Social and environmental sustainability are cornerstones of human development and poverty reduction. UNDP’s Strategic Plan1 and policy framework articulate the organization’s strategic commitment to promoting sustainable development in all of its development cooperation activities.
UNDP’s Social and Environmental Standards (SES) underpin UNDP’s commitment to mainstream social and environmental sustainability in its Programmes and Projects to support sustainable development. The SES strengthen UNDP’s e orts to attain socially and environmentally bene cial development outcomes and present an integrated framework for achieving a consistent level of quality in UNDP’s programming.
The SES require that all UNDP Programmes and Projects enhance positive social and environmental opportunities and bene ts as well as ensure that adverse social and environmental risks and impacts are avoided, minimized, mitigated and man- aged. The SES do not de ne the substantive development outcomes and results orientation of UNDP’s programming, as this is elaborated in UNDP’s Strategic Plan and in relevant Programme and Project documents.
Through application of the SES, UNDP enhances the consistency, transparency and accountability of its decision-making and actions, improves performance, and strengthens achievement of positive development outcomes. The SES assist UNDP sta and Implementing Partners to manage social and environmental risks and im- pacts of UNDP Programmes and Projects.
The SES are UNDP policy and apply to UNDP Programmes and Projects – including global, regional, national or locally implemented Projects – recognizing that applicable requirements vary with the level of the Programme’s and/or Project’s potential social and environmental risks.
UNDP’s Social and Environmental Standards are comprised of several elements: the Overarching Policy and Principles, Project-Level Standards, and the Policy Delivery Process.
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