UNDP and the UN System

UNDP and the UN SystemUN Photo Competition on the Occasion Of The UN Day - Winner Abir Ghattas

UNDP has been operational in Lebanon for nearly five decades, since 1960. Its presence in the country has been continuous in the best of times and in the worst of times, in times of war and peace. The period immediately following the Lebanese Civil War which had raged since 1975 until 1990 and which was superimposed by further invasions and military occupation, was a period of transition for the country as well as for UNDP.
As an organization, we have had to continually evolve in orientation and coverage to help in the identification of national needs and priorities in an often rapidly changing development and security setting in order to support the achievement of long-term development objectives. UNDP strives to reflect the ability and resilience of the Lebanese to adapt to continuing development challenges.
2006 in particular was a unique year, as significant resources were programmed in the early recovery and post-conflict portfolio, becoming the largest UNDP programme. This programme delivered significant results in the areas of physical reconstruction and recovery of livelihoods in 2007, many of which will be completed in 2008.
In partnership with the government of Lebanon and its partners in development, UNDP upholds a number of principles in our work:

1.     National ownership & partnerships: We strive to enhance national decision-making capacity for human development by developing modern institutions that can effectively support private sector development and national growth. This includes partnerships with the vibrant Lebanese civil society to implement national development initiatives in a broad-based and participatory manner.

2.     Rights: UNDP promotes the implementation of the rights-based-approach to development through the promotion of equity, with a focus on poverty, productive employment and the reduction of disparities between regions and groups.

3.     Accountability: We aim to ensure that UNDP-supported initiatives in Lebanon demonstrate transparency and fairness, following international standards of excellence in our advisory services, programme design and implementation, including recruitment and procurement.


The Resident Representative of UNDP Lebanon is officially accredited to the country and represents the highest level of accountability of the UNDP in Lebanon. The Representative delegates authority to various levels of management such as the Country Director and Deputy Resident Representative. Decisions in the office are made by various bodies in UNDP, including the Management Group for setting the direction of the UNDP programme priorities, and the Programme and Operations Groups focusing respectively on project management and financial and human resources.
New projects and programmes are developed between these groups under the leadership of the UNDP Representative together with relevant government counterparts.
UNDP in Lebanon works closely with the Council of Reconstruction and Development, a public authority established in early 1977 partially to replace the Ministry of Planning. This close collaboration has been imperative in taking decisions in a timely and efficient manner. While the CDR became the entity responsible for reconstruction and development, its role has evolved to include initiatives that address social and economic issues, and has therefore become the de facto government counterpart of UNDP. Projects and programmes are developed in close consultation with the CDR as well as the relevant line Ministries and departments involved in the initiative.
The UNDP office and the government are not the only decision-makers as regards the nature and direction of the work of the UNDP in the country. Donors play a key role in supporting the development activities, with financing and material support. Programme reviews are held on a six-monthly basis that brings together the government, UNDP, and the donor to discuss progress towards development results, also known as Tripartite Review meetings. While these constitute the minimum membership of this programme decision-making group, they often include other participants such as NGOs and members of civil society, including other beneficiaries and stakeholders.

UNDP and the UN in Lebanon

The UN presence in Lebanon is a complex one. For a small country with a population of little over four million, Lebanon is disproportionately positioned in the region, both politically and strategically. The UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) has been present in the country since 1978, supporting the Government of Lebanon in its efforts to restore effective authority following the Israeli withdrawal. UNIFIL's mandate has been extended ever since, most recently in August 2008. Lebanon also has a UN political mandate in the form of UNSCOL, the office of the UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon. UNDP has a fundamentally different mandate from UNIFIL, a peacekeeping mission, and UNSCOL, an office representing the good offices of the Secretary-General. As a development agency, UNDP works with a range of government ministries, local municipalities and NGO partners in pursuit of the MDGs. Despite the more technical work of UNDP, as member of the UN family and one of the largest UN agencies on the ground, UNDP shares information with UNIFIL, especially as relates to security and operations in the South of Lebanon. Given the complex political nature of Lebanon's governing institutions, UNDP also works closely with UNSCOL on a number of cross-cutting political and development issues, such as electoral reform and donor coordination.
As a member of the UN Development Group, UNDP works closely with the other members including UNICEF, UNFPA, and WFP in the development of common goals through the UNDAF and other coordinated programming tools. UNDP has also begun to work more closely with UNRWA (UN Relief and Works Agency) following the 2006 conflict that witnessed the destruction of the Nahr-El-Bared Palestinian camp, and in response to which UNDP's support and expertise has been solicited.

2008 and Beyond

A corporate-level guiding document was endorsed for UNDP in 2007, entitled "UNDP Strategic Plan, 2008-2011: Accelerating Global Progress on Human Development". The UNDP Lebanon office will be orienting its progammes and results around the focus areas and goals outlined in this plan, aligning them with national priorities and needs.
The UNDAF was developed by the UN Country Team for the period 2010-2014 on the basis of common goals and results from which new projects will be developed. These high-level UNDAF results are based on the priorities of the national government as outlined in the Paris III declaration and other related sectoral policy statements. The UNDAF process is managed by the UN Resident Coordinator's office in Lebanon.

Provide links to the UN site in the country and all UN programmes and Agencies that are part of the UN country team.

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