UN-Water Decade Programme on Capacity Development

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  • The UN-Water Decade Programme on Capacity Development (UNW-DPC) was established in 2007 as a joint programme of the 26 UN Agencies and programmes (including UNU) cooperating within the interagency mechanism known as UN-Water. The aim of the programme office is to strengthen the coherence and integrated effectiveness of the water-related capacity development activities of UN-Water members and partners. The office thereby aids members and partners in their efforts to support UN Member States in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) related to water. UNW-DPC particularly focuses on organizational and institutional capacity development for developing countries.

    Focal Point

    Leadership is provided by Dr. Reza Ardakanian, Programme Director.

    Purpose

    The aim of the programme office is to support UN-Water and its members and partners in strengthening the coherence and integrated effectiveness of their capacity development activities and thereby supporting them in their efforts to support UN Member States in achieving the MDGs related to water.

    Approach

    The programme supports a large array of water-related capacity development activities and collaboration among UN-Water members and partners and it strengthens technical and policy guidance within the capacity-development sphere. Furthermore, the programme contributes to the “professionalization” of water governance and integrated management, and seeks to raise awareness and mobilize resources for water-related capacity development.

    Gender

    In terms of professional staff, the team is currently composed of two females and five males. In terms of support staff, the team is currently composed of three females. UNW-DPC plans to move towards a 50/50 staff balance in the coming years and seeks to maintain a balanced gender perspective in its capacity development support wherever possible.

    Target Audience

    The audience is primarily the members and partners of UN-Water. In its first two years, UNW-DPC has cooperated with the following UNU institutes on various activities: the UNU Vice-Rectorate in Europe, the UNU Institute for Environment and Human Security, the International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change, and the UNU Institute for Water, Environment and Health. The programme has cooperated with UN-Water agencies, such as the Food and Agriculture Organization; the World Meteorological Organization; the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization; the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT); the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs; the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification; and UNU.

    The main beneficiaries will ultimately be the UN-Water members (26 UN agencies and entities) and partners (over a dozen non-UN entities) and the Member States they support in order to reach the internationally agreed-upon goals on water and sanitation.

    Intended Impact

    Impact: Contribution to a UN assessment/issue/query
    Target: This programme aims to strengthen the coherence and integrated effectiveness of UN-Water members’ and partners’ water-related capacity development activities..
    How: UNW-DPC is mapping and analysing UN-Water’s current activities to identify synergies and overlaps. This is achieved by supporting multilateral coordination instruments, such as the UN-Water Task Forces, and by disseminating information and knowledge on capacity development activities and gap analyses through the online Capacity Development Information System and through different publication media.

    Impact: Contribution to the work of a specific UN agency
    Target: The programme aims to help UN members of UN-Water (26 UN agencies and programmes) to further improve their water-related capacity development activities.
    How: UNW-DPC supports collaborations between UN agencies and programmes and provides knowledge and support for novel approaches to capacity development and strategic input into future capacity development needs.

    Impact: Influencing policymaking at the regional level
    Target: The target is to strengthen region-wide policy on water-related institutional capacity development.
    How: To achieve this target, UNW-DPC supports UN-Water members in organizing institutional capacity development activities aimed at policymakers at the regional level, producing white papers on institutional capacity development policy, based on the outcomes of these activities.

    Impact: Curriculum development
    Target: Higher education establishments in developing countries have been supported to include water as a cross-cutting theme in their curricula.
    How: UNW-DPC supports UN-Water members in curriculum development activities, e.g., ToT programmes, OpenCourseWare development and management, and e-learning.

    Impact: Capacity development in developed/developing countries
    Target: The programme seeks to improve coherence and the integrated effectiveness of capacity development activities within the UN-Water system for the benefit of UN Member States.
    How: To improve coherence and integrated effectiveness of capacity development activities within the UN-Water system, UNW-DPC invests in the design and implementation of knowledge management tools. In addition, UN-Water members and partners are supported in transferring required knowledge and skills through effective delivery mechanisms. UNW-DPC provides an observatory function that supports UN-Water in analyzing capacity development gaps. Finally, an evaluation of the efficacy of capacity development activities is used to support future developments and adapt to future demands.

    Value Added

    As a programme of UN-Water, UNW-DPC offers UNU a unique bridge into the rest of the UN system, creating new opportunities for other UNU institutes and programmes for closer collaboration with UN-Water members and partners in all the many water-related sectors. UNW-DPC also fulfils a number of the key strategic goals of UNU — e.g., improving capacity development worldwide and improving both knowledge sharing and communication to internal and external audiences. For governments, policymakers and other non-UN actors, it contributes to capacity development-related support provided by UN-Water members.

    Dissemination

    Dissemination will be ensured through international fora, workshops, publications, training, web pages, newsletters, and the online UNW-DPC Capacity Development Information System, renamed the UN Water Activity Information System.

    Timeline/Programme Cycle

    UNW-DPC began 1 August 2007 and completed its establishment in June 2008. Since its purpose is linked to strengthening UN-Water, there is no specific end date, and funding is renegotiated at three-year intervals.

    Evaluation

    The main indicators for success are how much multilateral collaboration is taking place within UN-Water and how many support services UNW-DPC is providing UN-Water, thus leading to more coherent, integrated and effective capacity development provision by UN-Water members and partners. Interim indicators include the number of UN users of the Water Activity Information System and other dissemination media, and the number of UN-Water Task Forces. Another indicator for evaluation is the number of UN-Water members and partners whose activities are being mapped. UNW-DPC also requested feedback and suggestions from UN-Water Members and Partners. This has proven to be a valuable tool for evaluating and adjusting the activities of UNW-DPC.

    Challenges

    The main challenge is to be able to accurately and continuously map the water-related activities and roles of UN-Water members and partners .

    Expected Duration

    Program Start: 1 July 2007.

  • Activities within the programme will involve cooperation between the UNU Vice-Rectorate in Europe and 19 partners:

    • UNU Institute for Environment and Human Security
    • UNU Institute for Water, Environment and Health
    • UNU Vice Rectorate in Europe
    • Convention on Biological Diversity
    • United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
    • United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia
    • Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
    • International Fund for Agricultural Development
    • United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification
    • United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs
    • United Nations Development Programme
    • United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
    • United Nations Environmental Programme
    • United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
    • UNESCO-Institute for Water Education
    • United Nations Human Settlements Programme
    • United Nations Institute for Training and Research
    • World Health Organization
    • World Meteorological Organization
  • 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
    E-mail: info@vie.unu.edu