History teacher Nicoleta Caraiman (center) helps her students during class exercise at the Scoala Frumusani School in the village of Frumusani.

Development Coordination Office

Photo: © World Bank/Dominic Chavez

Global and Regional Coordination

DCO and the UNSDG

The United Nations Development Coordination Office (DCO) serves as the secretariat for the UN Sustainable Development Group (UNSDG)–34 agencies, funds and programmes working on development–at the regional and global levels.  

At the regional level, five UN Development Coordination Office Regional Directors and their teams in Panama, Addis Ababa, Amman, Istanbul and Bangkok provide Resident Coordinators with regional-specific support, with a secretariat role for the UN Sustainable Development Group. 

At the global level the UN SDG is chaired by the Deputy Secretary-General. The Vice-Chair is the UN Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator.

DCO and the Resident Coordinator System

DCO provides managerial and oversight functions for the Resident Coordinator system. It provides substantive guidance and support to resident coordinators and United Nations country teams, in addition to daily backstopping to resident coordinator offices on the ground.  

DCO acts as a key conduit for supporting the UN's activities for sustainable development, informing policy, programme and operations on the ground. Its activities are advanced through collective ownership by the UNSDG.

The Resident Coordinator system is part of the UN Secretariat as of 1 January 2019.

Development Coordination Office Leadership


The official photo of Robert Piper shows him smiling in front of the UN flag.

Robert Piper

Assistant Secretary-General, Development Coordination Office

Robert Piper of Australia was appointed as the Assistant Secretary-General for Development Coordination in 2018. Mr. Piper brings to the position nearly 30 years of experience in international development, humanitarian response and peacebuilding at the United Nations. Prior to this, he was the Head of the United Nations Development System Transition Team, which was established to provide strategic leadership and oversight to all aspects of the repositioning of the United Nations development system. Before that, he was Officer-in-Charge of the Bureau of External Relations at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Mr. Piper joined the United Nations in 1990 at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Bangkok.  Since then, he has served the Organization in various capacities, including as Deputy Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, and United Nations Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for the Occupied Palestinian Territory, from 2015 to 2018; United Nations Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sahel, from 2013 to 2015; United Nations Resident Coordinator, Humanitarian Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative for Nepal, from 2008 to 2013; and for Kosovo between 2002 and 2004.  He has held a number of other key positions with UNDP at Headquarters and in the field, including as inaugural Director for the Millennium Development Goals Achievement Fund and as Deputy Director for Emergency Response.

Mr. Piper holds an honours degree in political science from the Australian National University and a certificate in French language and literature from the Sorbonne University.  He was selected in 2004 as a World Fellow at Yale University.

Official photo of Rosemary Kalapurakal, Deputy Director, DCO.

Rosemary Kalapurakal

Deputy Director, Development Coordination Office

Rosemary was appointed DCO Deputy Director in May 2021, after having served ad interim since December 2020, and as its Chief of Policy and Programme for two years. She brings to this role more than 20 years of diverse experience at the UN, spanning policy and programme work as well as strategic management and operations. Previously, she served as the 2030 Agenda Lead Advisor for UNDP in its Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, and as the Deputy Executive Coordinator of the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) Programme. She has worked for UNDP in numerous management and policy capacities at HQ and in the field, focused on sustainable development and inclusion. Rosemary holds a doctorate in Business and a master’s degree in economics.