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United Nations and capacity-building
 

The Paris Committee on Capacity-building (PCCB) aims to, inter alia, promote and explore synergies for enhanced collaboration with institutions outside the Convention and the Paris Agreement engaged in implementing capacity-building activities, as well as to foster global, regional, national and subnational cooperation.

In this context, the PCCB aims to strengthen the collaboration with a wide range of stakeholders, including academia, civil society, and the private sector, and has initiated this process by conducting a preliminary listing of United Nations, related organizations and bodies established under the Convention involved in capacity-building activities. This includes also social media tools to allow for the dissemination and access to a wide range of information to support collaboration among stakeholders.

This below list will gradually expand, subject to availability of information and resources.

United Nations and capacity-building

Organization   Description Social media
Academic Impact

Capacity building is defined as the "process of developing and strengthening the skills, instincts, abilities, processes and resources that organizations and communities need to survive, adapt, and thrive in a fast-changing world." An essential ingredient in capacity building is transformation that is generated and sustained over time from within; transformation of this kind goes beyond performing tasks to changing mindsets and attitudes. Sustainable Development Goal 17: Revitalizing the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development, the United Nations is committed to transformation from within. Goal 17 includes targets for capacity building, including increasing technology and innovation in least developed countries and improving data collection and monitoring for the achievement of the SDGs themselves. Universities in particular can serve as centers of capacity building through research, innovation and data collection and analysis.

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Adaptation Fund

The Adaptation Fund’s Readiness Programme for Climate Finance aims to help strengthen the capacity of national and regional implementing entities to receive and manage climate financing, particularly through the Fund’s Direct Access modality, and to adapt and build resilience to counter changing climate conditions in sectors ranging from agriculture and food security to coastal zones and urban areas.

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Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN)

The Climate Technology Centre and Network facilitates the provision of information, training and support to build and/or strengthen the capacity of developing countries to identify technology options, make technology choices and operate, maintain and adapt technology. As part of this effort, the CTCN strives to identify, disseminate and assist in developing analytical tools, policies and best practices for country-driven planning to support the dissemination of environmentally sound technologies. It does this through National Designated Entity training, webinars and in-person workshops. Special focus is also paid to providing tailored capacity building services to least developed countries (LDCs).

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Global Environment Facility (GEF)

As part of the Paris Agreement, Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) agreed to establish a Capacity-building Initiative for Transparency (CBIT). The goal of the CBIT is to strengthen the institutional and technical capacities of developing countries to meet the enhanced transparency requirements of the Paris Agreement. These enhanced transparency requirements are defined in Article 13 of the Paris Agreement

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Global Support Programme (GSP)

Areas in which technical support and capacity-building is supported:

Greenhouse Gases (GHG) Inventory, for example on uncertainties of data and emissions calculations, calculation sheets and tables to enhance transparency and better understanding of inventory results, quality control and quality assurance procedures (e.g. peer reviews), identification of sources of data and key assumptions used in emission estimates, development/establishment of GHG inventory systems, training in the use of the IPCC Guidelines.

Vulnerability and Adaptation assessments, such as backstopping in the adoption of the most appropriate methodologies, development of climate scenarios and comprehensive analysis of socio-economic context for impacts assessments, clearer descriptions of results from models used in impacts assessments and support on the articulation of an adaptation plan through proposed measures and policies to address climate change impacts.

Mitigation assessment, for example providing guidance on cost- benefit analysis of mitigation options and socio –economic implications, use of models for mitigation analysis, calculations of mitigation potentials.

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Green Climate Fund (GCF)

Through the Readiness Programme, GCF provides resources for strengthening the institutional capacities of National Designated Authorities (NDAs) or focal points and Direct Access Entities to effectively engage with the Fund. It also assists countries in undertaking adaptation planning and developing programming frameworks to build out their long-term climate action agendas with GCF.

