Better results for everyone. Everywhere.

Our promise for dignity, prosperity and peace on a healthy planet. The 2030 Agenda requires 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.

A Decade of Action to Deliver the SDGs

“It was about us becoming fit for purpose to carry the 2030 Agenda. This is a whole of society pitch to try to make everyone’s life matter and be included in the development process.”  

Repositioning the UN development system

UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework

The Cooperation Framework is designed to be the primary instrument for planning and implementation of the UN development activities at country level in support of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Cooperation Framework now guides the entire programme cycle, driving planning, implementation, monitoring, reporting and evaluation of collective UN support for achieving the 2030 Agenda. As such, the framework captures country needs and tailors the UN development system (UNDS) response and presence on the ground. The guidance improves upon exiting levels of coordination, efficiency and transparency within the UNDS.

Management and Accountability Framework 

The Management and Accountability Framework (MAF) is a foundational piece in reinvigorating the Resident Coordinator system intended to provice clear and unambigous framework for management, oversight responsibilities and accountability lines within the UNDS at the global, regional and country levels. MAF operationalizes the dual accountability system that lies at the heart of the new RC system towards UN entities and Resident Coordinators. The country chapter has been finalized and is currently being rolled-out. The regional and global chapters are under preparation. The full MAF will be revisited later this year to ensure its alignment with the other pieces of the reform (e.g. regional review) and to accommodate lessons learnt from implementation, as necessary.

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.

SDG resources across the UN

Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform - 17 Goals to Transform Our World. Campaigns. Advocacy. Partnerships. SDGs are a call for action by all countries – poor, rich and middle-income – to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. 

United Nations Sustainable Development Group - The United Nations Sustainable Development Group (UNSDG) unites the 40 UN funds, programmes, specialized agencies, departments, and offices delivering together for 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. The Division for Sustainable Development Goals (DSDG) in the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) acts as the Secretariat for the SDGs.

Useful links

  • 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

Impact Stories

8 ways the UN reform is helping to kick-start the Decade of Action

One year on, check out eight ways UN Reform is boosting our support for the Decade of Action, so countries can achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

Finding common ground to tackle climate change and conflict

To tackle challenges that transcend their borders, such as climate change and conflict, the Governments of Kenya and Uganda partnered with the UN and broke ground on a new bi-national agreement for sustainable peace and development.

Senegal: tech helps boost access to health to leave poverty behind

Supported by a reinvigorated UN country team, the Senegalese government has made significant progress on its digital transformation and leaving no one behind across multiple sectors.

Business Innovation Group

Read the latest updates and factsheets from the Business Innovation Group (BIG) and learn more about the work to maximize programmatic gains through efficient and high-quality back-office operations through:

1. Mutual Recognition – Operate with the mutual recognition of entities’ policies and procedures to readily enable inter-agency service provision.

2. Client Satisfaction Principles – Improve the quality of inter-entity services.

3. Costing and Pricing Principles – Bring transparency to the costing and pricing of services provided.

4. Business Operations Strategy (BOS) – Adopt improved Business Operations Strategy by all UN country teams by 2021.

5. Common Back Offices (CBO) – Establish common back offices for all UN country teams by 2022.

6. Global Shared Service Centres (GSSC) – Explore consolidation of location-independent business operations into a network of shared service centres.

7. Common Premises – Increase the proportion of UN common premises to 50 per cent by 2021.

Development Coordination Office fully eligible for Official Development Assistance

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has approved the recommendation to include the Development Coordination Office (DCO) on the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) list of Official Development Aid (ODA) as fully ODA-eligible. In reporting their ODA, donor countries refer to Annex 2 List of ODA-eligible international organisations.


Core budget (unearmarked) contributions to these organisations may be reported as ODA in whole or in part. OECD maintains various code lists used to classify information in the DAC databases, including: donor code, agency code, nature of submission, recipient, channel code, bi/multi resource flows, type of flow, type of finance, type of aid, purpose code, markers showing the level of involvement on various policy objectives. OECD code lists are used by donors to report on their aid flows.


If members made any voluntary contributions to the Special Purpose Trust Fund (SPTF) in 2018, they may include these amounts in the ODA reporting currently underway.


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