Building capacity to realize the global goals

Our world today faces unprecedented economic, social and environmental challenges. They are complex and closely connected. Countries need to address these challenges to move towards a sustainable future.

UN DESA partners on capacity development to support Member States in building integrated, evidence-based, inclusive and well-funded national strategies and plans to achieve sustainable development that ensure no one is left behind. How exactly does the department do that, and how is it able to extend its assistance to more than 75 countries?

In 2015, the world came together to adopt a set of landmark agreements – the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Paris Climate Accords, and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on financing for development – that provide a roadmap to a more sustainable and prosperous future for all.

The realization of this vision calls for more coherent action across a wider scope of issues and the engagement of a broader range of stakeholders than ever before. A new set of capacities is needed to set this in motion.

Member States, especially developing ones, have been requesting the UN System to assist them in building or strengthening these capacities as they strive to translate the new vision into national reality.

“UN DESA has responded to this new demand with a fresh approach that is more strategic, integrated and longer-term in nature,” said Monica Nogara, Head of Programme Development at UN DESA’s Capacity Development Office. “In partnership with others, the Department can help Member States address capacity gaps in five key areas.

1. Policy coherence – strengthening national analytical and quantitative capacities to conduct cross-sectoral analyses and identify policy options that help achieve national goals. 2. Social inclusion – providing visibility to disadvantaged groups to give them a voice in national policymaking and implementation. 3. Inclusive institutions and integrated approaches – promoting institutions and mechanisms that support inclusive and integrated policies and public service delivery. 4. Evidence-based policy – modernizing statistical systems to increase national production and access to quality and disaggregated data for policy formulation and 5. Means of implementation – strengthening capacities of national systems to mobilize resources for sustainable development.

“Such support is provided through technical advice, training workshops, and expert group meetings at the regional and sub-regional levels as well as through on-line, open-source global knowledge platforms that provide access to a broad range of analytical tools, manuals, and best practices,” said Francois Fortier, Inter-Regional Advisor on Macroeconomic Development.

With a pool of about 50 staff members, including dedicated inter-regional advisors, with diverse expertise, and working with an array of strategic partners, UN DESA has been able to develop state-of-the-art tools and to adapt and scale-up their application across more than 75 countries, 29% of which are Least Developed Countries (LDCs), 13% Small Island Independent States, and 37% in Africa.

If you would like to learn more about UN DESA’s tools, approach and projects, visit the new Capacity Development Office website.