As UNSSC’s flagship online offering on sustainable development, this engaging five-week course introduces participants to the concept of sustainable development and its evolution, as well as the key elements underpinning the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.


Now in its fourth year of implementation, the 2030 Agenda demands integrated approaches. This requires moving away from siloed, short-term approaches of focusing on individual sectors or Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and patchwork policy-making, towards more integrated and transformative approaches, which foster synergies, are conscious of trade-offs and consider transboundary, as well as inter-generational effects.


Over a duration of five weeks, this course covers fundamental notions around sustainable development, the five areas of critical importance of sustainable development – People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and Partnerships (also known as the 5Ps), the crosscutting nature of sustainable development and its interlinkages with climate change, planetary boundaries, social inclusion and human rights, as well as the importance of an integrated approach to policy-making. The course examines the core elements underpinning the 2030 agenda, namely - vision and principles of the agenda, SDGs as a results framework, partnerships and means of implementation, as well as the review and follow-up framework. The course also discusses developments in the implementation of the Agenda since its adoption in September 2015.



Upon successful completion of this course, participants will:

  • Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the key notions around sustainable development, the evolution of the concept of sustainable development, and the vision and principles underlying the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development;
  • Demonstrate a sound understanding of the features and role of the SDG results framework, monitoring and review mechanisms, as well as means of implementation;
  • Demonstrate a better understanding of the role of partnerships and stakeholder engagement in supporting the implementation of the 2030 Agenda at the national and sub-national levels.

Course Methodology

Course Methodology: 

UNSSC online courses are designed to deliver maximum learning outcomes through optimal time investments into carefully chosen high-quality learning materials. Specially tailored to the needs of the professional interested in developing skills to advance their career or deepening their knowledge on a particular subject matter, our highly facilitated online courses combine self-paced study modules with applied learning components such as case studies, interactive exercises and collaborative group work.
Participants also benefit from live moderated webinars which feature valuable inputs from renowned subject matter experts, and allow real-time dialogue with the high-level speakers. Webinar recordings are also made available to ensure that participants have a flexible and seamless learning experience. A competent facilitator guides and assists the participants all along the course, and provides real-time feedback on activities and exercises. Our user-friendly social online learning platform provides participants with the opportunity to connect with peers from diverse organisational backgrounds, fostering peer-to-peer learning.
While being interactive and participatory, UNSSC online courses give learners the opportunity to complete activities when it best fits their schedule. Participants are largely free to determine their own weekly study plan. Typically lasting between 4 to 6 weeks and demanding 6 hours of dedication a week, UNSSC online courses incorporate the same high academic rigour as any UNSSC face-to-face programme.

Course Contents

Course Contents: 

Week 1: Introduction to sustainable development and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable DevelopmentWeek 2: Vision and principles of the 2030 AgendaWeek 3: SDG results frameworkWeek 4: Partnerships and means of implementationWeek 5: Review and follow-up framework

Target Audience

Target Audience: 

Development practitioners from the UN system, governments, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, civil society and academia.

Cost of participation

Cost of participation: 

The course fee of 500 USD covers the following:

  • Unlimited access to course materials (incl. exclusive video material and key readings), recording of webinars and speakers’ presentations.
  • Participation in live webinars with renowned subject matter experts.
  • Exclusive access to UNSSC online social learning environment with training and supporting background materials, and the opportunity to stay connected with colleagues.

 Certificates from the United Nations System Staff College will be awarded to participants upon completion. 

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