United Nations Development Group (UNDG)


Ms. Helen Clark (Executive Director, UNDP)

Meeting frequency

Twice a year

The UNDG is the third pillar of the CEB responsible for coordinating operational activities at the country level.  The UNDG complements the work of the High Level Committee on Programmes on policy and programme topics and the High Level Committee on Management on management and administrative issues.

The UN Development Group derives many of its mandates from the Comprehensive Policy Review of operational activities for development of the United Nations system, a General Assembly resolution that serves as an important instrument for the monitoring and the assessment of UN development operations.

This General Assembly resolution responds to the mandate defined by: (i) the General Assembly which establishes key system-wide policy orientations for the development cooperation and country-level modalities of the United Nations system; and (ii) the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) which provides coordination and guidance to the UN system to ensure that those policies are implemented.

The UNDG is one of the three pillars of the UN Chief Executives Board (CEB), which furthers coordination and cooperation on a wide range of substantive and management issues facing UN system organizations. The CEB brings the executive heads of UN organizations together on a regular basis under the chairmanship of the Secretary-General. Within the CEB structure, the High-Level Committee on Management works on system-wide administrative and management issues, the High-Level Committee on Programmes considers global policy issues, while the United Nations Development Group deals with operational activities for development with a focus on country-level work.

The UNDG Advisory Group provides the UNDG Chair with advice and guidance on managing the operational dimensions of the UNDG and the Resident Coordinator system.

The Administrator of the UN Development Programme (UNDP) chairs the UNDG. The UNDG Chair reports to the Secretary-General and the CEB on progress in implementing the group’s work plan, and on the management of the Resident Coordinator system. The Administrator of one of the specialized agencies functions as a vice chairman on a rotational basis.

The UN Development Operations Coordination Office (DOCO) is the technical support unit for the UNDG. DOCO provides the link between UNDG discussions at headquarters and the work of the UN development system at the country level, and helps the group prepare system-wide agreements, policies and guidelines for country offices.

Working Groups and Networks

The UNDG’s working groups help to make development operations more effective at the country level by providing consistent, up-to-date, high quality, and demand-driven guidance to UN country teams. The working groups provide recommendations, update existing guidance documents, and provide support and feedback during the roll-out of new initiatives.

UNDG Working Mechanisms

  •     UNDG Human Rights Mainstreaming Mechanism
  •     UNDG-MDG Task Force
  •     Inter-Agency Advisory Panel

Working Groups and Networks

  •     UNDG-ECHA Working Group on Transition
  •     Working Group on Resident Coordinator System Issues
  •     UNDAF Programming Network (a standing body to support, as necessary, the needs of the UNDG, Regional UNDG Team and UNCT with regard to the UNDAF rollout process, including any normative issues, and the implementation of UNDG’s support plan approved in 2009)
  •     Joint Funding and Business Operations Network

Task Teams

Task Teams Under UNDAF Progamming Network

  •     Interagency Group on Gender Equality (UN Women)
  •     Task Team on Aid Effectiveness (UNDP)

Task Teams Under Joint Funding and Business Operations Network

  •     HACT Advisory Committee
  •     Task Team on Common Premises
  •     Expanded Delivering as One Funding Window
  •     Fiduciary Management Oversight Group

Other Task Teams

  •     UNDG Task Team on Environmental Sustainability, Climate Change and Rio + 20 (DESA, UNDP and UNEP)
  •     Smaller subgroups under the Business Operations Network
  •     Time-limited UNDG Task Teams (ex. Montevideo Organizing Committee chaired by DESA)


The Resident Coordinator (RC) system encompasses all organizations of the United Nations system dealing with operational activities for development, regardless of their formal presence in the country. The RC system aims to bring together the different UN agencies to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of operational activities at the country level.

Resident Coordinators, who are funded and managed by UNDP, lead UN country teams in more than 130 countries and are the designated representatives of the Secretary-General for development operations. Working closely with national governments, Resident Coordinators and country teams advocate the interests and mandates of the UN system while drawing on the support and guidance of the entire UN family.

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.

The UN Development Group (UNDG) unites the 32 UN funds, programmes, agencies, departments, and offices that play a role in development.

  • United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
  • United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
  • United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
  • World Food Programme (WFP)
  • Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
  • United Nations Women (UN Women)
  • United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)
  • Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS)
  • United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN Habitat)
  • United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
  • World Health Organization (WHO)
  • Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA)
  • International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
  • United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
  • United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
  • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
  • United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
  • International Labour Organization (ILO)
  • United Nations Department of Public Information (UNDPI)
  • Regional Commissions (ECA, ECE, ECLAC, ESCAP, ESCWA - rotating annually)
  • Office of the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries & Small Island Developing Countries (OHRLLS)
  • Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict (SRSG/CAC)
  • United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
  • United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
  • Office of USG - Special Advisor on Africa (OSAA)
  • United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)
  • World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
  • International Telecommunications Union (ITU)
  • World Bank (observer)
  • United Nations Fund for International Partnerships (observer)
  • Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (observer)
  • Spokesman for the Secretary-General (observer)
  • Director, Office of the Deputy Secretary General (observer)


United Nations Development Group
Development Operations Coordination Office (DOCO)
One UN Plaza, DC1-1600
New York, NY 10017

Further Information

Please note that UNDG maintains its own website, on which you may find more detailed information relating to country-level coordination and development activities:

CEB Country-Level Themes