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Development Account Projects

Enhancing national capacities for the effective implementation of the United Nations development agenda and assessment of progress


Five years after the Millennium Summit, effective implementation of the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), had become more crucial than ever. World leaders at the 2005 World Summit agreed to adopt and apply more ambitious national development strategies. The Summit envisaged a stronger Economic and Social Council system and its regional and functional commissions operating as a unified system around the single framework of the broader UN development agenda. Thus the 2005 World Summit Outcome mandated the Economic and Social Council to hold annual ministerial reviews, to enable efforts geared towards the implementation of the development agenda and assess progress made by states.

To assist countries in the design of more ambitious national development strategies, the Department of Economic and Social Affairs developed six policy notes in 2006, in the strategic areas of (a) macroeconomics and growth, (b) finance, (c) public investment management, (d) technology, (e) social policy and (f) trade. These policy notes concentrate on critical areas where standard agency sourcebooks and development guidelines do not adequately reflect internationally agreed development goals. The project will use the policy notes as the basis for advisory support of governments to design equitable national development strategies. Under the auspices of ECOSOC, the Annual Ministerial Reviews are a new mechanism that will assist countries in the implementation and assessment of national development strategies, help the international community to review and fine-tune development policies, and put limited resources to the best use in support of all internationally agreed development goals, with the hope that they will bring together all elements of the UN Development agenda in a coherent and coordinated manner.

The project will be executed by the Department of Economic and Social Affairs.


To strengthen capacity for the design and assessment of national development strategies.

Expected accomplishments:

  • Enhanced capacity of national Governments to assess the implementation of national development strategies in accordance with internationally agreed development goals, including the MDGs.
  • Governments better equipped for formulating effective policies towards the achievement of the goals of their national development strategies.

Implementation status:

For assessing the implementation of national development strategies (NDS) four two-day national voluntary presentation (NVP) workshops were held at the national level in Moldova, Mongolia, Namibia and the Republic of Congo. These countries volunteering for national presentations at the 2010 Annual Ministerial Review (AMR) drafted and submitted National Reports in 2010, highlighting successful projects or policies, case studies, policy interventions and projects that have been replicated elsewhere, and enhanced the capacity of countries to engage with the Council.

The dedicated website and policy database on national assessment and reporting were further developed, where materials are available to the ECOSOC as well as to all Member States, national administrations, local governments and civil society organizations. The content includes lessons learnt from Annual Ministerial Reviews, National Reports, latest innovations, cases, new strategies, national reviews and universal access to the network of global experts.

A regional component, in the form of two planned regional events, was added to the Project in 2010, with new activities seeking to enhance countries’ regional perspective and understanding of the United Nation Development Agenda and its relevance and implications for the national development strategies of countries of the same region with similar developmental conditions. This new component also seeks to assist countries to develop regional-specific analytical frameworks to assess progress in relation to the relevant yearly substantive theme of the Annual Ministerial Review of ECOSOC. 

This Project was designed to help Member States better engage with ECOSOC in light of its new functions, particularly, the Annual Ministerial Review. Through the national workshops and the website the quality of the national voluntary presentations as well as the national reports submitted to ECOSOC have improved.