The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS)

Only by bringing everyone to the table, can we address everyone's needs

This article was published more than two years ago. Some information may no longer be accurate.

Driving positive change, by working together

Words by Grete Faremo - Under-Secretary-General and UNOPS Executive Director

At UNOPS, we remain determined that we can all drive positive change, by working together, being bold and embracing new ideas. 

Sustainability Report 2019

Our annual sustainability report is testament to our success. Across more than 80 countries, UNOPS-supported projects created around 5 million days of paid work for local people, of which almost 2 million were undertaken by women and young people. We delivered $2.3 billion worth of support, the majority of it in the world’s most fragile and conflict-affected states. 

Our focus remains resolutely on implementation. As a resource, we support Member States, the UN family and partners to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals.

UNOPS teams around the world are currently working tirelessly to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, from providing emergency health procurement and vital health infrastructure, to supporting countries in planning their longer-term recovery.

In this and our other work, our focus remains on building peaceful and prosperous lives for everyone while protecting our planet. And that will only be possible if we all work together.

Read the full message

2019: in numbers

  • +80

    UNOPS supports projects in more than 80 countries around the world.

    Find out more here.

  • $2.3B
    total delivery in 2019

    In total, UNOPS delivered almost $2.3 billion in peace and security, humanitarian and development projects in 2019.

  • 5M
    days of paid work created for beneficiaries

    Our commitment to sustainability is underlined by the jobs we create in the communities where we work.

  • 28K
    days of technical advice provided to stakeholders

    We contribute to social sustainability and national capacity by passing on technical skills and experience to the people we work with on the ground.

  • 2M
    days of paid work created for women and young people

    Of the 5 million days of paid work created for beneficiaries in 2019, almost 2 million of these days were undertaken by women and young people.

  • +$560M
    to local suppliers

    One of the most reliable ways we help develop local economies is through our expertise in procurement. We encourage local procurement across all of our projects and track these results.

  • 3.5K
    kilometres of roads constructed or rehabilitated

    Roads are an essential means of transporting items between communities. In 2019, our work has helped improve access to markets, essential services and economic opportunities.

  • 83
    schools constructed or rehabilitated

    UNOPS works with partners around the world to ensure children have better access to education.

  • +$1B
    worth of goods and services were procured for our partners

    UNOPS is dedicated to supporting its partners by providing services that increase the effectiveness of peace and security, humanitarian and development projects worldwide.

Our Priorites

Our Priorities

Our Priorities

Delivering on the 2030 Agenda during the decade of action

Delivering on the 2030 Agenda in the Decade of Action

We are now in a decade of action and we must all play our part. Both the public and private sectors must be fully utilized to combine our skills, knowledge and help fund and build the future of development and accelerate the achievement of the SDGs.

Grete Faremo - UNOPS Executive Director

Financing is a critical challenge for the achievement of the SDGs. All countries – and developing economies in particular – will need large-scale investment to build resilient and sustainable infrastructure, expand capacities and implement new technologies that will help the world meet the promises of the 2030 Agenda.



    Published by The Economist Intelligence Unit with UNOPS support, this new body of research explores how better public spending will be crucial for local and national economies as they strive to make progress towards achieving their development priorities.

    The research investigates both challenges and opportunities associated with improving the efficiency and transparency of public spending activities.

    Find out more.


    Landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) face particular development challenges. Geographical constraints limit their access to international markets and intensify their vulnerabilities to climate change.

    In a new report produced by UNOPS experts, we highlight the vital role that infrastructure plays in helping LLDCs combat development challenges.

    Read the report.

Sustainability Report 2019 video

Our Partners

of 2019 partners were governments

Download the PDF to see our full partner breakdown


UNOPS is dedicated to supporting its partners by providing services that increase the effectiveness of peace and security, humanitarian and development projects worldwide.

To advance the 2030 Agenda and support the achievement of the SDGs, we aim to engage in collaborative partnerships with a focus on sharing our expertise in infrastructure, project management, procurement, human resources and financial services.

For the fourth year in a row, UNOPS support to governments reached a record high in 2019, representing almost $1 billion dollars of our portfolio for the year and indicating a clear demand for our services. Government partners included Argentina, Guatemala, Japan, Peru, Qatar, Sweden, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Within the UN family, which represented 26 per cent of our portfolio, our largest partner was the UN Secretariat, specifically the Department of Peace Operations, to which we provided a range of services. 

Read more about UNOPS partnerships

  • Government of Ecuador

    “I am well aware of the important role UNOPS plays to support the transparency, relevance and effectiveness of highly complex projects in different neighbouring countries. I am pleased that the municipality and the Ministry of Transport and Public Works are relying on UNOPS to implement the tramway project.”

    – Lenín Moreno,
    Former President, Ecuador

  • Government of Mexico

    “We want UNOPS to help our government make sure that those who participate in tenders are prestigious companies with an ethical dimension.”

    – Andrés Manuel López Obrador,
    President, Mexico

Page-break-sustainability report


less tonnes of carbon dioxide emitted than 2018
Our Climate

UNOPS has been climate neutral since 2012. Download the PDF to see our full emissions breakdown for 2019 and find out more.


Sustainability is at the forefront of UNOPS work around the world. We aim to help our partners maximize the positive impact and sustainability of their projects, to better serve communities in need.


The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) framework measures the impact of UNOPS work on the environment and the societies in which we work, underscoring how our operations contribute to sustainable development around the world. 

Through GRI, we speak a common reporting language to both those inside and outside of the United Nations. Here we reaffirm our commitment to measuring ourselves against international standards.

Discover more

Our Mission

Our Mission

Our Mission

To help people build better lives and countries achieve peace and sustainable development.

How we work

We are focused on implementation, committed to UN values and private sector efficiency.

