Central to UNDP’s strategy is the acknowledgment that authentic transformation often originates at the local level. The UNDP Local Action Integrated Task Team underscores the significance of systemic, inclusive, and locally-driven initiatives, rallying diverse stakeholders — governments, private sectors, and civil society organizations. Watch our new video The power of locally-led solutions here.

At the core of UNDP’s strategy lies a deep acknowledgment that meaningful change often originates within communities themselves. This strategy involves adopting systems thinking and portfolio approaches to grasp the complexity and interconnected dynamics inherent within each context. Through prioritizing listening and co-creation, local actors are empowered to shape participatory planning processes, ensuring that community voices and aspirations are heard.

Moreover, UNDP supports local ownership by involving all segments of society. This entails forging new partnerships and collaborations beyond conventional stakeholders, as well as leveraging digitalization and technology to empower communities and stimulate innovation. Sustainable financing mechanisms are also championed to ensure accessible funding for local endeavors.

For over three decades, UNDP has been at the forefront of championing local action for pioneering practices. Initiatives like the Social Innovation Platforms (SIPs) in the Asia Pacific region exemplify this ethos, facilitating inclusive processes that harness local insights and creative solutions, addressing diverse challenges.

For instance, in Indonesia, the SIP employs ethnographic and digital tools to anticipate the needs of local communities, while in Thailand, it concentrates on bolstering the sustainability of local food systems through collaborative efforts. Similarly, in Uruguay, UNDP collaborates with the municipality of Montevideo to craft comprehensive waste management solutions based on feedback mechanisms.

Furthermore, UNDP collaborates with local partners to fortify governance ecosystems. In Somalia, the UN Joint Programme on Local Governance supports capacity-building initiatives and citizen engagement efforts at the city and state levels. Meanwhile, through the Global Environmental Facility Small Grants Programme (GEF-SGP), UNDP provides financial and technical assistance to grassroots initiatives, such as in Kenya, where clean energy solutions are enhancing water access and livelihoods.

By fostering integrated approaches and locally-driven portfolios in collaboration with communities, governments, and partners, UNDP envisions a future where every community can thrive.