SCP: How Development Cooperation Agencies Make a Difference
(Review, April 2006)

Following up the recommendations of the Costa Rica Meeting, UNEP has carried out a Review (PDF - 7,7 MB) with development agencies to identify their SCP-related projects, find mechanisms for cooperation and better integrate SCP in their programmes. A questionnaire was sent to 25 agencies after testing with four agencies. 19 (76%) responded to the survey: 10 bilateral agencies and 9 multilateral agencies.

The study reveals that development agencies carry out activities linked to SCP, even if they are not always labelled as such. The main findings are:

  • Most of the agencies (79%) are not familiar with and do not use the concept of SCP

  • However, most of them integrate SCP issues in their sectoral projects, such as energy and resource efficiency (86% of the agencies), waste management (75%) and water and sanitation (76%)

  • Only one third of the agencies support activities related to organic agriculture and fair trade. This support still remains small in terms of projects/funding scale

  • Most of the efforts focus on eco-efficiency and cleaner production (90% of agencies)

  • Only 40% of the bilateral agencies promote environmentally sound technologies

Benefits of SCP for poverty reduction

  • Most of the agencies perceive that SCP could help reduce future costs (79%), contribute to poverty reduction (63%) and contribute to major environmental challenges (63%).
  • Half of the agencies believe SCP could contribute to better access to basic services and enable more cost-effective practices, as well as providing new market opportunities and enabling developing countries to leapfrog into sustainability.
  • 11% of the agencies think that SCP could help to reduce the cost of public management.

Recommendations of the Review

Based on the results, the review proposed some recommendations for better cooperation and integration of SCP into the development plans:

  1. Provide information and training on SCP, its benefits for development plans and MDGs, and design trainings on SCP for development agency staff

  2. Strengthen cooperation between development agencies and SCP experts

  3. Integrate SCP objectives in the development agency's agendas, if possible in the operational guidelines for relevant sectors and issues

  4. Raise awareness and political will of senior managers in both recipient and donor countries, probably by including the SCP concept in the debate on aid effectiveness

  5. Initiative new types of projects in developing countries such as credit lines dedicated to SCP


  • Review 'SCP: How Development Cooperation Agencies Make a Difference' (PDF - 7,7 MB)

  • The Annexes of the Review include Fact Sheets on 19 Development Agencies and the Questionnaire. They can be downloaded in four parts, by clicking on the links below:
  • To obtain a CD-ROM of the review, please contact us at