Institutional Development and Strategic Planning Section

  • The Institutional Development and Strategic Planning Section (IDEAS) of the UNU Vice-Rectorate in Europe (UNU-ViE) is engaged in institutional tasks like initiation, stimulation and coordination of new activities and the establishment of UNU institutes. This includes the preparation of concept papers and other preparatory work for the UNU Institute for Integrated Management of Material Fluxes and of Resources (UNU-FLORES) in Dresden, Germany, and Maputo, Mozambique, and for the UNU Institute for Landscape and Ecosystem Health (UNU-LEH) in Bratislava, Slovakia.

    The section is active in implementing the UNU twinning concept, which contributes to strengthening capacity in developing and emerging countries. IDEAS is assisting the Government of the Republic of the Congo in establishing its National Disaster Risk Management and Prevention Centre, in line with the roadmap of UNU’s focus on Africa. The UNU Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) and the Disaster Risk Management Training and Education Centre for Africa (DiMTEC) in Bloemfontein, South Africa, cooperate in this initiative exemplifying North-South and South-South partnerships.


    IDEAS supports the development of UNU-FLORES, UNU-LEH and of other twin institutes, such as the planned project with Indonesia and particularly projects occurring within the Africa Roadmap Initiative.

    Focal Point

    IDEAS is coordinated by Ms. Jessica Johmann under the overall guidance of the Vice-Rector in Europe.


    The aim of IDEAS is to institutionally strengthen UNU in its most important geographic target areas: Africa, Commonwealth of Independent States countries and Eastern and Central Europe.


    The main approaches are networking, institutional development, tailor-made on-the-job capacity development and facilitation of the participation of professionals/scientists from developing countries in high-level events.


    With regard to gender balance, two female staff members out of four positions were recruited. In the case of institutional development, gender issues are not explicitly addressable. Concerning the scope and operational principles of new institutions, gender equality or preferential treatment of vulnerable genders should however be  considered.

    Target Audience

    Beneficiaries of the programme are developing countries, their universities, and research and training institutions. Ultimately the entire population of targeted countries will benefit. Likewise, scholars from developed countries will be able to team up with competent institutions for further joint research.

    Intended Impact

    Impact: Capacity development in developed/developing countries
    Target: The target is to establish new UNU research and training centres/programmes and joint programmes with partner institutions in developed countries and facilitate the establishment of twin institutes in developing countries. An additional aim is to help developing countries to establish national structures and institutions in the area of the scientific competence of UNU in Bonn.
    How: This targeted impact will be achieved through cooperation with other institutions in the field of higher education and through direct collaboration at national government and municipal levels.

    Policy Bridging

    From conception, all activities are conducted in close cooperation with the national and/or local partners.

    Value Added

    IDEAS adds value by establishing UN/UNU presence in developed and developing countries through linking national entities like universities to international activities and debates. Moreover, the programme adds value by enhancing local universities’ capacity and exchange programmes.


    Institutional development is to be documented and disseminated through public media, press releases, web articles and joint brochures with the host country or partner institutions.

    Timeline/Programme Cycle

    The envisaged activities started in 2007 upon the establishment of UNU-ViE. During the biennium 2012-2013, alignment of the activities of IDEAS, SCIENTIA and part of UNU-EHS is envisaged.


    One evaluation criterion is whether a new twin institute could successfully be conceived, established and ultimately lead to an operational phase. Additional evaluation criteria would be to observe and analyse the number of graduates or trained people in addition to the regular academic evaluation through the number of peer-reviewed journals, publications and the number of people exposed to IDEAS. This also includes the number of workshops, seminars and conferences that took place.


    The central challenge will be to reconcile a strategy-based twin development with the possibilities set by the economic and political realities in the different countries and, related to this, the availability of appropriate funding. A second challenge is the shortfall in funding for the Africa Roadmap Initiative. UNU-ViE at present cannot provide sufficient core funding and project-based third party funding, even if available for start-up, is not sustainable and will hardly lead to success.

    Expected Duration

    Program start: 1 January 2007.

  • Activities within the programme will involve cooperation between the UNU Vice-Rectorate in Europe and five partners:

    • UNU Institute for Environment and Human Security
    • Office of the Rector
    • Center for Development Research, University of Bonn
    • United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
    • United Nations Institute for Training and Research
  • UNU-FLORES established
    Date: 2012

  • United Nations University
    Vice-Rectorate in Europe
    UN Campus
    Platz der Vereinten Nationen 1
    53113 Bonn, Germany

    T: +49 228 815-0200
    F: +49 228 815-0299