Dakar, Senegal, 18 June 2010 - A 5-day workshop that brought together UNDP Practice Team experts in gender, capacity development, poverty reduction, learning (LRC), and knowledge management, to formulate an integrated program of technical assistance in support of the Africa Adaptation Programme (AAP), wrapped up here today.

“This week we saw a group of dedicated and enthusiastic professionals make a real words-into-action commitment that demonstrates the value of working as one in delivering a comprehensive suite of technical assistance to the twenty AAP countries,” says Ian Rector, Programme Manager of the AAP.

“Our initial challenge was to work out how we could meet the immediate and longer term needs and demands of our partner countries in a manner that would result in genuine capacity development. We at AAP are a small team and it did not take long for us to appreciate the huge potential that the united resources of the UNDP practice teams brought to the table. Now with AAP we have a vehicle that provides a common link and it is a real opportunity for us to engage as one and stay engaged for the remainder of AAP and beyond. There should be no turning back,” said Mr. Rector.

“UNDP Country Offices and many governments are already starting to become overwhelmed with the number of projects and other interventions related to climate change, so by uniting our efforts we are both reducing the demands on them while also increasing the quality and sustainability of our technical assistance. I think it sends a very strong message that UNDP places extreme importance on modifying its service delivery models in order to ensure the needs of countries remain first and foremost,” he said.

“Much of the credit goes to the co-chairs of the AAP Board and the respective practice team leaders for their encouragement and commitment to making this collaboration possible and ensuring its successful outcome,” said Mr. Rector.

In addition to the practice teams in attendance at the workshop, AAP is working with the UNDP South-South Cooperation Team on the design of a parallel advocacy and awareness program.

The AAP, a flagship programme of UNDP, is helping 20 countries in Africa develop their capability to design and implement holistic climate adaptation and disaster risk reduction programmes that are aligned with their national development priorities. It was launched in December 2008 under the Japan-UNDP Joint Framework for Building Partnership to Address Climate Change in Africa with funding of US $92 million from the government of Japan. The Programme is an integral part of the Yokohama Action Plan of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD).

For more information on the Africa Adaptation Programme, please contact Mihoko.Kumamoto at undp.org in New York or Ian Rector ianr at unops.org in Dakar, or visit www.undp-adaptation.org/africaprogramme/. More detailed information on the project is available on the Adaptation Learning Mechanism (www.adaptationlearning.net). In the search box, enter ‘AAP’ to find the related results.