The "Innovation for Impact” e-learning path — designed, developed and made available by UNSSC for the UN system recognizes that applied innovation is at the forefront of the UN system’s ability to meet the challenges of tomorrow and achieve UN mandates.

The e-learning path supports transformational innovation by facilitating the acquisition of relevant skills and knowledge, enabling UN personnel to scope, contextualize, scale and sustain innovation


The UN Secretary-General has made innovation a priority, repeatedly highlighting the need to shift from “accidental” innovation to innovation “by design”. In doing so, he called for the development of the UN Innovation Toolkit which provides actionable guidance on how to foster, scale, and accelerate innovation across the UN system. This focus on the criticality of innovation for the UN has also been underscored by the recent Our Common Agenda report which includes the Quintet of Change

As the custodian of the Toolkit with a mandate to build capacity and share knowledge across the UN system, UNSSC has been entrusted to design and deliver training in how to contextualize and mainstream the Toolkit.

The UNSSC “Innovation for Impact” e-Learning Path seeks to accelerate and foster innovation in the UN system by supporting capacity development to create greater impact and enhance future resilience in the UN workforce. The e-Learning Path is composed of the Introduction to Innovation Learning Module, and the newly released UN Innovation Toolkit Learning Module with the ambition to support innovation efforts in the UN at all levels by offering online learning that embraces the use of digital tools and innovation frameworks and approaches. 


Upon successful completion of the programme, you will be able to: 

  • Define what innovation is and discuss what different types there are 
  • Identify barriers to innovation 
  • Identify various strategies you can use to stimulate innovation 
  • Explore ways of scaling innovation to a higher level 
  • Effectively utilize the UN Innovation Toolkit within your own context 
  • Discuss the five critical pillars for sustained innovation 
  • Identify your team's, unit's or organization's top strengths or weaknesses in innovation 
  • Generate targeted interventions utilizing actionable tools. 
Course methodology

This programme follows learner-centered design and scenario-based learning. It is a self-paced e-learning path delivered entirely online. 

"Innovation for Impact" is a structured e-learning path. The learning is based on micro-learning modules, videos from subject matter experts, storytelling and scenario-based learning. Course participants will be able to consolidate takeaways through reflective practices and interaction with other participants via discussion forums and other activities. 

Each module is estimated to require approximately three to four hours of study and reflection time to complete at your own pace. 

Course contents

The “Innovation for Impact” e-Learning Path includes the following modules: 

  • Module 1: Introduction to Innovation 
  • Module 2: The UN Innovation Toolkit 

The programme is delivered through UNSSC's Blue Line e-Learning platform. By completing the e-Learning path, participants will have access to an exclusive alumni network for continuous learning and exchange. 

Target audience

UN personnel at all levels.

Cost of participation

The learning path is free of charge for UN staff and personnel.