Human rights, gender equality and the promise to leave no one behind are at the core of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This self-paced course, jointly designed by UNSSC, UN-Women, UNICEF, OHCHR, UNFPA, and DCO aims to increase the capacity of United Nations Country Teams (UNCTs) to apply the first three of the six UNSDCF guiding principles (HRBA,GEWE,LNOB) in an integrated manner to ensure that UN interventions lead to meaningful, positive change in people's lives. 


Human rights, gender equality and the promise to leave no one behind are at the core of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development. In the context of UN country programming, the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (UNSDCF) offers the primary instrument through which the UN can deliver on its mandate and catalyze the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.

UNSSC has partnered with several UN entities including UN-Women, UNICEF, OHCHR, UNFPA and DCO to develop this online self-paced course on integrated application of the first three of the six UNSDCF guiding principles - Human Rights Based Approach (HRBA); Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (GEWE); and Leave-No-One-Behind (LNOB). 

The course aims to increase the capacity of United Nations Country Teams (UNCTs) to apply the three guiding principles of HRBA, GEWE & LNOB throughout the UNSDCF process in an integrated manner. This approach will help ensure that UN interventions lead to meaningful positive change , particularly for the  most  marginalized  and discriminated against, and accelerating progress towards the realization of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs. 


This course will enable participants to: 

  • Understand the UN integrated approach to programming in the context of the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs and UN reform, with a specific focus on the normative guiding principles of human rights, gender equality and women’s empowerment (GEWE) and leave no-one behind (LNOB). 
  • Apply the normative guiding principles in the various stages of the UNSDCF process and to embed the normative guiding principles across each phase: including the common country analysis (CCA), strategic prioritization, and developing and monitoring results. 
  • Be familiar with key frameworks and tools for including the normative guiding principles in integrated UNCT programming and accountability principles and approaches, such as the use of UNCT scorecards and markers for human rights and gender equality. 
  • Gain an enhanced understanding of the roles, responsibilities, and accountability of UN leadership and staff for application of the normative guiding principles, and the ability to advocate for human rights, gender equality and LNOB in the UNSDCF process. 
Course methodology

The Foundational Course on UNSDCF Guiding Principles: HRBA, GEWE, & LNOB is a self-paced, online course consisting of the following elements: 

  • One eLearning module. 
  • A reflection exercise. 
  • A graded final assessment.  

It should take approximately two hours to complete the module. 

Course contents

Lesson 1 - Introduction & Normative Standards: 

  • The 2030 Agenda and the UNSDCF as an instrument for achieving the normative ideals of the 2030 Agenda (through the guiding principles);  
  • Our Common Agenda and the Secretary General’s Call to Action for Human Rights: key priorities. 
  • Key normative frameworks and the relationships between them. 

Lesson 2 - The UNSDCF Guiding Principles: An Integrated Programming Approach: 

  • The UNSCDCF programming process and its 6 Guiding Principles; 
  • Unpacking the 3 guiding principles: HRBA/GEWE/LNOB; 
  • Uncovering the four dimensions underpinning the value of integration (Alignment to UN norms and standards; Focus on discrimination and inequalities; Meaningful and active participation; Robust accountability and means of verification); 
  • Key UN frameworks and tools for programming –HRBA; gender SWAP and scorecard. 

Lesson 3 - Entry Points for Integrated Programming. 

  • Introducing the four dimensions; 
  • Integrated application in the UNSDCF process;  
  • Integration in the Common Country Analysis (CCA); Theory of change; identification of strategic priorities; identification of outcomes and outputs; identification of indicators; UNCT configuration; implementation-monitoring-evaluation. 

Lesson 4 - Why it Matters? 

  • Impacts of integrated application of HRBA/GEWE/LNOB; 
  • Strategies for advocacy for the application of HRBA/GEWE/LNOB in the UNSDCF within the UN and with partners. 
Target audience

UN staff, primarily UN Country Teams, RCOs and UN staff engaged in developing the UNSDCF including the Programme Management Team/Group,  Results  Groups,  Thematic  Working  Groups  (LNOB, Human Rights and Gender), M&E Working Group etc. 

Cost of participation

This course is free of charge.