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Based at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, UN DESA promotes and supports international cooperation in the pursuit of sustainable development for all. It intends to be a premier policy and capacity building partner, by integrating digital technologies, to deliver agile support and achieve measurable results for its stakeholders.

Capacity development is the third functional pillar of UN DESA’s overall mandate, alongside its normative and analytical work. UN DESA partners on capacity development to support Member States in building integrated, evidence-based, inclusive and well-funded national strategies and plans to achieve sustainable development that ensure no one is left behind. It brings to its contribution at country-level not only global knowledge, but a global perspective on development drawn from its support to inter- governmental policymaking.

The Capacity Development Programme Management Office (CDPMO) supports UN DESA’s Divisions in the formulation and implementation of the overall Department’s capacity development strategy and promotes coherence and integrated delivery of its capacity development work.

DPIDG advances effective, accountable and inclusive governance and public institutions for sustainable development, including through innovation, digital government and digital transformation. The Division provides capacity development support and policy advice to countries, upon request, to strengthen governments’ capacities to translate the Sustainable Development Goals and other internationally agreed goals into institutional arrangements, strategies and programmes for effective service delivery and participatory, accountable and inclusive decision-making processes.

Areas of support

Governance and public administration are key drivers in the process of implementing the SDGs effectively and inclusively. UN DESA’s capacity development activities in support of Goal 16 aim to assist member states’ capacity development efforts in the following overarching areas:


Governance and institutions

Enhanced capacity to design and implement effective, inclusive and accountable governance mechanisms and institutional frameworks for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA).

Transformational leadership and new mindsets to realize the SDGs

Enhanced capacity of leaders and public servants to implement the SDGs, including by promoting new mindsets, skills and knowledge.

Participation and accountability

Enhanced capacities for public sector integrity and accountability mechanisms to ensure accountable and responsive institutions, prevent and fight corruption, including by strengthening the capacities of supreme audit institutions.

Innovation and delivery of public services

Enhanced national capacity to design and implement innovative and inclusive service delivery, including through the use of ICTs, implementation and review of sustainable development policies and plans.

Digital government

Enhanced capacities to leverage the power of ICTs and digital government for the transformation of public institutions to advance the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Local governance

Enhanced capacities to promote effective national to local governance, local digital services and strengthen government’s interaction with citizens, communities, and other stakeholders.