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Institutional development and public service delivery

UN DESA support to institutional development and public service delivery for the SDGs cuts across all areas of the Department’s support to sustainable development policies and strategies. SDG 16 provides the overarching framework for this work, which aims to foster national institutions, processes and leadership that can support integrated, inclusive and innovative approaches for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. Such support builds on the guidance of the ECOSOC Committee of Experts on Public Administration (CEPA) https://publicadministration.un.org/en/CEPA – which has recently developed a set of principles of effective governance for sustainable development https://publicadministration.un.org/en/Intergovernmental-Support/CEPA/Principles-of-Effective-Governance  – and a global network of public administration experts to develop toolkits to help countries address a broad range of governance challenges associated with the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.


Drawing from the work of the ECOSOC Committee of Experts on Public Administration, UNDESA can contribute to strengthen RC/UNCT knowledge and technical support to build the capacities of national institutions and civil servants to manage integrated, inclusive and innovative approaches to deliver on the SDGs. It can offer good practices across public institutions that can help countries address a broad range of governance challenges in implementing the 2030 Agenda; as well as toolkits and other learning tools to strengthen the capacities of public administrations and public servants for public service delivery, including through e-government.


1. Knowledge Hubs and Platforms
a. UN Public Administration Network (UNPAN) http://workspace.unpan.org contains a wealth of resources and tools for e-learning and capacity development -from guiding principles and good practices, to practical toolkits and e-courses on a variety of areas from institutional transparency and accountability, to policy coherence, transformational leadership, digital government, and innovation in public service delivery to operationalize effective and responsive governance for the SDGs. These resources/tools include:

  1. Compendium on National Institutional Arrangements for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – collection of good practices from the VNR country
  2. Compendium on Governance for the SDGs – a training module for national stakeholders [in progress]
  3. Curriculum on SDGs for Public Administration Schools on effective institutional arrangements for implementing the 2030 Agenda, from strategy, to planning, budgeting, financing, delivering, and M&E, [in progress]
  4. Competency Framework for Public Civil Servants and Transformational Leadership, all aiming to build and align the capacity of systems, organizations and individuals with the 2030 Agenda. [In progress]
  5. Executive Development Course: Digital Government for Transformation towards Sustainable and Resilient Societies – the Singapore Experience: https://publicadministration.un.org/en/news-and-events/calendar/moduleid/1146/ItemID/2957/mctl/EventDetails
  6. E-Government to support transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies
  7. E-Government for Women Online Toolkit

b. UN Public Service Awards knowledge hub https://publicadministration.un.org/en/databases: a database on Digital Government readiness for 193 member states

2. Knowledge Network: around the UN Public Service Forum, which is an annual meeting of the global network of national and international experts on governance and public administration that explores solutions to institutional challenges related to achieve the SDGs, including through inclusive governance and public administration, innovation and digital transformation, and transformational leadership;

3. Capacity development support: through dedicated in-country training workshops and advisory services on a broad range of governance and public administration issues in selected countries and/or regions.

 Multi-stakeholder engagement: knowledge platforms and training tools

 DESA can also support RC/UNCT capacities to organize and support in-country multi-stakeholder consultations and workshops and strengthen their efforts to build national capacities for multi-stakeholder engagement for the SDGs. It can provide a wealth of good practices, learning material, online training tools and direct training support on multi-stakeholder engagements for a variety of purposes as well as an e-learning course for government officials on tools and methodologies for stakeholder engagement in national SDG reviews.

  • Resources, learning material, and capacity building activities are available in the UN DESA/DSDG website https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/majorgroups/national-capacity-building
  • Massive Online Open Course (MOOC) on “Strengthening stakeholder engagement for the implementation and review of the 2030 Agenda”: http://bit.ly/SDGmooc. developed in partnership with UNITAR. The course is open, self-paced and free of charge, and can be an additional tool to strengthen capacities of RCs/RCOs on successful strategies for stakeholder engagement in national implementation and review processes for the 2030 Agenda.
  • E-training course, developed in partnership with UNITAR, for government representatives on tools and methodologies to enhance stakeholder engagement for the 2030 Agenda implementation and follow up, including as part Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) https://www.unsdglearn.org/courses/strengthening-stakeholder-engagement-for-the-implementation-and-review-of-the-2030-agenda/
  • SDG Learning, Training and Practices, a series of capacity building workshops organized at the margins of the United Nations High Level Political Forums (HLPF) –https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/hlpf/2019/SDGsLearning – a joint annual initiative by UNDESA/DSDG and UNITAR to provide a series of capacity building and knowledge workshops during the HLPF, featuring speakers and experts from academia and other sectors on crucial topics related to the implementation of the SDGs under review by the HLPF. In 2019, 10 learning sessions were organized by almost 50 partners from different sectors and areas of expertise. The different sessions featured practical tools and good practices that can strengthen capacities of government representatives and stakeholders to implement the SDGs. All sessions are webcast and materials publicly available in the UNDESA/DSDG website