United Nations Development Group (UNDG)
Established by the Secretary-General in 1997, the UN Development Group (UNDG) was set up to design system-wide guidance to coordinate, harmonize and align UN development activities. The purpose of UNDG was to strengthen the UN development system at the country level, preparing it to meet future challenges and ensuring that operations are conducted in accordance with mandates from UN governing bodies such as the General Assembly. In 2008, UNDG was incorporated as one of three pillars of the UN System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB).
UNDG consisted of a consortium of 36 UN funds, programmes, agencies, departments, and offices that play a role in development. The group’s common objective was to deliver more coherent, effective and efficient support to countries seeking to attain internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
By strengthening the UN Resident Coordinator system and helping UN organizations work together in new and better ways, the UNDG generated synergies and efficiencies that increase the impact of UN programmes and policy advice. Coordinating development operations promotes more strategic support for national plans and priorities, makes operations more efficient and reduces transaction costs for governments. This helps the UN to be a more relevant and reliable partner for governments.
In 2017, while deliberating on the topic of UN reform and the need for greater clarity on the roles of the different inter-agency coordination mechanisms, CEB decided to separate the system-wide programmatic and management policy roles (High-level Committee on Programmes and High-level Committee on Management) from the operation support provided by UNDG, placing UNDG outside of the architecture of CEB. Following, the UNDG was re-positioned as the UN Sustainable Development Group (UNSDG), with its own dedicated Secretariat, the Development Coordination Office (DCO)