For the first time in history, all 193 Member States have committed to a global action plan for people, prosperity and the planet – the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The challenges to achieving this ambitious promise are enormous and the United Nations – impactful, effective, and fit for purpose – has never before been more needed by its Member States.

The ongoing UN development system repositioning process calls for a new set of attributes for UN leadership – impactful, adaptive, purposeful, holistic and agile – to lead the organization to deliver results at the scale and pace required to help the countries achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

The course will enable the UN staff who are aspiring to take on leadership roles to build on a more profound understanding of the paradigm shift required by the 2030 Agenda and the changing role of the UN, as well as the new attributes of leadership positions in the UN to align and harness their own competencies and skills to make the transition into roles of greater responsibility.



Upon successful completion of this course, participants will:

  • Possess knowledge of the vision and principles underlying the 2030 Agenda and effective approaches towards its implementation through practical means and mechanisms to sustainable development;
  • Understand the ongoing repositioning of the UN development system, as well as the related UN reform streams, and the implications for UN work at country, regional and global levels; 
  • Understand what competencies, skills and values they will need to develop in order to take on a leadership role in the repositioned UN system, to provide impactful and transformative support to countries on the 2030 Agenda; 
  • Harness their individual purpose and leadership style as a driver of superior performance for organizational impact;
  • Acquire and build self-awareness and commit to impactful and adaptive sustainable development leadership.

Course Methodology

Course Methodology: 

This face-to-face course combines inputs and lectures by subject matter experts and senior UN staff with opportunities for knowledge sharing and participatory exercises.

Participants will apply their learning through experiential methodologies such as case studies, team discussions, and dialogues with speakers.

Course Contents

Course Contents: 
  • Sustainable development, the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals: concepts, vision, interconnectedness and complexity, global and local, challenges and opportunities, countries, and the UN. 
  • Leadership models and styles: qualities required for successful leadership, practical techniques to improve leadership and management, and strategies for encouraging innovation and managing change.
  • Learning to lead for sustainable development: cultivating the necessary thinking, values and skills; shaping the context; embracing a purposeful, reflective and adaptive leadership style. 

Target Audience

Target Audience: 

UN staff at the P3-P4 levels and equivalent, working on issues related to the UN support to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the sustainable development goals (SDGs) at national, regional and global levels.

Cost of participation

Cost of participation: 

The course fee of $2,500 covers the following:

  • Four days of training with a balance of presentations, group work on case studies, and individual skills and reflection exercises; 
  • Exclusive access to a UNSSC online social learning environment with training and supporting background materials, and the opportunity to stay connected with colleagues;
  • All course materials, resources and contacts. 

Participants are expected to cover all travel costs related to their attendance in the course.  

Certificates from the UN System Staff College will be awarded to participants upon completion of the course.

Selection criteria:

Clearly indicate in your motivation statement how this course can benefit your work in responding to country-specific needs in implementing the 2030 Agenda. 

Keep me updated

I would like to receive email notifications about updates on this course