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United Nations Regional Programme for Technical Cooperation

The Role of Inter-Regional Advisers (IRA's)


The services of DESA's IRAs aim to ensure the provision of high-level technical expertise, the transfer of knowledge from global entities to Governments on policy-related issues and development strategies and the formulation, assessment or evaluation of projects and programmes. Most IRAs of DESA are funded by the Regular Programme of Technical Cooperation (RPTC).   Policies and guidelines governing Inter-regional Advisers

  • Most IRAs of DESA are funded by the Regular Programme of Technical Cooperation (RPTC) that is available to several entities of the UN Secretariat ( DESA, the five Regional Commissions, UNCTAD, UNODC, UN-Habitat, OCHA, and OHCHR). DESA is one of the main beneficiaries of the RPTC and has the possibility to employ 18 IRAs on this account. Currently, DESA employs 13 IRAs on the RPTC and two on the Programme Support Account.

  • According to RPTC documents presented to the ACABQ and the Fifth Committee of the General Assembly, the RPTC serves to support developing countries in their capacity development efforts geared towards achieving Internationally Agreed Development Goals including the MDGs.  The programme’s broad objective is to support and advance processes aimed at developing the capacities of Governments, through both individuals and institutions, to formulate and implement policies for sustainable economic and social development.

  • Advisory services that represent the larger share of the RPTC activities aim to ensure the provision of high-level technical expertise, the transfer of knowledge from global entities to Governments on policy-related issues and development strategies and the formulation, assessment or evaluation of projects and programmes. The advisers are seen as the critical interface between the countries and the implementing entities, facilitating country-level access to the expertise of the Organization.

  • The basic rationale for the RPTC — complementing technical assistance available from other sources of funds and enabling the Organization to flexibly respond to specific requests for capacity development, including through advisory services, on issues that United Nations entities are mandated to address, but that may fall outside the established priorities of the voluntarily financed programmes — has not fundamentally changed over the years.

  • The key element that differentiates the RPTC from other technical cooperation support available within the United Nations system is the fact that it allows a fast and flexible response to requests of developing countries to meet small-scale, but urgent, requirements, as defined by them, and enables those countries to harness the expertise that exists in United Nations entities, who typically possess a strong analytical capacity and specialized knowledge of specific economic, social and environmental issues.