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UNOPS and Arup to Strengthen Infrastructure Capacity in Developing World


The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) has partnered with Arup in order to improve the speed, quality and sustainability of infrastructure projects.

Arup, a global consultancy, planning, design and engineering firm, first came to the world’s attention for engineering the structural design of the Sydney Opera House. Since then, the company has extended its focus to include engineering, infrastructure and consultancy. At any one time, Arup is typically working on 10,000 global projects. Its work in infrastructure spans areas including communications, education, health, transport, energy and water.

This partnership is a logical match as UNOPS is committed to building the capacity and professionalism of the infrastructure sector across the developing world. At the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the two organizations, Braye Sutherland, head of the UNOPS physical infrastructure practice said: “To achieve the Millennium Development Goals it is crucial that least developed and developing countries are able to run their own infrastructure projects.”

Jo da Silva, Director of Arup International Development, said: “We hope that this unique partnership with a UN organization will further Arup’s overall mission to shape a better world by enabling UNOPS to access Arup’s global expertise in the planning and design of appropriate, sustainable infrastructure.”

Infrastructure is a core component of development. Well-designed and constructed schools, roads, bridges, hospitals and police stations enable communities to achieve sustainable improvements in health, education, security and economic stability. Arup will work with UNOPS to provide more support to least developed and developing countries during the early stages of a project. This will be done by providing joint consulting and implementation services, and by developing effective standards.

UNOPS is a central resource for physical infrastructure projects within the United Nations system and manages projects in some of the world’s most challenging environments. On behalf of a range of partners UNOPS recently managed the construction and repair of hundreds of schools in Indonesia and has carried out extensive infrastructure projects including constructing post-disaster shelters, water and sanitation facilities, schools and hospitals in countries such as Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti and Sri Lanka.

Arup is a signatory of the Global Compact and the firm’s international development group is non-profit and their goals and aspirations are closely aligned to those of UNOPS. The development group will be the focal point of the partnership and can draw on the resources of Arup’s global network of designers, planners, engineers, consultants and technical specialists.

For more information, please contact Adam C. Bouloukos, Director, Outreach and Partnerships, UNOPS.