About UNDP in Kenya

When did UNDP begin operations in Kenya?

UNDP is the UN's global development network, advocating for change and connecting countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help build a better life. In November 1964, an agreement was signed between the Government of Kenya and the UN System. UNDP was at the time known as the Technical Assistance Board (TAB). The Resident Representative of TAB Mr. B Chidzero signed on behalf of other agencies for the commencement of operations in Kenya.

Thematic Areas of UNDP-Kenya

UNDP operates projects under the umbrella of four strategic programme priority areas namely: a)Devolution and accountability; b)Productive sectors and trade; c) Environmental sustainability, renewable energy and sustainable land management; and d.)Community security, cohesion and resilience. The cross cutting initiatives such as Millennium Development Goals are implemented through the Strategic Policy Advisory Unit, UNV Volunteers Country Office, Communications Unit and the Country Director’s Support Team.

Productive sector and trade undertakes projects that directly involve the impoverished groups where employment is created and regular income generation are possible. Devolution and Accountability, advocacy of human rights, gender, police and judicial reforms as well as the new devolved system of Governance. Community Security, Cohesion and Resilience unit in cooperates peace and security projects.

Environmental Sustainability, renewable energy and Sustainable land management unit largely addresses the conservation of today's natural resources for future generations to come. The Strategic Policy Advisory Team promotes partnerships for aid and donor coordination as well as advocacy initiatives related to sustainable human development and its mainstreaming into the country's policy, planning and visioning frameworks. It also provides periodic analysis of, and intelligence on socio-economic trends, advocating while promoting a culture of achieving the Millennium Development Goals as a whole. The UNV Country office is instrumental in facilitating the use of UNV volunteers to implement programmes that contribute to capacity development as well as to promote volunteerism for development at all levels


The country programme is closely aligned to the GoK Second Medium Term and the UNDP Strategic Plan, 2014-2017 and informed by the new UNDP gender strategy and key recommendations of the 2013 ADR for Kenya. UNDP has designed its programme to address the interlinked issues of poverty, inequality and exclusion towards achieving sustainable and inclusive economic growth. Data-driven selection of target populations (female-headed households, youth, persons living with HIV and AIDS, etc.), with clear indicators, baselines and targets, will be a central pillar in all integrated programmes. The unique principles of engagement of UNDP will support the deepening of democracy in Kenya and promote resilience-building of vulnerable and marginalized communities.

The new programme will support in an integrated manner four strategic programme priority areas: (a) devolution and accountability; (b) productive sectors and trade; (c) environmental sustainability, renewable energy and sustainable land management; and (d) community security, cohesion and resilience.  Find the link to the document http://undocs.org/DP/DCP/KEN/2



The United Nations Development Assistance Framework (2014-2018) for Kenya is an expression of the UN’s commitment to support the Kenyan people in their self-articulated development aspirations. This UNDAF has been developed according to the principles of UN Delivering as One (DaO), aimed at ensuring Goverment ownership, demonstrated through UNDAF’s full alignment to Goverment priorities and planning cycles, as well as internal coherence among UN agencies and programmes operating in Kenya.

The UNDAF narrative includes five recommended sections: Introduction and Country Context, UNDAF Results, Resource Estimates, Implementation Arrangements, and Monitoring and Evaluation as well as a Results and Resources Annex1.

The processes behind the formulation of UNDAF 2014-2018 were extensively participatory and interactive and focused on areas in which the UN Country Team (UNCT) is best positioned to contribute. Formulation was guided by the UNDG Preparation Guidelines, the Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review (QCPR-2012) and the 2010 Guidance Note on the application of UN Country Programming Principles to the UNDAF.

Developed under the leadership of the Government, the UNDAF reflects the efforts of all UN agencies working in Kenya and is shaped by the five UNDG programming principles: Human Rights-based approach, gender equality, environmental sustainability, capacity development, and results-based management. The UNDAF working groups have developed a truly broad-based Results Framework, in collaboration with Civil Society, donors and other partners.

The UNDAF has four Strategic Results Areas: 1) Transformational Governance encompassing Policy and Institutional Frameworks; Democratic Participation and Human Rights; Devolution and Accountability; and Evidence-based Decision-making, 2) Human Capital Development comprised of Education and Learning; Health, including Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Environmental Preservation, Food Availability and Nutrition; Multi-sectoral HIV and AIDS Response; and Social Protection, 3) Inclusive and Sustainable Economic Growth, with Improving the Business Environment; Strengthening Productive Sectors and Trade; and Promoting Job Creation, Skills Development and Improved Working Conditions, and 4) Environmental Sustainability, Land Management and Human Security including Policy and Legal Framework Development; and Peace, Community Security and Resilience. The UNDAF Results Areas are aligned with the three Pillars (Political, Social and Economic) of the Goverment’s Vision 2030 transformational agenda.

