UNDP works with countries to expand people’s choices for a fairer, sustainable future, to build the world
envisioned by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with planet and people in balance. To face the challenge of accelerating and scaling up development results significantly and bring the Goals back within reach, UNDP supports change in three directions:
• Structural transformation, particularly green, inclusive and digital transitions;
• Leaving no one behind, a rights-based approach centered on human agency and human development;
• Building resilience to respond to systemic uncertainty and risk.
UNDP’s interest and commitment to Social and Solidarity economy (SSE) is driven by its potential complementarity with SDGs implementation and localization. SSE can help leverage the economic potential of local economies whilst promoting socio-economic cohesion and resilience, through more sustainable and inclusive development models and outcomes. The SSE approach is an optimal vehicle to localize UNDP’s 2022-2025 Strategic Plan signature solutions, on poverty and inequality alleviation, governance, resilience, environment, energy, and gender equality, given its focus on inclusive regional development processes and the development of value chains to improve competitiveness.
At the local level, cooperatives play a key role by fostering common good and communal initiatives. Given their explicit social objectives, cooperatives have the potential to play a significant transformational role. They often fill gaps where public services and private services do not extend, acting as catalysts of a transition to more sustainable and resilient societies. Cooperatives have been active in providing many services, including social protection, to informal workers.
As the technical lead for the United Nations’ socio-economic response, UNDP has worked together with specialized UN agencies, UN Regional Economic Commissions, and International Financial Institutions to assess the socio-economic impacts of the COVID-19 on economies and communities. Under the technical leadership of UNDP, UN Country Teams have led the preparation of over 150 Socio-economic Impact Assessments (SEIAs) in 97 countries and five regions. A majority of these (a total of 121 plans covering 139 countries) have translated into the UN Socio-Economic Response Plans (SERPs). In this capacity, UNDP also supports UN Resident Coordinators to elaborate country-level response plans, including tailored policies and innovative solutions at national and subnational levels.
As billions of people worldwide continue to depend on the informal economy for their livelihoods, enhanced policy and programmatic efforts to both protect and empower informal workers and businesses, while facilitating transitions to formality, will be critical to avoid a deepening of poverty and inequality and promote inclusive and sustainable recovery pathways. At the country level, UNDP plays an integrator role, bringing together the specializations and expertise from across the UN system, helping them complement each other and connecting them with national and local partners. This is based on a strong presence in 170 countries and territories, and relationships and partnerships built over decades, with government ministries, community organizations, and partners on the ground.
Against this background and as part of its broader support to the implementation of UNDP Strategic Plan 2022-2025 Signature Solution on Poverty and Inequality and related enablers (strategic innovation, digitalization, and development finance), UNDP has been expanding its work and service offer focusing on integrated solutions that tackle inequality of opportunities and foster sustainable human development. One key goal is to unlock bottlenecks for the poor and vulnerable individuals, targeting specific groups and issues, including informal economy issues. Our work includes the provision of tools, knowledge products, capacity development, knowledge sharing and networking opportunities, as well as technical expertise and other resources to help UNDP Country Offices and their partners with the design, implementation and scaling-up of context-specific, evidence-based, and innovative policy and programmatic solutions to protect and empower actors of the informal economy and enable gradual transitions to formality.
Our work, jointly with UN partners and beyond, foresees supporting innovative, including technology-based policies, services, tools, and programmatic activities to drive the productivity and resilience of informal enterprises and facilitate transitions to formality for decent work, including through backward and forward linkages with larger, formal enterprises.
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