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Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)  

Task Group on Data and Scenario Support for Impact and Climate Analysis (TGICA) also contributes to building capacity in the use of data and scenarios for climate-related research in developing and transition-economy regions and countries. It does this through the data and guidance provided via the DDC, by convening expert meetings on an as-needed basis, and by maintaining and updating a global list of networks for outreach. 

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International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

The International fund for agriculture and development is working on projects in education, technical vocational skills development. The IFAD has financed programmes in Bangladesh, Colombia, Ghana, and Madagascar, which focus on capacity building through education and developing vocational skills. One example in Madagascar is the IFAD supported ‘Prosperer’ project, which aims to improve the income of poor rural people by providing diversified income-generating opportunities and promoting entrepreneurship in rural areas.

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International Labor Organization (ILO)

The ILO has been engaged with indigenous and tribal peoples’ issues since the 1920s. It is responsible for the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989 (No. 169) , the only international treaty open for ratification that deals exclusively with the rights of these peoples. The ILO’s Decent Work Agenda , with gender equality and non-discrimination  as a cross-cutting concern, serves as a framework for indigenous and tribal peoples’ empowerment. Access to decent work enables indigenous women and men to harness their potential as change agents in poverty reduction, sustainable development and climate change action.
Green jobs are central to sustainable development and respond to the global challenges of environmental protection, economic development and social inclusion. By engaging governments, workers and employers as active agents of change, the ILO promotes the greening of enterprises, workplace practices and the labour market as a whole. These efforts create decent employment opportunities, enhance resource efficiency and build low-carbon sustainable societies.


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International Maritime
Organization (IMO)

Low carbon shipping and air pollution control
Emissions from ships exhausts into the atmosphere can potentially be harmful to human health and cause acid rain and may also contribute to global warming. To ensure that shipping is cleaner and greener, IMO is engaging in a two-pronged approach towards addressing GHG emissions from international shipping: through regulatory work, supported by capacity-building initiatives.

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Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform

Capacity development is targeted towards translating decisions of UN intergovernmental bodies related to sustainable development into actual policies and actions on the ground. The Division, with support from its three offices away from the Headquarters, and in collaboration with other UN entities and UN country teams, focuses on supporting Member States in preparing their voluntary national reviews at the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, as well as building capacity for integrated planning and policy design, linking to the national planning process key sectoral areas such as transport, agriculture, energy, water and sanitation, sustainable cities, waste management and disaster reduction, as appropriate. These activities in turn allow the Division to inform intergovernmental bodies on the relevance and impact of normative and analytical efforts at the national, regional and global levels.  

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UN Women

Training for gender equality and women’s empowerment is an essential component for UN Women’s commitment to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment. Training for gender equality is a transformative process that aims to provide knowledge, techniques and tools to develop skills and changes in attitudes and behaviors. It is a continuous and long-term process that requires political will and commitment of all parties in order to create inclusive societies that recognize the need to promote gender equality.

 

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UNCC:Learn Partners (UNCC:LEARN)

At the global level, the partnership supports knowledge sharing, promotes the development of common climate change learning materials, and coordinates leaning interventions through a collaboration of UN agencies and other partners. At the national level, UN CC:Learn supports countries in developing and implementing national climate change learning strategies. Through its engagement at the national and global level, UN CC:Learn contributes to the implementation of Article 6 of the UNFCCC on training, education and public awareness-raising, and the 2012-2020 Doha Work Programme.  

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UNEP-DTU partnership

The Centre on Energy, Climate and Sustainable Development of the UNEP-DTU Partnership provides the following primary services:

  • Innovative research including policy analysis and impact assessment

  • Capacity building at institutional level and individual level

  • Awareness raising through production and dissemination of analytical and knowledge outputs like scientific articles, reports, working papers, guidebooks and web based knowledge tools 

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United Nations Alliance on Climate Change Education, Training and Public awareness

In response to the increasing impact of climate change on development and security issues, a growing number of United Nations organizations are working closely with governments to help build green and climate-resilient societies. The objectives of the Alliance are to: 

