We are all called to lead, to act, to change. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development represents an imperative for change for the United Nations. The Covid-19 pandemic has drastically underlined the connections between immediate public health measures and wider economic, social and environmental linkages, which need to be considered when designing and implementing integrated responses. Yet, the efforts to build back better risk favouring unsustainable short-term gains, which will ultimately increase inequality and threaten the planet, over a push toward the needed long-term transformation toward human well-being within planetary boundaries.

The course aims at supporting UN leaders to articulate, facilitate and broker the needed changes in support of the people in the countries they serve. It also provides a space to discuss the necessary adjustments in the structure, leadership, accountability mechanisms, interaction and capacities of the UN development system, which are required to ensure it is positioned to provide countries with the support they need, while strengthening its relevance. The UN needs visionary and principled leadership across the system to address today’s challenging world. It needs leaders who stand up for UN values— and who inspire through their commitment to peace, justice, respect, human rights, tolerance, and solidarity.

Participants will deepen their knowledge and sharpen their political acumen through engaging discussions with UN senior officials and subject matter experts. There will be opportunities to share practices through interactive peer-to-peer learning and workshops that unpack inter-agency concerns as well as individual agency contexts and develop solutions that leverage each UN agency’s strengths and expertise. 

Experiential learning methods such as a site visit, as well as a full day media training will complement the intense training programme.



Upon successful completion of this course, participants will:

  • Have strengthened their knowledge of the vision and principles underlying the 2030 Agenda as well as approaches to its implementation through practical means and mechanisms to sustainable development;
  • Have gained a deeper understanding of the repositioning process of the UN Development System and the implications for UN agencies and Resident Coordinator Offices at country level;
  • Have gained a deeper understanding of integrated approaches to sustainable development and systems thinking, in the context of building back better post-Covid 19;
  • Have improved their understanding of the defining characteristics of UN leadership and the various ways of working that exemplify these leadership characteristics
  • Have acquired knowledge of mechanisms and tools that enhance UNCTs' integrated policy support to countries;
  • Be ready to apply the art of effective and strategic communication to improve the quality of dialogue with partners and stakeholders, increase advocacy and highlight results

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 apply their learning through case studies, an engaging site visit, team discussions, participatory and innovative learning methods and dialogues with speakers.

Course Contents

Course Contents: 

Sustainable Development Vision and Principles; Challenges and opportunities of repositioning the UN Development System; Sustainable transformation and systems thinking in the context of Building Back Better; Improving political acumen and leadership skills; Strengthening strategic communication and advocacy skills.

Target Audience

Target Audience: 

UN Resident Coordinators (RC) and RC Candidates, Country Directors and representatives of UN agencies, funds, and programmes.

Cost of participation

Cost of participation: 

The course fee of $5,500 covers the following:

  • Five days of training, including lunches, coffee breaks, as well as an evening reception
  •  A full day professional media training to foster competencies to handle various kinds of interviews and press conferences effectively.
  • Exclusive access to UNSSC's 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 and lodging costs related to their attendance of the course.

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