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Jairo Acuña Alfaro

United Nations Development Programme
Policy Advisor for Responsive and Accountable Institutions Team
United States
Jairo Acuña-Alfaro is the Policy Advisor on Core Government Functions and Public Service Excellence, at the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support at UNDP New York since December 2014.

Prior to coming to UNDP New York, Mr. Acuña-Alfaro worked as Policy Adviser on public administration reform and anti-corruption in UNDP Viet Nam since October 2007. In that capacity, Mr. Acuña-Alfaro has helped develop several policies regarding national public sector and civil service reform. In particular, he has provided policy advice and interventions with Governments for the formulation and approval of the Civil Service Laws, the adoption, implementation and monitoring of the anti-corruption strategies, the UN Convention against Corruption, the establishment of monitoring and evaluation frameworks on anti-corruption and public service delivery, pioneering new alternatives to measure corruption, and public administrative performance.

Mr. Acuña-Alfaro is the lead architect of a pioneering effort to measure governance and public administration performance from citizens’ experiences entitled “The Viet Nam Provincial Governance and Public Administration Performance Index (PAPI).” PAPI is now a multi-year policy monitoring tool that supports policy-making processes both at central and local levels.

In addition, Mr. Acuña-Alfaro is the editor of a series of policy discussion papers on public administration reform and anti-corruption at UNDP Viet Nam, engaging leading Asian experts on these issues. He has also contributed extensively to Viet Nam’s Development Report of 2010 entitled “Modern Institutions” led by the World Bank and other international development partners, as well as to UNDP’s National Human Development Report 2011, “Social Services for Human Development.”

Mr. Acuña-Alfaro has experience in governance and public sector reform in such organizations as the World Bank Institute, Washington, D.C.; the Danish International Development Agency in Ghana; HN Consultants ApS in Denmark; Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico; International Center for Sustainable Human Development, the Central American Supreme Audit Institutions Organization Transparency International and UNDP Costa Rica.

Mr. Acuña-Alfaro, a national from Costa Rica, has degrees from Oxford University (Doctor of Philosophy candidate and Master of Letters), University of Essex in the United Kingdom, (MA in Political Economy), and Universidad Nacional, Costa Rica (MSc in International Relations). He was a Ronaldo Falconer Scholar at St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford and a recipient of the British Chevening scholarship