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The Trade Dimension in United Nations Development Assistance Frameworks - UNDAFs (2013)

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The Trade Dimension in United Nations Development Assistance Frameworks - UNDAFs (2013)

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Web Based
7 Oct 2013 to 15 Nov 2013
Duration of event:
6 Weeks
Programme Area:
Public Finance and Trade
Specific Target Audience:
No Fee
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Strengthening international trade and productive capacity is usually seen as one of the main engines for the socio-economic development of developing and least developed countries, one that will bring much needed employment and income to the population. However, the link between trade and production on one side, and growth and development on the other is neither automatic nor simple. It should therefore be carefully analysed and implemented.

In 2008, the UN agencies implementing trade-related assistance decided to unite their efforts and launch a UN thematic cluster on “trade and productive capacity” that could intervene in the context of the One UN Initiative and the United Nations Development Assistance Frameworks (UNDAFs).

The objective is to raise the profile of international trade and production in national development strategies. But, it is also to enhance national capacities to be in the driving seat for the formulation of UN assistance in economic and trade-related issues, and to coordinate the required inter-agency actions.

It is against this background that a training course was developed by the UN Cluster to explain why it is important that international trade and productive capacities feature strongly in development processes generally, and more specifically in UN country level assistance strategies, and how it could be done concretely.

At the end of the training, the trainee will be able to:

  • Demonstrate their understanding of the role trade and productive capacity can play in development strategies,
  • Distinguish the linkages trade has with other dimensions of development,
  • Explain the preconditions for trade to be effective in a development process,
  • Identify which are the most suitable UN vehicles to deliver trade-related assistance,
  • Analyse the UN integrated projects inside and outside UNDAFs that have a trade component, and
  • Formulate integrated UNDAF development programmes that better take into account the trade dimension.

 The course consists of the following modules:

  • Module 1: The first one will examine how and why trade is not always considered as a priority in a development process.
  • Module 2: The second module will present why international trade and production can be strong engines of growth, linked to many other dimensions of development.
  • Module 3: With the third module, we will look at a certain number of pre-conditions that should be addressed for trade to maximize its positive impact on development.
  • Module 4: The fourth module will present the UN Cluster on Trade and Productive Capacity as a vehicle of UN coordination on trade-related matters, and will also show examples of various integrated projects UN agencies can propose.
  • Module 5: Finally, the last and fifth module will analyze more in detail country examples of trade-related provisions taken from ongoing and proposed UNDAFs. Whenever available and possible, we also have included examples of trade-related activities in past matrices and assessment of activities undertaken in the framework of previous UNDAF matrices or Delivering as One programmes.


In order to ensure the best possible outreach, the course will be delivered through e-learning. Through a multiple-instructional setting, the goal is to achieve the learning objectives by means of learning technologies that match personal learning styles and by the inclusion of non-linear learning that aims at the development of just-in-time skills of adult learners. At the same time, in order to allow participants maximum flexibility of scheduling , the learning will be conducted in an asynchronous manner. Using a state-of-the-art training architecture, UNITAR and UNCTAD will combine self-learning with assessments and online discussions. The pedagogy - adapted specifically to professionals in full-time work - will help train participants through various experiences: absorb (read); do (activity); interact (socialize); reflect (relate to one’s own reality).

The course targets: (a) Developing countries’ government officials responsible for planning development assistance, (b) Other stakeholders involved in the definition of development strategies (policy-makers, civil society and private sector representatives, media etc.), and (c) UN country teams’ members who will be designing the UNDAF in collaboration with national authorities.

A certificate of completion will be issued by UNITAR and UNCTAD to all participants who complete the course-related assignments and assessments successfully. Participation will be subject to UNCTAD's selection process. Limited slots are available.

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