Mainstreaming, Acceleration and Policy Support (MAPS)

Mainstreaming, Acceleration, Policy Support (MAPS) is the common approach adopted by the UNDG to frame its support for SDG implementation

This animation shows how the UN works to move the Sustainable Development Goals from paper to practice through the MAPS approach (Mainstreaming, Acceleration and Policy Support)

What is MAPS?

Mainstreaming helps governments to land and contextualize the agenda at national and local levels; ultimately reflecting the agenda in national plans, strategies and budgets. This means mapping what a country is already doing, and where it may need to change direction. It is also about continuing to sensitize national stakeholders about the new agenda.

Acceleration supports governments and national stakeholders to target resources at root bottlenecks to sustainable development, paying special attention to synergies and trade-offs across sectors.

Policy Support refers to coordinated and pooled policy support to countries that demand it, making the thematic expertise housed in different UN entities available in an effective and coherent way.

UNDG's Concept note on Mainstreaming, Acceleration and Policy Support for the 2030 Agenda  outlines the approach in further detail. 

UNDG's Mainstreaming the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: Reference Guide to UN Country Teams and related training material is designed for UNCTs supporting Member States and national stakeholders in adapting the 2030 Agenda to national contexts.


UNDP’s global project for 2030 Agenda implementation works as a one-stop-shop for guiding, supporting, and coordinating activities implemented by different partners across UNDP and beyond. The project (‘Enabling responsive, coherent and inclusive support to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’ or ‘MAPS project’) was launched in January 2016 and runs until December 2020.

For UNDP, the roll-out of the 2030 Agenda represents a crucial opportunity to mobilize the UN Development System and to leverage its comparative advantages to contribute to the global development agenda.

MAPS missions

Upon request of the Government, the UN deploys integrated policy support missions (MAPS missions), drawing on high-level managers and identifying relevant technical expertise for each country context. Some missions focus on mainstreaming, i.e., actions needed to be taken at the outset to land the 2030 Agenda at the country level. In other contexts, it is critical to look at acceleration as well, to help identify synergies and trade-offs across SDGs, finding the root bottlenecks, which if unlocked can accelerate progress across a number of SDGs simultaneously.

Where suitable and agreed with the government, one of the mission deliverables is an SDG roadmap. The roadmap outlines how the UN system intends to support the mainstreaming and implementation of the 2030 Agenda at the country level (including at sub-national and local levels) and how this support will complement a UN Country Team approach under MAPS. 

As of November 2017, 26 integrated policy support missions have been deployed  to support SDG implementation, including 10 to Africa, 7 to Europe and Central Asia, 5 to Latin America and the Caribbean and 4 to Asia and the Pacific.