United Nations Development Programme

Russian Federation

Millennium Development Goals

UNDP activities to assist the Russian Federation in achieving MDGs

For the Russian Federation, a middle-income country and a member of the G8, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) do not represent a formal basis for national development planning. Nonetheless, many MDG-relevant goals and indicators are reflected in strategic documents adopted by the Government, specifically, in the Medium-Term Strategy of Socio-Economic Development (2006-2008), and most recently in the National Priority Projects initiated by President Putin (Statute on the Presidential Council for the Implementation of Priority National Projects). These Projects foresee a boost in budget allocations in the areas of health, education, housing and agriculture, and address such issues as education in rural areas, the eradication of HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, and the reduction of poverty through enhanced access to credit resources. The Office of the First Deputy Prime Minister is overseeing the implementation of the Projects, supported by several sectoral ministries.

The main achievements of the past five to seven years include a significant reduction of poverty levels, from 25 per cent to 15 per cent of population living below the national poverty line. This is due in large part to economic growth based on favourable world oil and gasoline prices. There has also been a reduction of child and maternal mortality levels, driven by increased income and some improvement in primary care. In addition, high-level government attention to the problem of HIV/AIDS is promising a reverse of the epidemic trends in the near future.

The Russian Federation is close to achieving many of the MDG targets set globally, but the country continues to experience problems: the extreme poverty of up to 5 per cent of the population, especially among children; large numbers of working poor; and inequality of access to education, particularly for disadvantaged groups and in rural areas. The demographic situation remains the most difficult issue, with life expectancy at birth among males falling to a record 58 years in 2006. Finally, differentiation in the level of development between over 80 Russian regions remains very high. Some compare with European Union countries, and some are as poor as the least developed countries.

In 2005, UNDP supported the first ever National Human Development Report on the MDGs. The Report Russia in 2015: Development Goals and Policy Priorities analysed the MDG agenda customized for the Russian Federation and prepared through a participatory process involving major national stakeholders. The Reporttried for the first time to relate the human development dimension to the Governments development priorities through the lens of the customized Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The report and a set of goals and indicators it formulated are designed to assists the Russian Government in working out social and economic development programmes for the country and in implement the Presidents National Projects.

The 2006/2007 UNDP human Development report for Russia Russia's Regions: Goals, Challenges, and Achievements looks at the MDGs in the context of the Russian regions. The Report attempts to give a comprehensive survey of regional human development problems and to identify positive socio-economic policies aimed at overcoming them. In a situation, when levels of economic development of different regions are in a range from those of African countries to countries in Central Europe, the Report emphasizes the diversity of regional development priorities and opportunities for changing people's quality of life. It also describes the most successful regional experiences with state, regional, and municipal programmes that contribute to regional and national attainment of MDGs.

Many of UNDP projects in the Russian Federation under the Focus Areas are aimed at assisting Russia in achieving MDGs. A sample of just a few of them includes:

Goal 1. Halve the proportion of people living in extreme poverty

Sustainable Reintegration and Recovery in the North Caucasus
The North Caucasus is one of the most socially and economically vulnerable areas of the Russian Federation nowadays. In November 2004, UNDP launched a three-year programme "Sustainable Reintegration and Recovery in the North Caucasus", which includes support to economic growth and employment creation through assistance in development of SMEs, business education and training, creation of business incubators, business centres, as well as microfinance and leasing projects etc.

Support to the Reform of Budgetary Process in the Russian Federation
The project aims at supporting the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade (MEDT) as well as other ministries and the Government of the Russian Federation in introducing the result-based governance and budgeting (RBB) procedures at the federal and regional levels. RBB tools allow to budget the attainment of specific quantified indicators linked to the solution of social and economic problems, including some of MDGs targets.

In 2007, results-based budgeting tools for more effective results-based governance were further promoted at the regional level through the development and publication of methodological recommendations for Russias regions. In partnership with government ministries and the World Bank, these recommendations were promoted in Russias regions. The project supported MEDT in developing a balanced scorecard methodology. It assisted the Ministry for Regional Development in preparing a contribution to the Governments Joint Report comparing development priorities of regional and federal executive authorities, using the example of the South Federal District.

