The Regional Programme has been conceived to help:
promote regional cooperation and integration, including through supporting the creation and development of inter-country structures and networks (governmental and non-governmental) to address shared challenges at a sub-regional and regional levels;
facilitate the management of cross-border issues where costs and benefits are best addressed collaboratively on an inter-country basis, such as trade, environment and migration;
advance regional dialogue on sensitive and emerging development issues that may be easier to address in a multi-country context, and where advocacy efforts and the exchange of experiences and perspectives can help raise awareness and support action at regional and ultimately country levels, such as with anti-corruption and integrity, and exclusionary practices targeting certain groups;
promote experimentation and innovation to help overcome institutional, financial and knowledge barriers that may be too high for an individual country to surmount; and
generate and share development knowledge, experience and expertise, for instance, through South-South and triangular cooperation, so that countries can connect to, and benefit from, relevant experiences from across the region and beyond.
The aim of the Regional Programme is to serve as a bridge between country and global initiatives, and facilitate cooperation among countries sharing similar geographic, social and economic conditions.
The work of the Regional Programme is an integral part of RBAS work. It represents four out of seven outcome areas of the UNDP Strategic Plan (2014-2017). Hence, four outcome areas are highlighted in the Regional Programme Document (2014-2017), contextualized for the region:
Growth is inclusive and sustainable, incorporating productive capacities that create employment and livelihoods for the poor and excluded (RPD Outcome 1)
Citizen expectations for voice, effective development, the rule of law and accountability are met by stronger systems of democratic governance (RPD Outcome 2)
Faster progress is achieved in reducing gender inequality and promoting women’s empowerment (RPD Outcome 3)
Early recovery and rapid return to sustainable development pathways are achieved in post-conflict and post-disaster settings (RPD Outcome 4)
The work is progressively built on each areas and partnerships through the projects to foster a regional development agenda that serves the people of the region.