Focus Areas

Access to justice and rule of law

In the Arab region, rule of law, access to justice and legal empowerment are essential elements to create the enabling environment for change in the different contexts of transition. In a region with very diverse legal landscape, the assistance provided aims at supporting different justice approaches and systems, and creates a comparative knowledge platform focusing on the informal sector, and practices of judicial activism in defense of social and economic rights. more


Many Arab states are party to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC). The League of Arab States has issued the Arab Convention against Corruption. The project on Anti-Corruption in the Arab countries (ACIAC) contributes to the Arab countries’ efforts in the area of transparency, integrity and the implementation of the UNCAC, with a view to reinforcing good governance practices and promoting human development and human security in the region. more

Civic engagement

In light of the many processes of democratic change ongoing in the region (e.g. constitutional reform, transitional justice, etc.), and the growing role of civil society, UNDP works to increase the capacities and skills of civil society organizations to effectively participate and engage in decision making processes and hold states to account. more

Electoral systems and processes

The overall objective of UNDP support to elections in the region is to foster credibility, transparency, effectiveness as well as sustainability of electoral institutions and processes, with a particular emphasis on inclusive participation and women’s empowerment. UNDP follows a cycle approach not an event approach to electoral assistance, i.e. sustains its support in between election events for long term institutional development. more

Human Rights

All Arab countries are signatories to several UN conventions and all have an obligation to submit reports in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). Focusing particularly on social and economic rights and South-South experience exchange, UNDP's three lines of action include: supporting the strengthening of national human rights systems; mainstreaming human rights into development programming; and promoting greater engagement with the international human rights machinery. more

Local governance and local development

In the Arab region, UNDP works with many partners to enhance political economy and conflict sensitive analyses in order to inform programming on public administration and local governance, electoral support and parliamentary strengthening, enhanced human rights, integrity and gender equality. more

Parliamentary development

In partnership with the Arab Inter Parliamentary Union to assist and support parliaments in the region, UNDP focuses on the role that parliaments can play in crisis prevention and recovery and strengthens their capacity to legislate for, oversee and represent communities in support of peace, reconciliation and long term human development. more

Women empowerment

Women political participation in decision making and nation building processes is an essential step to ensure equitable change in the region. With different political processes taking place in several countries, UNDP promotes the integration of gender equality and women’s empowerment principles within institutions, structures and practices. more

Governance Assessments

In the field of governance assessments, UNDP provides technical assistance to develop the capacities of governments, national statistical offices and civil society in the collection, maintenance and analysis of governance related data. In the Arab Region, nationally owned democratic governance assessments can be powerful mechanisms for harnessing civic engagement, operationalizing multi-stakeholder dialogue and institutionalizing processes in which citizens and CSOs use evidence to make governments accountable. more

Featured Publications
Preventing Crisis, Enabling Recovery: BCPR Annual Report 2011

Disasters, violent conflict, and economic and climate-related turbulence continue to claim lives, destroy economies and livelihoods, and undermine development progress for millions of people. Crisis prevention, recovery and reducing the vulnerability of countries to catastrophe are cornerstones of UNDP’s work.

Governance for Peace: Securing the Social Contract

Based upon an extensive stocktaking of UNDP’s experience in crisis affected contexts, Governance for Peace: Securing the Social Contract provides insights on new approaches to governance promotion, analysis and programming adapted to the 21st century challenges of fragility.

Putting Resilience at the Heart of Development: Investing in Prevention and Resilient Recovery

Disasters cause human suffering, environmental and economic harm, and set back progress on eliminating poverty. If disaster risk isn’t well managed, the consequences are manifold. Disaster risk reduction is, therefore, an investment worth making by all countries. Every dollar spent reducing people’s vulnerability to disasters saves around seven dollars in economic losses.