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An Overview of the Work Programme

An overarching objective of the UNOSD is to strengthen the capacities of developing countries in sustainable development with emphasis on accelerating the implementation of internationally agreed goals and targets agreed under major UN Summits and Conferences including those articulated in Rio+20 Conference. Accordingly, the work programme of the Office consists of the following four components:

  • Knowledge Portal for Sustainable Development: This component aims at developing a well-structured knowledge platform and a set of knowledge services on sustainable development challenges and policies, planning approaches and processes, and toolkits to steer the implementation of sustainable development agenda. The knowledge portal will bring together an already existing but scattered knowledge covering various aspects of sustainable development together with a management strategy to effectively disseminate this knowledge. While evolving gradually over a period of time, the knowledge portal will be further enriched with the results of in-house knowledge to be generated by undertaking various studies and analyses.
  • Research and Policy Analysis on Emerging Issues: This component aims at undertaking analysis on assessment of progress in implementing sustainable development agenda, including Rio+20 outcomes, as well as the implementation challenges. During the first year, however, in line with the framework provided in paragraphs 245-251 of the outcome document of Rio+20 Conference, a study in support of developing SDGs on water will be carried out. This study will provide evidence-based analysis to support the intergovernmental decision-making. The study/process will be completed in four steps: (a) scoping exercise and expert consultations, (b) research analysis and preparation of draft report, (c) multi-stakeholder consultations on the draft report, and (d) finalization and launching of the report. Contents of the study will also be used in training courses for capacity building to be offered by the UNOSD.
  • Capacity Development, Including Training Events: This component focuses on strengthening the capacities of stakeholders responsible for implementing the sustainable development agenda at national and local levels. To this effect, in the short to medium term, targeted training programs in the form of formal courses and training workshops on specific sustainable development aspects will be organized. In the long-run, in addition to targeted training programs, the knowledge portal once fully developed will serve as a virtual learning/training centre in the area of sustainable development. Also, the UNOSD will run an international summer school on sustainable development on an annual basis at Yonsei University.
  • Networking and Building Partnerships: This component aims at forging partnerships with various institutions and professionals at different levels to enhance awareness and visibility of UNOSD products and services. Networking efforts will ensure active engagement of partner institutions and professional experts both from developed and developing countries in the development of planned products and services. To start with, partnership and networking efforts could possibly take various forms—focusing on a few thematic areas, envisioning long-term development of the Office, sharing of training materials etc.—but gradually this process will need to be expanded and made more inclusive to cover all aspects of sustainable development.

The knowledge portal could be viewed as the centrepiece of the work programme. It serves as the repository of sustainable development knowledge covering policy and programmes, best practices in sustainable development, and toolkits for facilitating integration and implementation of sustainable development programs at the national and local levels. Main thrust of component 2 is on undertaking policy research on emerging sustainable development issues with special reference to assessment of gaps in implementation and will contribute towards the gradual growth of the knowledge portal. The component 3 aims at strengthening the technical and institutional capacities of developing countries for advancing the implementation of sustainable development agenda. Component 4 is critical not only to mobilize support to market the services and products to be offered by the UNOSD but to ensure successful implementation of first three components. Key activities constituting the annual work programme covering the period July 2012-June 2013 include the following.
  • Development of a knowledge management strategy
  • Establishment of a knowledge portal (initial phase focusing on important building blocks)
  • Establishment of an electronic library (initial phase on critical themes and issues)
  • A study on SDG on water (water, sanitation, water management)
  • A consultative workshop on capacities and knowledge needs for sustainability transition
  • An international workshop on strengthening planning and implementation capacities for sustainable development
  • International symposium on sustainable cities
  • Conference on implementation of Rio+20 outcomes at national/local levels
  • International summer school on "sustainable development practices" at Yonsei University
  • Knowledge sharing and dissemination partnerships

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