 Agenda in two provinces of Indonesia, for example, included setting up SDG coordination teams and integrating the goals across provincial development plans, backed by provincial budget allocations of an additional IDR 300 million for SDG localization. An innovative partnership in support of poor rural farmers piloted a new business model involving UNDP, a local government and a financial technology institution, and raised IDR 2 billion during a proof of concept period. A five-year agreement between the government and the Fintech institution to scale up the pilot is expected to benefit thousands of poor households in farming communities.

The Funding Windows in 2018 supported a variety of collaborations between UNDP and sister UN entities. UNDP and UN Women joined forces in Tunisia to help establish the Parliamentary Women’s Caucus and introduce gender-sensitive budgeting. The two worked together as well in Rakhine State, Myanmar, to link ministries and parliaments at the union, state and regional levels as well as civil society and development partners in an integrated, comprehensive approach to peacebuilding. This has entailed improving service delivery, expanding access to justice and increasing livelihood opportunities through cash-for-work activities to restore communal infrastructure.

To bolster United Nations and partners’ capacity and undersatnding of conflict dynamics and sensitiviteis in Syria, UNDP shared the results of its 11 location-specific analyses of the underlying factors and dynamics of instability across the country to ensure conflict-sensitive programming across the United Nations system