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. Significant changes in the structure, leadership, accountability mechanisms, and capacities of the UN Development System are required to ensure it is positioned to provide countries with the support they need to achieve the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The UN needs visionary and principled leadership across the system to address today’s challenging world. The UN needs leaders who stand up for UN values—leaders who inspire through their commitment to peace, justice, respect, human rights, tolerance, and solidarity.

This course will enable senior UN leaders to develop specific approaches to respond to the UN Secretary-General’s call for reforms to work towards 'a new generation of Country Teams that are tailored to the specific needs of each country'. Furthermore, this course will enable senior UN officials of UN Country Teams to strengthen their cross-pillar knowledge and experience in the areas of sustainable development and become stronger advocates to meet the ambition of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in line with national priorities and needs.

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 interagency concerns as well as individual agency contexts and develop solutions that leverage each UN agency’s strengths and expertise. This programme builds demand-driven policy support, cross-sectoral thinking, stakeholder engagement, systems-thinking, collaborative leadership, and communications skills. The course will also present concrete ways to apply these skills and capabilities in complex, highly-demanding country contexts and provide examples of maximising opportunities, minimising disruptions, while leaving no one behind.

Experiential learning methods such as a site visit, as well as a full day media training at the professional studios of the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle, will complement the intense training programme. 



Upon successful completion of this course, participants will:

  • Strengthen their knowledge of the vision and principles underlying the 2030 Agenda and effective approaches towards its implementation through practical means and mechanisms to sustainable development;
  • Deep dive into the UN repositioning of the UN Development System and the implications for UN agencies at the country level and Resident Coordinators Offices;
  • Have a common vision of the new generation of UNDAFs as a partnership framework for delivering the UN Development System’s collective response in support of the country’s sustainable development needs and priorities;
  • Understand the defining characteristics of UN leadership and the various ways of working that exemplify these leadership characteristics—focusing on impact, driving transformational change, understanding systems-thinking, and catalysing co-creation;
  • Acquire knowledge of mechanisms and tools that enhance policy coherence for sustainable development across the policy cycle to deepen UNCT’s integrated policy support to countries;
  • Demonstrate improved consensus building and negotiation skills; including through real-life case examples;
  • Be able to apply the art of effective and strategic communication to improve the quality of dialogue with partners and stakeholders, increase advocacy and highlight results achieved by the UN and partners in the context of the 2030 Agenda.

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 are led to apply their learning through experiential learning methodologies such as case studies, an engaging site visit, team discussions, and dialogues with the speakers.

Course Contents

Course Contents: 

Sustainable Development Vision and Principles; Challenges and opportunities of repositioning the UN Development System; Improving political acumen & negotiation 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 5500 USD covers the following:

  • Five days of training, including a full day media training to foster competencies to handle various kinds of interviews and press conferences effectively.
  • Exclusive access to 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 and lodging costs related to their attendance at the course.

Certificates from the United Nations System Staff College will be awarded to participants upon completion.

Keep me updated

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