About UNDP in Mauritius and Seychelles
UNDP supports and supplement the national efforts at solving most important problems of the economic development and to promote the social progress and to better the standard of life. A Standard Basis Assistance Agreement (SBAA) was signed between the Government of Mauritius and UNDP in 1974.
A Standard Basic Assistance Agreement was also signed between the Government of Seychelles and UNDP in 1977 which embodies the basic conditions under which the UNDP and its Executing Agencies shall assist the Government in carrying out its development objectives.
What do we want to accomplish?
The objectives of UNDP are to improve the lives of the people of Mauritius and Seychelles, especially the poorest and most vulnerable, and to ensure a future that offers equality, dignity and opportunity for all. UNDP works in partnership with the Government of Mauritius and Seychelles, development partners, UN agencies, civil society and local communities to help identify local solutions to meet the national development challenges through a range of interventions that combine UNDP’s expertise and comparative advantage in the areas of Democratic Governance, Poverty Reduction and Environment.
What are our results?
The main areas of focus of the past programme were public sector reform, inclusive growth, environmental protection and climate change. UNDP has supported the Government in implementing full-fledged programme-based budgeting, which has shifted the budgeting process from an input-based annual activity to a performance-based 3-year exercise.
Its implementation and impact on the transparency and performance orientation of the budget have received positive international evaluations from the International Monetary Fund and the collaborative Africa budget reform initiative. The UNDP outcome evaluation highlighted that the reform appropriately targeted priorities such as capacity-building, and contributed to tangible progress in public service delivery, as evidenced in the Accountant-General’s annual report: the percentage of detainees with HIV/AIDS provided with anti-retroviral treatments increased from 15 per cent in 2009 to 100 per cent in 2011.
Despite such achievements, the evaluation identified several areas where improvements are needed, including further integration of planning and budgeting functions to ensure linkages between policy priorities and resource allocations; improving the reliability of performance indicators; developing gender-sensitive indicators; further capacity-building on programme-based budgeting in line ministries; and strengthening accountability mechanisms. The evaluation recommended a focus for the next country programme on long-term planning and accountability with respect to programme-based budgeting performance.
On the social front, UNDP provided assistance for the technical design of a social register of Mauritius and a proxy means test to improve the targeting efficiency and harmonization of the many social programmes (which account for about 4.4 per cent of gross domestic product). The project was institutionalized through a government decision to implement the new housing and crèche schemes announced in the 2012 budget. Gender equality was a major focus of work and yielded significant outcomes.
UNDP supported the implementation of gender-responsive budgeting in eight ministries as well as the development of a national action plan to end gender-based violence and, in 2008, the formulation of a national gender policy framework. Capacity-building of ‘gender cells’ in sectoral ministries to formulate effective strategies for integrating gender issues remains to be carried out in implementing the framework.
UNDP in Seychelles has partnered with the GOS to form an independent unit known as the Programme Coordination Unit to implement the various projects which are mainly in the areas of Biodiversity management and protection, Protected Areas management, ensuring capacity building in environmental conservation and planning and in Climate change through the use of grid connected Photo Voltaic systems on rooftops.
The main focus have been to support the implementation of the environmental management plan of Seychelles in order to ensure sustainable development. The programme has supported the country to review existing and develop a number of key environmental legislations in order to create the enabling environment for improved environmental conservation.
Examples of such legislation and key results includes the review of the 1994 Environmental Protection Act and existing Regulations in order to establish the appropriate framework to guide environmental protection in Seychelles and a new Town and Country Planning Act have been developed and Land Use Plans and associated Regulations have been prepared for all 25 districts of 3 main islands of Mahe, Praslin and La Digue.
New concepts such as co-management of resources have been piloted on Praslin Island for artisanal fisheries management which is now being extended to other fisher community on Mahe Island.
The sustainability concept have been built into the tourism operations through the development and adoption of the Seychelles Tourism Sustainability Label which has now been adopted by a large number of operators in the tourism industry.
The UNDP has supported the Government of Seychelles in the wake of the IMF led economic reform process, to establish a National poverty line and also set up databases to better target welfare to the most vulnerable sections of society. Under this project the Statistics bureau was also assisted through capacity building to improve their data collection efforts and produce more poverty related statistics as part of the macro economic reform programme to eliminate universal subsidies.
Governance and human right have also featured prominently in the work of UNDP through the implementation of the EU’s 10TH EDF programme on Governance Capacity Building of State and Non State Actors, enabling good governance practices and wider stakeholder participation through the Civil Society platform. This project has also seen collaboration with the Commonwealth providing technical assistance in the development of a the first National Human Rights Action Plan for the country.
UNDP has assisted the Ministry of Health undertake the Legal Environment Assessment of HIV/AIDs in Seychelles, which has brought about a clear awareness of the gaps and challenges that need to be addressed with regards to policies and laws in Seychelles that affect HIV affected persons.
Throughout the UNDP in Seychelles plays a pro-active role in maintaining close collaboration with the Government and other UN agencies in shaping policies and strategies for ensuring Seychelles takes the lead especially among Small Island Nations for Environmental Conservation efforts
Who are the decision makers?
The UN Resident Coordinator, who is also the Resident Representative for UNDP in Mauritius and Seychelles decides on the activities of the organisation. The UN Country Team meets at regular interval to share information and co-ordinate activities.
UNDP is currently managed by Programme and Operations Managers who is responsible for the day-to-day work.
UNDP in Mauritius and Seychelles works closely with the Government through relevant Ministries and Departments. Implementation of the programme activities are being carried out by Implementing Partners, i.e. Government Ministries, Non State Actors, NGOs, and other UN agencies as appropriate.