The UN’s Development Function: Time for Renewal?

12 Pages Posted: 10 Dec 2018

See all articles by Sanjay G. Reddy

Sanjay G. Reddy

The New School - Department of Economics

Date Written: November 15, 2018


The United Nations’ development function is vital to its purpose. Although the UN has many outstanding development achievements to its credit, its development-related organizations do not meet their full potential. They often do not work together, choose priorities that are well funded over those that have strategic potential, and fail to challenge or to shape development priorities and ways of thinking defined elsewhere. The UN should focus on activities to which its unique characteristics make it best suited and undertake changes that enable it better to act boldly, for example by acting as a convener of unruly but productive debates and by being a truth teller rather than a score keeper. The current process of reforming the governance of the UN’s development function holds promise, even in the present difficult political conditions, but is a mere beginning.

Keywords: Development, United Nations, UN Development System, ECOSOC Dialogue, Independent Team of Advisors, Development cooperation, Aid

Suggested Citation

Reddy, Sanjay G., The UN’s Development Function: Time for Renewal? (November 15, 2018). Available at SSRN: or

Sanjay G. Reddy (Contact Author)

The New School - Department of Economics ( email )

Room 1116
6 East 16th Street
New York, NY 10003
United States

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