UNDP Health Implementation, Procurement and Capacity Strengthening Support

UNDP Health Implementation, Procurement and Capacity Strengthening Support

In certain countries UNDP has transitioned all or part of the grant management functions, but continues to provide significant support to the new Principal Recipient, particularly in carrying out procurement and supply management, one of the most challenging areas to develop comprehensive national capacity.

In some cases, UNDP carries on doing the actual procurement for the new PR. In 2015, UNDP’s  total procurement spend was $239 million. For health products, UNDP has developed a specific procurement strategy for Global Fund grants via partnerships with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) , the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the Global Drug Facility (GDF) and with industry.

UNDP operates on a collaborative spectrum leveraging the technical competence of the UN family and non-UN partners to deliver against four strategic objectives for good pharmaceutical and health products:

  • selection of reliable suppliers of quality products;
  • procurement of the most cost-effective pharmaceutical products in the right quantities;
  • timely delivery; and
  • achievement of the lowest possible total cost.

In addition to actually carrying out procurement under Global Fund grants, UNDP also provides procurement and capacity strengthening support to a number of governments or other national entities managing Global Fund grants that are still working on bringing their systems to the required level of maturity, and require temporary support.

For instance, in Zambia and Zimbabwe, UNDP is providing support and capacity strengthening services in the form of Support Service Agreements. This support includes development of capacity of national systems and procurement reform.

Areas of support that UNDP can provide, based on its mandate, expertise and experience gained through the partnership with the Global Fund include:

  • Procurement services for medicines and health products. Strengthening operational linkages between UNDP’s environment and health work e.g. introduction of solar photovoltaic systems in HIV clinics in Zambia. 

  • Support to countries to promote enabling national legal and regulatory frameworks, including the management of intellectual property rights to facilitate equitable access 
to affordable and essential medicines. 


UNDP’s health procurement support is a provisional mechanism for governments and other partners to access, as and until the national systems can fully and effectively resume this role. The services 
offer a broad approach to procurement and supply chain management, strengthening national structural and human resource capacities for supply, planning, forecasting and monitoring & evaluation for transparent and cost-effective procurement, as well as a stimulus for health programming in policy and procurement reform. Coordination with other UN agencies is an essential aspect of this work, and enables the national entity and UNDP to benefit from the mandates and expertise of WHO, UNICEF, and UNFPA, among others.

UNDP can rely on its specialized knowledge of and expertise in medicines and health products and its on-going interaction with industry to keep abreast of evolving issues and innovations in public health. This enables the procurement of safe, effective and high-quality health commodities offering value for money in its support to governments.

In addition, UNDP has established a pre-approved Health PSM Expert Roster, which facilitates the quick deployment of vetted experts experienced in Global Fund requirements.