CIFAL Global Network’s Engagement with Civil Society

June 2017 - Civil Society comprises the wide array of non-governmental organizations, not-for-profit organizations, civil society organizations (CSO) and actors that have presence in public life around shared interests, purposes or values. 

UNITAR recognizes the need to partner with and to support civil society. The active engagement of civil society actors is essential for effective action on global priorities. The advancement towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) requires a global partnership that brings together governments, the private sector, civil society, the United Nations system and other actors to mobilize available resources. Civil society plays a vital role in this endeavor.

UNITAR’s engagement with civil society has continued to expand through the global network of affiliated training centres for authorities and leaders called “CIFAL”. This expansion includes training and education opportunities, as well as collaboration and partnerships.

The CIFAL Global Network is comprised of 16 training centres around the globe that provide training and education opportunities to civil society actors on economic and social development related areas, as well as on leadership and skills development. Some examples of initiatives carried out by CIFAL Centres aimed at enhancing the capacities of civil society through training include the following:

Youth Development in the Republic of KoreaYouth Development in the Republic of Korea

The International Training Centre for Authorities and Leaders in Jeju (CIFAL Jeju) hosts several workshops throughout the year to provide an international platform for graduate and undergraduate students from around to world to discuss development challenges and seek for innovative ways to address them. A key objective of the workshops is to empower youth as change agents.

Cycle of Studies on the SDGs in Brazil

A very interactive format is used for raising awareness on the SDGs amongst civil society actors. The International Training Centre for Authorities and Leaders in Curitiba (CIFAL Curitiba) hosts every month a study session that consists of a thoughtful and substantive discussion among CSO, youth leaders, private sector representatives and academia on international development trends and the role that each actor has in the advancement of the SDGs.

Road Safety Education Shows in South Africa

Road Safety Education Shows in South Africa

With the objective of contributing to protect children from road accidents, the International Training Centre for Authorities and Leaders in Durban (CIFAL Durban) organizes educational shows to teach primary school students about road safety in an “easy to understand format”. Through games and exercises, students learn about safe crossings, traffic signals, cycle paths, the use of seatbelts in school busses and in general on how to have a safe journey to and from school.

Healthy Women = Healthy Communities in India

Healty Women = Healty Communities in IndiaThe International Training Center for Authorities and Leaders in Bengaluru (CIFAL Bengaluru) hosts the Healthy Women = Healthy Communities workshops to provide women from Scheduled Tribes” in India with education on women’s rights, as well as on their important role in the family, society and community.

UNITAR also collaborates and partners with civil society to operate its CIFAL Global Network. Specific examples of this form of engagement include the establishment of CIFAL Centres in collaboration with not-for-profit organizations to carry out joint training efforts. The International Training Center for Authorities and Leaders in Argentina (CIFAL Argentina) was created as a collaboration between UNITAR and Fundacion Luciernaga to facilitate the transfer of knowledge and best practices among government officials in areas such as climate finance, urban mobility, and leadership, among others.

Similarly in Brazil, the International Training Center for Authorities and Leaders in Curitiba (CIFAL Curitiba) was founded as a partnership between the Federation of Industries of the State of Parana (FIEP) and UNITAR to offer training on topics such as road safety and urban mobility, STEM education, anti-corruption and compliance strategies.

Going forward, the CIFAL Global Network is committed to finding ways to scale up collaboration and partnerships with civil society actors and to continue to carry out training and capacity-building activities in benefit of civil society. You are invited to learn more about the CIFAL Global network and to engage with us!