The UNOPS Sustainable Project Management Practice Group designed the workshops to expand the capacity of host governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to deliver high-quality project management services. The workshops also provided additional training to local UNOPS personnel, as well as the in-country staff of international partners.
The initiative covered 20 countries, including many that are recovering from conflict or disasters, such as Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Peru, South Sudan and Haiti.
Workshop participants learned how to apply new skills to real projects on the ground through practical exercises such as the sustainable bridge exercise – a training tool developed by UNOPS. This exercise asks teams of participants to build a two-dimensional model of a bridge according to a set budget, timeframe and strict specifications.
The workshops also included information on the basic concepts of project management, including concrete examples demonstrating how quality project management can lead to substantial financial savings.
A success story from Myanmar
In Myanmar, two workshops were conducted in May of last year, and drew high participation in both locations. Over 100 officials from 12 government ministries attended the workshop in Nay Pyi Taw, while a further 100 participants from NGOs and development agencies such as Myanmar Anti-Narcotics, CARE and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) were present at the Yangon workshop.
"This workshop is a great opportunity to catch up with international best practices, as our country's development and cooperation with the rest of the world accelerate day by day," explained an engineer from the Ministry of Construction.
Conducted in 22 cities worldwide, the workshops were attended by 1,347 participants.
"Through the workshops we were able to share the value of project management with partners. Step by step we are achieving our goal of building national capacity," said Ricardo Vargas, Director of the Sustainable Project Management Practice Group.
Project management expertise
UNOPS has over 30 years' experience implementing and supporting humanitarian, peacebuilding and development projects around the world, including in some of the most challenging environments.
UNOPS project managers manage an annual portfolio of around $1 billion. This expertise has been formally recognized by industry leaders for excellence in both consultancy and training services.
In 2013, UNOPS became the first global organization to be awarded four of the most prestigious project management certifications available, by two of the largest project management bodies, the Project Management Institute (PMI) and APMG.
UNOPS in focus