Developing Regional States

What is the project about

The DRS programme is a UN Flagship Joint Programme (UNDP, UNICEF, UNCDF, FAO, WFP, WHO and UN Women) designed to accelerate the development of the four Developing Regional States. It focuses on enhancing public service delivery for accelerated development outcomes in those regions. The Programme is designed to respond to the Government of Ethiopia’s policy to increase resilience, enhance public service delivery and accelerate equitable human development in the most marginal parts of Ethiopia: Afar, Bensahngul-Gumuz, Gambella and Somali regions. These four regions are lagging behind the other regions in Ethiopia in all indicators related to human development and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The programme has been implemented since June 2012 with the total budget of USD 40 million and support from DFID and other partner agencies. This Joint Programme has some three components, namely:


a)      Strengthening capacity for quality local governance;

b)      Improving social service delivery; and

c)       Building capacity for sustainable livelihoods;


Aligned with Ethiopia’s GTP and the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF 2012-2015), DRS-JP aims to consolidate and build strategic partnerships to support the efforts of the government to attain the MDGs. The two underpinning strategies for the Joint Programme are: (a) building resilience against recurrent natural hazards and emergencies; and (b) promoting equity through development of under-served areas. The JP is an excellent example of the UN and Government working together to maximize the impact of their joint efforts especially in the context of Delivering as One in Ethiopia.

What have we accomplished so far

  • Resilience is being built through capacitating regional and sub-regional local governments;


  • The JP maximized the impact of joint efforts especially in the context of Delivering as One  in Ethiopia;


  • Local ownership, leadership and sustainability promoted as a result of the participatory nature of the programme, including community participation in the planning, monitoring and reviewing of development interventions;


  • Development of strategic plans of 22 DRS districts reviewed, including better mechanisms for regional revenue appropriation and expenditure, improved coordination and  decision making at all levels (Woreda and regional levels);


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