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 Welcome to the Toolkit for UNDP's Social and Environmental Standards

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​​​UNDP's Social and Environmental Standards came into effect 1 January 2015.  This toolkit provides a way for UNDP staff, partners and stakeholders to navigate through the standards and access relevant guidance and tools. This site will continue to be a work in progress with further elaboration of guidance and tools.

UNDP’s Social and Environmental Standards (SES) ​underpin our commitment to mainstream social and environmental sustainability in our Programmes and Projects to support sustainable development. The objectives of the standards are to:
  • ​​​​Strengthen the social and environmental outcomes of Programmes and Projects
  • ​​​​Avoid adverse impacts to people and the environment
  • ​​​​Minimize, mitigate, and manage adverse impacts where avoidance is not possible
  • ​​​​​Strengthen UNDP and partner capacities for managing social and environmental risks
  • ​​​​​​​Ensure full and effective stakeholder engagement, including through a mechanism to respond to complaints from project-affected people
The SES are an integral component of UNDP’s quality assurance and risk management approach to programming. This includes the project-level Social and Environmental Screening Procedure.

The standards are underpinned by an Accountability Mechanism with two key functions: 1) A Stakeholder Response Mechanism (SRM) that ensures individuals, peoples, and communities affected by UNDP projects have access to appropriate procedures for hearing and addressing project-related grievances; and 2) A Compliance Review process to respond to claims that UNDP is not in compliance with UNDP’s social and environmental policies.

Through application of the SES and Accountability Mechanism, UNDP enhances the consistency, transparency and accountability of its decision-making and actions, improves performance, and strengthens achievement of positive development outcomes. Key elements of the SES include the following:


Key Elements of UNDP’s Social and Environmental Standards (SES)​

​​​​Overarching Policy​Project-Level Standards​Policy Delivery Process & Accountability








Quality Assurance

Screening and Categorization

Assessment and Management

Stakeholder Engagement and Response Mechanism

Access to Information

Monitoring, Reporting, and Compliance review


​Contact Us With Questions and Feedback

​​Social a​nd Environmental Standards (SES) team: info.ses@undp.org
Social and Environmental Compliance Unit (SECU): secuhotline@undp.org
Stakeholder Response Mechanism (SRM): stakeholder.response@undp.org​