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United Nations Development Programme

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About UNDP

UNDP works in more than 170 countries and territories, helping to achieve the eradication of poverty, and the reduction of inequalities and exclusion. We help countries to develop policies, leadership skills, partnering abilities, institutional capabilities and build resilience in order to sustain development results.

UNDP focuses on helping countries build and share solutions in three main areas:

In all our activities, we encourage the protection of human rights and the empowerment of women, minorities and the poorest and most vulnerable.

UN Member States met on 25 September 2015 to adopt the new Sustainable Development Goals, or Global Goals, which will guide global development priorities for the next 15 years. UNDP's network links and coordinates global and national efforts to strengthen post-2015 frameworks for development, disaster risk reduction and climate change as they help shape global sustainable development in the coming years.

Procurement at UNDP

In order to fulfill its mandate and achieve its vision of empowered lives and resilient nations, UNDP must procure a significant volume of goods and services. As a public organization entrusted with donor funds and committed to supporting developing economies, UNDP abides by the following principles:

Best Value for Money, which consists of the selection of the offer that best meets the end-users’ needs and that presents the best return on investment. Best Value for Money is the result of several factors, including quality, experience, the vendor’s reputation, life-cycle costs and benefits, and parameters that measure how well the good or service allows the organization to meet its social, environmental or other strategic objectives.

Fairness, Integrity and Transparency, which ensures that competitive processes are fair, open, and rules-based. All potential vendors should be treated equally, and the process should feature clear evaluation criteria, unambiguous solicitation instructions, realistic requirements, and rules and procedures that are easy to understand.

Effective International Competition, understood as giving all potential vendors timely and adequate information on UNDP requirements, as well as equal opportunity to participate in procurement actions, and restricting them only when it is absolutely necessary to achieve UNDP development goals.

In the best interest of UNDP, which means that any business transactions must conform to the mandates and principles of UNDP and the United Nations.

UNDP has to strictly observe its financial rules and regulations. While this may sometimes lengthen the procurement process, UNDP delegates a significant amount of authority to its Country Offices, has introduced more flexible methods for low-value/low-risk purchasing, and approves purchase orders electronically, all of which save time and money for the organization and its vendors.

 

How we buy

UNDP buys goods and services from each of its 166 Country Offices, as well as from UNDP's Procurement Services Unit (PSU) located in New York & Copenhagen. Responsibility for procurement is decentralized, meaning that the entire procurement cycle – from sourcing to contract management – is done locally. 

The Procurement Services Unit (PSU) supports UNDP Country Offices around the world by strengthening and improving the procurement function. 

PSU enables Country Offices and Business Units at Headquarters to obtain best value for money when buying goods and services. PSU units provide advisory assistance, draft procurement policies and offer world-class procurement training and certification.

Upon request, PSU may also undertake direct procurement activities for complex or urgent purchasing through the Global Procurement Unit (GPU) and the Central Procurement Unit (CPU).

The GPU, based in Copenhagen, Denmark, has three dedicated teams of procurement specialists:

(i) The Crisis Response / Environment Team supports UNDP Country Offices through Crisis Prevention, Recovery, Emergency and Energy projects, especially through relief-to-rehabilitation and reconstruction phases. 

(ii) The Health Team procures and delivers time-sensitive, life-saving health products from all over the world, ensuring the uninterrupted supply of quality pharmaceuticals and medical items. 

(iii) The Elections Team provides strategic guidance and operational support in electoral procurement to UNDP Country Offices and Electoral Management Bodies, contributing to legitimate and demoncratic processes, especially in developing or post-conflict countries.

The CPU, based in New York, provides a strategic, centralized procurement process for Headquarters Business Units, ensuring quality services, efficiency, compliance and value-added to projects.  

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