In the spirit of South-South cooperation, the Fund focuses on least developed countries (LDCs), land-locked developing countries (LLDCs) and small island developing States (SIDS), which represent 12 per cent of the world’s population. These countries are endowed with natural resources, talented and hard-working citizens, and vibrant societies. However, structural challenges affect their development potential. This situation requires innovative and collaborative investment and efforts in the fields of climate resilience and natural disaster preparedness, renewable energy, trade and transport, telecommunications, and export sectors. These economies also require a concerted, specific and cost-effective effort to implement the SDGs to achieve a multiplier effect and improve the livelihood of millions in these countries.
Towards a Solution
The India-UN Development Partnership Fund is a dedicated facility within the United Nations Fund for South-South Cooperation. It is supported and led by the Government of India, managed by the United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) and implemented in collaboration with the United Nations System.
The Fund supports specific projects that contribute to the implementation of one or more SDGs in one or more countries of the global South, agreed to with the Government of the Republic of India, in accordance with UNDP policies for subsidiary trust fund arrangements with specific donors and development partners. The allocation of resources from this dedicated facility for specific projects is decided by the Board of Directors of the India-UN Development Partnership Fund.
India aims to further strengthen ongoing cooperation with all developing countries. The India-UN Development Fund aids the Government of the Republic of India in its efforts to reach out more effectively, even to countries where it does not have a permanent diplomatic mission, and helps strengthen collaboration with these countries.
Implementation arrangements favour the development of local capacities, including expertise, experts, institutions and networks. To that end, projects are implemented through:
1) national implementation, in compliance with United Nations Development Group (UNDG) regulations and benefiting from oversight by the United Nations system;
2) direct implementation, by the UN agency; 3) public sector entities from India; and 4) civil society responsible parties, complying with applicable capacity assessments requirements.
This fund currently supports 22 Southern-led, demand-driven, transformational sustainable development projects across all 17 SDGs, with an emphasis on reducing poverty and hunger; improving health, education and employment; expanding access to clean water and energy; and enhancing livelihoods and resilience. The sustainability of the project will be ensured by the governments of all partner countries that are currently supported by this fund.
For example, in the seven Pacific Island countries, the project provides equipment to measure meteorological conditions, training to build capacity for monitoring and warning, and support to coordinate data collection among the partnering Pacific Island countries. The aim is to strengthen the technical capacities of national meteorological and hydrological services, with assistance from the meteorological departments of the countries and the UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji.
In Liberia, the project supports the construction of an educational resource centre in Rivercess with six reading rooms and a library to improve the reading proficiency of 300 students. It enhances the pedagogical and computer skills of 50 teachers and the computer skills of 50 students. It provides economic livelihood skills training to 150 mothers and raises awareness about sexual and gender-based violence among 150 adolescent girls through sexual and reproductive health education. The implementation partners are UNICEF Liberia and Kids Educational Engagement Project. Rivercess residents are encouraged to participate in and take ownership of the project and its sustainability.
The Uruguayan Agency for International Cooperation and UNDP Uruguay are implementing a project to establish digital follow-up systems for dialogue on public policies and programmes. It develops software and an online portal for direct monitoring and exchanges between local governments and citizens on policies under discussion and benefits available within the purview of public programmes.
In addition to the above, a Commonwealth Window under the India-UN Development Partnership Fund was recently launched. It supports projects in developing countries that belong to the Commonwealth of Nations (comprised of 53 nations), a voluntary association of independent and equal sovereign states. Member governments have agreed to pursue shared goals such as development, democracy and peace.
For example, in Grenada, three projects are being implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Health and PAHO, Department of Public Administration and UNOPS, and the Ministry of Social Development and UNICEF to: 1) improve the management of waste generated in healthcare facilities by procuring and installing a new biomedical waste incinerator and enhancing biohazard waste disposal practices; 2) improve the quality of service delivery and skills of public officers by offering training and professional development opportunities; and, 3) expand quality day care for children from low and moderate-income households.
The project in Tuvalu expands energy access on Funaota islet, an outer island of Tuvalu, by introducing solar energy equipment. In collaboration with the Ministry of Public Utilities and Infrastructure and UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji, this project also establishes commercial activity on this island and beneficiaries will be trained to operate and maintain these renewable clean-energy systems.
With the cooperation of the Vanuatu National Statistics Office and UNDP Pacific Office in Fiji, the project in Vanuatu enables extensive data collection by the Vanuatu national statistics office. It advances an overdue comprehensive survey that updates figures on household income and expenditures and on indicators that will inform on progress across the SDGs.
This is a remarkable commitment by the Government of India at this time to invest in multilateralism and the UN system. It has a vision for South-South cooperation and sees a role for the Indian government to fulfil the goals and objectives of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.
Sustainable Development Goal target(s): 17.6, 17.9, and all relevant SDGs
Countries/ territories involved: Antigua and Barbuda, Benin, Belize, Burkina Faso, Chad, Cook Islands, Dominica, eSwatini, Grenada, Kiribati, Liberia, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Saint Vincent and Grenadines, Sao Tome and Principe, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Uruguay, Vanuatu
Supported by: UNOSSC and Government of India
Implementing entities: Participating governments, UNOSSC, UNDP, UNICEF, UNFPA, UNOPS, FAO, PAHO, WHO
Project status: Ongoing
Project period: 2017-2032
URL of the practice: goo.gl/NmJQPi
Name: Ms. Sumeeta Banerji, UNOSSC