Cap-Net UNDP is an international network for capacity development in sustainable water management. It is made up of a partnership of autonomous international, regional and national institutions and networks committed to capacity development in the water sector.
Cap-Net UNDP was initiated at the UNDP Symposium on Water Capacity Development in 1996 and launched in 2002 by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education with funding from the Dutch Government. Since then, Cap-Net UNDP has grown into a global hub for capacity development and networking in sustainable water management with additional funding from the Swedish and Norwegian Governments, and the European Union. The Cap-Net UNDP programme is a part of the Water and Ocean Governance Programme of UNDP, within the Sustainable Development Bureau for Policy and Programme Support. The programme is executed by United Nation’s Office of Project Services (UNOPS), Water and Energy Cluster.
Currently, Cap-Net UNDP is composed of 23 affiliated regional and national capacity development networks. The networks have over 1000 member organisations in total, covering 120 countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. Besides these networks, Cap-Net UNDP is also partnering with more than 40 international organisations and global thematic networks to maximise the quality and effectiveness of its capacity development activities.
A 2014 review of the programme concluded that as a central provider, and in many countries the only provider of water related capacity development, Cap-Net UNDP plays a key role in developing capacities on the ground. Over 20 specialised programmes have been developed on various aspects of sustainable water management and published in English, French, Portuguese and Spanish. On average Cap-Net UNDP trains more than 2,000 participants every year and over 10,000 professionals are accessing Cap-Net UNDP materials remotely.
Cap-Net UNDP’s Strategic Plan for 2014-2017 sets the theme “Water Knowledge for All: Empowering Individuals, Enabling Environments”. The strategy aims to strengthen institutional and human capacity in sustainable water management, focusing around four areas: poverty reduction; democratic governance; crisis prevention; and sustainable development. Throughout this period, Cap-Net UNDP will continue harnessing technological development to increase its impact, for example through the Virtual Campus (offering capacity development courses online), the partnerships with The Water Channel (hosting over 1,300 water videos and seminars), and the launch of Cap-Tec (a special programme focusing on new technologies for improved water management).
By using its extensive outreach to networks and long experience in capacity development, Cap-Net UNDP sets out to take a leading role in realizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related or linked to water. Through its structure and range of capacity development programmes, Cap-Net UNDP is in a unique position to develop the capacity to implement the SDGs, as well as to monitor and report on progress.
Read more about how Cap-Net UNDP is contributing to the implementation of the SDGs here.