Advisory Group

The UNCTAD Advisory Group on the Strengthening of Training Capacity and Human Resources Development was established in 2002, following a recommendation endorsed by the 38th session of UNCTAD’s Working Party on the Medium-Term Plan and the Programme Budget in 2001. Since its inception, the Advisory Group has held 12 meetings: in December 2002, January 2004, February 2005, March 2006, November 2007, June 2009, December 2010, October 2011, December 2013, October 2015, June 2017 and November 2019.

The Advisory Group’s objectives are:

  • To examine the evolution of UNCTAD’s training and capacity building activities in order to determine elements that need to be strengthened, developed, or modified in the context of the organization’s strategy;
  • To put forth proposals to enhance the work carried out by UNCTAD in this area and increase its access to financial resources required for the development of technical cooperation projects in the field of training and capacity building.
  • Promote digital solutions and innovative thinking to enhance capacities of international trade players

Overview over the Advisory Group’s Areas of Work

  • In November 2019, the 12th Advisory Group on “Future Challenges for Port Managers” gathered port experts to redesign the Module 4 of the Modern Port Management course. The title of the module will be changed to “Challenges of Sustainable Ports”. The module will start with an introduction linked to Sustainable Development Goals that are relevant to ports. The module itself will be divided into the following six sections : 1) Climate Change and Environment, 2) Safety 3) Quality 4) Security 5) Corporate Social Integration 6) Emerging Trends / Future Proofing
  • In December 2013, the Advisory Group discussed “Developing skills, knowledge and capacities through innovation: E-Learning, M-Learning, Cloud-Learning”
  • In June 2017, the 11th Advisory Group on “Computerization and Technological Solutions in Ports” gathered port experts to redesign the Module 5C of the Modern Port Management course called Digital Port Management taking into consideration the latest trends and developments in the port sector.
  • In October 2011, the Advisory Group discussed best practices and field experiences related to e-learning. Innovative electronic responses adopted by international organizations and universities to build and share knowledge were discussed.
  • In October 2015, the 10th Advisory Group on “Innovation Knowledge for Inclusive and Sustainable Development: Transferring Knowledge through Technology”
  • In October 2011, the Advisory Group discussed best practices and field experiences related to e-learning. Innovative electronic responses adopted by international organizations and universities to build and share knowledge were discussed.
  • In December 2010, the Advisory Group focused on building knowledge and skills on trade-related policies through training courses for developing country officials.
  • In June 2009, the Advisory Group discussed e-learning initiatives at UNCTAD and the state-of-the-art distance learning courses and activities available in Geneva-based international organizations and implemented in developed and developing countries.
  • In 2007, the Advisory Group focused on the implementation of innovative responses to the building and sharing of knowledge in the field of trade and development.
  • In 2006, a small group of beneficiary countries, universities, donor institutions and regional organizations examined training and capacity building issues in the field of international trade and investment for African LDCs and regional organizations.
  • In 2005, the Advisory Group examined the use of distance learning in the least developed countries (LDCs) and analyzed the related benefits and difficulties for the beneficiary countries.
  • In 2004, the Advisory Group examined the use of new information and communication technologies in the field of training. The Group discussed the methods of delivery for distance learning courses, and an online platform for UNCTAD training resources.
  • In 2002, the Advisory Group focused on the newly-defined TRAINFORTRADE human resources development strategy, the development of an institutional framework, cooperation with UNCTAD’s programmes and divisions, and the resources required to carry out the planned activities.

UNCTAD Advisory Group Meetings

12th Meeting – 11 NOVEMBER 2019


10th Meeting – 22 OCTOBER 2015

Room XXVII, Palais des Nations, Geneva (Switzerland)

Focus: Innovation Knowledge for Inclusive and Sustainable Development: Transferring Knowledge through Technology.

The 2015 Advisory Group includes international organisations (IFRC, IRU, ITC, OCHA, OHCHR, UNCTAD, UNOG, UNOG, WIPO, WTO), private sector players (Google, Nestlé) as well as academia (EPFL, Dakar University) and provides a forum to discuss and identify best practices, platforms, processes and solutions that are relevant to UN agencies in the areas of training and e-Learning, and the development of academies and training institutions.

During its 10th meeting, the Advisory Group will look into solutions for development in the areas of Big Data and Analytics, capacity building, and knowledge sharing, and address the following specific questions:

  • How can we leverage big data for knowledge development?
  • How does big data and analytics fit into Capacity Building within the context of UN entities and other International Institutions?
  • How can Big Data help to setup and contribute to E-learning and career path development?
  • Can Big Data reveal insights on change in human well-being, real time trends on population behaviour or perceptions related to sustainable development issues?
  • Where should United Nations Agencies focus on regarding Big Data /Analytics HR and career planning?
  • Will Big Data create a new rift or new opportunity for Developing Countries?
  • Is Big Data the next quantum leap?

Dr. Adrian Holzer & M. Quentin Caviller (EPFL) spreading Knowledge

Ms. Katy Bowers & M. Jude Fletcher, (NESTLE)
Big Data Opportunity

Ms. Denise Kappel & M. William Babumba, (IFRC)
IFRC Learning Platform & Learning Initiatives

9th Meeting – 10 DECEMBER 2013

9th Meeting of the UNCTAD Advisory Group on:

“Developing skills, knowledge a nd capacities through innovation:
E – Learnin g , M – Learning, C loud – Learning “

LMS & Technological solutions to target developing countries

  • LMS (Open source & software solutions)
  • Facilities in the field
  • Human resources needed and trained to oversee the delivery

M-learning, cloud-learning, web 2.0, web 3.0

  • M-learning where, how and for what?
  • New or further development?
  • Hybrid approach

Advisory Group Report 2013

Agenda AG 2013 / Aide Memoire of the event

Floor Plan – CICG

Knowledge Development and ICT

Speakers: Claude Lishou, Alessia Messuti

Prof. Claude Lishou presentation

Alessia Messuti ILO

Tom Video URL

Slideshare presentation: durable & scalable mlearning

Articulate presentation ILO URL

Speakers: Nivi Mukherjee, Michel Bénard (11h30), Stephen Downes (12h00)

Nivi Mukherjee presentation

Michel Bernard MOOCs and Google

Stephen Downes Mooc Presentation

Share this page on your favorite social network