  • maximize synergies and coherence of activities, avoid duplication of effort and utilize available expertise and resources in an efficient manner through enhanced coordination

  • support Parties to the UNFCCC in their efforts to design, initiate and undertake activities related to climate change education, training, public awareness, public participation and public access to information

  • establish a clear link between the work of the member organizations and the UNFCCC process

 
United Nations Capacity Development

United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) programme of work focuses on three main streams of activities: norm-setting by facilitating major global conferences and summits and helping countries find common grounds to take decisive steps forward for development; data and analysis, by generating, analyzing and compiling data and information, providing statistical trends, research and analysis on economic, social and environmental issues to support national decision-making; and capacity development by providing policy advice and technical assistance to help Governments transform global commitments into national action. In Capacity Development, UN DESA builds on its global perspective, networks and extensive knowledge and expertise to assist Member States translate the global policy frameworks for sustainable development into national strategies and programmes and to effectively monitor progress.

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United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (UN-REDD)

The UN-REDD Programme supports nationally led REDD+ processes and promotes the informed and meaningful involvement of all stakeholders, including indigenous peoples and other forest-dependent communities, in the implementation of REDD+ activities agreed under the UNFCCC. The Programme has expanded steadily since its establishment and over 60 countries spanning Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America are now partners.

We support partner countries through:

  • Direct support to the design and implementation of National REDD+ Programmes

  • Complementary tailored support to national REDD+ actions

  • Technical capacity building support through sharing of expertise, common approaches, analyses, methodologies, tools, data, best practices and facilitated South-South knowledge sharing

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United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD)

Capacity Building Marketplace
The Capacity Building Marketplace quickly and easily connects capacity related needs and solutions concerning the implementation of the UNCCD. The Marketplace helps individuals and organizations find and offer current learning, funding, and job opportunities in one place. It further invites stakeholders to contribute relevant content to network with interested parties.

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United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

UNDP promote an integrated approach to achieve sustainable development that tackles the connected issues of multidimensional poverty, inequality and exclusion, and sustainability, while enhancing knowledge, skills and production technologies to reduce risks and sustain development gains. UNDP help countries build their capacity to integrate environmental considerations into development plans and strategies, including through managing and sustainably using natural resources; ensuring that natural wealth is used to improve people’s lives; promoting economic recovery and livelihoods, and better targeting policies and social protection for those in need. 

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United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Partnership with the Global Fund

Functional Capacities
Central to the UNDP capacity development strategy is a strong focus on strengthening national systems for health; in particular the systems which support the following functional capacities:

  • Financial Management & Systems, including Risk Management
  • Procurement and Supply Chain Management (PSM)
  • Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E)
  • Project Governance and Programme Management
  • Sub Recipient (SR) Management

These cover the minimum requirements of the Global Fund, but are also tailored to meet the wider requirements of national disease programmes and donor grants. The entry point for planning the development of functional capacities is ideally during the development of the GF concept note, but should be broad enough to include needs of national responses and programmes rather than just focusing on the Global Fund grant. This provides the opportunity to apply greater integration between the three diseases and identify potential synergies with broader public health programmes.

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United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP)

ESCAP works to help member States to build their capacity to withstand, adapt to, and recover from natural disasters so that their people can continue to lead the kind of lives that they value. Asia and the Pacific is the most disaster prone region in the world. A person living in the region is almost twice as likely to be affected by a disaster as a person living in Africa, almost six times as likely compared with Latin America and the Caribbean, and 30 times more likely than a person living in North America or Europe. A single disaster can have serious implications by pushing back development gains. Furthermore, multiple shocks even in the form of smaller, more frequent disasters, coupled with other development challenges such as financial crises, erodes a person's and a country's ability to recover from future challenges.

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United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA)

Capacity Development
ECA’s core aim is to promote the efficient utilization of policy research in member States and to support Governments, and pan-African institutions, to build and strengthen the capabilities of their policymakers. In this regard, the Commission provides policy advisory services to national, sub regional and regional institutions, and assists them in the formulation of strategies, programmes and projects. Priority areas of focus include the promotion of industrialization, the design and implementation of macroeconomic policies, development planning and natural resource management. Emphasis is also placed on disseminating regional and international best practice in public sector management to assist African countries to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their public sector.

