Development Reform

Better results for everyone. Everywhere.

Our promise for dignity, prosperity and peace on a healthy planet. The 2030 Agenda will require bold changes to the UN Development System (UNDS) for the emergence of a new generation of country teams, centred on a strategic UN Development Assistance Framework and led by an impartial, independent and empowered resident coordinator.

Amina J. Mohammed (UN Deputy Secretary-General) on the Reform of the UN Development System.

“We are on a journey together. A journey to implement the decision of the General Assembly to undertake the biggest transformation of the UN development system in history. A transformation process in the way we deliver on development with sustainability at its core. While reforms are about process, the transformation that we seek is about people. Our efforts are geared toward implementing policies who empower those furthest behind.”

Repositioning the UN development system

A new generation of United Nations country teams

  • UNDAF - United Nations Development Assistance Framework 

  • Multi-country office review

Reinvigorating the role of the resident coordinator system

  • Implementation plan for the inception phase

Revamping the regional approach 

Strategic direction, oversight and accountability for system-wide results

  • The system-wide strategic document

Funding the United Nations development system 

  • The Funding Compact and the Funding Dialogues

Following up on the repositioning efforts of the United Nations development system at the global, regional and country levels

The sum of our work is greater than its parts

One of the main changes of the development system reform is a new generation of UN country teams (UNCTs), with roles and profiles tailored to the context, and that deliver shared results, and with clearer and more robust lines of accountability, from UNCTs to host governments, from the Resident Coordinator (RC) to the Secretary-General, as well as between RC and heads of UN entities at the country level. “The sum of our work is greater than its parts,” says Henrietta Fore, Executive Director of UNICEF. Here’s what the Heads of UN Agencies say about the Development Reform.

A new vision for the resident coordinator

Views of resident coordinators. Hear from the Resident Coordinators, their thoughts and expectations of the Reform. Hear more stories.

With the reform, the functions of the resident coordinator are now separated from those of the resident representative of the UN Development Programme.

Photo of Secretary-General António Guterres

“You will be able to count on impartial and empowered Resident Coordinators – fully devoted to the needs that you require to fulfil the 2030 Agenda, drawing on experience, skills and knowledge across the system. Our teams on the ground will now be better able to tailor their presence, capacities, skillsets and overall response to your priorities”.

UN Secretary General António Guterres

Transition Team

The Transition Team, led by Gunilla Olsson of Sweden, provides strategic leadership and oversight to all aspects of the repositioning of the United Nations development system. The Transition Team reports to the Deputy Secretary-General and works closely with the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Reforms, Mr Jens Wandel.

Resources

  • Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on the repositioning of the United Nations development system, May 2018 (A/RES/72/279) 1 June 2018

  • Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 20 December 2017: Operational activities for development of the United Nations system (A/RES/72/236) 18 January 2018

  • Report of the Secretary-General on repositioning the United Nations development system to deliver on the 2030 Agenda: our promise for dignity, prosperity and peace on a healthy planet (A/72/684–E/2018/7) 21 December 2017

  • More reform proposals (Ask Dag)

  • Quadrennial comprehensive policy review of operational activities for development (QCPR)
  • United Nations Development Group (UNDG)
  • Report of the Secretary-General on repositioning the United Nations development system to deliver on the 2030 Agenda: ensuring a better future for all (A/72/124–E/2018/3) 11 July 2017

  • Report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of General Assembly resolution 71/243 on the quadrennial comprehensive policy review of operational activities for development of the United Nations system, 2018 (A/73/63–E/2018/8) 19 January 2018

SDG resources across the UN

Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform - 17 Goals to Transform Our World. Campaigns. Advocacy. Partnerships.

United Nations Sustainable Development Group - The United Nations Sustainable Development Group (UNSDG) unites the 34 UN funds, programmes, specialized agencies, departments, and offices that play a role in sustainable development.

UN Secretariat for SDGs - Helping governments and stakeholders make the SDGs a reality, providing substantive policy support and capacity-building for the goals and their related thematic issues.

New job openings for development

Do you want a purpose-driven job? Check out the latest job openings with the UN Development Coordination Office (DCO) in New York and Resident Coordinator Offices (RCO) in Bangui, Tripoli, Caracas, Khartoum.

DCO in New York

RCO positions

Special Purpose Trust Fund SPTF

The UN invests in supporting countries to achieve the SDGs for everyone

The successful implementation of the development system reform requires a fully-funded and owned Resident Coordinator (RC) system. The Special Purpose Trust Fund SPTF, a specific fund housed within the UN Secretariat, has been established to receive, consolidate, manage and account for all contributions and financial transactions of the new RC system, in a transparent and effective way. The SPTF web portal, displays in real time all commitments, contributions and expenditures recorded for the fund. Funding sources include three streams: voluntary contributions from Member States, the doubling of cost-sharing amounts from UN entities who are members of the United Nations development system, and a 1% levy applied to contributions for UN development-related activities earmarked to a single agency, single programme or project. To see the latest contribution to the SPTF, please visit https://soc.un.org/SPTF  

Video

The United Nations General Assembly has adopted an ambitious and comprehensive transformation of the UN development system.

The 2030 Agenda will require bold changes to the UN development system for the emergence of a new generation of country teams, centred on a strategic UN Development Assistance Framework and led by an impartial, independent and empowered resident coordinator.

UNDS Reform 101

On 1st January 2019 the UN Reform of the development system will see transformative changes of the Resident Coordinator system, with country team operating with greater emphasis on integrated responses and accountability. This reform responds directly to the Agenda 2030, affecting every department, office and field operation engaged in development work. Learn more about the reform and how it will help countries around the world in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. 

UN Development System Reform 101

Sustainable Development Goals Knowledge Platform

Sustainable Development Goals Knowledge Platform