- Social and environmental sustainability are fundamental to the achievement of development outcomes and shall be systematically mainstreamed into UNDP’s Programme and Project Management Cycles. UNDP’s Social and Environmental Standards (SES)1 underpin and demonstrate this commitment. The SES, as approved in June 2014 by UNDP’s Organizational Performance Group and effective 1 January 2015, require that all UNDP Programmes and Projects enhance positive social and environmental opportunities and benefits as well as ensure that adverse social and environmental risks and impacts are avoided, minimized, and mitigated.
- UNDP Programmes and Projects adhere to the objectives and requirements of the SES, which are to: (i) strengthen the social and environmental outcomes of Programmes and Projects; (ii) avoid adverse impacts to people and the environment; (iii) minimize, mitigate, and manage adverse impacts where avoidance is not possible; (iv) strengthen UNDP and partner capacities for managing social and environmental risks; and (v) ensure full and effective stakeholder engagement, including through a mechanism to respond to complaints from project-affected people.
- UNDP’s SES are comprised of several elements: the Overarching Policy and Principles, Project-Level Standards, and the Policy Delivery Process.
- Screening and categorization of Projects is one of the key policy delivery requirements.2 UNDP’s Social and Environmental Screening Procedure (SESP) fulfills this requirement and provides policy guidance and tools to design and implement quality Projects and to address the requirements of UNDP’s SES.
- The objectives of the SESP are to:
- integrate the SES Overarching Principles in order to strengthen social and environmental sustainability;
- identify potential social and environmental risks and their significance;
- determine the Project’s risk category (Low, Moderate, High); and,
- determine the level of social and environmental assessment and management required to address potential risks and impacts.
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