We are the only part of the UN not receiving core funding. Our partners call on us to supplement their own capacities, improve efficiency and transparency, reduce risks, boost cost-effectiveness and increase quality.

Sustainability report- video


Each of our service lines has a focus on sustainability and national capacity development. Our financing model promotes lean, effective delivery.

Our flexible structure and global reach means that we can quickly respond to partner needs while gaining the benefits of economies of scale.

We tailor support to the needs of our partners, delivering a key element of a project, offering expert advice, or managing entire projects or programmes.

Find out more about our areas of expertise

In the Central African Republic, as part of a project to help displaced communities, close to 15,000 temporary construction jobs were created in 2019, of which nearly half were carried out by women.
Since 2016, UNOPS has been working with the Guatemala Social Security Institute to improve the efficiency and transparency of medicines procurement.
As of the start of 2020, over 40 per cent of UNOPS personnel are women.
Bounyai, a health volunteer from Salavan Province in Laos, is responsible for providing malaria testing and treatment as well as health education to his community.


UNOPS contributes to broader efforts to help partners realize the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through three focus areas.

Enable partners to do more with less

Enable partners to do more with less through efficient management support services, delivered locally or as global shared services.

For example, UNOPS supports mine action, humanitarian, stabilization and explosive management activities, as well as capacity-building on national actors and United Nations missions, and the weapons and ammunition management work of the UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS) and partners in 19 countries and territories around the world. Totalling around $240 million, UNOPS helped its main partner, UNMAS, deliver a range of results, including:

  • In Darfur, 264 dangerous areas were assessed and closed in 1,821 villages. More than 115,000 small arms ammunitions were destroyed, while 324,663 beneficiaries received mine risk education.
  • In Iraq, 426 police officers, of which 85 were women, were trained to identify, mark and report explosive hazards and more than 446,000 people received risk education and awareness training in schools, internally displaced persons camps and other high-priority areas.
  • In Mali, instructors who had previously been trained on improvised explosive device threat awareness went on to deliver more than 50 training sessions to their own troops and more than 250 survivors of explosive incidents were provided with assistance.
  • In Nigeria, a pilot project targeting vulnerable youth in Maiduguri, Borno State, trained 50 young women and 50 young men as trainers and peer educators in explosive ordnance risk education.

Help people achieve individual, local, national and global objectives

Help people achieve individual, local, national and global objectives through effective specialized technical expertise grounded in international norms and standards.

The Safety Net and Skills Development Project, a government of South Sudan project funded by the World Bank, provided cash-for-work activities through the implementation of minor public works. The UNOPS component of the project provided access to income opportunities and temporary employment to 36,158 poor and vulnerable people. The cash transfer was used to pay school fees, support relatives, and buy food, clothing, soap and medical necessities, among other things. Eighty-nine per cent of beneficiaries indicated that the cash transfers have helped move them a step closer to starting small scale income-generating activities. In 2019, 62 per cent of UNOPS infrastructure projects reported an output enabling equal access, 60 per cent enabled equal access for women and 46 per cent enabled persons with disabilities.

Support countries in achieving the 2030 Agenda.

Support countries in expanding the pool and effectiveness of resources available to achieve the 2030 Agenda. UNOPS is working to further partnerships between the public and private sectors. One way we do this is by partnering with private sector organizations whose resources and expertise can complement our work in countries and regions around the world.

For example, UNOPS continued to develop its Sustainable Infrastructure Impact Investments (S3I) initiative and explore opportunities for collaborative partnerships to mobilize alternative funding sources for the 2030 Agenda, particularly in the areas of affordable housing, renewable energy, and water and sanitation.

UNOPS S3I committed to building more than 300,000 sustainable and affordable homes in Ghana and Kenya, working closely with the respective governments of those countries. These homes will incorporate green technology and will be built using local skills and equipment – providing thousands of new employment opportunities for local people and making a significant contribution to local economic development. Similar projects were also announced in 2019 in Pakistan and the Caribbean. In total, UNOPS has committed to help build more than 860,000 homes over the next decade, making it one of the largest and most ambitious affordable housing programmes the world has ever seen.

Read more

Our Projects

Our Projects

Our Projects

UNOPS helps its partners provide peace and security, humanitarian and development solutions to improve lives around the world.

The Gambia

Connecting communities and advancing gender equality in The Gambia

3 min read


Restoring Indonesian peatlands, protecting our planet

3 min read


Baby boxes give newborns in Ukraine a stronger start to life

2 min read


Modernizing transportation in Mexico City

2 min read


Providing reliable and sustainable energy to the people of Gaza

3 min read

Our People

Our People

Our People

We work hard to recruit and retain the best expertise.

of vacancies were filled by women by December 2019
Recruitment targets

During 2019, UNOPS executive leadership took decisive action in order to meet the gender parity targets. Download the PDF to see the full breakdown across 2019.



Our partners rely on our professionalism, skills, expertise and innovative ideas to successfully complete projects in some of the most challenging locations around the world.

As members of the UN family strive towards gender equality, we report our personnel data and turnover rate by gender. This helps us to better identify issues and take targeted steps to improve. 

In December 2018, 39 per cent of UNOPS personnel were women. As of 1 January 2020, 43 per cent of UNOPS personnel were women.

We recognize that we have work to do to achieve gender parity at UNOPS and we are committed to addressing this situation.


Ideas. Analysis. Solutions.

Diseases without borders

Infectious diseases don’t respect national borders. To eradicate them, we shouldn’t either.

Here's how

Gender parity is necessary when working in challenging locations

Humanitarian aid and development projects often take place in difficult locations. The need for a diverse and gender-balanced workforce to implement these projects can’t be ignored.

Here's why


Explore further