Political participation and inclusion
Public institutions and political actors must channel growing citizens’ demands more effectively, in an increasingly globalized and changing economic, social and political environment. Citizens demand universal access to quality public services, access to information and accountability of public institutions and more inclusive participation in policy making processes.
193 countries have committed in the 2030 Development Agenda to Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies (SDG 16), amongst others, because peace, stability, human rights and effective governance based on the rule of law and citizen participation are important conduits for sustainable development.
To leave no one behind is critical to promote democratic governance and addressing structural inequalities and it means to enable individuals, communities and groups, especially the most marginalized, to play an active role in their own development.
UNDP strives to strengthen individual, collective and institutional capacities in order to increase citizens’ participation and ensure respect for civic, political, economic, social and cultural rights, paying special attention to women, youth, Indigenous and Afro-descendant peoples. It also promotes the rights of other marginalized groups such as people with disabilities, LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and intrasex) and also those living with HIV/AIDS and other diseases.
In addition, UNDP contributes to expanding representation and participation of these groups at the national and subnational levels, to provide technical advice for more inclusive legal frameworks and public policies and to promote civic engagement for accountable and transparent public institutions. Finally, UNDP works in close partnership with indigenous peoples, promoting their full and effective participation and securing their free, prior, and informed consent in public and private decision-making processes where their rights, lands, resources, territories and traditional livelihoods may be affected.
UNDP, for example, actively supports institutional strengthening and processes of reform, engages in advocacy and communication, supports public information campaigns, and promotes and facilitates multi-stakeholder dialogues. It also facilitates “knowledge networking” and the sharing of good practices:
- Responsive and accountable institutions: 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.
- Inclusive political processes: UNDP works with developing countries to improve participatory design and implementation of development policies and programmes in order to make them more inclusive, reaching the most excluded groups (women, youth, indigenous peoples, Afrodescendants, LGBTI, and those living with HIV/AIDS). At the same time, UNDP support a more effective public sector and enhanced governance to ensure that everyone has access to vital public services.