Support to Local Governance Reform in the Russian Federation
The main goal of the Project is to support the ongoing local governance reform process in the Russian Federation. The outcomes of the project include better awareness of citizens on local self-governance and more active citizens participation in the local governance; improved implementation of the federal legislation requirements through the development of the necessary regulatory documents and increased capacities of officials from executive authorities; as well as increased efficiency and transparency of the local authorities through information centers and ICT tools. Improved local governance is a pre-condition for the improvement in the lives of people.

In 2007, support was rendered to civil society advisory councils in municipalities in the Republic of Karelia; a regional web-site on the reform was created; and advisory services on civic engagement were provided to regional and municipal authorities. The project continued promoting ICT tools in the Republic of Buryatia through the support to public information centres based in municipal libraries. Fourty five librarians received training in ICT through a certified course.

Support to Development and Implementation of Moscow-based System for Export and Investment promotion
The project is aimed at providing practical support to Russias integration to WTO. This implies application of the most efficient methods of integration into International Trade System, demonstrated by Moscow as a leading producer of the competitive innovative products. The Project deals with elaboration and implementation of the system for export support and investment promotion called Moscow Export Initiative (MEXI) and creation of the Moscow Agency for export support and investment promotion. The Moscow Investment and Export Promotion Agency (MIEPA) along with the Moscow Investment Gateway system are already functional. MIEPAs activities have resulted, among other things, in the opening of the Moscow culture and business centre in Bishkek.

Promoting Investment and Interregional Cooperation in the North-West Federal District
The project fosters a favorable investment environment in northwestern Russia, which includes the creation of a system of investment incentives and a common information domain to attract and enable investors, as well as facilitates cross-border cooperation in the Northwest Federal District. It promotes international economic cooperation between the Northwest Federal District and Germany, France, Italy, Austria, other West European economies and the rest of the world and aims at improving marketing for NW Russias regions.
The project has organized a number of important events, including the International Conference Cross-Border Cooperation: the Russian Federation, the European Union and Norway and the International Conference on investment attraction to automotive component industry AUTOINVEST. With the projects support, the First International Forum on the renewed Northern Dimension programme is going to take place in May 2008.

Promoting sustainable economic and social development in Briansk Oblast
Strategies for ongoing local development continue to be carried out in the Bryansk Oblast - an area severely affected by the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe. This corresponds to the integrated UN Chernobyl Recovery Programme, where economic recovery and poverty alleviation have been identified as key goals. UNDP conducts a micro-credit programme, making it possible for local residents to meet their basic needs after years of struggle for survival. In 2007, the micro-credit fund created with the projects support, expanded its activities, increasing the number of micro loans provided to local entrepreneurs and farmers from the Chernobyl affected regions. As compared to 2006, the total sum of the loans has increased almost three-fold to approximately US$ 116,440. The Local Economic Development Agency established by the project contributed to capacity building and training of local entrepreneurs and assisted the local administration in organizing the First Bryansk Oblast Investment Forum.

Goal 3. Promote gender equality and empower women

Gender Mainstreming in Russia (in the context of the UN Development Goals and sustainable human development)
The purpose of the project is to develop and incorporate gender-balanced training and re-training programmes for government officials, experts of the federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, teachers and trainers of the centers dealing with the training of the government officials. In 2007, the project conducted gender analysis and monitoring of the most acute social problems in Russia in the context of the protection of rights of both women and men; launched the public discussion of eight analytical papers on the most crucial political decisions of the RF Government through the the web-portal "Women and Society"; issued three training manuals, which included a gender component, for further professional re-training of government officials and civil servants at the Russian Academy of Public Service (RAPS) and its 69 regional branches; and conducted three nation-wide conferences on gender-related topical issues.

One of the key events in 2007 was the conference Small and Medium Businesses Development: Strategies of Womens Poverty Elimination, attended by representatives of power bodies, microfinance organizations, business associations, NGOs and expert community. The conference focused on the development of womens entrepreneurial activity as a strategy of poverty elimination with finding key mechanism and solutions which would enable women to be more competitive and successful in running their own businesses and in combining entrepreneurial activity with family obligations.

