The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development challenges the UN system to change the way it does business. This requires transforming the UN’s organizational culture.

Towards this transformation, the UN System Leadership Framework, adopted by the Chief Executives Board (CEB) in April 2016 and embraced by the Secretary-General in his report on management reforms of the UN Secretariat, provides the blueprint for the desired organizational culture at the UN and lays out the leadership characteristics that underpin it. Because leadership can and should be exercised not only by formally designated leaders but by all staff, the framework applies to UN staff, at all levels, in all functions, and in all locations



Upon successful completion of this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Discuss the practical application of the UN Leadership Framework for programme support and administrative services
  • Explain the characteristics of UN leadership – Norm-based, principled, inclusive, accountable, multidimensional, transformational, collaborative, self-applied
  • Apply system thinking for administrative efficiency in implementing the UN leadership framework
  • Focus on impact and accountability
  • Develop self-leadership skills
  • Enable and support change
  • Apply the design-thinking approach to their own work
  • Support transformational change

Course Methodology

Course Methodology: 

The workshop employs an adult learning approach characterized by a participatory and interactive training style. It engages participants in practical exercises and group work. Case studies and best practices allow the application of the UN leadership framework to real-life situations.

The course is delivered as instructor-led sessions in two online components.

The 1st online component will last three weeks; three webinars spread over five weeks,26 October – 27 November 2020. Webinars are held every other week. During the week of each webinar, participants go through assigned modules and reading materials to complete assignments and exercises. They also post in discussion forums to share experiences, questions and comments, and receive feedback from the instructors. 

The 2nd online component is designed as a workshop with group activities, brainstorming and experience sharing in a virtual face-to-face format (vF2F) using zoom and mural, for a rich virtual learning experience. This virtual face-to-face workshop will last seven days from 2 – 10 December. Each day participants will meet for three-and-a-half hours​ in a virtual face-to-face. The virtual face-to-face workshop is designed to complement learned skills through practice and to receive feedback from peers and the instructor.

Webinar details

The webinar sessions will be conducted on the Zoom online platform. Self-paced modules and discussion forums for each week of the course will be designed and structured on the UNKampus, UNSSC’s Learning Platform.

Participants need a computer (or mobile device), a reliable internet connection and either headset with a microphone to connect to the audio through the computer, or a telephone. We recommend accessing audio through the computer. No special software is required, but participants must be able to access Zoom, so please check the admin rights on your computer. We will send instructions for Zoom access to registered participants. We recommend you download the application and test your access in advance.

The webinar sessions for the 1st online component are from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm Rome time (8:00 am – 10:00 am New York-time).

The virtual face-to-face workshop component are from 2:00 pm – 5:30 pm Rome time (8:00 am – 11:30 am New York time)​, each day:

Course Contents

Course Contents: 

This programme builds upon and complements other UNSSC courses for administrative assistants with the following activities:

First online component (three weeks spread over five weeks)

 Week 1: UN Leadership Framework: New ways of working in the context of the 2030 Agenda

This session focuses on understanding the characteristics of UN leadership; Norm-based, principled, inclusive, accountable, multidimensional, transformational, collaborative and self-applied.

It also covers the four key ways in which leadership behaviours manifest themselves in support of the 2030 Agenda. These include a focus on impact; driving transformational change; systems-thinking; and co-creation.

Leadership, Accountability and Results Driven:Taking responsibility and ownership for decisions, actions and results. Being accountable for what is accomplished and how.

Week 3: Leadership Charisma: Emotional Intelligence and Leadership Behaviour

Operationalizing the universal leadership characteristics, behaviours, principles and mindsets envisioned in the UN leadership framework. This session covers the effect of emotional intelligence on leadership effectiveness, self-leadership and self-management. It also covers how the way we deal with our emotions shapes our actions, careers, relationships, health and happiness.

Week 5: Leadership and Systems Thinking - Leadership Culture

To achieve a leadership culture, the power of systems thinking needs to spread throughout the organization. Thinking in terms of systems gives people the ability to enable and support change where it is most needed.

Virtual Face-to-Face workshop (2.5 hours per day for 7 days)

The virtual face-to-face workshop is designed to take participants through practical exercises and case studies, enabling them to practice what they learned in the first online component and develop their leadership capacity.

Topics covered in the virtual face-to-face include:

Module 1: A review of the UN Leadership Framework

  • Identify expected leadership behaviours for all UN staff
  • Identify required leadership qualities

Module 2: Understanding Leadership

  • Apply practical techniques to improve leadership skills and
  • Strategies for encouraging creativity and innovation

Module 3: Leadership skills and Systems thinking for administrative efficiency

Module 4: Developing as a leader

  • Leadership practices inventory (LPI)
  • The practices of exemplary leaders
  • Leadership styles
  • Leadership and core values (valued-based leadership)
  • Leading Without Authority (influence)

 Module 5: Co-creation - creative leadership

  • Design thinking and innovation - Using the Human-centered Design Thinking approach for workplace performance. This session allows participants to experiment with creative problem-solving approaches.
  • Wrap-up and closing

Target Audience

Target Audience: 

General Service programme support and administrative professionals.

Cost of participation

Cost of participation: 

The course fee of $2000 covers all tuition-related costs, including specific learning materials, access to online platforms, etc. The fee does not cover participants' travel, meals and accommodation

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