Applying the guidelines to enhance the CIFAL Network – The International Training Centres for Local Authorities and Local Actors (CIFAL) are hubs for capacity building and knowledge sharing between local and regional authorities, international organisations, the private sector and civil society. A key objective of the CIFAL Network is to enhance the capacity of local actors in implementing integrated approaches to sustainable development and other global goals of the United Nations such as MDGs at local level.

To reinforce the CIFAL network, "UNITAR guidelines on the CIFAL Network" was produced by the UNITAR Local Development Programme (LDP) team in consultation with the CIFAL Network Steering Committee. It sets out the UNITAR accreditation requirements for existing and new CIFAL centres.

Its purpose is to ensure greater coherence, effectiveness and quality control of the CIFAL Global Network. The document provides standards and guidelines that are objectively quantifiable. It spells out mechanisms for monitoring and enforcement; identifies the benefits of standardisation as the network develops its business plans and strategies; and aligns the CIFAL network operations with the overarching UNITAR Strategic Reform Plan.

These new guidelines will also contribute to improving the capacities of each CIFAL centre by attracting local donors, negotiating new partnerships and expanding the area of activities, which will ultimately benefit the whole Network.

Calendar of implementation

The guidelines have been sent to the CIFAL directors beginning of October 2008 for final comments together with the “Guidelines Check-list”. From the first half of November, the Local Development Programme will open the discussions with each centre to jointly prepare a transitional plan in view of reforming each CIFAL centre to follow the guidelines. The transitional plan should be agreed upon by all relevant parties by the end of 2008.

Each CIFAL centre is expected to implement the transitional plan during the year of 2009, which allows us to launch the new CIFAL Network from January 2010.

The Three Main Pillars of the UNITAR guidelines on the CIFAL Network

    • UNITAR’s role - Network Coordination
    • Standards agreement UNITAR and a host institution
    • Legal status in National Law
    • Internal governance structure
    • Business plan and budget
    • Accounting records and final statements
    • Financial contributions
    • Thematic areas
    • Frequency and quality of training programmes
    • Branding