The UN Secretary-General’s vision sets an imperative to ensure that a UN development system strongly emphasizes leadership, accountability, collaboration, efficiency and results as enablers to advance Agenda 2030 and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This requires UN field leaders to individually and collectively recalibrate and enhance knowledge, skills and capabilities across critical areas such as strategic collaboration, integrated analysis, foresight and risk management; as well as advocacy and messaging on sustainable development; and technical expertise on emerging frontier issues. As a critical step forward, the UNDG developed a UN Leadership Model in November 2016 that laid out defining characteristics and capabilities of UN field leaders.
The Leadership Model was subsequently endorsed by the HLCM and HLCP, and together these three pillars of the UN Chief Executives Board (CEB) developed a UN System Leadership Framework that integrated the Leadership Model and emphasized the importance of culture change and leadership enablers across the system at all levels. The CEB approved the UN Leadership Framework in April 2017 and the UN SG has instructed that this Framework be at the forefront of leadership assessment, orientation, and learning initiatives, and developing appropriate mechanisms for the entire UN System.
ADAPT | COLLABORATE | TRANSFORM
The Leadership Solutions for Sustainable Development (LSSD) offered through UNDOCO provides a locus of learning to help maximize the capabilities of UN field leaders (RCs and UNCT members) through individual and collaborative leadership to effectively lead in the sustainable development era. The LSSD aims to put leadership, knowledge, partnership networks and innovation at the center of sustainable development solutions.
The LSSD’s three action principles are:
- Adapt: Unpack sustainable development challenges by promoting adaptive thinking and behaviors that enhance individual and team leadership within larger systems in response to constantly changing environments.
- Collaborate: Seek collective ‘as one’ approaches to build a shared understanding of problems, enabling joined-up support for effective solutions beyond the scope of individual organizations.
- Transform: Focus on positive change to create long-term impact and scaling of solutions while guided by UN principles, values and norms.
The principal areas of the LSSD’s work centre around:
Cultivating capabilities: Strengthen RCs and the UNCT’s leadership and collective intelligence to nimbly maneuver complex spaces, lead sustainable development efforts and to jointly think with a systems mindset – seeking solutions to existing and emerging complex challenges of the SDGs.
Curating knowledge: Enhance leadership capacity of RCs and UNCTs through strengthening the evidence-base for leadership action and shape new ways to connect knowledge from within and outside the organization to inform decision-making and building a leadership community of innovative thinkers and doers.
Connecting networks: Facilitate new multi-stakeholder coalitions that redefine leadership approaches to partnership building, and bring together existing partners and other organizations from a variety of fields to accelerate sustainable development initiatives.
Grounded in functional and experiential learning principles, the LSSD assembles strategic leadership development initiatives exclusively geared to RCs and UNCTs through the following programmes:
Leadership Exchange Series (LEADX): Through various platforms, the Leadership Exchange Series (LEAD×) aims to make ideas, discoveries and innovations accessible to the UN leadership community; to take stock of the world’s most pressing issues, and to re-connect with individual and collective sense of purpose.
Leadership Academy: Offer tailored leadership development programmes to help prepare current and future UN Resident Coordinators to strategically address the multi-dimensional and complex challenges of the sustainable development agenda, and more specifically, their role.
Leadership Lab: Create collaborative spaces to learn and test an array of cutting-edge approaches and ideas, and help UN field leaders adapt their mind-set and behaviors to better address country level challenges. The Lab also serves as a ‘knowledge fulcrum’ connecting UNCTs to current concepts, global frontier issues stemming from changes in science and technology, and evidence-based work to facilitate analysis, co-create solutions and pursue collective action.
The “Leadership Solutions for Sustainable Development” programme for the RC System will focus on bringing expertise across the UN system and external thought leadership through enhancing knowledge and learning partnerships on the sustainable development goals. For more information, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org