Democratic Governance in Saudi ArabiaUNDP works closely with governments to give policy advice and technical support (photo credit: Mohammed Al-Deghaishim)

Democratic governance provides an ‘enabling environment' for the realization of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and, in particular, the elimination of poverty. Effective governance systems are likely to be characterized by participation, transparency, equity, accountability, coherence, responsiveness, integration, and ethicality. Promoting democracy and strengthening the rule of law were strongly highlighted and endorsed at the Millennium Summit of 2000.

Hence, UNDP's work in democratic governance is reinforced through its work in over 166 offices and its global partnerships with democratic governance institutions. Moreover, UNDP's core services to support national processes of democratic transitions focus on policy advice and technical support; strengthening capacity of institutions and individuals; advocacy, communications, and public information; promoting and brokering dialogue; and knowledge networking and sharing of good practices.

In this context, UNDP Riyadh became heavily involved in several democratic governance successful projects ranging from advisory and technical support to electoral systems and processes, decentralization and urban/rural development, and enhancing the public sector performance. The UNDP-supported project to establish and operate Al-Madinah Urban Observatory Network (MUON) has placed the need for urban and governance indicators high on the planning agenda at the provincial and national levels.

Massive work is underway to replicate this successful intervention in other cities. Other ongoing projects include: “UNDP Technical Assistance to the Electoral Process” in partnership with the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs (MOMRA); The Development of a National Rural Development Strategy with MOMRA; Development of the Saudi Youth Strategy with the Ministry of Economy and Planning; and the “Technical Support to the Institutional Capacity Building of the Saudi Food and Drug Authority”.

All such interventions target fostering democratic governance in the Kingdom.

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