Strategic Priority Two: Social Development Services

The United Nations Strategic Framework aims at achieving five key outcomes for social development services.

  1. Sustained and equitable universal health coverage with emphasis on primary health care especially for the most vulnerable and in remote areas.
  2. Enhanced services to address communicable and non-communicable diseases, maternal and childhood diseases especially those experienced by the most vulnerable women and children.
  3. Strengthened health emergency preparedness and response capacity.
  4. Coordinated, equitable and sustainable WASH coverage in households, learning institutions and health facilities, especially the most underserved.
  5. Improved quality and equity in pre-primary, primary, secondary and tertiary education and in technical and vocation education and training.

Planned activities

Through targeted support, the United Nations assists the Government to:

In Health:

  • Support development and implementation of a national sexual reproductive health strategy
  • Advocate for expansion of choice for family planning (method mix) and informed family planning decision-making
  • Strengthen institutional capacity to deliver high quality sexual reproductive health  services at national and sub-national levels, including:
  • professional development for midwives and obstetricians
  • capacity to undertake maternal death surveillance and response
  • Provide essential life-saving sexual reproductive health supplies and drugs, including provinces vulnerable to natural calamities
  • Support evidence based interventions such as Early Induced Breastfeeding / Early Breastfeeding
  • Focus Integrated Management of Newborn and Child illnesses on major causes of under-five mortality in 50 counties, providing essential medicines and basic equipment
  • Deliver immunization services in all counties
  • Conduct a Expanded Programme on Immunization Coverage Evaluation Survey
  • Conduct a Electronic Vaccine Monitoring assessment – 2018
  • Deliver preventive, diagnostic and treatment services for tuberculosis
  • Support enrolment of multi-drug resistant TB cases
  • Introduce a  ‘service package’ for each level of the health care delivery system
  • Further strengthen the delivery of maternal, reproductive and child health services
  • Integrate prevention, diagnosis and management  of  Non-Communicable Diseases and their risk factors at Ri level
  • Further develop country capacity to mitigate and response to emergencies including epidemic and pandemic prone diseases


  • Improve access to sustainable clean water supplies, ensure water qualities, promote improved sanitation and hygiene practices, including safe management of excreta in 8 counties
  • Support complement local resources to establish gravity-fed water systems in 9 counties
  • Develop guidance on gender standards in WASH

Selected achievements


  • Increased Immunization coverage from 43% in 1998 to 96% 2016 and introduction of new vaccines
  • Consolidation and expansion of the National Tuberculosis Control programme and pre-elimination of malaria in DPRK
  • Expansion of Community Integrated Management of Newborn and Childhood Illnesses
  • Expansion of e-Health system including Health Management Information System
  • Expansion of sexual reproductive health services and introduction of guidelines
  • Development of essential package of Services for Household Doctors and Midwives
  • Improvement in technical capacity of household doctors, midwives, and health care worker/providers and managers at all levels
  • Improvement of the Logistics Management System across the country


  • Water assessments in 45 counties completed
  • New improved “Harmless Sanitary Toilet” (rural latrine) introduced
  • Technical capacity building of County/ Ri level WASH technicians on GFS system
  • Construction of water supply systems, mainly gravity fed systems in county town and villages
  • Promotion of  improved sanitary facilities and hygienic behaviors
  • Emergency support of WASH kits and rehabilitation of WASH services


  • Early Learning development standards developed and adopted nationwide kindergarten in 2015
  • Introduction of child friendly school framework and child centred teaching
  • Comprehensive quality interventions in boarding schools
  • Midwifery curriculum revised in line with international standards and introduced on pilot basis
  • Initiation of under-graduate programme in demography at the Population Institute, Kim Il Sung University
  • Curriculum reform for maths and English for school
UN entities involved in this initiative
United Nations Development Programme
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
World Health Organization
World Food Programme
United Nations Population Fund
United Nations Children’s Fund