UNDP Social and Environmental Standards Toolkit


UNDP's revised Social and Environmental Standards came into effect on 1 January 2021. This toolkit hosts the latest information on the standards and provides a way for UNDP staff, partners, and stakeholders to navigate through relevant guidance, resources 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 SES objectives are to:

  • Strengthen the quality of programming by ensuring a principled approach
  • Maximize social and environmental opportunities and benefits
  • 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 (SESP).​

The standards are underpinned by an Accountability Mechanism with two key components: (i) A Stakeholder Response Mechanism (SRM) that ensures individuals, peoples, and communities affected by UNDP projects have access to appropriate grievance resolution procedures for hearing and jointly addressing project-related disputes; and (ii) A Compliance Review process to investigate and respond to claims that UNDP is not in compliance with the Social and Environmental Standards.


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