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Capacity Development News

On 3-5 June 2014 in Amman, Jordan, DPAD led the final training workshop under its capacity development activities in the country. During the workshop participants received guidance on how to, using the economy-wide model known as MAMS, simulate policies that were specifically designed to inform the country’s economic development plan (EDP). These exercises included: (i) an increase in direct tax rate for the 20% of households at the top of the income distribution, (ii) an elimination of subsidies for bakery products and/or refined oil, and (iii) an increase in public spending and investments in tertiary education. An additional analysis of the effect of an increase in FDI was also conducted. Results from said policy simulations from MAMS were also used to implement a microsimulation model using the Household Income and Expenditure Survey (HEIS) for 2010. In this way, poverty and inequality indicators were estimated for all scenarios.

The Minister of Planning & Development (MPD) of Bolivia, Ms. Viviana Caro Hinojosa , has expressed her gratitude for DPAD’s capacity development activities as these are helping to “support the ministers in policy decision-making by measuring the economic and social impacts of external shocks and policies using the modelling tools developed by UN-DESA”.

Ms. Caro Hinojosa considers that “this work has also provided the first indications of the additional spending required to achieve the MDGs, the best source of financing to cope with this cost, and the specific policy priorities needed to implement this agenda and align it with the country's Agenda Patriótica 2025.”

The Minister has also expressed her satisfaction with the increased technical capacities of Bolivian technicians as a result of the most recent UN-DESA project, following two other similar projects, noting that this has benefitted national authorities by improving the quality of the advice they rely on for policy decisions.

On 15 April, 2014, Dr. Albert Musisi, of the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, presented a paper titled "Uganda Public Sector Borrowing Requirements, Financing Options and the Implications for Economic Performance", highlighting Uganda's need for significant additional investment capital in the next 6 years to finance the country's investment plans. Dr. Musisi's presented his work at the National Development Policy forum, held at the office of the president of Uganda, where experts discussed financing options to meet the country's infrastructure plans.

Dr. Musisi was the leader of a technical team in Uganda formed by a capacity development project led by UN-DESA, which transferred knowledge to government staff to analyze economic and policy changes and provide advice to policy-makers. In his paper, Dr. Musisi uses the modelling tools imparted by DESA's capacity development activities to highlight the implications that the investment projects and their financing have on the general macroeconomic stability of the country. With total government spending expected to increase to an average of 24 per cent of the GDP between 2014/15 and 2017/18, there is fear that commercial borrowing could crowd-out private sector investments.

The policy dialogue and the successful transfer of knowledge are key accomplishments of DESA’s capacity development project Strengthening Macroeconomic and Social Policy Coherence through Integrated Macro-Micro Modelling

The Minister of National Planning and Economic Policy of the Republic of Costa Rica, Mr. Roberto J. Gallardo, has expressed his gratitude for DPAD’s capacity development activities that have benefited colleagues at the Ministry and other government agencies.

Mr. Gallardo considers that “the importance of these exercises demands from us continued work with them with a view of building more capacities and generating a multiplier effect that benefits other colleagues of the Ministry, as well as continuing improving the analytical work on issues of national interest and contributing key information for decision making”.

The Minister has also expressed his satisfaction with the policy recommendations he is receiving on issues of taxation, investments in infrastructure and government transfers. The recommendations are prepared by government staff using policy simulation analyses that have been developed as part of the project Strengthening Macroeconomic and Social Policy Coherence through Integrated Macro-Micro Modelling

On 5 and 6 December 2013, an Expert Group Meeting on "Macroeconomic challenges to development policies post-2015: lessons from recent country experiences", organized by DPAD, examined the implications of the global macroeconomic environment on the achievement of a sustainable development agenda and highlighted lessons learned from MDG achievements in a selected number of country studies to assess the challenges that a more ambitious agenda will pose on policymakers. The first day featured discussions on the global macroeconomic environment and financing a sustainable development agenda as well as three presentations on the macroeconomic challenges in Brazil, China and India. In the second day, country teams who participated in DPAD's capacity development activities presented the simulation results obtained in the modelling of the prospects of achieving the MDGs and possible use of this methodology to inform the policy options countries could take to advance an agenda for sustainable development.

Read more about the meeting.

On 30 October 2013 in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, DPAD led the final workshop and activities under its capacity development project in the country. During the workshop participants presented a final summary of the project’s accomplishments in Honduras and the work produced by experts from the Central Bank of Honduras trained in the framework of the project. Read more about the project

Read more about the presentation.

On 16 October 2013 in Kampala, Uganda, DPAD led the presentation of the final of policy research papers prepared under its capacity development activities in Uganda. DPAD also participated in the launch of the country's MDG report and held meetings with high level policy officials on future collaboration in preparing the Second National Development Plan. Read more about the project

Read more about the presentation.

On 10-13 September 2013 in Managua, Nicaragua, DPAD lead the presentation of two policy research papers and three policy notes produced by government experts trained in the framework of the project, and worked to fine-tune policy simulations. The results were presented to 150 experts at the Central Bank, and to 30 experts from different government institutions at the Ministry of Finance. DPAD also held meetings with high level policy officials on the impact of the policy notes will have on informing policy makers and follow-up activities. Read more about the project. Read more about the project

Read more about the presentation.

On 27 August 2013 in La Paz, Bolivia, DESA/DPAD staff together with the Ministry of Development Planning and its Economic and Social Policy Analysis Unit (UDAPE), and UNDP Bolivia held working meeting and conducted the final workshop of the Development Account Project "Strengthening Macroeconomic and Social Policy Coherence through Integrated Macro-Micro Modelling". During the workshop participants presented their final policy notes to over 30 attendees from various institutions of the Bolivian Government, including Ms. Maria Felix Delgadillo, Director of UDAPE. The group engaged in substantive discussions and focused on how to fine-tune the messages to policymakers. Read more about the project

Read more about the workshop.

On 21-22 August 2013 in Manila, Philippines, DESA/DPAD staff and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) of the Philippines' Government held a working meeting and took part in the final workshop of the Development Account Project "Strengthening Macroeconomic and Social Policy Coherence through Integrated Macro-Micro Modelling". During the workshop participants presented their policy simulation results to over 20 attendees from various institutions of the Philippines's Government, including policymakers. The group engaged in substantive discussions and focused on how to transmit the messages to policymakers. Read more about the project

Read more about the workshop.

On 8-9 August 2013 in San José, DESA/DPAD staff conducted hands-on sessions on policy modelling for members of the Forecasting Unit of the Ministry of Planning. The sessions included a refresher on modelling methodologies, marking the successful completion of the Development Account Project “Strengthening Macroeconomic and Social Policy Coherence through Integrated Macro-Micro Modelling” in Costa Rica. The Chief of the Forecasting Unit, Mr. Mario Robles, expressed his and the Minister’s gratitude for DESA/DPAD’s support and the accomplishments of the project. DESA/DPAD will continue to provide technical backstopping to the Ministry and other participating institutions if needed beyond the time span of the project to ensure the sustainability of capacities. Read more about the project

About Capacity Development

The Development Policy and Analysis Division leads DESA's capacity-development and policy-advisory activities on macro-economic issues. Activities focus on training and advising policy-makers in developing countries to enhance their analytical capacities in designing coherent macroeconomic, social and environmental policies; reducing vulnerability to volatility in the global economy; and enabling LDCs make the most adequate use of benefits derived from the LDC category. The use of analytical and training tools, tailored to country needs, facilitate the implementation of activities.


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