Tools and guidelines for development practioners

Latest tools and guidelines

UNDP tools and approaches assist Country Offices and external partners in implementing the SDGs. Together, they constitute the menu of services being offered through the MAPS (Mainstreaming, Acceleration and Policy Support) project. Some tools provide concrete instruments to support Governments, while others offer more strategic guidance.




Rapid integrated assessments

The RIA aims to aid countries to assess their readiness to implement the SDGs. The assessment is a first step in the process of localizing the SDGs. It reviews the current National/Sub-national Development Plans and relevant sector strategies, and provides an indicative overview of the level of alignment between the plans/strategies and SDG targets. It also identifies the potential need for multi-sectoral coordination around the achievement of specific SDG targets.


Parliaments and the Sustainable Development Goals: A self-assessment toolkit

The toolkit is designed jointly by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and UNDP to enable parliamentarians to identify good practices, gaps, opportunities and lessons learned – effectively institutionalising the new agenda and mainstreaming the various goals into the legislative process. The toolkit is available in English, Spanish, French and Arab.

SIGOB - Management System for Governance

UNDP-SIGOB focuses on the kind of support needed by a steering SDG body to be successful in delivering results on a broad and complex agenda. It is a regional project with global products that works towards more effective, responsive and accountable public institutions through innovation in management methods and tools to manage implementation of the agenda, serve as engagement mechanism with non-government actors around the SDG agenda and support monitoring progress and country-led reporting on the SDGs.

Localization Toolkit

A practical toolkit to facilitate SDG implementation at local level, in collaboration with UCLG (Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments) and UNHABITAT.



Acceleration and prioritisation


Institutional and context analysis

Used to better understand the political economy at country level and how actors’ incentives may block or enable development interventions. It can help identify gaps between formal rules such as laws or regulations and informal ones, and to map those elements influencing the status quo. Past questions, include: “Why has this country had limited success in implementing anti-corruption measures?” “How can this country’s natural resources be used to improve human development?”, “What needs to happen to successfully implement the Peace Accord in this country?”



Tool to mitigate risk of people falling back into poverty. Policy makers gain an evidence-based understanding of how to protect people from sliding back into poverty. Analysis and policy recommendations result in a 5-page policy brief for national authorities and technical staff of ministries.




Conflict and Development Analysis

The CDA is an agency neutral tool that supports evidence-based decision-making for U.N. engagement. Working in conflict/fragile or protracted crisis requires to base our interventions on sound analysis and understanding of the drivers of conflict – be it socio economic or political, conflict factors and dynamics; the actors involved and their special interest in peace or conflict; peace capacities etc. The CDA is a flexible modular tool that assists in the gathering of information, bringing structure to the analysis and the presentation of findings.


Modelling tools (partnership with UNDESA)

Illustrates and demonstrates, through a tools-manual training course, how modelling tools work, and can help governments with prioritization of policy interventions. The suite of tools includes Economy-wide models, Socio-economic micro-simulation, Integrated Assessment of climate, land, water and energy systems (Clews), Energy Systems Dynamic model, Universal Access to Electricity model.


Empowered Futures’ is the term for the adaptation and application of ‘foresight methodology’ to development needs. This takes four distinct forms: i) Alignment of Development Visions; ii) Anticipatory Governance and Strategic Management; iii) Resilient Policy Planning; and iv) Policy and Public Services Innovation.

Foresight is based upon a range of skills such as situational awareness to possible, probable and preferable futures, a pro-active and ceaseless scanning of the wider environment, an ability to sort, sift through and combine open, real-time data and the creation of tight feedback loops.


Data, statistics and indicators


Data Ecosystems

The Data Ecosystem Mapping project provides an indicative blueprint for a holistic assessment of the entire national statistical system’s capacity to leverage data for implementing and monitoring the SDGs, including the capacities of official and non-official data stakeholders, the enabling legislative and regulatory frameworks, the infrastructure requirements, and the opportunities of innovation and new technologies to plug data gaps.