Volume 18, No.01 - January 2014

Capacity development

Preparing for the 2014 Annual Ministerial Review

amr workshopThe Office of ECOSOC Support and Coordination (OESC), in collaboration with the Division for Sustainable Development and the Capacity Development Office of UN DESA, organized a Training Workshop and Expert Group Meeting in preparation for the 2014 Annual Ministerial Review of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) at UN Women Headquarters in New York on 16-17 December 2013.

The 2014 AMR theme will focus on “Addressing on-going and emerging challenges for meeting the MDGs by 2015 and for sustaining development gains in the future”. It will be the first review to be held under the revised structure of ECOSOC and to be convened in tandem with the High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) meeting under the auspices of ECOSOC. It will provide Member States with an opportunity to reflect on new approaches to review and assess progress towards the MDGs and sustain results in the context of the follow-up to Rio+20 and ongoing deliberation on the post-2015 development agenda.

The objectives of the event were to: a) increase knowledge of the prevailing issues captured by the AMR theme for next year; b) identify key priority areas to be addressed by the Secretary-General’s report and activities leading up to the 2014 AMR deliberations, and; c) propose new ways to measure development progress building on the experience of the AMR and NVPs.

It brought together representatives and senior experts from member States, UN system partners and independent experts to share expertise and knowledge on the issues to be addressed by the theme of the 2014 ECOSOC Annual Ministerial Review. During the two days, the participants shared experiences and lessons learned from their respective work places or national contexts.

The workshop featured substantive presentations by experts, followed by interactive discussions among participants. The discussions focused on: (i) Role of Institutions in Supporting Sustainable Development; (ii) Inclusive development; (iii) Measuring Development Progress; (iv) Lessons Learned from Existing National Reporting, and; (v) NVP Next Generation: Towards a New Analytical Framework.

The deliberations underscored the fact that strong institutions were a prerequisite for successful development, and that strong leadership was a critical driver and enabler of development. So too, was the need to engage citizen participation and building community resilience. This was seen, together with maintaining effective parliamentary oversight, as an effective system of checks and balances that should operate for governments and the governed in all settings.

Various monitoring and reporting options for a post-2015 framework were examined, which should include setting appropriate targets and indicators, identifying measurement tools that are qualitative and quantitative, addressing the role of women and combining local, national, regional and global applicability. Strong monitoring and evaluation features, through a mutual review system, should be central to ECOSOC’s oversight responsibility, with follow up implementation and report-back mechanisms. Continuous capacity building programmes should be designed for MDG acceleration and implementation of the new development framework.

Participants found the workshop to be important in understanding key concepts in the lead-up to the 2014 AMR and in building on the existing strengths of the National Voluntary Presentations. They underscored the need for a new analytical framework for the next generation of National Voluntary Presentations.

For more information:

United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC)


For a holistic water agenda post-2015

Holistic water agenda (UN Photo)From 25 to 27 November 2013, a technical workshop brought together around thirty senior-level water managers, economic planners and statistical experts from fifteen countries to identify priority actions to strengthen institutional capacity for implementing a more holistic water agenda in the post-2015 development framework.

The Workshop was organized by UN DESA’s Division for Sustainable Development in collaboration with the department’s Statistics Division supported by UNICEF, the World Bank, UNEP-DHI and UN-Habitat.

The participants highlighted the importance of water as a resource and a human right, and reinforced why a more holistic water agenda for the post-2015 development framework needs to go beyond water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) – the focus of the MDGs – to one that includes water resource management and water quality/wastewater management. The discussions placed emphasis on national context and realities.

The participants shared experiences and lessons and identified key challenges for linking integrated water resource management (IWRM) to national planning, budgeting and priority setting. They highlighted as a high priority the importance of strengthening institutional capacity in integrated monitoring frameworks and systems in which all stakeholders across all sectors need to be actively involved.

The participants discussed the opportunities of implementing programmes that build on existing initiatives progressing measures to complement GDP – as called for in paragraph 38 of The Future We Want. This especially relates to the area of natural capital accounting, using the internationally adopted methodologies for the System for Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA).

A very important lesson from countries like Brazil, which implemented SEEA-Water, a sub-system of the SEEA central framework, is that the process itself and putting in place the necessary institutional arrangements for implementing SEEA-Water have already contributed significantly in strengthening integrated approaches to water management and development through better coordination and institutional cooperation.

A report will be made available when ready on the Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform, please see the link below.
For more information:

Beyond the WASH Agenda; Strengthening Capacity for Water Resource Management in the Post-2015 Development Agenda