Inclusive Growth


Inclusive Growth and SDGs

The Inclusive Growth and SDG Unit promotes an integrated approach that tackles the connected issues of multidimensional poverty, inequality and exclusion, and sustainability, while enhancing knowledge, skills and production technologies to enlarge peoples’ choices, reduce risks and sustain development gains. The unit’s goal is to strengthen capacities and provide an enabling environment for access to opportunities, focusing on the most vulnerable and excluded population groups – in ways that are sustainable from economic, social and environmental standpoints.


Strengthening Supply Chain Management in the Health Sector

Medical Stores Limited (MSL) is the central factor in the storage and distribution of health commodities for the public sector in Zambia, covering over 2,000 health institutions. As a result of increased provision of health services to the general public the supply volumes handled by MSL have increased dramatically over the years and MSL faced serious challenges with the storage space available.The support provided by UNDP is aimed at increasing the storage capacity from 7,000m2 to 21,000m2 in Lusaka, improve on the storage and handling systems at MSL and construct four (4) regional warehouses and distribution hubs in four provinces around the country. The main funds for these construction works were given to UNDP by the Government of Zambia. This positively contributes to their engagement and shows the trust that the Government of Zambia has in UNDP capacity and competencies to manage large construction projects on their behalf. This trust was based on previous works successfully done by UNDP with support from GFTAM (funds).

In 2017-2018 UNDP with funding from GFTAM completed the construction of four Regional Pharmaceutical Warehouses in Mansa, Chipata, Mpika and Choma, including the procurement of the racking and moving equipment for one of them (Mansa). All four Regional Warehouses are currently still in their warranty periods, but fully operational. Only two (Mansa and Mpika) have already been launched by the President of Zambia, the remaining two (Choma and Chipata) are expected to be launched shortly.

In 2018 UNDP also successfully started and completed the construction new Pharmaceutical Grade 6,000m2 Warehouse, a Hazardous Goods Store, Warehouse Support Units, Drivers Waiting Room and the Guard House at Medical Stores Limited (MSL) funded by the European Union. The racking in the new warehouse goes up 16 meters high and the floor is meeting some of the highest standards available worldwide (DM1), thereby joining a very select group of warehouses in Africa. The expanded medical warehouse will contribute to the attainment of SDG3 and SDG13 by promoting healthy lives and wellbeing for all ages and will contribute to the effective and efficient supply chain services for essential medicines and medical supplies in Zambia.

On 23 July 2019, the President officially commissioned the completely functional new warehouse with 23,000 new pallet space and a renovated (existing) warehouse with 10,000 pallet space to MSL.

Health System Strengthening

Global Alliance for Vaccine and Immunization (GAVI) entered into an agreement with UNDP on 11th April 2018 to support the Ministry of Health (MoH) to strengthen capacities of seven District Medical Health Offices (DMOs) to implement programs to improve immunization services to populations living in remote areas in close cooperation with UNICEF and WHO. The seven districts are Lunga, Samfya, Mwense, Milenge, Mpika, Chinsali and Luwingu. A striking feature for all the seven districts is that they are remote and have lower immunization rates than their counterparts. GAVI traditionally works with UNICEF and WHO and this is the first of capacity building grant provided to UNDP globally.

Under a separate Health System Strenghtening (HSS) grant from GAVI, the seven Districts will receive equipment and funding to implement activities. The Districts will however be required to budget and account for the funding received to GAVI. UNDP under this project will provide training and mentorship to ensure timely (donor) reporting and asset management for GAVI. It is expected that this support will directly contribute to better planned activities and improve accountability of the seven Districts for the assets and funds received from GAVI, but it will also improve their program delivery, as delays in disbursements due to missing/incomplete reports will be minimalized.

As part of this support, UNDP in collaboration with the Ministry of Health held a 5-day training for all the seven 7 districts from 24th to 28th September 2018 in Mansa. The training covered Results Based Financing (RBF), Gavi Financial rules and regulations and Navision. Navision is the Enterprise Resource Planning tool (ERP) that will be used by the districts, not only managing GAVI funds but also other funding from Government and other donors. The objective of the training was to equip the Districts key financial and program staff with the requisite knowledge and skills in management of GAVI funds with a view of improving immunization rates in their respective districts. 

Following the training a combined team from UNDP and Ministry of Health did four mentorship visits to each of the seven Districts. The first visit was to establish the baseline and subsequent visits were to mentor the Districts and monitor progress being made against mutually agreed milestones.

The mentorship programme implemented by UNDP acknowledges that capacity building is multi-dimensional. There are many facets that need to be considered, including behavioral traits. In most cases lack of technical expertise is not the main obstacle to good performance, but the absence of a right mindset to apply oneself positively. The mentorship programme therefore is not prescriptive but consultative. It encourages the main duty bearers to take the lead in finding solutions themselves to their challenges.

