UNDP defines capacity development as the process through which individuals, organizations, institutions and societies obtain, strengthen and maintain the capabilities to set and achieve their own development objectives over time. It aims to unlock transformative change, that is, change that is generated, guided, and sustained by those whom it is meant to benefit. Capacity development can help to strengthen national systems and procedures for health services and improve programme implementation for better health outcomes.
With its global reach, broad mandate and integrator role, UNDP is uniquely positioned to support the kind of systemic and structural change needed at the scale required to bring about sustainable transformation of systems for health. UNDP’s country presence and diverse experience in implementing health and development programmes and policy interventions inform its approaches to strengthening the capacities of national entities to implement large-scale health programmes.
This website details UNDP’s approach, processes and tools for capacity development 1) within the context of health programme implementation and management, and 2) in support of building resilient and sustainable health systems at national and subnational levels. While particularly relevant for entities supporting the Global Fund programmes, the tools, examples and guidance on this site may be adapted to a range of capacity development objectives and needs of governments, civil society organizations, multilateral and bilateral agencies, and other stakeholders that help countries to make progress on the health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the pledge to leave no one behind.
National and subnational governments, multi-stakeholder coordinating bodies, civil society organizations, private sector entities and populations most affected by health and development challenges are all critical in designing, delivering and monitoring the effectiveness of public health programmes. UNDP works with these implementing partners to identify capacity gaps in systems, develop plans to address these gaps and support the implementation of capacity development plans. UNDP’s approach ensures a participatory process, using tools and methods that have been tested in a wide variety of environments.