The United Nations in Zambia


WFP - Zambia
WFP - Zambia

The United Nations in Zambia comprises 22 agencies (Resident and Non-Resident agencies) namely: FAO, IAEA, IFAD, ILO, IOM, OHCHR, UN WOMEN, UNAIDS, UNCDF, UNCTAD, UNDP, UNECA, UNESCO, UNFPA, UN-HABITAT, UNHCR, UNICEF, UNIDO, UNODC, UNOPS, WFP, and WHO.  The support of the UN is coordinated under the Zambia UN Sustainable Development Partnership Framework which aims to achieve transformational results in support of Zambia’s development priorities in the period 2016-2022. This assistance ranges from providing global expertise and policy advice to technical assistance and capacity development in key priority areas. It abides by the UN system’s Delivering as One Standard Operating Procedure, which seeks transformation in the way UN agencies work together to strategize, plan and deliver support to national priorities in the new sustainable development world. 

Based on this, the UN in Zambia is taking a much stronger Delivering as One (DaO) approach, in line with the UN Reforms, and aims to better position the United Nations operational activities in Zambia, for development to support countries in their efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The UN’s new business model is expected to increase efficiency and effectiveness, reduce transaction costs and strengthen national ownership. 

The Partnership Framework represents an agreed partnership between Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ) and the United Nations in Zambia, as part of its national development planning process and ensuring progress towards the Vision 2030.   


  1. UN Zambia implements in a coherent and coordinated manner the UN Sustainable Development Partnership Framework 2016-2022, to support the Government of the Republic of Zambia to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Standing in solidarity with the Government and the Zambian people, UN Zambia provided immediate life-saving and life-sustaining assistance in response to the drought and floods, and recently within the COVID-19 response, targeting the most affected while strengthening their resilience. For the country to build back better, UN Zambia started implementation of the UN Socio-Economic Response Plan organised into five pillars: health, social protection, economic recovery, macroeconomy, and social cohesion.

  2. The United Nations in Zambia maintains a unique comparative advantage as a dedicated partner of the Government in its ability to respond to specific development needs of the country. Guided by universally recognised human rights standards and international norms, the United Nations in Zambia offers its services and support in: i) promotion of innovative and thought leadership; ii) development of policies and normative frameworks, and their implementation in line with international conventions and treaties to which Zambia is a state party; and iii) innovation—piloting new initiatives, and developing knowledge networks and sharing, including to promote South-South learning. Such comparative advantages mean the United Nations in Zambia is well placed to forge partnerships to leverage the technical expertise, capacities and resources of external partners to support Zambia in achieving transformative results.

  3. Combined with high-quality integrated policy advice, the United Nations will offer technical support to: i) strengthen both public and private service delivery institutions; ii) build capacity of duty-bearers to deliver equitable social services; iii) create an enabling policy environment, including development of accountability structures and tools (e.g. scorecards on youth and gender) for greater transparency, responsiveness and accountability; iv) facilitate public-private sector dialogue and partnerships; v) promote strategic, targeted and adapted investments; vi) strengthen social protection systems and schemes; and vii) generate evidence, including effective, timely, reliable and disaggregated statistical data for better planning and budgeting at all levels, and for better understanding and monitoring inequalities and vulnerabilities, and tracking progress for the most marginalised and vulnerable groups.

  4. The United Nations in Zambia will work with the Government and non-state actors to build the capacity of communities to: i) access and use economic opportunities and sustainable financial services; ii) demand coherent policies and regulatory frameworks that empower vulnerable populations, especially youth and women (e.g. land ownership policies), including migrant labour; and iii) develop businesses, generate income and promote sustainable livelihoods. The United Nations will continue to support communities to access and use technologies and services for enhanced productivity, sustainability and resilience of poor farmers and production systems. Support will be provided to poor rural women to access and participate in more lucrative markets.

  5. Effective and participatory monitoring for greater transparency and accountability needs good real-time, disaggregated evidence by geographic location, age, gender and wealth quintile. The United Nations will provide technical support to: i) revise the legislative framework, defining the mandate of the National Statistical System; ii) build the National Statistical System’s capacity to develop clear statistical indicators relevant to various sectors; iii) advocate for consistent allocation and utilisation of resources to generate consistent quality data collection, to undertake analysis and to disseminate disaggregated data; iv) assess existing gaps and challenges in current systems for public administration reforms; v) effectively plan, implement and measure results; and vi) strengthen legislative, coordination, institutional and accountability frameworks.

  6. The United Nations in Zambia will provide support to both duty-bearers and rights-holders, especially those who are marginalised and vulnerable, to live the vision of the UN Charter. United Nations support will include: i) technical assistance to monitor and report on human rights and the status of implementation of international human rights obligations; ii) policy advice and technical assistance to revise and harmonise statutory and customary legislation according to international human rights norms and standards; policy advocacy to promote freedom of opinion, expression and access to information; and iv) policy advice and technical support to implement legal and judicial reform. It will also provide support to build the capacities of: i)parliamentarians and their secretariats to discharge their civic duties; ii) civil society to enable them play their role as intermediaries and advocates; and iii) marginalised and vulnerable people to enable them to participate in national democratic and development processes as well as to claim their rights and seek legal recourse when they encounter discrimination or violations of their rights.

The Sustainable Development Goals in Zambia

The Sustainable Development Goals are a global call to action to end poverty, protect the earth’s environment and climate, and ensure that people everywhere can enjoy peace and prosperity. These are the goals the UN is working on in Zambia: