2021 Results Report

Nikhil Seth - UNITAR Executive Director

Nikhil Seth

United Nations Assistant Secretary-General

UNITAR Executive Director


I am pleased to introduce the 2021 Results Report of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR), which summarizes and highlights some of our main outputs and other results from the past year.

While the COVID-19 pandemic continued to disrupt the world in 2021, the year ended with a glimmer of hope.

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Our Primary Output

Trained Beneficiaries

UNITAR provided learning, training and knowledge-sharing services to 370,139 individuals in 2021, representing a 15% increase from 2020 figures of 322,410.

Over half of the beneficiaries delivered is attributed to courses administered in partnership with agencies of the One UN Climate Change Learning Partnership (UN CC:Learn). UNITAR’s global network of affiliated International Training Centres for Authorities and Leaders (CIFAL) delivered 22% of the beneficiaries.

The proportion of participants from broader knowledge-sharing and other events (e.g., conferences, public lectures, meetings) represents 34% of UNITAR’s beneficiaries, while the other 66% are participants from learning-related events.

Learning-Related Beneficiaries
by Gender

The overall male to female gender ratio of beneficiaries from learning-related events for 2021 was 45 to 49 (counting peacekeeping training beneficiaries) and “other” accounting for 6%.

by Strategic Objectives

The majority of our beneficiaries were associated with programming related to the advancement of environmental sustainability and green development followed by people and social inclusion, and peace and just and inclusive societies.

Regional Breakdown of
Learning-Related Beneficiaries

79% of learning-related beneficiaries came from developing countries, of which 19% are from least-developed countries (LDCs), landlocked developing countries (LLDCs) and small island developing States (SIDS).

Number of Events and Delivery Mode

UNITAR’s overall beneficiaries took part in 991 events, equivalent to some 11,176 event days over the calendar year. Only 20% of events took place through face-to-face or blended, residential training activities, the majority of which took place in the field.

Learning-related Beneficiaries by Affiliation

UNITAR serves a wide spectrum of constituencies, with 49% of its learning-related beneficiaries coming from non-state sectors, including NGOs, academia and the private sector.

Leaving No One
Behind Highlights

In accordance with the 2030 Agenda principles of leaving no one behind and reaching the furthest behind first, UNITAR continues to focus its attention on developing the capacities of some 93 countries in special situations.

Comparison with Previous Year: Slightly Higher Proportion and Higher Absolute Numbers

In 2021, 19% of learning beneficiaries came from countries in special situations.

Despite a slight increase in the ratio in 2021 compared to 2020 (16%), given the overall increase of UNITAR beneficiaries, the rate of participants from countries in special situations continues to decrease in comparison to the numbers prior to 2020 (2019: 23%).

Gender Breakdown: Learning Beneficiaries from Countries in Special Situations are Mostly Male

The gender breakdown of learners from countries in special situations is unbalanced, while the breakdown of all participants is more balanced.

When looking at overall beneficiaries from countries in special situations, the breakdown is more balanced with 50% male, 49% female participants and 1% are represented in other genders.

Affiliation: Participants from countries in special situations mostly work for non-state sectors and government

42% of learners from countries in special situations work for non-state sectors, 31% for governments, 5% for the United Nations and other international organizations and 22% for other sectors.

Beneficiaries from countries in special situation

Overall beneficiaries

This is due largely to the fact that beneficiaries from military and police contingents are recorded as government.

14% of UNITAR’s certificates of learning events with objective assessment are awarded to participants from countries in special situations

This rate decreased in comparison to the 2020 numbers (20%).

The proportion of beneficiaries from countries in special situations who received a certificate was also lower in 2021 (28%) in relation to the previous year (81%).

SIDS, LDCs and LLDCs: Most learning beneficiaries come from LLDCs

85% of all learning beneficiaries coming from SIDS took part in programming falling under the planet pillar, while for LDCs and LLDCs the participants are broken down more equally between the planet and peace pillars.

Nationalities: UNITAR mostly reached participants from countries in special situations from the African continent

57% of learning beneficiaries from countries in special situation are from the African continent. The countries in special situations with larger proportion of beneficiaries are Mali, Chad, Bangladesh and Burkina Faso.

Other countries with more than 1,000 learners each include Benin, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Niger, Rwanda and Tanzania.

Participants from countries in special situation mostly attended e-learning

78% participants of the beneficiaries from countries in special situation attended e-learning courses while 21% attended face-to-face events and 2% other type of events.

Disability: 2% indicate having a disability

In 2021, 2.4% of all learners attested to having a disability (2020: 2%).


A Key Pillar to Programming

A strong partnership strategy continues to be an integral part of UNITAR’s approach to achieving effective and efficient results. It allows the institute to combine the substantive expertise of UN and other partners with UNITAR’s internal expertise in programming, adult learning and instructional technologies.

Beneficiaries by partnership

Of the Institute’s 991 events in 2021, 78% of our beneficiaries were trained through events implemented in partnership.

Partners by Type

Partners include organizations as diverse as UN entities, governments, universities, other international organizations, the private sector, NGOs and foundations.