United Nations Development Group

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Development Group of the United Nations
United Nations Development Group

Organization type Specialized agency
Abbreviation AND G
management GermanyGermany BrazilBrazil Achim Steiner
status active
Founded 1997
Headquarters New York City , New York , United States
United StatesUnited States 
Upper organization ECOSOC

The development group of the United Nations ( UNDG , English United Nations Development Group ), shortly UN Development Group is a consortium of several agencies of the United Nations , which in 1997 by the United Nations Secretariat was launched to the effectiveness of the UN Improve development work at the country level. The head of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) is also the head of the UNDG.


Due to the large number of UN development agencies and programs working side by side, the demand arose that their work should be better coordinated with one another in order to achieve greater effectiveness. This principle later became known under the catchphrase “Delivering as One” (loosely translated: “Service provision as a complete package”). It was criticized that the United Nations had a large number of programs and institutions, but that these were to a large extent uncoordinated and sometimes worked in parallel with the same objectives, so that the effectiveness of the measures suffered. According to a corresponding report by the then UN Secretary General Kofi Annan on July 14, 1997, the General Assembly of the United Nations authorized him to set up the UNDG as a coordinating body.


A total of 32 UN funds, programs, specialized agencies, departments and offices that play a role in development programs are united in the UNDG:

Organs and working methods

The UNDP is described as "one of three pillars of the Coordination Council of Heads of Organizations of the United Nations System" (CEB), which represents the highest level of coordination in the United Nations system. Representatives of the organizations represented in the UNDG meet three to four times a year under the chairmanship of the UNDG director. The body is considered quorate if at least two thirds of its members are present. Individual regional working groups were formed for the various world regions (South and East Africa, West and Central Africa, Arab States, Asia and the Pacific, Europe and Central Asia, Letein America and the Caribbean). At the level below there are working groups for individual countries. The UNDG chairman is supported by advisory groups with regard to the management and coordination of UNDG activities. As a rule, one or two representatives from the member organizations are represented at the meetings. The decisions of the UNDG are taken by consensus, with an opt-out option that requires written reports and reasons. The UNDG decisions are binding for the member organizations. A coordination office of the UNDG director supports the implementation.

Previous directors

The heads of the UNDG correspond to the heads of the UN development program:

Previous head of the UN development group
No ladder country Term of office
1 James Gustave Speth United StatesUnited States United States 1997-1999
2 Mark Malloch Brown United KingdomUnited Kingdom United Kingdom 1999-2005
3 Kemal Derviş TurkeyTurkey Turkey 2005-2009
4th Helen Clark New ZealandNew Zealand New Zealand 2009-2017
5 Achim Steiner GermanyGermany Germany / BrazilBrazilBrazil  since June 19, 2017


The coordination efforts of the United Nations are generally welcomed by observers, but "it remains to be seen whether all these measures to improve coordination at the highest levels of the hierarchy will also be transferred to the lower ranks". The "coordination between these autonomous organizations with their own mandate, management bodies, secretariats with their own secretary-general, their own budget and their own staff [is] not noticeable at first glance". Others characterized the attempt at coordination between the various UN agencies as a " quixotic endeavor".

Individual evidence

  1. Development aid . United Nations Regional Information Center for Western Europe, accessed May 7, 2017 .
  2. United Nations: United Nations Development Program. Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development , accessed on May 8, 2017 .
  3. ABC of the United Nations. (PDF) Federal Foreign Office , August 2013, accessed on May 7, 2017 .
  4. ^ Delivering as One. (PDF) United Nations, November 9, 2016, accessed May 7, 2017 .
  5. Renewing the United Nations: A program for reform. United Nations Document Archives, Document A / 51/950, July 14, 1997, accessed December 24, 2019 .
  6. a b Home »About» UNDG at the Global Level »UNDG. UNDG, accessed on May 7, 2017 .
  7. a b United Nations Development Group (UNDG) Functioning and Working Arrangements. (PDF) UNDG, January 1, 2015, accessed on May 7, 2017 (English).
  8. ^ Yves Beigbeder : Management and coordination problems . In: Helmut Volger (Ed.): Foundations and structures of the United Nations . De Gruyter Oldenbourg, 2007, ISBN 978-3-486-58202-4 , chap. 4: Structural problems of the United Nations and reform concepts, p. 415-416 .
  9. ^ Robert I. McLaren: Review: The UN System and its Quixotic Quest for Coordination: The United Nations System: Coordinating its Economic and Social Work by Martin Hill . In: International Organization . tape 34 , no. 1 . University of Wisconsin Press, 1980, pp. 139-148 , JSTOR : 2706620 (English).