AI Capacity Building

Working Group Co-Chaired by:

Audrey Azoulay
Director General
UNESCO, Co-Vice Chair of the Broadband Commission
Pekka Lundmark
President and CEO

Artificial Intelligence (AI) augments human decision-making and productivity to expand opportunities for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. In this context, public policy can be a mediating force that builds a multistakeholder shaped enabling environment for AI and digital transformations to be leveraged for people, peace, prosperity and the planet.

The benefits and risks of AI technology are not equally distributed across regions of the world. The 2021 Artificial Intelligence Capacity Building Needs Assessment survey in Africa identified an urgent need to strengthen capacities of government officials to leverage digital technologies and to respond to the socio-economic challenges engendered by their use. There is an accelerating divide in terms of access to knowledge, data, education, training and human resources needed to benefit from and contribute to the development of AI. There are also accelerating risks in terms of AI impacts including on human rights, the rights of children, on gender or marginalized minorities.

Objectives of the group:

The Working Group, through a multi-stakeholder leadership model, will conduct new research to assess human capacity needs for digital transformation in the public sector from a Global South perspective, including through a series of interviews with regional policy makers, collection and assessment of good practices globally, with the aim to develop evidence-based recommendations, in the form of a Digital Transformation and AI competency framework for public sector duty bearers in the Global South. A Broadband Commission “Digital Transformation and AI competency framework” can contribute to trustworthy implementation of AI connectivity technology aligned to inclusive SDG achievement; enhance foresight and awareness by national connectivity actors to engage with confidence in national digital transformations; and provide a knowledge platform through which to enhance broader implementation and capacity training initiatives by Broadband Commission members, such as through tailored policy maker toolkits and workshops.

A Competency Framework for Civil Servants for Digital Transformation, including AI, will: 

  • Promote trustworthy use of AI and emerging technologies aligned to inclusive SDG achievements
  • Enhance foresight and awareness by civil services to engage with confidence in national digital innovations and transformations, to develop policies and enabling environments; and
  • Provide a basis for capacity development initiatives adapted to national needs, such as through tailored policy maker toolkits and workshops

1. The Group was launched during the Broadband Commission Virtual Annual Fall Meeting in September 2021

If you would like to organize a consultation, please write to Prateek Sibal, Programme Specialist, Digital Innovation and Transformation, Communication and Information Sector, UNESCO at: p.sibal@unesco.org. Please include the following details: 

  • Date 
  • Time
  • Target Stakeholders
  • Mode (Online or Offline)
  • Name and Contact Details 
  • Deadline for Submission of Workshop Output to UNESCO

Regional and national consultations can be organized during April and May 2022.


Working Group Overview

Digital Transformation & AI Competency Framework for Civil Servants

The Digital Transformation and Artificial Intelligence Competency Framework for Civil Servants is being developed by the UN Broadband Commission’s Working Group on AI Capacity Building through a series of global and multi-stakeholder consultations. 


Broadband Commissioners

  1. Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, WHO
  2. Baroness Beeban Kidron, 5Rights Foundation
  3. Mr. Lacina Koné, Smart Africa
  4. Dato Lee Yee Cheong, ISTIC
  5. Dr. Qu Dongyu, FAO
  6. Mr, Piotr Dmochowski-Lipski, EUTELSAT IGO
  7. Mr. Ziyang Xu, ZTE
  8. Mr. Houlin Zhao, ITU
  9. Mr. Achim Steiner, UNDP


  1. Mr. Turhan Muluk, Mr. Nuno Martins, Mr. John Roman, Intel
  2. Ms. Tara Chklovski, Technovation
  3. Mr. Neil Sahota, ACSILabs Inc
  4. Ms. Monique Kuglitsch, Fraunhofer HHI
  5. Mr. Frits Bussemaker, CIONET
  6. Mr. P. Anandan, AI Matters Advisors LL
  7.  Mr. Yixin Zhong, Beijing University of Posts & Telecommunications
  8. Ms. Jodi Lis, IntraHealth
  9. Mr. Yixin Zhong, Beijing University of Posts & Telecommunications
  10. Mr. John Shawe Taylor, International Research Centre on AI
  11. Ms. Elsa Estevaz, CONICET
  12. Mr. Conrad S. Tucker, CMU
  13. Ms. Eleonor Sarpong, A4AI
  14. Ms. Alice Liu, I-DAIR
  15. Mr. Lan Xue, Schwarzmann Scholars
  16. Ms. Maria Fasli, University of Essex
  17. Mr. Emmanuel Leouze, Data-Pop Alliance
  18. Ms, Ayisha Piotti, ETH Zurich
  19. Ms. Jhalak Kakkar, Centre for Communication Governance at National Law University Delhi
  20. Ms. Helani Galpaya, LIRNEasia
  21. Ms. Yolanda Lannquist, The Future Society
  22. Ms. Katharina Höne, DiploFoundation
  23. Ms. Katie Clancy, Mr. Matthew Smith, International Development Research Centre
  24. Mr. Pontus Westerberg, Mr. Abdinassir Sagar, UN-Habitat 
  25. Mr. Arturo Muente, Inter-American Development Bank
  26. Mx. Jess Reia, University of Virginia
  27. M. Alby Bocanegra, Mastercard
  28. Mr. Marcelo Cabrol, IDB Lab
  29. Mr. Amal El Fallah Seghrouchni,The International Center of Artificial Intelligence of Morocco University Mohammed 6 Polytechnique
  30. Mr. Emmanuel Ekulu, African Forum for Ethics and Governance of Artificial Intelligence
  31. Ms. Carolina Aguerre, Universidad de ‘San Andrés’
  32. Ms. María Paz Hermosilla, GobLab UAI
  33. Mr. Benjamin Prud’homme, MILA
  34. Mr. Gerhard Hammerschmid, Hertie School
  35. Ms. Nanjira Sambuli, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  36. Mr. Philipp Olbrich, GIZ