Institutional capacity building

 UNDP supports electoral management bodies to increase the efficiency of electoral administration. Photo: UNDP Haití.

UNDP promotes institutional capacities and mechanisms for consultation and participation of citizens in policy decision making processes at all levels. Its work is also crucial in order to ensure access to information, transparency and accountability to all citizens at national and local levels. The goal is to further develop institutional capacities and mechanisms for citizens’ participation, empower citizens and promote emerging leadership.

-    Integrated local governance: The Integrated Local Governance and Local Development (LGLD) approach is a strategy by which UNDP intends to facilitate locally-driven territorial development processes that empower local actors, facilitate participatory processes and stimulate social and economic inclusion. Local governance comprises a set of institutions, mechanisms and processes through which citizens and their groups can promote their interests and needs, mediate their differences, and exercise their rights and obligations at the local level. The building blocks of good local governance are: citizen participation, territorial partnerships, intersectoral (promotion and co-ordination of the activities of different sectors) and multilevel (national and subnational levels coordination) approach, accountability, and a pro‐poor orientation (UNDP 2004). LGLD quickly establishes linkages with the national process to influence the entire multi-level governance and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.  

-    Electoral systems and processes: Elections in the region have been conducted in a free and transparent way as determined by international and national observations. However, further capacity strengthening of electoral management bodies (EMBs) in the region is needed to increase the efficiency of electoral administration in order to operate in a more transparent, professional and inclusive manner that will instill more institutional  confidence. When the state has the capacity to fulfil its mandate, deliver on its duties and meet public demands, the population is therefore more willing to engage and participate in civic matters. UNDP strengthens individual, collective and institutional capacities to increase political and electoral participation and representation.

-   Civic engagement: A fundamental aspect of a democratic state is the right of its citizens to participate in decision making processes. Civic engagement refers to a process whereby citizens or their representatives are able to engage and influence public processes, in order to achieve civic objectives and goals. This is why UNDP supports governments to create mechanisms for citizens' engagement in policy processes, including marginalized sections of the population such as indigenous peoples, women and the poor. It also focuses on increasing the capacities and skills of civil society organizations (CSOs) to effectively participate and engage in decision making processes and hold states to accountable.

-   Transparency and accountability: UNDP supports countries by improving their capacity, strengthening their institutions and citizens’ capacities and mechanisms, and providing tools to improve access to information, to advance open government practices, social accountability and public integrity. This is based on the rule of law and the principles of responsiveness and accountability of state to non-state actors at all levels.

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