UNCDF works directly with national governments in the least developed countries (LDCs). UNCDF’s relationship with each national LDC government is legally established and governed by a Standard Basic Assistance Agreement (SBAA).
All UNCDF programmes share the common approach of ensuring local ownership, as well as aligning with the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) prepared collectively by UN agencies in cooperation with host governments and other partners. Within each country, UNCDF usually works with the Central Bank on financial inclusion, and the Ministry of Local Government (or equivalent) on local development finance.
The thematic solutions that UNCDF’s financial inclusion programmes offer the host country governments are integrated into the country programming, in joint programmes with UNDP or other UN agencies where possible. As part of this process, financial inclusion programmes request the host country governments to formally endorse programming support or investments in financial inclusion, as well as to recognize UNCDF’s contribution in this area in future reporting against the goals of the UNDAF.
Similarly, UNCDF local development finance programmes ensure that there is a real demand and national ownership. The programmes are developed as part of a broader national agenda that will enable the successful scaling-up of the pilots. Hence, the approach is always consistent with and supportive of the country’s own development plans. Local development finance programmes sign a ‘Country Framework’ with each host government that is translated into an annual workplan.
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