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With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, UNSSC saw a clear demand in online and self-directed learning as UN Staff sought to support themselves through the change by upskilling and reskilling. In response to these trends, the Blue Line was launched in April 2020 as a self-directed learning ecosystem for all UN staff to connect and advance their professional development online.
A steady stream of interest in self-directed learning has seen the platform grow in leaps and bounds, and today over 17,000 UN personnel use the platform. The learning hub offers an array of free courses and tools for agile upskilling. In addition to providing a common space for UN interagency learning, the Blue Line is a high tech platform that UN agencies can use to manage their own learning needs, through customized learning solutions created in partnership with the UNSSC. Self-direction is a core part of the learning journey on Blue Line. Users are able to create personalized learning paths based on their individual interests, aspirations, and professional needs. Beyond this they also have the option to choose from a number of curated learning paths on specific themes or topics. With opportunities to complete modules at their own pace and track their progress at every step, Blue Line aims to make learning flexible and accessible.
Staff from across the UN system have attested to finding immense value in the courses and modules that are tailored to the realities of the United Nations. The concepts and knowledge encapsulated in the Blue Line are designed for real-world application and integration into staff’s daily workflow. This is enhanced through collective reflection and exchange with a wide network of UN colleagues, where learners share their personal experiences and insights. Blue Line has addressed their need for self-directed learning and continues to nurture continuous growth and development and lifelong learning habits that can better support staff and their organizations as a whole. With a focus on leadership and management learning offerings, Blue Line has been instrumental in unifying and standardizing the learning culture that is essential for elevating the leadership and management potential of the UN system.
Given the emerging trends in the integration and personalization of learning, UNSSC intends to ensure that the Blue Line unlocks learner potential by enhancing the user experience, mainstreaming technology and seizing all opportunities to innovate. In tandem, the platform’s team will continue to leverage user feedback, and collaboration with other UN agencies to ensure that the learning material evolves with the emerging needs of the United Nations.