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Capacity Development

*Countries as beneficiaries of the capacity development activities of the Population Division


The Capacity Development programme aims to build and strengthen the capacity of countries to evaluate and analyse demographic information for the formulation and implementation of strategies and policies related to population and development, including the 2030 Development Agenda and other internationally agreed development goals.

Illustrative Projects

  1. Capacity Development in National Transfer Accounts
    NTA Manual
    The Population Division implemented, in partnership with the regional commissions for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), and Western Asia (ESCWA) a project entitled "Strengthening capacity of national policy analysts in the social and economic sectors of developing countries in the production and use of National Transfer Accounts". The project aims to improve the capacity of government officials and country analysts to use national data to produce statistical estimates based on the National Transfer Accounts framework. The project resulted in the publication of the NTA manual in 2013. This project was funded by the 7th Tranche of the Development Account.
  2. Capacity Development in Population Estimates and Projections in sub-Saharan Africa
    The Population Division, in partnership with the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), is implementing a project entitled: "Strengthening capacities of developing countries in sub-Saharan Africa to effectively produce and use population estimates and projections in policy-making for sustainable development”. The project aims to building greater capacity in 17 African countries to produce, analyse and utilise population estimates and projections using state-of-the-art methods and tools in formal demography. This project was funded by the 9th Tranche of the Development Account.
  3. Capacity Development on the use and Production of Migration Data
    The Population Division, in partnership with Statistics Division and in collaboration with the relevant members of the Global Migration Group (GMG), implemented a the project "Capacity Development in Production and Use of Data for Formulating Evidence based Policies on Migration and Development". This project aimed to strengthen the capacity of 14 African countries to collect, process, analyse and exchange international migration data for policy planning, including in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The project was funded by the Government of Italy.
  4. Technical cooperation on the production of data on migration policies
    Technical cooperation data on migration policies
    The Population Division, DESA, is working closely with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to develop a methodology for measuring target 10.7 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), which calls on countries to facilitate orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people, including through the implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies. The scope of the indicator will be informed by the Framework for "well-managed migration policy" welcomed by the IOM Council in November 2015, drawing on data collected by the Population Division through the revised module on international migration policies of the United Nations Inquiry among Governments on Population and Development (the "Inquiry"). The Integrated Work Programme for Capacity Development Activities of the Population Division in 2017 includes a project to support the development, validation and testing of the methodology for SDG indicator 10.7.2, supported by an allocation from the Regular Programme for Technical Cooperation (RPTC) for this purpose.


  1. Demographic manuals
    Twenty-three manuals and guides of demographic methods and techniques have been issued by the Population Division since 1952. The manuals are concerned with formal descriptive, analytical and projection methods with an emphasis on techniques adapted to or specially designed for countries with insufficient data.
  2. Demopaedia
    The Population Division has supported the development of an innovative online Wiki-based multilingual encyclopedic demographic dictionary, Demopaedia, which promotes knowledge transfer as well as international cooperation by providing a common conceptual reference framework in many different languages. Demopaedia is built around the harmonisation of technical demographic terminology in fourteen different languages including those in the six official UN languages.


  1. DESA Capacity Development Office


For more information about the Population Division please contact the Office of the Director, Population Division, United Nations, 2 United Nations Plaza, Rm. DC2-1950, New York, NY 10017 USA, Telephone + 1-212-963-3209, Facsimile + 1-212-963-2147 population@un.org