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On 21 September, United Nations Civilian Capacity Project launched its civilian capacity initiative called CAPMATCH. CAPMATCH system aims to support post-crisis recovery.

During the press conference that was held at United Nations Headquarters’ auditorium, Sarah Cliffe, the Special Adviser and Assistant Secretary-General of Civilian Capacity Project briefed the media on the background of civilian capacity initiative, “Many countries around the world going through transitions where they have made important progress towards peace, and want above all to prevent conflict from escalating or recurring.”

Ms. Cliffe highlighted the importance of strong national institutions. The inclusion of the internal capacities in the process of politics, security, judicial, and economic can prevent the conflict.

“This is the process that can only be done from inside, but external assistance plays the role. The international community has not always been so good at providing that assistance,” said Ms. Cliffe, “CAPMATCH is created to help provide experience and expertise that meets the needs.” 

CAPMATCH is the UN’s new platform for matching the supply and demand for civilian capacities. Member states, UN field missions, and UN country teams now have an online global community to search for specialised capacities, share experiences, collaborate, and offer their expertise.

“CAPMATCH is based on an equal partnership between countries. With the key principles of inclusivity, transparency, and dialogue amongst governments, and Civil Society,” stated Ms. Cliffe.


There are five specialised areas covered by CAPMATCH including safety and security, justice, inclusive political processes, core government functionality, and economic revitalisation.

“CAPMATCH is organised around key gap area, for example, the economic revitalisation,” said Christopher Coleman, the Director of Civilian Capacity Project.

Mr. Coleman mentioned some member states that are providing their expertise including Indonesia in local economic recovery, Spain in engineering, Thailand in South-South cooperation, Rwanda in local empowerment, Brazil in violence prevention and reduction, Norway in capacity building of local government and society, and Switzerland in supporting economic revitalisation in regions affected by conflict and promoting private sector development. 

Ivory Coast and Timor Leste are among the first participants of CAPMATCH platform.

During the Q&A session, Matthew Russell Lee from Inner City Press asked about the UN role in CAPMATCH.

Ms. Cliffe responded that the system (CAPMATCH) can be used by UN missions but it’s not exclusively for the UN, it is also for government and Civil Society for example the need of expertise for media training.

“The system can also provide transparent feedback for the provider,” said Assistant Secretary-General Cliffe.

Another question raised was whether the Civilian Capacity Senior Advisory Group still exists. Director Coleman said that Civilian Capacity team have been working closely for the last 18 months with the Civilian Capacity Senior Advisory members who are based in New York, “They provided the insights to make sure that the Secretary-General Report on Civilian Capacity in the Aftermath of Conflict is implemented,” said Mr. Coleman.

In response to the last question from Matthieu Vaas of Inter Press Service about the reliability of CAPMATCH platform in the future, ASG Cliffe closed the press conference by assuring that CAPMATCH will always be updated because the system is based on government and Civil Society’s human resources and expertise’s availability to fulfil the demands.

Further information on CAPMATCH and Civilian Capacity Project, please visit https://capmatch.dfs.un.org or http://www.civcapreview.org

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