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United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
 
Sustainable Capacity Development and Education for Sustainable Development

With education and capacity building forming the core of UNESCO's work, there are multiple strands to the Organization's substantive contribution to this part of the Mauritius Strategy. These strands include its priority concern with basic education and its lead role in the UN-wide, decade-long initiative of education for sustainable development. Also, work in such fields as promoting technical and vocational education, improving the quality of education, taking advantage of the opportunities offered by new information and communication technologies, and tailoring education and training to the special needs of particular groups within society.

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United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
 

ACP MEAS - Developing countries are faced with a variety of obstacles, including inadequate human, financial, and technical resources. These constraints severely impact their ability to implement Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) at the national level. In order to address this pressing issue, the UN Environment has joined forces with the European Commission (EC) and the Secretariat of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP Secretariat) and other partners to enhance the capacity of African, Caribbean, and Pacific (ACP) countries in their implementation of MEAs.
The Programme ultimately aims to promote environmental sustainability in ACP countries through capacity building for effective implementation of MEAs and related commitments. In the long term, the Programme aims to enable the sound management of chemicals and waste as well as address the loss of biodiversity.
The Programme is currently in its second phase. The first Phase successfully ran from 2009 to 2013, and was financed by the EU’s 9th Environment Development Fund.
The current ongoing phase is financed by the 10th EDF and builds on the previous phase in many ways. Taking into account lessons learnt, it narrowed its focus area to the two specific clusters of MEAs in the areas of biodiversity protection and the sound management of chemicals and waste with an emphasis on synergies among those MEAs and with other initiatives.

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United Nations Evaluation Group (UNEG)
 

For the first time in the history of the United Nations - a landmark, stand-alone United Nations General Assembly Resolution, titled "Capacity building for the evaluation of development activities at the country level " has been approved through general consensus and cross-regional support of forty-two countries, during the UN General Assembly Second Committee meeting of 13 November 2014 and adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in the plenary session of 19 December 2014.

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United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
 

A corporate approach to capacity development

Capacity development is a core function highlighted in FAO's strategic framework. It is a key to sustainable results at country level and ensures that FAO’s efforts lead to lasting changes. Member Countries place strong emphasis on FAO enhancing delivery in this area as endorsed by the Corporate Strategy on Capacity Development. In FAO’s view, capacity development is driven by country actors, consistent with national priorities and the local context, and anchored in national systems and local expertise. Capacity development needs to be undertaken in partnership with national, regional and international players and requires long-term interventions rather than stand-alone short-term events.  

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United Nations Human Settlements Programme
(UN-HABITAT)

 

At the global and regional levels, the Training and Capacity Building Branch complements the work of various UN-HABITAT programmes and its campaigns for secure tenure and good urban governance through methodological support in tool development, training design and delivery. These tools and training services constitute an integral part of many technical cooperation projects executed through UN-HABITAT regional offices. The Branch also promotes partnerships and networking at the global and regional levels, between learning institutions and local governments associations. It organizes regional Training-of-Trainers (ToT) workshops for municipal councils and local development NGOs and CBOs.

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United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
 

UNIDO’s vision is a world where economic development is inclusive and sustainable and economic progress is equitable. The Organization focuses on three main thematic areas:

  • Poverty reduction through productive activities
  • Trade capacity-building
  • Energy and environment

The Organization is recognized as a specialized and efficient provider of key services meeting the interlinked challenges of reducing poverty through productive activities, integrating developing countries in global trade through trade capacity-building, fostering environmental sustainability in industry, and improving access to clean energy.

