Recognizing the imperative role of communication in advancing sustainable development, this four-day course is designed to boost the capacity of UN professionals to effectively communicate the United Nations' efforts in facilitating a country's progress toward the 2030 Agenda. It supports UN staff to go beyond merely foundational skills and raising awareness, and equips them with the most powerful tools to harness communication as a driver for tangible results. Through immersive and interactive face to face workshops and clinics, participants will advance their knowledge and skills in strategic communications, theory of change in the communication context, the art of data storytelling, digital content, crisis communication management, political acumen, and navigating misinformation. As part of this course, UN professionals will take part in a professional media training at the studios of the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle. 




Effective communication can bolster the UN's reputation, positioning and ability to inspire action. The world needs credible and convincing leaders capable of telling powerful stories to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Moreover, the world needs UN practitioners who understand the importance of creating a cohesive, effective communications process that is aligned with the vision and mission of the organization. In addition, the world needs messengers of hope who are able to capture people's imagination and offer solutions.


At the end of this course, participants will possess a good understanding of strategic communications, communications coordination, and ways to employ communication tools to advance sustainable development actions at global and national levels.

  • Understand the Global Communications Strategy of the United Nations and the shift to an audience-focused, impact-oriented approach.
  • Understand the differences and similarities between communications and advocacy, and gain improved skills to apply them in the current global, regional and national context.
  • Apply a Theory of Change to communications strategies.
  • Enhance individual communication skills in a selected range of areas for professional development to deliver effectively on the 2030 Agenda.
  • Gain skills on how to deal with deal with difficult media, support UN efforts to combat misinformation and skillfully navigate complex political contexts from a communications perspective.  
Course methodology

This face-to-face course combines inputs and presentations by subject matter experts from the UN System Staff College (UNSSC) and senior UN staff with opportunities for knowledge sharing and participatory exercises. It will adopt a blended format of instructional sessions and practical application.

Participants will apply their learning through experiential learning methodologies such as case studies, team discussions and other participatory and innovative learning methods. 

Course enrolment will be limited to 30 participants to maximize interaction with course instructors and derive the greatest benefit from small group work.  

Course contents
  1. UN reform and the UN Global Communications Strategy; UN priorities,
  2. Communications vs Advocacy ( differences and similarities); Political acumen and public affairs
  3. Theory of change applied to communication (UN best practices and core conceptual framework)
  4. Dealing with difficult media; Storytelling
  5. UN programming processes and entry points for communications at country level; joint inter- agency coordination
  6. Crisis communications in the context of emergencies and reputational crises (including communicating in cases of sexual exploitation and abuse)
  7. Managing misinformation 
Target audience

UN staff at senior level who have a communications role within the UN system; Communications officers and associates from the UN system or UN practitioners assigned as UN communication focal points at country level.

Cost of participation

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

  • Four days of training including presentations, interactive exercises and group work. 
  • 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 and lodging costs related to their attendance in the course.