In-depth

The Strategic Policy Advice Unit serves to strengthen UNDP’s position as a requisite partner in areas of sustainable human development in Uganda. To achieve that, the unit:

1.      Advises the Government in design of national plans and policies;

2.      Advises the UNDP Programme team on the strategic implications of changes in government policies, especially with regard to issues concerning Uganda’s socioeconomic development;

3.      Advises the UN Resident Coordinator on relevant policy issues and entry points for engagements with government and other stakeholders;

4.      Supports the UN Country Team in designing and monitoring of key strategic documents such as the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF); and

5.      Provides technical leadership to the UN Country Team, Government of Uganda and non-state actors in the role out and implementation of SDGs.

To achieve these goals, SPU focuses its work on three main areas:

  • Informing with analytical inputs national debates on Uganda’s socioeconomic development; 
  • Strengthening national capacities to undertake and use evidence-based policy research; and
  • Promoting national policy dialogue on issues relevant to Uganda’s socioeconomic development.

Three main themes crosscut the Unit’s activities:

  • The SDGs 
  • Human development 
  • Aid effectiveness

Over the years, the work undertaken in these areas has enabled SPU to support several key national policy initiatives. Some of these include the formulation of: The Poverty Eradication Action Plan (PEAP), the first National Development Plan (NDPI 201/11-2014/15), mid-term review of NDPI, and preparation of NDPII (2015/16-2019/20). These have been instrumental in guiding government in setting development priorities and tracking progress.

SPU has also engaged in a host of other thought leadership and policy advice engagement. Towards this end, UNDP has partnered with Government and academia in conducting high level policy dialogues on topics such as: financing for sustainable development; accelerating inclusive economic growth; and revitalization of cooperatives to transform Uganda’s agriculture sector.

SPU continue to publish and generate dialogue around knowledge products such as the National Human Development Report. The Unit has also supported the government to produce key progress reports such as the National Millennium Development Goals (MDG) Progress Reports (2007, 2010, 2013, and 2015), report on Uganda’s, the Poverty Status Report (2014) and the Sustainable Development Report (2016). We also jointly produce the Annual African Economic Outlook report in partnership with the African Development Bank.

UNDP has also supported the Government to report progress on global commitments on sustainable development. Latest among these are two main reports: Uganda’s progress on implementation of the Istanbul Programme of Action (2016) and readiness to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. These publications are aimed at shaping the policy discourse in Uganda and internationally.

Critical to the Unit’s policy-related work, are its strong working relationships with its main national counterparts, including the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), the National Planning Authority (NPA) and Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS), as well as various other centres of excellence in the country.

Transition to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

UNDP played a lead role in monitoring progress on MDGs in Uganda. Toward the close of the MDG era, UNDP through SPU played an instrumental role in supporting the government of Uganda and non-state actors in the transition from MDGs to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. To this end, UNDP’s leadership in Uganda has been pivotal since 2012 when consultations on the post-2015 Development Agenda commenced.  UNDP provided technical and financial support to the government and non-state actors to promote dialogue on the new agenda, as well as, participate in regional and international platforms for knowledge generation and sharing.

With UNDP support, through the UN system, the government of Uganda became an early starter in the role out of the agenda and the SDGs at its core, thereby setting a global stage for other nations. Chief among the areas of support included:

·         Mainstreaming of 69 percent of SDGs in the national Development Plan (NDPII-2015/16-2019/20).

·         Alignment of 80 out of 113 sub national development plans to NDPI and SDGs

·         Support to the government and the UN system to develop a coordination framework for SDG implementation

·         Support the Government of Uganda in preparing the 2030 Agenda readiness report to the High Level Political Forum (July 2016).

·         Sustained upstream advocacy on SDG rollout by undertaking more than 15 dialogues since 2014.

Moving forward, SPU will continue engaging with stakeholders to ensure sustained momentum on SDG implementation in the country. Current focus is placed on supporting systems for tracking progress, and generating evidence and knowledge on what will work to deliver on the agenda.