Jamaica is fiercely patriotic, but encounters difficulty in translating its nationalistic fervor into a democratic process that responds to the populations' needs. Pictured here, on a trip to rural Jamaica, a common country slogan carved into a calabash. PHOTO CREDIT: Asrah Mohammed / UNDP Jamaica

The Democratic Governance Unit works with government partners, civil society, private sector, academia, other United Nations agencies and International Development Partners to achieve significant development results.

Key Goals

UNDP is working to increase the capacity of government and communities to attain a more peaceful, secure and just society.


Increasing citizens' security and community safety while expanding people's opportunities. We are working together with our partners to enhance democratic governance through increased community safety, with due consideration for the human rights of vulnerable people. Women's safety audit demonstrated how women and children's participation is important in community safety planning. We have strengthened initiatives that promote peace, conflict prevention and reduction.

In our 2012 - 2016 programme, we will contribute to the capacity development of key national human rights institutions, and support the establishment of a national oversight mechanism.We partner with national and local governments and with communities to strengthen the delivery of equitable services with emphasis on citizen security and community safety.

A key element of our work is support for policy reform, including support to Crime Prevention and Community Safety Strategy.UNDP makes a strong knowledge contribution through its support for research and analysis. Among the initiatives is our contribution to the Caribbean Human Development Report which charts the links between citizen security and development.

Expanding access to justice

Effective, responsive, accessible and fair justice systems is a pillar of democratic governance. UNDP supports efforts to achieve a more effective, responsive, accessible and fair justice system in Jamaica. We collaborate with national and international partners to bolster initiatives that promote the rule of law and increase access to justice, including formal and informal processes. This is achieved through capacity development of the Ministry of Justice to enable improved justice systems, and through technical assistance for the promotion of alternative dispute resolution and restorative justice mechanisms.

Local governance

Promoting inclusive representation and participation. UNDP is working with partners to support initiatives that deepen community participation in local governance. We help strengthen the capacity of civil society and local authorities to plan and implement community safety measures.

We support citizen participation in local development planning and implementation process, with a particular emphasis on women's involvement. UNDP is also strengthening synergies with national initiatives such as public sector transformation reform and local governance reform. Strong local governance is central to human development and is therefore, a vital element of UNDP's work on inclusive governance that contributes to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.

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