21 September 2012
Press Conference

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Press Conference on Launch of CAPMATCH, United Nations Online Platform

for Exchanging Experiences in Post-Conflict Transitions


United Nations officials today launched an online platform for the exchange of information on expertise to support countries emerging from conflict in building institutions for inclusive governance, security, justice, jobs, economic growth and service delivery among other areas.  (See Press Release PKO/319 of 20 September.)

“It’s a simple way to get expertise that meets your needs,” said Sarah Cliffe, Special Adviser and Assistant Secretary-General for Civilian Capacities of the platform, known as CAPMATCH.  It provided a site for Government agencies and civil society organizations around the world to set out the kinds of experts they had available with “real, practical problem-solving experience”, to match global needs, she added.

Accompanied at the launch by Christopher Coleman, Director of the Civilian Capacities Project, and Shahrooz Badkoubei of the Civilian Capacities Office, Ms. Cliffe noted that in a wide range of country situations — from Liberia to Haiti to Côte d’Ivoire to Timor-Leste — there existed a broad range of needs for institution-building, a critical element in keeping countries from falling back into instability.

“The international community has not always been so good at providing that assistance,” she said.  The self-service, global nature of the site allowed countries to provide a wider range of expertise, from groups based both in countries that had partnered with others emerging from conflict, and those in countries that had themselves undertaken institution-building.  That was important because there was no single model for institutional transformation.  In addition, the participation of both Governments and civil society would provide the broadest experience available.

Projecting a page of CAPMATCH, Mr. Coleman and Mr. Badkoubei provided the example of a search for experts in “economic revitalization”.  On the site, Mr. Coleman said, one would come up with a variety of experts from Indonesia, as described by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with experience in coordinating capacity-building programmes in microfinance and support to small and medium-sized enterprises in places as diverse as Fiji and the Occupied Palestinian Territory.  In the same search, one would also pull up, among other things, expertise offered through the Government of Spain with experience in working with Governments to develop technical plans, for example, vocational centres targeting youth employment, and experts in development and capacity-building listed by the Norwegian Refugee Council.  Those facing gaps had a broad menu to pick from, he added.

In response to questions, Ms. Cliffe said that, although the site was generated by the United Nations, countries and civil society organizations would exchange information directly.  The Organization’s missions and country teams could use it as a source for partners, but would not process offers and needs, she added.  “We don’t expect the UN to be the bottleneck in those exchanges.”

Individual listings of available experts would not be featured on the site since such information changed quickly, she said, adding that it would be more viable to feature organizations and Governments that had available experts.

Mr. Coleman added that his office was still in touch with members of the Senior Advisory Group on Civilian Capacity, which had produced a study of the best ways to mobilize civilian capacity for post-conflict situations (document A/65/747-S/2011/85).  CAPMATCH could be seen as one of the outcomes of that endeavour, he said.

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For information media • not an official record