Capacity Development

The four capacity development and training programmes operating in Iceland within GRÓ – International Centre for Capacity Development – Sustainable use of Natural Resources and Societal Change, were all established for the purpose of building human resource capacities in developing countries in fields where Icelandic expert knowledge is available. The main purpose of the programmes is to foster new knowledge, capabilities and solutions in developing countries which enhance progress, with emphasis on the system of governance of the countries and their institutions. The programmes are thus founded on the ideology of sustainable development and on the future vision of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The four programmes have for decades been one of the main pillars of Icelandic international development cooperation. The programmes are principally funded by government contributions to development cooperation.

Iceland´s policy in the field of international development cooperation states that there is to be continued emphasis on training individuals and increasing the strength of institutions in developing countries by operating the Fisheries Training Programme, Gender Equality Studies Training Programme, the Geothermal Training Programme and the Land Restoration Training Programme. The policy also states that the cumulative effect of the four programmes is to be increased and integrated into other fields of Icelandic development cooperation.

In line with government policy the Icelandic development cooperation is to emphasise fields where Icelandic expert knowledge can be utilised in efforts to fight poverty and to enhance the progress of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Two main goals are specified, both related to the operations of the four programmes.

One of the goals deals inter alia with gender equality and women’s empowerment in line with SDG no. 5 and the other relate to the protection of the Planet and the sustainable use of natural resources. They contain focus items pursuant to SDGs no. 7, 14 and 15, the increased use of geothermal resources and other renewable energy sources; the preservation and sustainable use of marine and aquatic resources; and the recovery of land quality and limiting land degradation.