Development Minerals Programme Phase 2

This UNDP project is funded by the ACP-EU Development Minerals Programme. Phase 2 is starting in 2020  and is a three-year  capacity building programme that aims to build the profile, and improve the management, of Development Minerals. The programme is an initiative of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States, financed by the European Union and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and implemented by UNDP and Ministry of Mines and Minerals Development in Zambia.

The ACP-EU Development Minerals Programme Phase 2 is implemented at both the regional and country levels. At the regional level, the programme conducts capacity building activities with participants from forty ACP countries through regional training workshops, field trips, the production of guidance products and knowledge exchange. The programme will also host a final conference to enhance the knowledge sharing activities con-ducted during the programme. Participants of regional training workshops implement the skills and knowledge that they have gained from the training through return to work plans. At the country level, in depth capacity building is under-taken with six focus countries: Cameroon (Central Africa); Guinea – Conakry (West Africa); Uganda (East Africa); Zambia. (Southern Africa); Jamaica (Caribbean); and Fiji (Pacific).

UNDP Zambia has worked with the Government in the implementation of interventions to reduce poverty through the Development Minerals Programme.  This approach aims to 1) increase the sector’s productivity; 2) better manage small scale mining operations; 3) adhere to national and international environmental and health standards; 4) prevent conflict through effective community relations.

Activities and support at the country level have included: Training and capacity building workshops; Provision of mall grants to small scale miners and partnership building  Government, Universities, private sector associations and  co-operating partners to upgrade value chains; Studies, sector capacity assessments, and capacity development roadmaps; Organization of public-private dialogues; Production of maps and databases; Strengthening of regulations on environment, health and safety; Organizing community engagement meetings and dialogues to address grievances; and Organization of technology fairs and networking events. The capacity building activities was targeted in areas where most artisanal and Small-Scale Mining is prevalent in to the Copperbelt, Lusaka, Eastern and Southern Provinces. Mining of building materials has been active in urban areas where artisans extract and crush minerals for the available markets.

In order to actualize the capacity building efforts, UNDP has provided eight small grants to the small-scale miners so that they can improve productivity that can ultimately increase incomes and reduce multi -dimensional poverty. Women and youth have been deliberately targeted and have been equipped with practical skills on cobblestone paving and laying which has improved income generation and the use of cobblestone manufacturing and paving technology in Zambia has been promoted.

Further, to address production constraints arising from lack of access to finance, UNDP has forged partnerships with the African Guarantee Fund and local financial institutions in Zambia to develop tailored and accessible financial packages for the sector. This will enable greater access to finance that is needed to access technology and markets to improve productivity.

Sustainable Resettlement of former Refugees in Zambia

Zambia is currently hosting over 73,000 Persons of Concern (refugees, asylum seekers, and former refugees), with many having been in Zambia since the 1950s with an additional 11,000 new refugees having arrived since 2017 when the situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) further deteriorated.

It is necessary to ensure that a long-term development approach, bridging the humanitarian-development nexus, is taken and that efforts continue to strengthen the sustainable resettlement approach for promoting human security. Most of the insecurities of the resettlement communities are caused by: i) protracted status as refugees with limited civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, ii) lack of social services and diverse livelihood opportunities in the resettlement areas due to them being outside national and local government development planning structures, and iii) the fact that the communities are newly established and lack structures for cultural integration and social cohesion.

The overall goal of the project is to ensure that communities living in the targeted resettlement schemes are cohesive, productive, sustainable and fully integrated into development at all levels. Interventions under this project will seek to contribute to the overall vision of the Sustainable Resettlement Programme and will build upon initiatives already undertaken by UNHCR and other UN agencies.

Linking Policy to Programming Project 

Several studies show the negative impact of adverse behaviour and actions of law enforcement bodies on human rights, access to services (including health care) and access to justice amongst key populations, including young key populations. Stigma, discrimination, harassment, violence, unlawful arrests and other human rights violations impact on all aspects of key populations’ lives, resulting in fear and increasing marginalization and creating further barriers to their access to services such as health care, ultimately increasing their risk of HIV.

The role of law enforcement bodies has primarily focused on controlling criminalized activity such as drug use, sex work, or same-sex relationships, with limited or no regard for the human rights and public health consequences. However, recently there are examples of positive attitudes, behavior and practices of law enforcement bodies that recognize the positive role that can be played by law enforcement bodies in health and human rights protection, including HIV prevention, particularly for key population groups. Positive attitudes, behavior and practices are often attributed to strong and committed leadership both within and outside of law enforcement.  Hence in the context of HIV and sexual and reproductive health for key populations, the need for balanced partnerships between police, key populations, health care providers HIV and SRHR programmes is critical.

A regional consortium comprising UNDP, AMSHeR and HEARD are implementing a regional project, funded by the Netherlands aimed at strengthening legal and policy environments for reducing HIV risk and improving sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) for young key populations in Southern Africa. The project is implemented in Angola, Madagascar, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) regional level.

