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Supporting Member States in the implementation and Advancement of the System of

The project aims to address the technical and institutional barriers to the establishment of routinely produced environmental-economic accounts at the national level. Project activities will focus on: building the institutional framework in support of the SEEA implementation, taking into consideration existing initiatives and activities in the countries and policy priorities; building capacity in the countries to compile selected accounts on a regular basis, while contributing to the development of SEEA compliant global databases; fostering inter-institutional collaboration to promote collaboration and data-sharing in producing the accounts; and promoting the effective use and communication of the accounts in supporting evidence-based policy and the SDGs.

The project will support six developing countries (for example, Lao PDR, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco, Myanmar, Tajikistan and Tunisia), from three different sub-regions to ensure geographic diversity and multiplication effects in the various regions. Countries will be selected on the basis of their demonstrated interest to put in place a SEEA programme in the country to meet policy needs and the demands for SEEA accounts to inform policies. The project will support and build on achievements from past activities in the target countries, in particular introductory blended learning workshops on the SEEA, carried out by DESA/SD, in partnership with the regional commissions. The project will also build on initial technical assistance provided by partner organizations to some of the selected countries.

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.

Bridging capacity gaps of select SIDS to achieve the 2030 Agenda

This proposal seeks to support seven (7) SIDS to strengthen their capacities to develop and implement appropriate enabling legal, institutional and policy frameworks to grow sustainable ocean-based economies and to derive economic benefits from harnessing the productive potential of their ocean spaces. This will be achieved through interventions designed to strengthen policies, legal and institutional frameworks and technical capacities for effective decision making and implementation of planned priorities at national and/or regional levels as they relate to SDG 14.

This project will be implemented by the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Unit of Division of Sustainable Development (DSD), Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA). The activities in the Pacific will implemented in collaboration with the International Seabed Authority. Other regional partners include the Commonwealth Secretariat (ComSec), the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat, the Caribbean Regional Fisheries Mechanism (CRFM), the Council of Regional Organizations in the Pacific (CROP) agencies including the Pacific Island Forum Secretariat (PIFS), the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC/SOPAC), and the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environmental Programme (SPREP).

Helping least developed countries (LDCs) pursue structural economic progress toward and beyond graduation

The project aims to help five Least Developed Countries (LDCs) (four in Asia, one in the Pacific) increase their chances of achieving structural economic and social progress toward and beyond graduation from LDC status. This, for the two implementing organizations, involves: (i) provision of country-specific analytical material on the implications of LDC graduation; vulnerability and resilience-building; and smooth transition strategies; (ii) relevant advisory services to policy makers; and (iii) action to help project recipients and LDCs in general understand and use the export-related new requirements issued by trading partners.

The economies of graduating LDCs, while demonstrating forms of structural economic progress, often remain little diversified and dependent on a small number of products or commodities for export. The transformation these countries aim to achieve or pursue implies a range of structural economic changes, notably from lower to higher levels of productivity and value addition. Most graduating countries with an agenda for such progress will need post-LDC support measures, possibly new forms of special treatment after LDC status.

The context of reclassification from LDC status is an opportunity, for these countries, to step up their plea for alternative support measures after graduation, with a view to maintaining their momentum of progress. In short, making the most of LDC benefits while these are still available, then achieving a smooth transition to post-LDC status with some alternative support measures is a broad agenda of these States, an agenda they expect UNDESA and UNCTAD to help them bring to fruition. The project offers the two organizations and the five recipients a practical framework for achieving this goal.

 Key stakeholders under the project are government officials in the ministries associated with LDC graduation and its implications: Foreign Affairs, Planning, Finance, Trade and Commerce. The project will enhance the capacities of selected officials within these ministries to: (i) better understand the implications of graduation from LDC status; (ii) incorporate policies aimed at mitigating vulnerability and building resilience into planning documents; (iii) formulate and enact smooth transition strategies; and (iv) keep up with changing international trade requirements.

 Expected accomplishments are: (i) a strengthened capacity of government officials to mainstream resilience-building and smooth transition strategies into national policy-making; and (ii) Improve the capacity, in LDCs, to access and share information about new product requirements in export markets, and utilize the information to promote exports.

Institutional arrangements for policy integration, coordination and stakeholder engagement in SDG implementation and reviews in Africa, and Asia and the Pacific

Countries face common challenges in moving from siloed elaboration and implementation of policies to the formulation of integrated policies reflecting the interrelations across the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and addressing cross-cutting sustainable development issues such as poverty eradication, climate change and food security. To realize the vision of the Agenda 2030 of leaving no one behind and to ensure inclusive development, countries will also need to ensure more inclusive, accountable and participatory policy-making and public service delivery. This requires, among other things, organizing government and related institutions engaged in SDG implementation and making them effective, inclusive and accountable.  It also calls for strengthening public servants’ capacity to implement the SDGs through the development of new skills, attitudes and behaviours and through new ways of working together across organizational boundaries.

The objective of the Project is to strengthen the capacity of selected developing countries in Africa and Asia in organizing and mobilizing their institutions and public servants to enhance effectiveness and institutional coordination, public accountability, and engagement of key stakeholders in the implementation and review of the SDGs. The project is structured around two expected accomplishments, namely: (i) Improved capacity of beneficiary countries to mobilize public institutions and build their capacities for SDG implementation and review, according to country-specific circumstances and priorities, as well as ensure public accountability and engagement of key stakeholders; (ii) Enhanced capacity of beneficiary countries to formulate strategies and policies to strengthen the technical capability and skills of civil servants to support SDG implementation and review. Recipient countries will also be encouraged to participate and present their findings during the UN High-Level Political Forum (HLPF), as well as to take part in other related divisional capacity development workshops.

Enhancing policy coherence for the SDGs through integrated assessments and institutional strengthening in Africa

All governments from developing countries confront the challenge of designing coherent policies that can simultaneously accelerate growth, reduce poverty and inequality, preserve and improve the environment, and help adapt/mitigate to climate change. To successfully achieve these objectives, countries need both i) sound institutional arrangements for policy integration; and ii) quantitative analytical capacities to assess policy options. The ultimate aim is to foster a cohesive policy formulation process that incorporates development objectives across the economic, social, and environmental dimensions of sustainable development.

In response to the Government requests from Cameroon, Ethiopia and Senegal, this project aims to support policy coherence through stronger inter-agency collaboration and coordination, while building integrated assessment methodologies and capacities to address the inter-linkages and trade-offs among policies, goals and the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development. A climate, land-use, energy and water systems integrated assessment (CLEWS), including socio-economic aspects, will be developed in each country within the framework of improved cooperation among institutions and public administration and integrated whole-of-government approaches. Capacity building activities will be provided to government officials, in order to address the challenges and particular policy scenarios discussed with official government counterparts, to inform evidence-based policy discussions.

The Project will result in enhanced institutional capacity and inter-agency cooperation within target countries for developing integrated approaches and tools to support evidence-based policy-making to address the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).