About CIFAL Atlanta

Atlanta SkylineCIFAL Atlanta’s mission is to develop and strengthen the capacities of government authorities, private sector representatives and civil society leaders around the world in the areas of economic development, environmental sustainability and social development.

CIFAL Atlanta relies on a facilitative approach that promotes the transfer of experiences, skills, and best practices.

Our Scope:

Thematic Areas:

  • Economic Development
  • Social Inclusion and Good Governance
  • Capacity for Agenda 2030


  • Local and Regional Economic Development: SWOT analyses, team building, agency collaboration, incentive and tax structures, recruitment strategies, economies of scale, etc.
  • Airport Management: Air service delivery, economic development, environment, operations, customer service, technology, safety and security
  • Civic engagement, human and civil rights, and youth leadership
  • Gender Equity
  • Open and just systems of governance
  • The 2030 Agenda

CIFAL Global Network

 CGN 2019


CIFAL stands for "Centre International de Formation des Autorités et Leaders" (in French), and "Centro Internacional de Formación para Autoridades y Líderes" (in Spanish).

The CIFAL Global Network is composed of 18 International Training Centres for Authorities and Leaders. These CIFAL centres are located across Asia, Africa, Europe, the Americas and the Caribbean.  Most of DCP’s training services are delivered through the CIFAL Global Network. The CIFAL centres provide innovative training throughout the world and serve as hubs for the exchange of knowledge amongst government officials, the private sector and civil society.

The eradication of poverty and hunger, environmental sustainability, risk reduction of natural disasters and provision of skills required to compete in a global economy, are only a few of the challenges that our governments and societies face. The CIFAL Global Network recognizes that there is a crucial need for capacity development in order to address these challenges.

The CIFAL Global Network’s mission is to strengthen the capacities of government officials and civil society leaders, thus empowering them to advance sustainable development.  

While working together, the CIFAL centres address a wide range of issues, including:

  • Sustainable development and poverty eradication
  • Decentralized cooperation
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Urbanization
  • Gender equality
  • Health security
  • Public-private partnerships

Areas of Work

The CIFAL Approach

The central purpose of CIFAL’s training programs is to develop and strengthen human capacities to better respond to development challenges and to facilitate City to City (C2C) partnerships. CIFALs trainings provide a platform for dialogue and knowledge transfer on key development related issues. Through knowledge management methodologies, CIFALs provide networking opportunities that lead to collaboration, facilitation of peer to peer learning and exchange of best practices. Since its inception in 2003, the Network has reached more than 30,000 beneficiaries through over 400 learning events.

"[The CIFAL Network] meets a crucial need to reinforce capacities and exchange good practices among local authorities, the private sector and the United Nations”.

-United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Remarks to the UNITAR/CIFAL Network Steering Committee, Atlanta, USA, 8 May 2008


Target Audience

Target AudiencePrimary beneficiaries are government officials from developing countries that are committed to taking a strategic approach to development. Beneficiaries include:

  • Public officials from national, sub-national and local governments
  • Academics
  • Non-governmental organizations (NGOs)
  • Community-based organizations(CBOs)
  • Private sector representatives
  • International organizations

UNITAR's Decentralized Cooperation Program

The main objective of the Decentralized Cooperation Programme (DCP) is to develop and strengthen the capacity of government authorities and civil society leaders to advance sustainable development and decentralization by offering a variety of training and networking opportunities.

DCP delivers most of its training through its CIFAL Global Network of 18 training centers located in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, the Americas and the Caribbean, and through the Port Harcourt Project Office in Nigeria, and the Human Mobility Program in New York. 

In 2015 DCP trained more than 10,000 beneficiaries from over 70 countries. The program’s targeted beneficiaries are key decision makers in developing countries, including:

  • Public officials from national, sub-national and local governments
  • Non-governmental and community-based organizations
  • Academics
  • Private sector representatives

Training Services

Training ServicesDCP draws from substantial experience in perfecting appropriate capacity development activities to meet the needs and learning priorities of diverse beneficiaries. We offer the following training services:

Face-to-Face Training
DCP specializes in designing, organizing and conducting face-to-face workshops, conferences, knowledge fairs and short courses to develop capacities in sustainable development related areas.

e-Learning Courses
DCP develops e-Learning courses to increase the outreach of its training activities. The e-learning courses are highly interactive, and are supported by online discussions, self-paced learning and practical assignments. Read more about our e-learning courses

Advanced Education Programmes
DCP offers highly customized advanced education programmes. Currently, we are implementing the one year Executive Master in Development Policies and Practices for Afghan government officials. Read more

Blended Learning Activities
DCP also offers custom-designed courses that integrate online learning with face-to-face seminars, workshops, field trips and conferences. An example of this is the Resilience and DRR Initiative. Read more


DCP’s training is demand-driven and relies on extensive consultations. We provide training in a variety of sustainable development topics, including the following:

  • Sustainable Urban Services (water and sanitation, transport, waste management, energy, etc.)
  • Decentralized Cooperation
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience of Cities
  • Social Responsibility
  • Youth Employment Promotion
  • Public-private Partnerships
  • Migration


MethodologyIn designing and delivering its capacity building activities, DCP employs various innovative methodologies, including:

DCP’s trademark city-to-city methodology called “CityShare” is a multi-step process of self-assessment, distillation and transmission of experiences and best practices. This methodology leads to knowledge sharing and cooperation among cities.

Hands-on Learning is a process by which the knowledge learned is put into practice. 

Concept Learning includes lectures, presentations and visual aids by which new information/concepts are introduced.

Role-playing allows learning through the enactment of a specific situation in accordance with a given role.

Collaborative Learning facilitates networking and encourages experience sharing.

Register for a DCP Training Course


Other CIFAL Resources

    About the CIFAL Global Network