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Municipal asset management for sustainable development in selected Least Developed Countries in Africa and Asia

The project aims to address the lack of systematic and long-term asset management at the municipal level in the four least developed countries (LDCs). The ultimate objective of improving municipal asset management is to help municipalities meet a required level of basic services, in the most cost-effective manner, through the management of physical assets (land, buildings, infrastructure) for present and future customers.  This objective is accomplished through enhanced lifecycle asset management and portfolio asset management.  Lifecycle asset management encompasses all practices associated with physical infrastructure and property so that decisions are made based on the lowest long-term cost rather than short-term savings.  Portfolio management involves managing groups of assets to maximize value and investment for the entire portfolio of assets rather than individual or single groups of assets.

The project will follow a four-pronged strategy, consisting of (i) helping target countries assess the needs of their municipalities in asset management by training central government officials in the application of a diagnostic tool to review municipal assets in a holistic and integrated way and identifying critical areas for improvements; (ii) training municipal officials in the formulation and implementation of customized asset management action plans (AMAPs) that can be effectively linked to a medium-term budget and a long-term sustainable development strategy; (iii) increasing the dialogue among different stakeholders, in particular between central government agencies and municipal authorities to better understand the impact of existing policies, laws and regulations on municipal asset management and explore areas of reform and improvement; and (iv) sharing lessons learned and general policy recommendations with other LDCs. Accordingly, the project should result in the creation and implementation of AMAPs in the target countries in support of sustainable development, as well as a comprehensive publication of policy lessons that provides general guidance to other municipal governments in LDCs. Municipal governments in target countries (no more than 3 per country) will be chosen in consultation with the cooperating entities and national governments to ensure the project can leverage existing work of partner agencies and fits well into national sustainable development strategies. To make sure the proposed AMAPs will be implemented and lead to concrete actions on the ground, specific attention will be paid to ensuring that the sequencing of recommended actions is tailored to the municipal context; existing skills and technologies are considered and municipal ownership is ensured.

Data collection methodology and tools for supporting the formulation of evidence-based policies in response to the challenge of population ageing in sub-Saharan Africa

The objective of the project is to develop a standard methodology to produce, analyze and deliver a database of harmonized indicators on the situation of older persons in Africa. The project is the starting point of a larger UN DESA initiative that aims to assist countries in collecting and analyzing data on older persons in order to more accurately monitor the changing situation of older persons during the implementation phase of the new 2030 Development Agenda. The project will conduct a review of age-related data in three African countries, with the methodology to be piloted in one of these three countries. The survey-tool is to be developed in close collaboration with national and regional policy makers, statisticians and experts dealing with issues related to older persons in Africa. The experience of international researchers and academics that have developed and deployed such tools in Africa as well as in other parts of the world will also be drawn upon. The project aims to promote the participation of all relevant stakeholders at the national and regional level towards the formulation, monitoring and implementation of more inclusive policies that are responsive to the needs and priorities of older persons in the African region. The project further aims to develop survey guidelines appropriate for African countries based on a capacity building and learning approach. The intervention will further contribute to the enhancement of the capacity of government officials, scholars and civil society in sub-Saharan Africa to formulate, monitor and implement evidence-based policies on ageing.

Building the Capacity to Implement the Sustainable Forest Management in Africa

The purpose of the project is to strengthen the capacity of Member States of the African Union, and the Regional Economic Communities to develop sustainable forest management plans and access forest financing to enhance the contribution of forests to sustainable development goals and targets taking into account the FI and other international forest-related processes. The action proposes to provide project proposal development support and capacity building to three developing countries in Africa to enable them to access funds from GEF or Green Climate Fund and other existing international funds for implementing sustainable forest management.

Strategies for mitigating the impact of graduation from the least developed countries category

The least developed countries (LDCs) represent the poorest and weakest segment of the international community, with limited human and institutional capacities, high levels of poverty, scarcity of financial resources, and often undiversified economies dominated by the agricultural or natural resource sectors. LDCs benefit from a range of international support measures (ISMs), and LDCs in the process of graduation often poorly understand the potential impacts of graduation in terms of reduction of access to ISMs. This project will support three target countries: Bhutan, Nepal and Uganda; to collect data and information on available ISMs and the degree to which they are used in different sectors, and to use this information in impact assessment and evidence-based policies. In addition, the project will support these countries to identify key productive sectors where ISMs and national policies could have the greatest impact to support smooth transition, and will work with national stakeholders to develop national reports and recommendations that target countries may adopt to develop elements of smooth transition strategies themselves. The project will work not only with government stakeholders but also, importantly, with chambers of commerce and/or sector associations in each country, given their important role in providing information and advice to the private sector, and obtaining information from the private sector regarding real-life issues, barriers and constraints. Finally, the project will work closely with UN and bilateral development partners in each country, to develop links with their future support to the target LDCs and promote sustainability.

Implementation of national sustainable development strategies in selected countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America

There is often a large gap between stated commitments to sustainable development, as reflected in documents such as National Sustainable Development Strategies (NSDS) and their implementation in different sectors. This project aims to address two aspects of the challenging problem of implementation, by helping selected target countries (1) to develop participatory, multi-stakeholder processes, and (2) to support implementation of sustainable development in different sectors. It will build on the leadership and convening authority of ministries of planning and finance, and other key central government agencies. Under (1), it will assist countries to design effective multi-stakeholder processes, to benefit from the contextual and technical knowledge of different partners such as non-government organizations, academia and the private sector that can inform, and can actively lead, different aspects of NSDS implementation. Under (2), it will work to integrate sustainable development goals and targets in key sectoral strategies and programmes, and will initiate a programme to train sectoral ministry staff in sustainable development issues. The project will build on projects carried out under the Development Account’s 8th (1213D) and 9th (1415I) tranches, will be implemented in many of the same countries to continue support in working towards long-term results, and would apply outcomes of previous projects such as a toolbox of capacity development materials developed under project 1415I and a knowledge management platform developed under project 1213D, while under this 10th tranche project, engaging a wider range of partners and sectors in each target country. The project will also enhance and use the national and regional level partnerships developed in the preceding projects.

Supporting Member States in developing and strengthening environment statistics and integrated environmental-economic accounting for improved monitoring of sustainable development

High quality statistics and integrated information are important inputs into evidence based policy and decision-making. They are also key to monitoring internationally agreed goals, sustainable development, and the post-2015 development agenda. Given the critical role of high quality environment statistics, and their integration with socio-economic statistics the overall objective is to strengthen national capacities of developing countries for the sustained, regular production of a priority set of environmental statistics, environmental-economic accounts, and the resulting indicators, in order to measure progress towards sustainable development. The project is composed of two complementary modules, developed in a harmonized manner.Module A will work with countries that are in the early stages of developing environment statistics. It will be executed through a set of activities including organizing an initial sub-regional capacity-building workshop to train the countries using the FDES and the Basic Set of Environment Statistics, applying the Environment Statistics Self-Assessment Tool, developing national work plans, providing technical assistance and organizing national workshops for the participating countries, promoting inter-institutional platforms and data-sharing protocols at the national level, and organizing a closing sub-regional workshop to share progress, lessons learned and discuss the way forward. Module B will work with countries that expressed interest in implementing the SEEA. It will be executed through a set of activities including developing diagnostic tools for the self-assessment on institutional environment and data availability for compiling environmental-economic accounts, organizing two expert group meetings to discuss diagnostic tools and compilation guidelines, organizing four sub-regional workshops to build capacity in countries and develop national strategies, developing regional implementation strategies for environmental-economic accounting, organizing four pilot projects, and developing compilation guidelines.