This course provides an in-depth overview of strategies for assessing, designing and convening multi-stakeholder partnerships and initiatives. It is designed and delivered in partnership with the Consensus Building Institute (CBI) - a not-for-profit organization founded in 1993 by leading practitioners and theory builders in the fields of negotiation and dispute resolution and affiliated with Harvard and MIT.

Through case studies and realistic simulations, participants deepen their skills in:

  • Framing sustainable development goals (SDGs and others) in ways that motivate constructive stakeholder engagement;
  • Identifying and assessing key stakeholders on sustainable development issues, and understanding how to leverage areas of potential agreement and address possible conflicts;
  • Joint fact finding and analysis to resolve disputed facts and projections, clarify interactions among economic, environmental and social drivers, and model the possible economic, social and environmental impacts of proposed policies and actions;
  • Interest-based negotiation and mediation to resolve conflicting interests;
  • Dialogue, trust and relationship building strategies to address underlying conflicts in values, identities and historical legacies.

Participants apply frameworks and tools directly to their own current and ongoing challenges, with faculty and peer feedback. On-demand post-programme coaching and advising services may also be made available.



Upon successful completion of this course, participants will:

  • Understand sustainable development as an ongoing process of negotiation, consensus building and partnership building among stakeholders with diverse economic, environmental and social interests and values;
  • Have examined the SDGs as an unprecedented opportunity and challenge for consensus building and partnership;
  • Have an understanding of principles, strategies and tools for goal framing and stakeholder assessment through interactive cases, role plays and exercises;
  • Have practiced applying stakeholder assessment and engagement strategies to their own ongoing work;
  • Have an understanding of and practiced principles for mutual gains negotiation and their application to sustainable development issues;
  • Be aware of opportunities for continuing their learning and peer exchange on stakeholder engagement and consensus building for sustainable development, as part of a community of practice supported by UNSSC and CBI.

Course Methodology

Course Methodology: 

The training programme will offer a mix of knowledge and skills for assessing, designing and convening multi-stakeholder partnerships and initiatives. The course will adopt a blended format of instructional sessions, experience sharing and peer-to-peer learning.

Course Contents

Course Contents: 
  • Day 1: Sustainable Development as Partnership Building; Framing Sustainable Development Goals and Stakeholder Assessment
  • Day 2: Developing Stakeholder Engagement Strategy; Mutual Gains Negotiation
  • Day 3: Complex Sustainable Development Negotiations and Partnership Approaches

Target Audience

Target Audience: 

For UN participants: UN regional and country programme staff who are working directly with diverse stakeholders on challenging national and regional sustainable development issues.

For non-UN participants: Professionals who are working directly on challenging national and regional sustainable development issues.

Cost of participation

Cost of participation: 

The course fee of 3,500 USD covers the following:

  • Three days of training with a balance of presentations and group work on case studies and exercises;
  • Exclusive access to our online learning platform with training and supporting background materials, and the opportunity to stay connected with colleagues;
  • All course materials, resources and contacts.

Participants are expected to cover all travel costs related to their attendance in the course. Accommodation in a hotel in town will be booked in advance by the UNSSC; however, the accommodation costs will be borne by the participants.

Certificates of Attendance from the UN System Staff College and CBI will be awarded to participants who complete the course.

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