The Bureau for Development Policy (BDP) is UNDP’s policy Bureau and backbone of the global practices. BDP has a key role to play in helping country offices to accelerate human development through strengthening the practice areas within UNDP’s programmes. BDP supports the development and design of projects that are responsive, effective and contribute to national-level policies and results. Driven by demand, BDP provides tools, analysis and capacities for country offices to make a real difference in UNDP’s practice areas.
BDP supports UNDP’s 2008-2013 Strategic Plan, focusing on 6 thematic areas: Poverty Reduction, Governance, Environment and Energy, HIV, Health & Development, Capacity Development, and Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment.
HIV, Health and Development Approach
UNDP is a founding cosponsor of the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), a partner of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund), and a co-sponsor of several other international health partnerships. UNDP’s work on HIV, health and development leverages the organization’s core strengths and mandates in human development, governance and capacity development to complement the efforts of specialist health-focused UN agencies. UNDP delivers three types of support to countries in HIV, health and development.
First, UNDP helps countries to mainstream attention to HIV and health into action on gender, poverty and the broader effort to achieve and sustain the Millennium Development Goals. For example, UNDP works with countries to understand the social and economic factors that play a crucial role in driving health and disease, and to respond to such dynamics with appropriate policies and programmes outside the health sector. UNDP also promotes specific action on the needs and rights of women and girls as they relate to HIV.
Second, UNDP works with partners to address the interactions between governance, human rights and health responses. Sometimes this is done through focused or specialized programmes, such as promoting attention to the role of legal environments (law and access to justice) in facilitating stronger HIV responses, including the use of flexibilities in intellectual property and human rights law to lower the cost of drugs and diagnostics and to increase access to HIV-related treatment. UNDP also works to empower and include people living with HIV and marginalized populations who are disproportionately affected by HIV - also known as key populations - such as sex workers, men who have sex with men, transgender people. Beyond these focused efforts, UNDP plays a key role in ensuring attention to HIV and health within broader governance and rights initiatives, including support to district and municipal action on MDGs, strengthening of national human rights institutions and increasing access to justice for marginalized populations.
Third, as a trusted, long-term partner with extensive operational experience, UNDP supports countries in effective implementation of complex, multilateral and multi-sectoral health projects, while simultaneously investing in capacity development so that national and local partners can assume these responsibilities over time. The UNDP/Global Fund partnership is an important part of this work, facilitating access to resources for action on MDG 6 by countries that face constraints in directly receiving and managing such funding. UNDP partners with countries in crisis/post-crisis situations, those with weak institutional capacity or governance challenges, and countries under sanctions. When requested, UNDP acts as interim Principal Recipient in these settings, working with national partners and the Global Fund to improve management, implementation and oversight of Global Fund grants, while simultaneously developing national capacity for governments or local entities to be able to assume the Principal Recipient role over time.
UNDP’s Partnerships with the Global Fund and WHO
As of early 2012, UNDP served as the Principal Recipient for 65 active HIV, TB and malaria grants funded by the Global Fund in 29 countries. UNDP also provides capacity support to a number of national entities managing Global Fund grants directly and Country Coordinating Mechanisms. In its role as interim Principal Recipient, UNDP is responsible for the financial and programmatic management of grants, as well as the procurement of health and non-health products. In all cases, the implementation of grants must be done in accordance with UNDP policies and procedures, as well as the policies and guidelines of the Global Fund. Given the importance of the partnership with the Global Fund, UNDP continues to strive towards providing high value-added services to governments and the Global Fund, both in its role as Principal Recipient, and increasingly as a significant technical partner to governments implementing Global Fund grants.
UNDP is partnering with WHO to support responses to address social determinants of health. This includes chronic or non-communicable diseases (such as cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes) which represent a leading threat to human health and development. Non-communicable diseases are themselves linked to poor mental health, unhealthy lifestyles, poverty, and weak regulatory frameworks. Multi-sectoral responses outside the health sector can help to contribute to addressing the risk factors of poor diet, harmful use of alcohol, tobacco use and physical inactivity. Working with WHO, UNDP support focuses on the areas of (i) linking non-communicable diseases to development instruments to address prevention and impact mitigation, (ii) assisting with planning of national strategies for non-communicable disease, and (iii) advancing tobacco prevention and control through supporting national strategy development and national coordination mechanisms, legislative reviews, and prevention of corruption as appropriate.
Within the HIV, Health and Development Group in the Bureau for Development Policy, the Programme Specialist will focus on supporting UNDP’s partnerships with the Global Fund and WHO, with matrixed reporting lines to two Cluster Leaders in the Group. Under the overall guidance and supervision of the Cluster Leader for the UNDP-Global Fund Partnership, the Programme Specialist will be based in Geneva and will be working as part of a team responsible for UNDP’s strategic relationships with the Global Fund and other partners. In addition, reporting to the Cluster Leader for Mainstreaming, Gender and MDGs, the Programme Specialist will nurture and maintain working relationships with multiple divisions in WHO that work on non-communicable diseases and social determinants of health.