Capacity building advisory group meeting documents available onlineUNCTAD's New Technologies, Training and Capacity Building Branch (NTTCB) - the Virtual Institute's home within UNCTAD - organized the fifth meeting of the "UNCTAD Advisory Group on the Strengthening of Training Capacities and Human Resources Development" on 26 November in Geneva.

A CD containing all background documents and presentations is now online at

This year the experts shared with UNCTAD experiences in the field of building and sharing knowledge, while UNCTAD presented its activities of the NTTCB branch. This includes the Virtual Institute together with the TrainForTrade programme and the Training Course on Key Issues of the Economic Agenda (Paragraph 166 course). The pedagogical expertise of these three programmes is at the heart of UNCTAD's training and capacity-building activities, which was underlined in the opening by UNCTAD's Secretary-General Dr. Supachai Panitchpakdi.

In the morning session the experts the shared experiences from the ILO International Training Centre in Turin, the Worldwide Academy of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and on the activities of the Centre for Trade Policy and Law at Ottawa's Carleton University , member of the Virtual Institute network, represented by Phil Rourke. The discussion following the presentations of the three experts centred around six themes: How to measure the impact of training programmes in ex-post evaluations; cooperation and competition among providers of training programmes; the training of trainers approach to employ a multiplier effect; application of variable pedagogical methodologies in accordance with the target groups' needs; adaptation to the respective local context; and the recent expansion of distance-learning activities.

As part of the afternoon session Vlasta Macku presented the Virtual Institute and the services it provides to member universities. She concluded with listing some of the challenges the Virtual Institute is facing, i.e. human and financial resource constraints, offering differentiated services catering the needs of the individual members, the need for a decision to provide personalized services to few or standard services to many, finding the right partners and securing predictable funding for the future. The responses to her presentation showed strong support for the programme by several Member State mission in Geneva.

More information on the meeting, including the various presentations, can be accessed online.