"To contribute to improving living and working environment for all, on a sustainable basis, by promoting effective human resource development and institutional capacity-building for management and development of human settlements."
Scarcity of qualified human resources at all levels - policy, managerial, and technical - is one of the main obstacles to the improvement of human settlements. Decentralization and pluralization of political and economic processes, not to mention the unprecedented scale of population increase, urbanization and structural adjustment pressures, are all placing great demands on local governments and other settlement management organizations in the developing world. These organizations are, by and large, not prepared to meet this challenge. Nor are national training and urban and rural development institutions, by and large, in a position to provide the necessary training and the on-the-job capacity building assistance.
The central element of the Training Section's capacity-building strategy is strengthening of national capabilities to respond to training and other capacity-building needs. Our work is structured in regional/sub-regional programmes with particular staff members concentrating on specific regions, maintaining a continuous contact with our partner/client institutions, and jointly planning, organizing, and implementing programme activities. There is, of course, a close coordination between these regional capacity-building programmes, and there are several areas where we need to work at the global level, especially on gender issues, and also on developing and testing of the generic training materials and handbooks, sharing of innovative approaches, data-bases and directories of capacity-building institutions, global networking and others. At the same time, however, working closely with the partners and clients in each region is the corner-stone of our strategy.
The strategic objective is to strengthen the capabilities of developing and transition country capacity-building institutions (government, private and non-governmental) in three key areas: Local Leadership and Management Training, Women and Habitat and Local Living Environment (Localizing Agenda 21). This is done primarily through integrated, demand-based, multi-year capacity-building projects. These are formulated jointly with national partner organizations and interested donors, and consist mainly of sub-regional activities with high multiplier effect, and of follow-up support at national and local levels.
We emphasize long term partnerships with other External Support Agencies, and with
development assistance oriented training and academic institutions.
Our main partners in the field are national and local capacity-building institutions (governmental, NGO and private enterprise). We attempt, jointly, to develop their capacity to build capacity of the national and local operational settlements management and development agencies. Our partners should, with our initial support, assume full responsibility for their capacity-building.
The beneficiaries are the communities and population in general, especially those with bad living and working conditions - the poor and other disadvantaged groups.
All of them are our partners in development.
The main types of outputs are:
Core staff resources come from the regular budget and are mainly used to design, implement, monitor and evaluate capacity building and training activities. Project proposals are submitted for funding to interested external assistance agencies, who are, as a result, financing a great majority of programme activities. Some high priority activities, of a relatively lower interest to external assistance agencies, are being financed directly out of UNCHS extrabudgetary resources.
Benefits for Countries:
Since the initiation of the UNCHS/RDD training activities in 1979, several hundreds of trainers,
officials and professionals have improved their capacity in settlements management and
development. Many former participants hold today key positions in central and local
governments, NGOs and, to a lesser degree, the private sector. Regional training activities also
produce important cascading effects reaching large numbers of additional persons through
national and local multiplier courses run by former participants.
A number of training institutions in a variety of countries have developed more client-responsive modes of operation, new curricular, new courses and new training methods.
Manuals and other training publications, some of which have been adapted and translated into several languages, are widely used by national training institutions. Their dissemination is mainly carried out through practical, hands-on training courses. These manuals are primarily designed for experienced trainers, but several of them can also be used independently as handbooks and reference materials by managers, professionals and community leaders. Thus, the impact of the Capacity-Building and Training outputs goes well beyond the groups reached in the training activities themselves.
For further information and inquiries, please contact:
Tomasz Sudra, Chief, Training and Capacity-Building SectionAlternatively, send e-mail to Tomasz Sudra (Tomasz.Sudra@unchs.org); Catalina Trujillo (Catalina.Trujillo@unchs.org) or Raf Tuts (Raf.Tuts@unchs.org).
Research and Development Division
P.O. Box 30030
Tel: (+254 2) 623034, 623750, 623726, 623145
Fax: (+254 2) 624265/2
[ Training and Capacity Building Section ]