brief n°16

How can UNESCO successfully map the capacity and impact of its Category 2 Centres network

brief n°16

Discover Policy Brief

How can UNESCO successfully map the capacity and impact of its Category 2 Centres network?


Category 2 Centres represent a valuable worldwide network of resources, the full potential of which should be realised to help deliver UNESCO’s strategic priorities. The efficacy and impact of UNESCO’s Category 2 Centre Network could be significantly improved through information dissemination, greater transparency and enhanced interaction between Centres. Effective mapping can provide the key to improving the Category 2 Centre network, delivering benefits for UNESCO, Member States and the Centres themselves. This Policy Brief defines how a more successful Category 2 Centre mapping could be implemented within the network, outlines key areas the mapping should cover and highlights how UNESCO could best undertake such mapping, setting out recommendations and a series of challenge questions to help achieve these objectives.

Improving the regular Category 2 network mapping would allow UNESCO to further its on-going drive to improve effectiveness and transparency; raise the visibility and profile of the Category 2 Centres, showcasing their important contributions to UNESCO’s work and goals in the organisations strategic planning; and establish a clear picture of the network, its agreed activities, specialist capabilities, recent impacts and future outputs.

The 37th General Conference in 2013 provided an opportunity to revisit how best to map the network, when it approved revisions to the Integrated Comprehensive Strategy for Category 2 Centres (37 C/Res 93) aimed at further strengthening the management of this fast-growing global network of institutes committed to furthering UNESCO’s strategic priorities. Efficient, timely and transparent monitoring of this key UNESCO partnership must now be implemented to ensure the network realizes its full potential.

The UK National Commission for UNESCO offers the following recommendations:

Commit to undertaking a full mapping of UNESCO Category 2 Centres in autumn 2015, presenting the results to the 197th Executive Board (October 2015) and 38th General Conference (November 2015).

Design and implement a mapping process and central information hub which is fully integrated with existing Category 2 Centre reporting, monitoring and governance – minimising duplication and enabling Centres to easily provide information.

Consider adjusting resources this biennium, within the bounds of the existing Strategic Planning component of the Programme-related Services budget, to enable design and implementation of an effective and efficient mapping process and supporting information system. Initial reprioritisation and front-loaded investment would facilitate repeated future mapping at minimal cost.

Present the information collected during the mapping, and the related synthesis of results, in an open and accessible fashion alongside all other Category 2 Centre information in a single part of the UNESCO website.

When considering what information to collect from Centres, ensure that the specific mapping needs of individual programmes and sectors are taken into account as well as improving cross-UNESCO consistency.

Use the mapping to identify, for all Category 2 Centres, their compliance with the Integrated Comprehensive Strategy for Category 2 Centres and their contribution to UNESCO’s medium-term strategy and global priorities of Africa and Gender – reporting findings to the Governing Bodies in strategic planning documents.


Discover all of our Policy Briefs

#Policy #PolicyBriefs

   Discover the #PolicyBriefs series        


Discover our full Policy Programmes

#Policy #Advice

   Explore our #Policy programmes        

? Browse #PolicyBriefs

The UK National Commission for UNESCO’s Policy Advice

We work with world-leading experts to advise the UK and devolved governments on UNESCO-related issues and to shape UNESCO’s programmes

From analysing global education goals to practical steps to implement UNESCO’s Recommendations, our advice helps ensure UNESCO’s work is effective and UK governments can fulfil their commitments as members of UNESCO

&#127773    Visit Our Policy Advice   


UNESCO Convention on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage:
next steps for UK Government