Capacity Development Support

Over 100 requests for capacity building support have been received by DESA since January 2020. A majority of requests came from Asia and Africa, with 44 and 45 requests, respectively. These are direct requests for the capacity-building support of DESA from Member States (i.e., ministries, departments, permanent missions) as well as referrals from United Nations Resident Coordinators, UN Country Teams, regional commissions, and other UN agencies. The identification of some requests takes place through processes such as Voluntary National Reviews (VNRs) or Common Country Assessments (CCAs), or through direct mandates through the intergovernmental bodies. 

CD Support

Almost all requests received pertain to supporting Member States as follows: 

  • Build Member States’ national capacities to secure means of implementation by leveraging domestic and international financing partnerships for the SDGs as well as international support measures for the Least Developed countries. This includes, among others, assistance measures for the LDC graduation, sustainable management of municipal infrastructure management and international tax cooperation.  
  • Integrate policy analysis through modeling tools, methodologies and approaches aimed to strengthen integrated policy analysis for the formulation of mutually reinforcing policies across sectors and government departments. This includes, among others, training workshops to forecast and run policy simulations to assess the socioeconomic impact of various policies, strengthening institutional effectiveness and national to local public governance for the achievement of the SDGs, and changing mindsets in public institutions to implement the SDGs.  

  • Strengthen national institutions and public service delivery for the SDGs which comprises of transformational leadership and public servants’ capacities for the SDGs; institutional transparency and accountability; whole-of-government approaches and institutional arrangements for policy coherence, inclusive governance, and public participation; innovation in public service delivery; and e-government. This includes, among others, helping countries make their public administration more agile, effective, and efficient in responding to the current needs of the countries in terms of public service delivery, transformational leadership for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, and supporting countries in their preparation for their National Voluntary Review. 

UN DESA also received multiple requests from the Offices of Resident Coordinators, mainly for supporting the Common Country Analysis (CCA) as well as contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF), and macroeconomic modeling for Socio-Economic Impact Assessment of COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Department received numerous requests since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic to support countries, among others, to assess the impact of the pandemic on sustainable management on forests in Africa, support policy coherence in Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and particularly guide integrated decision-making to address short term needs with immediate benefits (e.g. socio-economic response plans), support in the preparation of CCA and the socio-economic impact assessment of COVID-19, and to enhance the capacities of Government officials in the Ministry of Health and Social Protection of Population, Disabled Persons Organizations (DPOs) and other stakeholders to formulate national programmes and projects to ratify the  United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and to mitigate the impact of COVID19. 

Work with us

UN DESA makes its advisory services and capacity development assistance available to all countries and is always interested in working with partners to achieve sustainable results. Government ministries and national entities can approach UN DESA directly or through their Resident Coordinator, an important partner in identifying the right support and aligning it with the UN Strategic Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF).

Upon receiving a written request or expression of interest, UN DESA will coordinate internally and work closely with the requesting entity to assess the needs, possible modalities of support and *feasibility including timeframe. 
Interested national entities, RCOs and partners can contact UN DESA through the Capacity Development Programme Management Office (CDPMO) or the divisional directors with questions or suggestions on how UN DESA could support your work.


Please use this contact us form indicating your area of interest. Your submission will be channeled to the appropriate entities. 

Requests should include: 

•    Requesting country; 
•    Requesting authority and contact details; 
•    Requesting date; 
•    Main areas where UNDESA support is requested (including description of need);
•    Type of support (Advisory Services, training etc);
•    How UNDESAs support can contribute to the national development strategy.

Initial meetings via video conferencing tools will help determine the best fit. UN DESA can also facilitate contact with other relevant UN entities that may be in a better position to assist. 

*Disclaimer: Given its limited resources and specific mandates, UN DESA might not be able to support requests that are:

  1. not within its mandate or the key priority areas of work (for more details, see our “Areas of work”);
  2. not focused on (1) (or several) developing country, LDC, LLDC or SIDS, unless the approach is innovative and can be replicated;
  3. not a government entity or Resident Coordinators Office (RCO). 

If you have recently received support through UN DESA, including through advisory services, we would appreciate your feedback. Your valuable comments will help us improve our support and incorporate suggestions and learnings into future projects, advisory services and activities.