CESPAM was established in 2000 and is specifically mandated to provide training and development opportunities for senior executives in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) public sector, on both a short term and longer term basis. The short term courses (usually 3-4 days in length) recognize that senior officials can find it difficult to attend longer courses, but still need opportunities to develop their skills and knowledge. These courses usually involve participants from various SADC countries and therefore provide opportunities for participants to network and to gain exposure to developments in other countries with common interests.
Courses have been undertaken on Public Private Partnerships, HIV/AIDS, Leadership, Performance Management, Application of Information communication technologies (ICTs) in SADC governance, the Political Administrative Interface, Management and Negotiation to name a few. These courses have been offered at a variety of venues throughout the region.
CESPAM also offers an MPA programme in Public Administration and Management to ensure a continuous supply of well-trained graduates to the public sectors of the SADC states. CESPAM as a SADC institution is dedicated to assisting SADC implement the goals and priorities outlined in the SADC Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP). CESPAM works with a number of strategic regional and international supporting partners.