Participants23 May 2012, Bonn, Germany - How do we plan capacity-building activities so that they deliver results? What good practices exist to strengthen the capacity of developing countries to effectively design, implement and evaluate learning activities? These were among key issues discussed at the Durban Forum on Capacity Building, 23 May 2012, Bonn, Germany.

The Durban Forum on Capacity Building is an annual, one-day event to facilitate the enhancement of monitoring and review of the effectiveness of capacity-building. It provides an opportunity for Parties and other stakeholders to exchange ideas and share experiences, lessons learned and good practices on the implementation of capacity building activities in developing countries.

Mr. Achim Halpaap, Associate Director and Head of Environment Unit, UNITARThe Forum provided an opportunity to share initial lessons learned from the UN CC:Learn Pilot Projects to Strengthen Human Resources and Skills to Address Climate Change. Mr. Achim Halpaap, Associate Director and Head of Environment Unit, UNITAR, provided a methodological perspective on planning, monitoring and evaluating result-based action under national learning and capacity development strategies. He highlighted the importance of linking learning to organizational and programmatic objectives. This would require working backwards: first identifying broader objectives/results and then identifying activities to achieve them. Mr. Halpaap further pointed out that monitoring and evaluation would need to take place at different levels: at the individual, project and strategic level.

Mr. Omar Ramírez Tejada, Vice President and Head, National Council for Climate Change and Clean Development Mechanism of the Dominican Republic Mr. Omar Ramírez Tejada, Vice President and Head of the National Council for Climate Change and Clean Development Mechanism of the Dominican Republic (CNCCMDL) discussed a strategic approach to climate change learning from a country perspective. He presented initial lessons learned from the national UN CC:Learn Project in the Dominican Republic, under which the country is preparing a National Strategy to Strengthen Human Resources and Skills to Advance Green, Low Emission and Climate Resilient Development. Mr. Ramírez highlighted that the Strategy included three priority areas for action: 1) individual learning and skills development; 2) strengthening climate change learning within key sectors such as energy and tourism; and 3) strengthening capacities in the education system to deliver climate change learning. He stressed that all action follow a result-based approach.

Mr. Ramírez further pointed to some principal conclusions from the Dominican Republic experience, including:

  • For promoting effective capacity building, a country-driven process, including short, medium and long term action, is needed
  • For ensuring sustainability, climate change should be mainstreamed at all levels of the education system, using different approaches and strategies for each level
  • For strengthening institutional capacities, a national climate change education strategy must be based in the country policy framework
  • For fostering legitimacy and effectiveness of climate change learning priority actions, a multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder consultative process should be carried out, and learning programs tailored to country context.

About the Forum

The Forum is organized by the Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) in the format of an in-session event open to the participation of Parties, experts and practitioners from UN organizations, as well as representatives from admitted Intergovernmental Organizations (IGOs) and Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs), including research and academia. The outcomes of the Forum will support the SBI in conducting annual monitoring and periodic comprehensive reviews of the implementation of the framework for capacity-building in developing countries under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (decision 2/CP.7). The Forum was agreed upon at the UN Climate Change Conference in Durban, December 2011.