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United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)

UNITAR provides training and capacity development activities to assist mainly developing countries with special attention to Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and other groups and communities who are most vulnerable, including those in conflict situations.  The Institute covers topics in the broad areas of supporting capacity for the 2030 Agenda, strengthening multilateralism, advancing environmental sustainability and green development, improving resilience and humanitarian assistance, promoting sustainable peace, and promoting economic development and social inclusion.

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United Nations International Children’s  Emergency Fund (UNICEF)

The UNICEF has many initiatives in Capacity building and gender, their Oral report background note on the approach of UNICEF towards capacity building summarizes key constraints, lessons learnt and way of moving forward. This note can be found pdf-icon here.

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United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR)

The CDRI Capacity-building Program is a three-month long comprehensive and action-oriented program conducted from February to April, 2010 in order to help city government officials become more aware and be able to communicate more easily on the current and future potential climate-related risks faced by their cities. In this program, participants initiate the development and implementation of a Climate Action Plan and obtain opportunities to share and discuss their concerns with other cities. The distant learning methodology, face-to-face workshop and other tools are effectively combined to facilitate the learning process.

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United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA)

OCHA responds to environmental emergencies by coordinating international efforts and mobilizing partners to support countries that have requested assistance. The UN Environment/OCHA Joint Unit (JEU), housed within OCHA’s Emergency Services Branch, helps Member States to prepare for and respond to environmental emergencies.
By pairing UN Environment's technical expertise with OCHA’s humanitarian response coordination structure, the JEU ensures an integrated approach in responding to environmental emergencies. The JEU provides independent, impartial advice and practical solutions, while working with organizations dedicated to medium and long term rehabilitation to ensure a seamless transition from emergency response to recovery.

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United Nations Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (UN-SPIDER)

UN-SPIDER will provide universal access to all countries and relevant international and regional organizations to space-based information and services relevant to disaster management to support the full disaster management cycle and will have a considerable impact on the way space-based information is used in dealing with disasters around the world, noted Deputy Director-General of the United Nations Office at Vienna, Franz Baumann, in his inauguration speech. The programme, which was established by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2006, will serve as a gateway to space information for disaster management support, a bridge to connect the disaster management and space communities. UN-Spider will also be a facilitator of capacity-building and institutional strengthening in particular for developing countries.

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UN Population Fund (UNFPA)   

UNFPA also helps address the effects of climate change, especially the humanitarian consequences. Climate change increases the magnitude and frequency of natural disasters. In these crises, women and girls often lose access to vital health services, including sexual and reproductive health care, and they face a heightened risk of gender-based violence. UNFPA provides critical sexual and reproductive health services, raises awareness of the increased risks, and provides psychosocial support to survivors of violence.

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United Nations System Chief Executives Board for Coordination

The United Nations system works to strengthen national institutions and human capacity to better analyze the impacts of climate change, develop courses of action for greater resilience and implement relevant adaptation and mitigation activities. The UN is currently taking action in a number of critical areas to support capacity building to address climate change, including:

  • Overall Capacity Building
  • Capacity Building in Adaptation
  • Capacity Building in Finance/Mitigation
  • Capacity Building in Technology Transfer
  • Capacity Building in Reducing Emissions from Deforestation in Developing Countries

United Nations Systems Staff College (UNSSC)

Building Capacity for Agenda 2030
The UN System Staff College offers a dual programme of support to harmonize and connect the entire UN family in capacity building for Agenda 2030. Through the Knowledge Centre for Sustainable Development alongside the UN Lab for Organizational Change and Knowledge (UNLOCK), the Staff College offers the first UN vehicle to build the technical, managerial and leadership capacities of the UN staff to address the SDGs. While the Knowledge Centre is largely focused on the “what” of sustainable development learning (substantive and technical knowledge), UNLOCK prioritizes the organizational “how” as its objective (organizational change and innovation for greater efficiency).

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United Nations University (UNU)

IPBES Assessments and Capacity Building

The Intergovernmental Platform on Ecosystem Services and Biodiversity (IPBES) was established in 2012 to contribute to science-policy interface for biodiversity related multinational environmental conventions. IPBES provides four key functions:

  • scientific assessment
  • capacity building
  • knowledge generation
  • policy support

Since 2011, UNU-IAS has been leading development of the IPBES assessment process by organizing informal and formal international scientific expert workshops, in collaboration with UNESCO, UNEP, IHDP and the Ministry of Environment, Japan.

