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UN DESA's Division for Public Institutions and Digital Government (DPIDG) is committed to helping governments serve the people of the world

Through its normative, analytical and operational work, DPIDG assists countries on transformative governance and innovative public administration and services in advancing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, on the basis of an integrated approach by:

(a) Providing secretariat and substantive support to the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council – including its Committee of Experts on Public Administration - on issues related to governance and public administration;

(b) Promoting greater awareness, common approaches, understanding and sustainable policy options among Governments through advocacy and knowledge transfer on good governance, with a focus on Sustainable Development Goal 16;

(c) Providing advisory services and capacity-building methodologies and tools based on research and analysis, with an emphasis on countries in special situations;

(d) Strengthening partnerships and cooperation with other international, regional and professional organizations, both public and private, and within and outside the United Nations system, including through the United Nations Public Administration Network (UNPAN).


Our Work and the Sustainable Development Goals

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015, provides a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future. At its heart are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are an urgent call for action by all countries - developed and developing - in a global partnership.

The 2030 Agenda recognizes the need to build peaceful, just and inclusive societies that provide equal access to justice and that are based on respect for human rights (including the right to development), on effective rule of law and good governance at all levels and on transparent, effective and accountable institutions. Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 16 of the 2030 Agenda specifically calls for effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.

While institutions play a critical role in the achievement of all the SDGs and targets, public sector reforms needed to implement the SDGs continue to be a major and vexing challenge in many countries, particularly in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. New capacities at all governance levels are needed to implement the 2030 Agenda and to make institutions more effective, inclusive and accountable, as called for in Goal 16. Governments need to rethink how they design their policies and make decisions, how they operate and deliver services, engage people and partnerships, mobilize resources, leverage technologies as well as monitor and evaluate their programmes and plans. National and local capacities are needed to design and implement holistic, integrated, and coherent and risk informed policies and institutional frameworks that support people’s aspirations, strengthening central-local government interactions and capacities. Decision-making at all levels needs to include all stakeholders’ voices and perspectives to ensure that no one is left behind and foster inclusive societies. Addressing these complex challenges calls for whole-of-government and whole-of- society approaches and partnerships. UN DESA/DPIDG has re-oriented its work and thematic areas to support the implementation of the SDGs and has spearheaded a number of initiatives designed to help advance the implementation of Agenda 2030.


Our Strategy for 2023-2024

UN DESA's Division for Public Institutions and Digital Government will:

  • Continue to service the Committee of Experts on Public Administration by providing policy advice and programmatic guidance to the Economic and Social Council and the high-level political forum on sustainable development. DPIDG’s substantive support to the Committee includes organizing expert meetings and preparing analytical papers and technical guidelines to operationalize the principles of effective governance for sustainable development, developed by the Committee and endorsed by the Council in 2018, together with all relevant stakeholders; 


  • Continue to monitor global developments on institutional dimensions covered by Sustainable Development Goal 16 and to review national institutional arrangements for the achievement of the Goals, with a specific focus on countries in special situations. This will directly support the follow-up on and review of the 2030 Agenda at the global level. DPIDG will continue to promote policy guidance on innovation, digital government and digital transformation for the Goals through the United Nations E-Government Survey;


  • Foster policy dialogue and advocacy for the implementation of the outcomes of the World Summit on the Information Society. Continue to facilitate the implementation of and follow-up on the action lines namely, C1 (the role of Governments and all stakeholders in the promotion of information and communications technology (ICTs) for development), C7 (ICT applications: benefits in all aspects of life (e government)) and C11 (international and regional cooperation); 


  • Facilitate multi-stakeholder policy dialogue on Internet governance, including discussion of public policy issues related to key elements of Internet governance, such as data governance, digital inclusion and data protection (A/75/16, para. 204), and shape policy decisions at the global, national and local levels by supporting the Secretary-General in convening the annual meeting of the Internet Governance Forum and intersessional activities; 


  • Expand capacity development support to respond to Member States’ requests for technical cooperation with regard to strengthening their governance and public institutions and their human resource capacities in support for the decade of action, including through partnerships with regional commissions and the resident coordinator system;


  • Expand work on equipping public servants with the capacities to realize the 2030 Agenda by providing advisory support and developing and piloting new methodologies to strengthen leadership capacities, institutional arrangements for policy coherence, transparency and integrity in the public service, digital government, digital transformation and innovations in public service delivery, with an emphasis on countries in special situations, in collaboration with its project office on governance and the Resident Coordinator system; 


  • Strengthen the capacity of Member States to promote innovation in public governance through new follow-up mechanisms to the United Nations Public Service Day Awards Ceremony and Forum, such as peer-to-peer learning for the transfer and adaptation of innovative practices, including on gender-sensitive analysis, and through the United Nations Public Administration Network; 


  • Continue to support supreme audit institutions on auditing the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals by providing analytical work, expert advice, technical assistance and capacity-building, on the basis of existing demand for support by groups of the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions; 


  • Support Member States on issues related to COVID-19 by continuing to promote and leverage public governance innovative practices and digital government strategies to address the impact of COVID-19 and as an opportunity for further transformation of the public sector.