UN/DESA Policy Brief #117: Building the Capacities of Public Servants to Implement the 2030 Agenda
Policy Brief
Governance and Public Institutions
Contributed by

The 2030 Agenda recognizes that capacity in governments at all levels is critical to steer and support the transformations which it calls for. Thus, public servants at all levels of government need the capacity to successfully implement, follow up and review the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The SDGs are an umbrella framework encompassing almost every sector of human activity. In a broad sense, “capacity for implementing the SDGs” entails the capacities necessary to implement all the SDG targets. Capacity- building efforts at the level of specific goals and targets, although important, are not the focus of this brief. Instead, the brief focuses on capacity-building actions for cross-cutting functions that directly support SDG implementation, monitoring, and evaluation.

The term “capacity-building” covers a hierarchy of needs, from institutional structures, systems and roles, to staff and infrastructure, to individual skills, and tools. All these levels, as well as the broader institutional and cultural contexts, need to be considered for capacity-building actions to be effective. The brief explores the landscape of capacity-building activities targeting civil servants based on publicly available information for a sample of 24 United Nations Member States. Read more here.