UNITAR Hosts Side-Event on Leadership Training at UN Public Service Forum

Participants during the practical activity.21 June 2018, Marrakech, Morocco - The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) organized a side-event at the United Nations Public Service Forum. The side-event previewed UNITAR’s upcoming platform and courses on leadership in the public sector. It consisted of a demo of the platform, a presentation of substantive leadership topics, and a practical exercise on the link between personality and leadership development.

Mr. Alex Mejia, Director, UNITAR's Division for People and Social Inclusion, opened the event by providing participants with a brief overview of the leadership platform. The United Nations Leadership Learning Platform (UN Leadership:Learn) is currently being developed by UNITAR in cooperation with the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) as part of a Global Initiative of Schools of Public Administration. It will provide access to training on leader development and assists countries to integrate leadership training in formal and informal education systems. UN Leadership:Learn will target primarily three sets of stakeholders from least developed countries (LDC) and small island developing states (SIDS): public sector officials, schools of public administration, and government entities. For these stakeholders, it will offer training courses, facilitate access to knowledge and tools, and provide support in the design and implementation of effective leadership training.

Participants preparing for the practical activity.The first course to be offered through UN Leadership:Learn, entitled Leadership in the Public Sector, is currently being developed by UNITAR and a task force of subject matter experts. This new course explores the importance of leadership for attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and provides participants with the understanding and the tools necessary to improve their respective leadership skills towards this end. The performance of any country, in seeking to achieve the SDGs, to a large extent depends on its public sector leadership. Effective leadership translates into prudent public policy formulation and implementation, as well as good public service delivery, to meet the needs and aspirations of citizens. A single leader can create an endless chain of social change. Achieving the SDGs will require the concerted efforts of governments, the business sector, society, and individual citizens. Innovative leadership and management will be essential for organizations in all sectors to integrate these sustainable development goals into strategic plans and operational activities in service of realizing the 2030 aspirations. During the side-event, the main concepts of leadership were briefly presented by using a demo of the course.

Participants exchanging personality cards.Subsequently, to explore how personal qualities of an individual influence his or her leadership style, Ms. Tania Hummel, HR consultant, executive coach, and senior advisor to UNITAR delivered a session on psychological concepts of leadership, specifically the Jungian Typology and the OCEAN big 5. The presentation explored how personal qualities can support effective leadership or undermine it. In a subsequent practical exercise, participants were invited to explore these concepts hands-on, gaining insights into their own personalities both from their own perspective and the perspectives of others.

Participants of the side-event were invited to sign up for the course which will officially be launched together with the UN Leadership:Learn platform during a special event at the UN High Level Political Forum in New York on 10 July 2018.

Photo 1: Participants being introduced to the practical activity.

Photo 2: Participants during the side-event.

Photo 3: Participants exchanging personality-cards during the practical activity.