The UNCT estimates that approximately $(US) 1.7 billion (for both humanitarian and development assistance) will be needed over the 2014-2018 four-year period to achieve the 13 UNDAF outcomes. This includes the financial resource allocations that UN agencies will receive and the funds that they expect to mobilize from external sources.

The UNCT, under the leadership of the UN Resident Coordinator, will be responsible for the implementation of the UNDAF for the 2014-2018 period. Under the DaO “One Leader” approach the Resident Coordinator and the UN Country Team will be responsible for the oversight of the Results Groups, the Operations Management Team and the Country Communications Group. The National Steering Committee (NSC) will directly oversee the One Budgetary Framework and Programme.

The Republic of Kenya, the UN System and donors will work together in the spirit of partnership to implement the UNDAF, as a contribution to the achievement of national development goals and aspirations and as a concrete step towards the realization of Kenya’s developmental commitments to its people and the international community.


Under the Country Programme Document (CPD) between the government of Kenya and UNDP all decision must be made by the Resident Representative on the side of UNDP and by the Minister for Finance from the part of the Government.

The UNDAF (2009-2013) may be downloaded through the following link: http://www.undg.org/docs/11551/KEN-UNDAF-2009-13.pdf

What do we want to accomplish?

UNDP has a mandate to work with countries to address national development challenges. Through supporting the Government on implementation and developing national capacity, UNDP is contributing to its goal of building and sharing solutions to national needs and furthering the effort to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, to promote growth and reduce poverty.

UNDP Kenya has a strong relationship with the Government of Kenya and is fully committed to further strengthening this partnership. The overall focus of UNDP in Kenya is to support the Government of Kenya to promote enhanced opportunities, empowerment, security (HIV/AIDS, natural and man-made disasters), sustainability and strategic outreach, all of which are detailed in the Country Programme Document (CPD) for the years 2014 to 2018 as outlined in the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) for Kenya.

What are our results?

Kenya's Reform Process

Under the Kenya National Dialogue and Reconciliation process that ended the 2008 violence, UNDP supported actions to restore fundamental rights and libertieInternational Day of democracys, address the humanitarian crisis and promote healing and reconciliation, resolve the political crisis, and address long-term issues. In 2010, UNDP played a key role supporting the Committee of Experts on the Constitutional Review Process, including recruitment of legislative drafters and researchers, purchase of equipment; stakeholder meetings and consensus building among various stakeholders. These efforts resulted in the adoption of the new constitution which is now being implemented.

Highlights of UNDP support for the constitution making process

UNDP supported the InterimIndependent Electoral Commission in the recruitment of a professional secretariat that included a senior technical expert, a voter registration expert and two logistics experts. In addition UNDP supported electoral process by carrying out nationwide voter education campaigns, supporting national voter registration drive that saw more than 12.4 million voters registered and capacity building that included training of the electoral commission officers to manage a free and fair referendum including introduction of the electronic voter transmission kit. The referendum process was cleared by both the international and local observers to have been free and fair. The opposing team also accepted the final results that showed 6,092,593 (68.5 %) of the voters accepted the proposed constitution while 2,795,059 (31.4%) of the voters voted to reject the proposed constitution. In total UNDP with the support of donors invested US$12.4 million in the referendum process.

UNDP also supports a new peace campaign called UWIANO (or Cohesion), a partnership between UNDP, several civil society groups that is aimed at encouraging national cohesion and peaceful co-existence. The initiative's main objectives are to build partnerships of national actors, strengthen conflict early warning and early response, and establish a solid foundation for national cohesion and integration. This is done through Conflict Mapping across the country. In addition peace caravans and peace vigils were held across the country. These initiatives were supported through Media engagement, publicity and campaigns, consolidating partnerships including national and local-level coordination; data collection and analysis; and rapid response and intervention. The Uwiano activities partly contributed to the peaceful referendum process that the country experienced.

UNDP also funded the establishment of an elaborate early warning and response system called amanikenya@108 was established in 2010. In addition 60 peace monitors have been trained in the use of the system and deployed to over 100 districts in the country. The programme aims to train and install about 2000 peace brigades in peace building, conflict management and armed violence reduction initiatives.

Current Staff Count for Kenya

Contract TypeSub Total
Service Contract 34
UN Volunteers 67
UNDP Staff 42
Total 143

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