United Nations Country Teams (UNCTs) exists in 132 countries, covering all of the 162 countries where there are United Nations programmes. UNCTs include all the UN entities working on sustainable development, emergency, recovery and transition in programme countries. Their joint planning instrument in countries, the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework constitutes the essential partnership compact between the UN and the government which further enhances national ownership and coherent implementation of the national sustainable development strategy. To work effectively, UNCTs must be demand-driven, equipped with enhanced skillsets so as to meet the specific development priorities and needs of countries. They need leaders who can embrace a whole-of-system approach to move beyond parallel or overlapping activities of individual agencies.
It is against this backdrop that UNSSC launched the UN Country Team Leadership Course in 2018.
The learning offering was uniquely designed to develop leaders who are ready to embrace transformation and to fundamentally reconsider the way they think and act; leaders who are willing to unlearn, as they redefine the best contribution they can make as individuals, UN entity representatives and members of UN country teams.
Over the years, UNSSC has provided a collaborative space for UNCTs to become incubators for innovative ideas and shared leadership, based on a shared collective value proposition. The specially designed leadership training provides tailored team building sessions, customized UNCT leadership skills courses, and tailored training on UN Country Programming. Efforts focus not merely on knowledge acquisition, but also on the fundamentals of team-building, trust, innovation and mutual accountability.
By January 2022, more than 200 UN Country Team members had gone through the UN Country Team Leadership course, or a tailored training for specific country teams. Additionally, hundreds of UN staff have taken one of the generic or agency-specific UN Country programming courses, the demand for which is steadily growing.