Training events

“Cities of Opportunities: Connecting Culture and Innovation”


UN-Habitat welcomes applications from training providers wishing to organize training events at the tenth session of the World Urban Forum (WUF 10) to be held from 8 to 13 February 2020 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The training providers can include UN agencies, international and national training institutions, think tanks, universities, local governments, capacity building institutions and other stakeholders.

The training events provide an opportunity for participants (trainees) to gain practical skills and knowledge on pressing topics related to the WUF 10 theme: Cities of opportunities: Connecting Culture and Innovation. The training events should equip them with the “how to” approach to development challenges related to culture and innovation with problem-solving tools, methodologies and instruments.

Each training session lasts three hours and can accommodate 30-50 people. Standard technical equipment e.g. audio system, microphones, presentation screen, laptop for projections like video or power point will be made available at no cost to the organizer. Each room will have tables with 8 seats each and some rooms will have a booth for interpreters, including required equipment (at no cost). Interpretation services, if needed, must be requested in advance and the associated costs must be borne by the organizer.

The institution in charge of designing and delivering the training event is fully responsible for the financing and organization of staff as well as their travel and accommodation, and any costs associated with the distribution of background training materials. WUF 10 Secretariat will provide in-situ coordination, the venue, and infrastructure and will oversee the classroom logistics and the registration for the participants attending the training event.

Concept Note:

Culture plays an increasingly important role in the competitiveness and identity of cities and nations. It can serve as a strategic tool for city promotion and development and an essential component in urban development and regeneration and socioeconomic prosperity. Innovation can improve the use of resources, while bringing creative solutions by leveraging the rise of new technology and connecting ideas, opportunities and partnerships.

What are the skills, knowledge, tools, methods and instruments to leverage culture and innovation to implement the New Urban Agenda and achieve the SDGs in cities? The training events should unpack the fundamental links between the preservation and promotion of cultural and natural heritage, creative ideas and initiatives, and the achievement of the New Urban Agenda and the SDG11. The training events should explore the role of culture and the creative industry and synergies between tradition and modernity in driving prosperity and improving the quality of life for all in cities and communities. The training should therefore provide opportunities for participants to develop practical ways to mainstream culture and innovation in urban planning practices. In doing so, the training events should respond to the question of how these elements can drive economic growth, improve the provision of urban services, inner-city areas, foster civic identity and public participation, and generate employment, with the ultimate view of achieving sustainable, safe, resilient and inclusive urban development.

One of the key characteristics of the training events at WUF 10 is that they provide “how to” approach to development challenges. They should provide opportunities for participants and targeted audiences to acquire knowledge, skills and know-how that are essential for national and local governments as well as their partners from the private, civil society and academic sectors. The training events should promote emerging innovative approaches, practices, methodologies and tools in harnessing culture and innovation as a driver for sustainable urban development. They should also integrate different disciplines and disseminate best practices that support the implementation of the New Urban Agenda and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Selection Criteria

As a pre-requisite, the training provider must ensure that they have the required funds to finance the staffing, travel and accommodation of the trainers for the duration of its training event at WUF 10. The WUF 10 Secretariat will not provide any financial support related to such costs to the applying institutes.

There is a limit of one (1) training event per organization that can be accepted to ensure balance and equal opportunity for all applicants.

The following criteria will be taken into account when assessing the proposals for training:

  • Thematic relevance and links to the WUF 10 theme and objectives (please see the WUF10 concept paper);
  • Content and quality of the training proposal and application of different training methods and tools;
  • Innovation in the outreach/mobilization strategy to promote attendance at the event;
  • The capacity of the event to contribute with clear outcomes, applying results-based management approach;
  • Innovation in the evaluation and monitoring of the expected outcome;
  • Gender balance and composition of training instructors;
  • Participation of representatives from the Least Developed Countries (LDC) or inclusion of experiences from LDCs;
  • Contribution and participation of the organizers in previous World Urban Forums or Habitat III Conference.
  • Language of the instruction/training.

The selected training providers will be required to report on their event activities to the WUF 10 Secretariat. More information on the reporting format will be provided after the selection process is completed.


31 July 2019

Call for proposals for training events is published on the WUF 10 website and the information is shared with UN-Habitat partners, other organizations and wider public

14 October 2019

Deadline for submissions of applications for WUF 10 training events

From 4 November 2019 onwards

Announcement of results to selected training providers

11 November 2019

Deadline for training providers to confirm their participation and commit to implementing the event

18 November 2019

Deadline for submission of training event outlines to be published on the WUF 10 website

3 February 2020

Deadline for expression of interest for prospective participants/trainees

10-12 February 2020

WUF 10 training events take place

11-13 February 2020

Deadline for submissions of the summary training reports (within 24 hours of the training event)

19 February

Deadline for submissions of extended training reports

How to apply

Interested training providers are encouraged to review the WUF10 concept paper as well as carefully read the selection criteria and timeline prior to filling out the online application form found on the WUF 10 website.

The deadline for submissions of training proposals is on 14 October 2019. The announcement of the selected training events will be made from 4 November 2019 onwards.

There are no application fees associated with the submission of applications.

Download WUF10 Concept paper

Apply here