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Capacity Development and Advisory Services

Millennium Development Goals

UN Photo/Fardin Waezi: Pupils at High School, AfghanistanOn September 6-8, 2000, the Heads of States participating in the United Nations Millennium Summit approved a bold and wide-ranging agenda for reducing poverty and improving lives in the world. That agenda was imbedded in the framework of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), most of them to be achieved by 2015, using 1990 as the standard benchmark. So far, success towards achieving the MDGs has been very uneven in the developing world, largely because initial conditions and historical experience tend to differ among countries. Moreover, the recent global economic downturn as well as high energy and food prices have led to a considerable slowdown in progress.

UN-DESA has joined forces with other international institutions to support National Governments in evaluating existing and designing alternative national development strategies. These strategies support achievement of MDGs through the implementation of a number of capacity development projects.

Strengthening Macroeconomic and Social Policy Coherence through Integrated Macro-Micro Modelling (2011-2013)

  • Objectives
  • Activities
  • Countries
  • Outputs
  • Partners

The project's primary objective is to institutionalise the use of an integrated macro-micro modelling framework in order to strengthen the capacity of policymakers to formulate countercyclical policies that may help mitigate the adverse impacts of the global economic crisis and other external shocks and put the countries back on track to timely achieve the MDGs by 2015. Use of the analytical framework is also expected to enable trained policymakers to be better prepared to anticipate and respond to new external adversities, including those related to high food and energy prices, drops in export demand or declines in worker remittances, among others, to avoid future setbacks in achieving the MDGs.

Launched in 2011, the project builds on the accumulated work of previous capacity development projects "Realizing the Millennium Development Goals through socially inclusive macroeconomic policies" and "Implications of macroeconomic policy, external shocks and social protection systems for poverty, inequality and social vulnerability in Latin America and the Caribbean".

The project is implemented in the following countries:

* Funding from the Development Account.
** Funding from UNDP's country office (and the Ministry of Coordination for Social Policy in Ecuador).

Selected outputs to be delivered under the project are:

  • Studies and policy briefs, which will draw from the application of the methodological framework and incorporate conclusions and policy recommendations in support of policymaking
  • Microeconometric studies on the main determinants of MDG achievement, databases and country Social Accounting Matrices (SAMs) for each country
  • A "toolkit" (i.e., methodologies, computer codes, manuals and guides, and user-friendly guidelines for use of the methodologies and interpretation of the results for policymaking purposes) for policymakers, which is anticipated to become available for general use and training of other potential users in the project's participating countries or other countries
Most funding of this project is provided through the Development Account's allotment to UN-DESA. The project is a collaborative work of DPAD and UNDP country offices. The World Bank, one of the main developers of the methodological framework, may be involved in some stages to assist in the technical training and/or further develop some of the modelling tools. UNDP country offices cooperate in the coordination of the project, including the organization of the workshops and liaising with the Governments, and also provide partial funding for some countries.

Realizing the Millennium Development Goals through socially inclusive macroeconomic policies (2006–2011)

  • Objectives
  • Activities
  • Countries
  • Outputs
  • Partners
This project was implemented from 2007-2011 with the overall objective of strengthening the capacity of policy makers to evaluate financing constraints in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of poverty reduction, universal primary education, reducing child and maternal mortality, and improving access to drinking water and sanitation. Training policy makers to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the macroeconomic trade-offs of implementing alternative MDG financing strategies increased their capacities to more rigorously formulate and propose MDGs-related policies. At the core of the project lies an integrated macro-micro modelling framework that accounts for both the microeconomic determinants of the MDGs and the aforementioned macroeconomic trade-offs associated with financing MDG spending.

A number of activities have been conducted for this project, including training workshops and in-country missions. These activities and technical backstopping through telecommunication have paved the way for institutionalizing the use of the integrated modelling framework for policy making. By reaching a wide audience of policymakers, national experts and researchers, they have also promoted a continued policy dialogue among participants.

This capacity development project was implemented in twelve countries: Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia and Yemen in the Arab region; Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and the Philippines in Asia; and, Senegal, South Africa and Uganda in Africa.

Application of the integrated modelling framework enabled teams of national experts to construct a country Social Accounting Matrix (SAM), generate consistent databases for model calibration, undertake microeconomic costing and sectoral studies for MDG analysis, adapt an economy-wide model system to country needs, and apply a microsimulation methodology to estimate income poverty and inequality at the household level under different scenarios. The acquired capacities and application of the methodologies have enabled the participating teams to produce country studies and discussion papers at the end of the project.

This project was implemented by DPAD in close collaboration with UNDP and the World Bank. Most of the funding was provided by the United Nations Development Account. The World Bank provided the core modelling framework—the Maquette for MDG Simulations (MAMS)—which was applied and further developed in the country studies conducted for this project. UNDP's Regional Bureau for Arab States and UNDP country offices provided institutional and financial support to facilitate the implementation of the project in several participating countries.

The project was also implemented in close collaboration with teams of local experts and policymakers, who were the main beneficiaries of training activities aimed at strengthening their analytical capacities in the use of the project's methodologies.


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