ESCAP has five interlinked strategies in the area of learning with the
objective to strengthen the role of training in supporting the organisation?s programme of work. The common thread of these
strategies is to provide a more tailored approach to staff development, which would achieve a higher impact of training programmes,
both in terms of productivity and staff motivation.
The five strategies are briefly discussed in turn.
Based on consultation with staff at all levels, we have
identified three priority areas of staff development and learning, i.e. (1) managerial and leadership development,
(2) organizational effectiveness and (3) upgrading of technical and substantive skills. These areas were perceived as
the most important and urgent to support the Executive Secretary?s reform initiative at ESCAP.
Similar to the prioritization of learning programmes,
it was decided to target specific staff members for various types of trainings. The Executive Secretary, in
consultation with senior managers, are identifying certain key staff, or groups of staff, to participate in a number
of priority development activities, which will are elaborated in the ESCAP training plan for the year. Such policy
ensured that most staff development programmes reached the actual target audience, thus ensuring high impact.
Internal management tools are a major factor in ensuring
the success of a more strategic approach to learning, demonstrated for example by the need to keep accurate participant
statistics as well as financial information. Furthermore, enhanced communication tools for interacting with staff members
are used so as to ensure higher client service and transparency. Last but not least, internal management tools are a
crucial tool to capture and assess the impact of staff development activities, and to make decisions on such basis.
Two areas fall under this strategy. First, there is
a clear need to train and certify more local trainers, which can be contracted independently from Headquarters,
thus improving the flexibility and speed of implementation. Second, there is a need to increase the level of services
provided to ESCAP Regional Institutes that are located in the Asia and Pacific Region, which are largely funded by
This strategy refers to the need for greater awareness
and motivation to participate in staff development activities, based on the United Nations core competency of
However, it also refers to the need for a stronger commitment to staff
members? own continuous development and in honoring such commitment by participation in development
activities, and to the need for supervisors to encourage their staff more proactively to participate
in these activities.