Skip to main content

Capacity Development

Recent years have seen significant shifts in thinking on development cooperation. While official development assistance remains an important component, the focus has increasingly moved to partnerships for effective development, with South-South cooperation a critical and rapidly growing aspect. In this context, capacity development and knowledge sharing, especially among countries pursuing similar development paths, are increasingly becoming vital factors for inclusive and sustainable development in the Asia-Pacific region.

Capacity development is at the core of ESCAP's technical cooperation programme. The main objective of our capacity development work is to develop the technical, managerial and institutional capacities of member and associate member governments to plan and deliver more effective policies and programmes in support of inclusive and sustainable development. We attach special attention to least developed and landlocked developing countries as well as small island developing states.

Key features of ESCAP's capacity development programme include:

  • Results-based design, budgeting and reporting
  • Integrated approaches - linking research and analytical work with practical solutions
  • Focus on transboundary issues - common solutions to common problems (energy, environment, sustainable urban development, transport, trade, connectivity)
  • Focus on fewer, larger & multi-year projects or programmes
  • Innovative partnerships with different kinds of contributions or multi-donor arrangements

ESCAP works with governments through three key modalities:

  • Policy advocacy and dialogue on critical and emerging issues, including follow-up to global and regional commitments;
  • Regional knowledge networking aimed at enabling members and associate members of ESCAP to share knowledge, lessons learned, and innovative practices; and
  • Training, advisory services and other forms of technical cooperation to strengthen institutional and staff capacity of ESCAP's members and associate members to formulate and implement effective policies and programmes in a range of key development areas.

Our capacity development programme is delivered by various ESCAP substantive divisions and subregional offices. ESCAP's five regional institutions also offer training focusing on information and communications technology for development, technology transfer, disaster information management, sustainable agricultural mechanization and statistics.

Our capacity development work is funded from both the regular budget of the United Nations and extrabudgetary resources. The regular budget includes the Regular Programme of Technical Cooperation and the United Nations Development Account.

Extrabudgetary resources include voluntary contributions from individual governments, entities of the UN system and other intergovernmental organizations, the private sector and NGOs. Such contributions are provided as cash (funds-in-trust) or assistance in kind, including the secondment of experts on a non-reimbursable loan basis and the provision of host facilities and equipment.