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United Nations University - International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH) 

Global health related issues are embedded in the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and will remain of key importance as part of the Post-2015 Development Agenda. In this context, UNU-IIGH aims to:

  • Enhance efficiency, quality, access and equity in the delivery of healthcare services
  • Undertake and strengthen research in global health towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
  • Facilitate dissemination of information and innovation on global health solutions in developing countries
  • Build and enhance capacities to contribute in solving global health issues especially in developing countries
  • Promote networking among research institutions in developed and developing countries
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United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH) 

A critical factor contributing to the water crisis is the lack of indigenous capacity – educational, managerial, technological and institutional – for effective water management in many developing countries. UNU-INWEH acts as the “UN Think Tank on Water” and contributes to the resolution of the global water challenge through a unique programme of applied research and education. It conceives, develops, and manages water initiatives that help developing countries build their capacity for lasting improvements in human and ecosystem health, and overall reduction in poverty.

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United Nations World Data Forum

The High-level Group for Partnership, Coordination and Capacity-Building for Statistics for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (HLG-PCCB) leads the organization of the UN World Data Forum, under the guidance of the United Nations Statistical Commission and in close consultation with Member States and international partners. The Statistics Division of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs supports the organization of the Forum in its role as Secretariat of the Commission and the HLG-PCCB.

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United Nations World Food Programme (WFP)

The World Food Programme (WFP) offers nationally-tailored technical assistance and capacity development to strengthen individual government capacities in all of these fields. WFP respond to capacity gaps identified through an assessment process that is led by the partner government, facilitated by ourselves, and supported by other partners. This process helps identify national demand for capacity strengthening along five critical pathways, as relevant to achieving national food security and nutrition objectives:

  •  Policies and legislation
  • Institutional accountability
  • Strategic planning and financing
  • National programme design and delivery
  • Engagement and participation of non-state actors
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United Nations World Ocean Assessment

As recognised by the General Assembly, capacity-building is essential for the implementation, and is an integral part of, the Regular Process.  To this end, the Regular Process will contribute to the promotion and facilitation of capacity-building through international cooperation, including technical cooperation and transfer of technology towards developing countries, in particular least developed countries, African coastal States and Small Island Developing States.

 
World Bank (WB)

The Trust Fund for Statistical Capacity Building (TFSCB), a multi-donor trust fund, aims to improve the capacity of developing countries to produce and use statistics with an overall objective of supporting effective decision-making for development. The TFSCB works closely with the Partnership in Statistics for Development in the 21st Century (PARIS21) to advance coordinated international efforts to improve statistics globally. The TFSCB supports projects aiming at strengthening national statistical systems in priority areas and developing statistical capacity in a sustainable manner, including openness and accessibility of data in line with the Open Data Initiative and innovative approaches to improve data collection.

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World Health Organization (WHO)

The WHO UNFCCC Climate and Health Country Profile Project aims to raise awareness of the health impacts of climate change, support evidence-based decision making to strengthen the climate resilience of health systems, and promote actions that improve health while reducing carbon emissions. The profiles provide country-specific estimates of current and future climate hazards and the expected burden of climate change on human health, identify opportunities for health co-benefits from climate mitigation actions, and track current policy responses at national level.

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World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

WMO, through global partnership in capacity building, training, education and public awareness at all levels, contributes to mobilizing support for international action to address climate change.  It provides active support to the achievement of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, and of ensuring environmental sustainability through a vast reservoir of expertise and knowledge, among its Members states, Programmes, Technical Commissions, partner institutions and organisations.  Regional Climate Outlook Forums initiated and supported by the WMO in different parts of the world, for example, provide an effective mechanism for capacity building at the regional level, particularly in developing countries.

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