About UNDP in Asia and the Pacific

Farmer-crops-VietnamFarmers in Viet Nam carry their harvest to the market on bicycles. Ho Ngoc Son/UNDP Photo

Globally the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in more than 170 countries and territories, UNDP offers a global perspective, as well as local insights to help empower lives and build resilient nations.

Development challenges in Asia and the Pacific are as diverse and complex as the region itself. It has some of the youngest democracies and some of the world’s most dynamic economies, but it is also home to more than half the world’s poor.

It is the most disaster-prone region in the world, with small island developing states in the Pacific bearing the brunt of climate change. Meanwhile, concerns about environmental degradation are increasingly relevant for some of the fastest growing economies in the region.

To respond to these challenges, UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific (RBAP) concentrates its efforts on building the region’s capacity to promote inclusive, pro-poor growth, effective governance, and sustainable and resilient development. We help our partners in identifying relevant solutions to today’s complex, trans-boundary development challenges. We support them to design and implement large scale development initiatives that deliver lasting social, economic and environmental improvements in countries across the region.

Our support to governments, civil society, the private sector and communities is at every level of their organization: we provide legislative and regulatory advice that transforms governance systems; we provide capacity building and trainings that build nations; and we organize employment schemes that bring jobs to the most vulnerable groups.
For every project, we provide our partners with a team of experts who link local challenges to national, regional and global knowledge and resources. With presence in 36 countries and decades of experience in the region, UNDP has become a trusted advisor and a ‘development partner’ of choice for governments across the region, not only in accelerating progress towards the Millennium Development Goals, but also supporting the transition to the Sustainable Development Goals. 

Guided by UNDP’s 2014-2017 Strategic Plan, advisory and implementation work focuses on the following areas:

•    Sustainable Development
•    Democratic Governance and Peacebuilding
•    Climate and Disaster Resilience

In addition to these areas of focus which reflect regional developmental priorities, UNDP in Asia and the Pacific emphasizes gender, climate change, social protection and inclusive growth, in all aspects of our work.

Recognizing the complexity of development challenges, increasing advances in technology in the region, as well as the call for a data revolution, UNDP has been investing in innovation, using approaches such as design thinking and fore-sighting tools such as games, mobile applications, and big data to challenge business as usual and develop the next generation of development solutions.

Our results for 2013-14

In 2014, UNDP delivered US$1.3 billion in assistance through its country and regional programmes in the Asia-Pacific region.

With our support in 2013-2014:
•    Five million people, more than half of whom were women, gained access to social protection in Asia and the Pacific
•    In 16 countries across Asia and the Pacific, lives were secured and livelihoods were improved through programmes that build resilience to shocks and protect hard earned development gains
•    Governments in the region accessed funding from the Global Environment Facility to better manage 70 million hectares of ecologically sensitive protected areas
•    Election Commissions in the region registered 16.7 million new voters across seven countries
•    16 Asia-Pacific countries piloted development innovations ranging from online games that combat youth unemployment to mobile apps that tackle e-waste  

The way we work

Coming years in the region and key global events in 2015 will strategically influence the thrust and focus of UNDP country level programming as well as shape future development for middle- and low-income countries in the region.

To remain a relevant and preferred partner of choice to countries in Asia and Pacific, UNDP has strengthened its presence in the region. Our country offices are the first point of contact for our partners. These offices are supported by UNDP’s Asia Pacific regional hub based in Bangkok as well as by Asia Pacific bureau in New York.

The Bangkok Regional Hub (BRH) supports governments in the region by providing policy and technical expertise on sustainable, resilient development, inclusive growth and effective governance. Working in conjunction with the network of Country Offices in the region, the Hub responds to demands for policy and programme advice, maintain oversight of country level operations and ensure alignment of our assistance with regional and corporate priorities. A dedicated Management Support Services Team at the Hub provides training and advisory support to Country Offices to accelerate delivery, enhance operational efficiency and build transformational structures which are fit-for-purpose for managing increasing levels of programme country cost sharing resources and other emerging opportunities. In addition, UNDP Pacific Office, based in Suva, implements the Pacific Small Island Developing States (SIDS) component of the UNDP Asia Pacific Regional Programme.

The Asia Pacific bureau in New York provides overall leadership in planning, coordination as well as resource allocation. The New York presence oversees regional and country programming processes and priorities, emerging issues, region-wide solutions as well as support the Bangkok Regional hub in the development of regional strategy based on regional analysis of development trends, operational and performance parameters and corporate priorities.

How many are we?


UNDP Staff  UN Volunteer
Afghanistan 213 - 213
Bangladesh 94 - 94
Bhutan 36 - 36
Cambodia 67 - 67
China 50 - 50
DPR Korea 15 - 15
Fiji 65 - 65
Indonesia 69 - 69
India 89 - 89
Iran 45 - 45
Kiribati 1 - 1
Lao PDR 62 - 62
Malaysia 22 - 22
Maldives 23 - 23
Mongolia 31 - 31
Myanmar 72 - 72
Nepal 133 - 133
Pakistan 72 - 72
Papua New Guinea 24 - 24
Philippines 38 - 38
Samoa 16 - 16
Solomon Islands 19 - 19
Sri Lanka 45 - 45
Thailand 88 - 88
Timor-Leste 58 - 58
Tonga 1 - 1
Vanuatu 2 - 2
Viet Nam 82 - 82
Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific 37 - 37
Asia-Pacific Regional Centre 74 - 74
Pacific Centre 26 1 27
Grand Total 1,670

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