Goal 6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases

UNDP Programme to combat HIV/AIDS in Russia
Distinct from the roles of other UNAIDS co-sponsors and other UN agencies, UNDP focuses on interventions aimed at creating an enabling policy, legislative and resource environment essential for an effective and truly multi-sectoral response to the epidemic. In the Russian Federation, UNDP efforts build on increased national commitment, which became evident in 2006 with creation of a high-profile national coordination body Governmental Commission on HIV/AIDS, and a policy shift from treatment to prevention. In this context, UNDP conducts a series of projects, which you can learn about here

Goal 7. Ensure environmental sustainability

Conservation and Sustainable Use of Wild Salmonid Biological Diversity in Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula
The priorities specifically related to energy and climate, which have been identified by UNDP and the Russian Federation, include promoting conservation and careful use of energy and natural resources and ongoing local development including effective water governing policies. Conservation and ensuring long-lasting use of natural resources requires support of natural protected areas and the most vulnerable ecosystems and rare species. For example, Kamchatka's diversity of wild salmon requires protection for its global importance as the only such place remaining on earth. The project has already supported establishment of a salmonid protected area in Kamchatka the first the kind in Russia. The project has also supported anti-poaching enforcement and developed recommendations on sustainable salmon fishery, biodiversity-friendly salmonid hatcheries and angling ecotourism programme.

Apart from this project, UNDP Russia has been implementing over 10 projects addressing sustainable energy use and biodiversity conservation, thus helping the Russian Federation to implement global environmental conventions and achieve MDG Goal-7).

You can learn about five other projects in this field, which are under development, here

Goal 8. Paricipation in global development partnership adequate to Russian national interests

Calculating CIVICUS Civil Society Index in Russia
The main task of the project is a research of civil society in Russia with application of the methodology of CIVICUS Civil Society Index. Based on the research results, a number of activities will be planned aimed at increasing citizens activism. The project will allow to evaluate the state of the civil society as of 2007, as well as to compare it with the results of the previous report on CIVICUS Civil Society Index in Russia for 2005. Furthermore, the results will allow comparing specific indicators reflecting the state of civil society in Russia and several dozens of countries around the world, where Civil Society Index was undertaken. The Report on civil society in Russia for 2007 will serve as a basis for definition of weak and strong sides of the civil society in Russia and priority measures for its development.

Russia as an emerging donor. Strategic research, advisory services and training to support creation of the national agency/mechanism for international development assistance
The project is aimed at provision of advisory services to Federal Government institutions and other relevant agencies, involved in the development and implementation of the technical cooperation programmes and to support Government efforts in the establishment of a national agency/mechanism for providing technical assistance. The project provides advisory services, facilitates coordination and interaction between the relevant Russian government agencies as well as partnership with the non-government stakeholders, including academic institutions, civil society and the corporate sector. It ensures information exchange and cooperation channels with other ODA agencies or structures worldwide, etc. In 2007, the Russian President adopted a Concept of Participation of the Russian Federation in International Development Assistance, which will give an impetus to projects implementation.

Fostering Multi-stakeholder Partnerships to Achieve MDGs in the Western CIS and Caucasus in the Framework of the Global Compact
The main goal of the project is to harness value-creating assets of the private sector for socio-economic development in the Western CIS and Caucasus through the promotion of multistakeholder partnerships in the framework of Global Compact. The project works to achieve significantly increased private sector participation in development projects in the region. To this end, in 2007, UNDP in Russia and the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on aligning the RSPP Social Charter with the principles of the Global Compact. This initiative will allow integration of the National Network of the UN Global Compact and members of the Social Charter of Russian Business to jointly promote CSR and GC principles among Russian businesses. The first Network meeting of the GC members took place at premises of the United Company RUSAL as a leading GC member and a Chair Company of the Steering Committee. UNDP and UC RUSAL signed a Memorandum on cooperation in the area of environmental protection and sustainable development. UC RUSAL became one of the first Russian signatories to the Global Business Leadership Platform on Climate Change of the UN Global Compact.