18.10. – 20.10.2016 | UNSSC: Stakeholder Engagement and Consensus Building for Sustainable Development


Designed and delivered in partnership with the Consensus Building Institute (CBI) – a not-for-profit organization founded in 1993 by leading practitioners and theory builders in the fields of negotiation and dispute resolution and affiliated with Harvard and MIT – this programme is intended for UN Development System Representatives, Resident Coordinators, Regional Directors and their deputies. This 3-day course will be held on 18-20 October 2016 at the Harvard Faculty Club.


The course builds participants’ capacities to frame sustainable development issues; assess and engage key stakeholders; negotiate agreements; and facilitate the development of multi-stakeholder partnerships and initiatives. Through real case studies and realistic simulations, participants will deepen their skills in:

  • Framing sustainable development goals (SDGs and others) in ways that motivate constructive stakeholder engagement;
  • Identifying and assessing key stakeholders on sustainable development issues, and understanding how to leverage areas of potential agreement and address possible conflicts;
  • Joint fact finding and analysis to resolve disputes on the economic, environmental and social impacts of proposed policies and actions;
  • Interest-based negotiation and mediation to manage stakeholder conflict; and
  • Dialogue, trust and relationship building strategies to address underlying conflicts in values, identities and historical legacies.

Participants will also have opportunities to apply frameworks and tools directly to their own current and ongoing challenges, with faculty and peer feedback. On demand post-programme coaching and advising services can also be made available.


The training programme will offer a mix of knowledge and skills for assessing, engaging and convening multi-stakeholder partnerships and initiatives. The course will adopt a blended format of instructional sessions, experience sharing and peer-to-peer learning.

Distinctive to the course, participants will use ongoing, real-world sustainable development cases drawn from the work of UN agencies and partners around the world, and have an opportunity to interact directly with senior UN colleagues who are working on those cases.

Throughout the training programme, participants will also work on their own cases, with a requirement that each participant bring an active case for discussion in a breakout group. The case study training methodology is intended to strengthen analytical as well as problem-solving and decision-making skills, and to provide practical insights to participants that they can apply immediately in their ongoing work.

Learning Objectives

At the end of the course, participants will have:

  • Explored sustainable development as an ongoing process of negotiation, consensus building and partnership building among stakeholders with diverse economic, environmental and social interests and values;
  • Examined the SDGs as an unprecedented opportunity and challenge for consensus building and partnership;
  • Gained an understanding of principles, strategies and tools for goal framing and stakeholder assessment through interactive cases, role plays and exercises;
  • Practiced applying stakeholder assessment and engagement strategies to their own ongoing work;
  • Gained an understanding of and practiced principles for mutual gains negotiation and their application to sustainable development issues;
  • Identified opportunities for continuing their learning and peer exchange on stakeholder engagement and consensus building for sustainable development, as part of a community of practice supported by UNSSC and CBI.

Target Audience

The course is open to both UN and Non-UN participants!

For UN participants: Senior UN regional, country and program managers (P5 and above) who are working directly with diverse stakeholder on challenging national and regional sustainable development issues. Other staff may be accepted depending on functional responsibility.

For Non-UN participants: Senior professionals who are working directly on challenging national and regional sustainable development issues.

Cost of Participation

The course is offered at a fee of USD 3,500 per participant, covering the following:

  • Three days of training with a balance of presentations, full group and small group work on case studies and exercises;
  • Exclusive access to an online platform and community of practice as well as a series of webinars with key speakers on topics relevant for the course;
  • All course materials, resources and contacts.

Participants are expected to cover all travel costs related to their attendance in the course. Accommodation in a hotel in town will be booked in advance by the UNSSC; however, the accommodation costs will be borne by the participants.

Certificates of attendance from the UN System Staff College & CBI will be awarded to participants who complete the course.


To register, please go to http://bit.ly/UNSSC-CBI2016. Deadline of registration is October 11, 2016. For questions, please email sustainable-development@unssc.org.

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Source: Nofitication UNSSC, 21.09.2016