About UNDP in Bangladesh

UNDP supports Bangladesh in becoming a regional leader and a global model for development.


Our Impact - A Sample:

  • The world’s largest urban poverty program has helped lift 3 million people out of poverty, and aims to help 6 million more for a total of 9 million across 35 towns and cities by 2020;
  • Early-warning flood systems now give 88 million people two days’ preparation prior to a flood, saving $500 million in assets during a crisis;
  • 6 million people each month are accessing government e-services through digital service centers, reducing the average waiting time for services from 7 days to 1 hour;
  • Village courts provide swift and inexpensive access to justice for 7 million people across 351 local districts in Bangladesh;
  • Following UNDP technical and capacity-building support, 340 local councils have updated taxpayer registers, and over half increased their revenue by at least 10%;
  • 100% of government and civil society respondents, and 93% of bilateral donors surveyed, consider UNDP to play a relevant ongoing role in Bangladesh’s development (UNDP Partnership Survey, 2015).

Who are we?

We help the people and government of Bangladesh to create a more sustainable, peaceful, innovative and resilient economy, environment and society. The UNDP’s work helps our partners to improve the quality of Bangladeshi governance, and reduces poverty and inequality in cities and villages across the country. It promotes new and innovative energy and climate solutions, and helps to make Bangladesh a leader in disaster preparation and management. It assists society’s most vulnerable, helping women, youth and minorities access justice and opportunities, to ensure no one is left behind. It provides assistance, support and guidance to initiatives at the community, institutional and policy levels, and gives new development ideas a platform to grow. The UNDP offers assistance to the people of Bangladesh in their assemblies, courthouses, school rooms, workplaces, but most importantly in their communities and villages. We are here to help.

UNDP Bangladesh has been a key facilitator in Bangladesh’s remarkable development story since it first arrived in 1972. Since then, UNDP has assisted Bangladesh’s progression from a war zone, beset by environmental and political instability, to an ever more dynamic, youthful and resilient emerging economy with distinct promise. UNDP Bangladesh has been a valuable partner throughout this process, acting as an honest broker and a helpful catalyst in promoting transformational changes in the lives and livelihoods of the people of Bangladesh.

UNDP Bangladesh does not waver in its commitment to human rights, rule of law, or inclusive governance. Our cooperation with the government of Bangladesh is well-respected and long-standing, and has successfully helped to make government institutions more effective, transparent and accountable. This is particularly useful in helping the government to deliver on its seventh five-year plan (2016-2020), and to meet its Sustainable Development Goal targets by 2030. 


What are we doing now?

UNDP Bangladesh always has a number of exciting new initiatives underway. To learn more about how our work is changing lives, click here.

UNDP is helping Bangladesh to graduate from Least Developed Country (LDC) status by 2018, and to meet its Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. To help the people of Bangladesh reach these ambitious targets, UNDP Bangladesh has developed a comprehensive new country programme for the years 2017-2020. This programme is based on broad and inclusive consultations with community, government, civil society, and donor country representatives. In line with the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), UNDP Bangladesh will focus on three priorities:

(a) Ensuring economic growth is inclusive and supports economic opportunities, particularly for women;

(b)  Improving social policies and programmes, with a focus on good governance and structural inequalities; and

(c)  Building resilience and improving environmental sustainability.

In support of these priorities, UNDP focuses on several crosscutting themes that inform work across a spectrum of individual projects. All initiatives engage two key groups as agents of change: (i) women, addressing their vulnerability and marginalization; and (ii) youth, in recognition of their role as drivers of Bangladeshi economic growth and social change.

Throughout our work, UNDP Bangladesh also focusses on harnessing the power of new and innovative technologies. From improved kiln designs for brick-making, to new data-collection methods and platforms for presenting our results, to the digitalization of whole branches of the Bangladeshi government, UNDP is committed to embracing innovative and exciting development opportunities. Technology has the potential to transform lives from urban Dhaka or Chittagong to rural Khulna or Sylhet, and UNDP Bangladesh is supportive of the government’s strategy to promote a ‘Digital Bangladesh’ by 2021. UNDP Bangladesh is committed to being on the forefront of these dynamic new trends, and to promote Bangladesh’s full human potential.

In the past, Bangladesh has often been flagged as a “rising star”, halving poverty and attaining gender parity in primary education. UNDP Bangladesh strives constantly to continue to deliver the highest quality programming, and to meet and exceed the expectations of the communities for whom we work.  

For more information on current projects and initiatives run by UNDP Bangladesh, please visit the following micro-sites:

  • United Nations Programme for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (UNREDD)
  • Chittagong Hill Tracts Development Facility (CHTDF)
  • Strengthening Women’s Ability for Productive New Opportunities (SWAPNO)
  • Village Courts Programme
  • Urban Partnerships for Poverty Reduction (UPPR)
  • Comprehensive Disaster Management Programme (CDMP) 

How do we ensure quality work?

UNDP Bangladesh encourages programming that is grounded, not in rhetoric or assumptions, but in hard data. This Results-Based Management (RBM) strategy ensures that concerns affecting at-risk segments of the population are clearly and precisely targeted, whether by region, class, gender, or other affiliation. International best practices must be thoroughly understood, with serious thought given to their integration to the Bangladeshi context at the individual, community, regional and national levels. Partnerships with thought-leaders, both nationally and abroad, drive UNDP identification and assessment of both the problem and our proposed solution, to inform a realistic program for change.

UNDP monitors and evaluates all its projects carefully, to maintain effective and professional delivery. Internal quality assurance guidelines ensure that all decisions are taken at a high moral and professional standard. In 2015, the UNDP’s Social and Environmental Standards and Accountability Mechanism added an extra level of quality supervision, to ensure that all UNDP projects and assistance are having the intended impact.

UNDP Bangladesh makes full use of its extensive international connections and branches around the world, to both inform and coordinate our activities and programming. We work effectively and collaboratively with other bodies within the UN system, to ensure a comprehensive and informed approach to development in Bangladesh as part of a “One United Nations” approach.

Senior Management:

The Resident Coordinator, Mr. Robert Watkins, heads the UN System in Bangladesh and is the primary representative for the UNDP in the country. The UNDP’s Acting Country Director, Mr. Nick Beresford, is responsible for the day-to-day operations of UNDP Bangladesh. Acting Deputy Country Director, Ms. Sujala Pant, and Operations Manager, Ms. Sonia Mehzabeen, are responsible for programme and operations management, respectively.

UNDP programs are prepared in consultation with the government, civil society organizations, United Nations organizations and donors. To encourage a participatory approach to governance, a United Nations Development Assistance Framework steering committee comprised of the Government and UNCT was set up to oversee the UNDAF’s formulation and implementation. Similarly, a UNDAF Coordination Group will monitor implementation, ensuring progress towards the target results, and a UNDAF Monitoring & Evaluation Group will lead the monitoring process. In addition, Government counterparts and development partners will participate in UNDAF Joint Annual Reviews to document UNDAF achievements and challenges.