One of the project’s expected outcomes is strengthened capacity of parliamentarians, national human rights institutions, policy makers, law enforcement and the judiciary in promoting the HIV/SRH-related needs and rights of young key population. An intervention planned by the project to achieve this outcome is working with governments to institutionalize capacity strengthening on the rights and needs of young key populations within national curricula, such as national training for judges and police.

Growing Inclusive Business

With a per capita gross domestic product (GDP) of around US$ 1,700, Zambia is considered a lower middle-income country with noticeable economic growth. Large portions of the population, however, have not shared in the overall improvement of national prosperity. Despite the increase in GDP, Zambia’s income inequality has widened, evidenced by rise in Gini-coefficient from 0.65 in 2014 to 0.69 in 2017.Unemployment and underemployment rates are as high as 7.9% and 10.2% respectively. Unemployment rates are highest in urban areas at 14% compared to 3% in rural areas, leading to geographic inequality. Among youth, male unemployment is particularly high for the age group 20-24, while female unemployment is high for the age group 15- 24, standing over 25%.

The new “Growing Inclusive Business” programme is promoting innovations for business acceleration to improve the livelihoods of low-income communities. The programme is aimed at increasing the contribution that the private sector can make to advancing inclusive and sustainable economic growth and based on the principle that productive sectors should expand income-earning opportunities that are decent and sustainable, especially for youth and women in the poorest areas. The programme is led by UNDP and the Ministry of Commerce Trade and Industry (MCTI) and  is implemented in close cooperation with other relevant ministries, agencies and stakeholders.

The “Growing Inclusive Business” programme has been conceived to compensate for several challenges, including, 1) limited access to skills development opportunities for poor communities, especially in rural areas; 2) limited access to business development services that promote employment and innovative entrepreneurship; and 3) limited access to factors of production, including infrastructure.

This programme is especially aimed at the people living in peri urban and urban areas of Zambia, through provision of technical assistance and injection of risk capital to enterprises that are MSMEs with special focus on youth and women-led start-up companies, they could be individuals, groups or cooperatives in Zambia, and the creation of innovation and business incubation hubs.

This programme aims to support innovation and impactful entrepreneurship, including   access to innovation and business acceleration opportunities and providing mentorship, technical assistance, and finance to start-up companies and MSMEs, run by women and youth, that focus on development challenges through innovative business models that empower people and deliver sustainable solutions. To develop and support this programme to reach the intended goal, partnerships with various stakeholders, particularly in the key sectors: ICT, agriculture, mining, tourism, and production and distribution sectors will be sought.

Pedestrians First

Transport and communications play a critical role in the growth and development of Zambia’s economy. Over the period 2010 and 2016 the growth of this sector has averaged above 7 percent. In Zambia, transportation costs are among the highest in the sub-region working against the welfare of people particularly the poor. The 7th National Development Plan recognizes that while transport and communications are critical to economic growth and poverty reduction, if inappropriately designed, transport strategies and programmes result in networks and services that worsen the conditions of the poor, harm the environment, ignore the changing needs of users, and exceed the capacity of public finances to maintain them.

Currently in many of the main cities in Zambia, and especially in Lusaka, pedestrians are relegated to the margin of the roads in dusty and uneven, small dangerous spaces. According to a JICA Household Interview Survey, conducted as part of a Comprehensive Urban Development Plan for Lusaka in 2009, walking is the dominant mode of movement for home-based trips, accounting for 65% of the total daily urban movement, when public transport accounts for 23% and private transport 10%. Zambia has engaged in numerous road development projects; however, these have been designed and constructed without pedestrian walkways or cyclist lanes, even though walking and cycling play a fundamental and unique role in the efficiency of transport systems. Non- motorized transport (NMT) modes provide basic mobility and affordable transport and offers crucial first- and-last mile connectivity to public transport.

The overall goal of the Pedestrians First Project is to contribute to improving sustainable mobility in Zambia to help the most disadvantaged to have access to safe and affordable means of non-motorized transport. This will contribute to the wellbeing and livelihoods of the overall population and will have positive environmental benefits. Safe walking and cycling infrastructure, not only will decrease the cost of transport of the disadvantaged but also, it will, in turn, improve people’s health and have positive benefits on economic productivity. The project will also be a catalyst for converting Lusaka into a livable city that will encourage business investments especially in the tertiary and service sectors, and contribute to reduced carbon emissions. Ultimately, this will contribute to transforming Zambia into a nation of healthy and productive people as outlined in the 2017-2021 7NDP.

The main beneficiaries of this project are marginalized communities who utilize non-motorized transport as a mean to reduce their monthly comminuting expenditures. However the infrastructure will also benefit local  a businesses and better off local neighborhoods. Public private partnerships will be pursued to advance the objective of converting Lusaka into a more livable city that upholds principles of sustainable, safe, and livable cities to create triple benefits: improve health and safety of its citizens, protect the environment and mitigate climate change.


$3.13 billion


In 2016, 810 environment projects were under way in 143 countries, representing a grant investment of $3.13 billion. The grants leveraged another $14.12 billion in cofinancing for environment and sustainable development priorities in these countries.

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