Sustainable Manufacturing and Environmental Pollution Programme


The Sustainable Manufacturing and Environmental Pollution (SMEP) programme has been established by the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and is implemented in partnership with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). Please visit the UNCTAD SMEP project page here.

The SMEP Programme aims to generate cutting-edge scientific evidence and to improve existing knowledge on the environmental health and socio-economic impacts of selected manufacturing sectors across target countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Through the staggered calls below, the programme will also identify technology-based solutions to address the most pressing environmental health issues associated with manufacturing in focus countries and invest in developing business processes and systems to promote the uptake of identified pollution control solutions.

  1. Piloting technology solutions that address manufacturing pollution in East Africa.   
  2. Market-aligned interventions for cleaner production in the textiles industry (final stages of evaluation). 
  3. Pollution mitigation interventions in the tanneries sector (call open).

In addition, the programme addresses plastic pollution and supports the development of material substitution and biodegradation options. FCDO has committed £24.6 million to deliver research and related interventions to meet programme objectives. The SMEP programme was commissioned in mid-2019 and will run until the end of 2024.


The manufacturing sector provides substantial opportunities for economic growth in developing countries but is frequently associated with high levels of pollution and environmental degradation. There are many reasons for poor pollution management and control. In sectors that are dominated by micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSME), factors include limited capacity for investment, poor access to resources and limited technological know-how. Weak regulatory environments and limited application of financial and policy incentives are also contributing factors.

The SMEP programme is funding research and related interventions aimed at reducing the environmental  and socio-economic impacts of the manufacturing sector in focus countries, as well as addressing some of the most pressing challenges associated with plastic pollution. Programme interventions aim to accelerate the development and uptake of solutions with potential for impact.

The Independent Technical Advisory Panel (ITAP) provides strategic guidance to the implementation of the SMEP programme. The group of independent experts provides a sounding board for the SMEP procurement strategy and advises on the selection of SMEP service providers.

Please refer to UK Government Development Tracker portal for the SMEP Business Case and supporting contextual documents.



FCDO has appointed a Project Management Agent (PMA) to manage programme delivery. The PMA comprises a consortium partnership between Pegasys and SouthSouthNorth (SSN).

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