The Decentralized Cooperation Programme (DCP) provides activities in the thematic areas of economic development and social inclusion, sustainable peace, and research and technology applications.

The main goal of the DCP is to develop and strengthen the capacity of government authorities and civil society leaders to promote sustainable development and decentralisation by offering a variety of training and networking opportunities.

The DCP is based on substantial experience in the refinement of capacity development activities to meet the learning needs and priorities of various beneficiaries, through different types of training:

Face-to-face training
e-Learning Courses
Advanced education programs
Customized Learning Activities
The DCP provides most of its training through its Global CIFAL Network, created in 2003, with the central goal of developing and strengthening human capacities to better address development challenges. The CIFAL centres use a facilitative approach that aims at:

Facilitating the transfer of knowledge, experiences and good practices between public and private sector representatives and civil society leaders.
Improving capacities to perform relevant tasks effectively.
Encouraging cooperation and development of multi-sectoral partnerships.
Providing opportunities that lead to collaboration between cities.
Contributing to the development of local and national strategies.
Each International Training Centre for Authorities and Leaders (CIFAL) provides training programmes in key areas related to sustainable development and acts as a centre for knowledge between government officials, non-government and international organisations, private sector, civil society, academic institutions and the UN system.

Each CIFAL specialises in thematic areas that have been defined according to the needs and priorities of the regions in which they are located. Their training programmes provide access to knowledge and good practices while promoting multi-sectoral collaboration for sustainable development.

The thematic areas covered are as follows:

Governance and urban planning
Economic development
Social inclusion
Environmental sustainability
The network has 20 training centres located in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, America and the Caribbean, and through the Port Harcourt Projects Office in Nigeria and the People’s Mobility Programme in New York.

In Europe, there are five CIFAL centres, in Flanders (Belgium), Plock (Poland), Zürich (Switzerland), Malaga and Madrid (Spain), in addition to the UNITAR Headquarters in Geneva (Switzerland).

The Director of the Decentralized Cooperation Programme (DCP) is Alex Mejía, who reports directly to UNITAR’s Executive Director, Nikhil Seth.