UNITAR Online Courses: 2030 Agenda

By October 22, 2020 March 23rd, 2023 Capacity Development Initiatives


The United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) offers high quality online courses, knowledge products and services, that are innovative, tailored to the needs and aim for learning impact, to governments, organizations and individuals who would like to contribute to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. They enable countries and organizations to align their strategies and policies with the Sustainable Development Goals as well as build the knowledge and skills of their staff to design and implement evidence-based decisions, maximizing positive impacts across all Goals and Pillars of the 2030 Agenda. Currently open UNITAR Online Course on the 2030 Agenda include:

1.SDG-Aligned Budgeting

This self-paced course has been developed by UNITAR and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). A number of countries have attempted to better link their budgeting with the SDGs and national planning overall, however, the progress is uneven.  As underscored in the recent UNDP guidance, any country regardless of its budgeting system can take a number of steps that can help align the allocation of public resources with the national SDG priorities. This set of measures has however to be adapted to the specific situation of the country. In addition, there is a broader need to enable Parliaments to play a more active role when it comes to fiscal oversight in connection with national priorities and SDGs as well as pro-actively influence budget formulation where national budgeting processes allow so.

This e-learning course aims to build the capacity of countries – representatives from Ministries of Finance, Economy and other Ministries that may be actively involved in the budgeting processes, members of Parliament working on finance/budgeting issues, Supreme Audit Institutions (SAI), academia and other stakeholders including staff of UN Country Teams and international organizations working on SDG financing frameworks to guide the cooperation framework with the national counterparts – through raising awareness on how to foster policy coherence by anchoring the SDGs in the national budgets;  strengthening their knowledge of possible approaches and tools on how to better align SDG budgeting, and strengthening the role of the Parliaments in this respect.

Detailed guidelines on specific areas – including SDGs and strategic budgeting, SDG budget coding and tagging, SDGs and subnational budgeting, and SDGs – transparency and accountability, are being developed and will be made part of future training courses on the above specific topics.

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2. Develop and Implement Science, Technology and Innovation for SDGs Roadmaps – Level I

This self-paced MOOC has been developed by the Division of Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA/DSDG) and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR).

To support the Member States, UNDESA/DSDG, has developed Guidebook and Operational Note on Implementing Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) for SDGs Roadmaps at the Country Level. The purpose of the Operational Note published in December 2020 is to provide simple introductory and practical materials on STI4SDGs Roadmaps. It helps to operationalize the Guidebook of STI for SDG Roadmaps developed by the United Nations Inter-agency Task Team on Science, Technology and Innovation for the SDGs (IATT) by enabling its systematic use through stronger capacities of countries and stakeholders to apply tools and processes.

This e-learning course has been developed based on this Operational Note and aims to strengthen the capacities of key national stakeholders in this area and help mobilize the global community to assist in that endeavor. It provides key concepts, reviewing the objectives, the roles of various stakeholders and proposing step-by-step guidance on how to develop an STI for SDGs Roadmap with some early lessons from the pilot countries. These are knowledge and skills that stakeholders need to strengthen to be able to effectively support the STI for SDG Roadmaps roll-out at the country level. The course will be linked to the 2030 Connect of the Technology Facilitation Mechanism.

The project is funded by the UN Peace and Development Trust Fund.

Register here.

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3. Strengthening Stakeholder Engagement for the Implementation and Review of the 2030 Agenda

This e-course is developed jointly by UNITAR and the Division for Sustainable Development Goals (DSDG) of the UN Department for Economic and Social Affairs (UN – DESA). The main objective of this e-learning course is to enhance the knowledge and skills of government officers to put in place institutional arrangements, systems and processes to ensure the participation of key stakeholders in national SDG reviews. The course consists of three online modules and is complemented by webinars providing course participants with a unique opportunity to learn directly from government officials from the former Voluntary National Review (VNR) countries and UN Secretariat representatives. 

A new module focusing on “Leaving no one behind: Approaches, tools and best practices to promote meaningful engagement of all stakeholders in the implementation and follow up of the 2030 Agenda” has been introduced to the course.

4. Environmental SDG Indicators

This e-learning course is a self-paced course with individual 10 modules developed by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Statistical Institute for Asia and the Pacific (UNSIAP), and the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). In September 2015, the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit adopted an international framework to guide development efforts, entitled ‘Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development. The Agenda is built around 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), divided into 169 targets, which are informed by 244 Indicators[1]. The importance of improving the availability of and access to data and statistics related to the environment was recognized through the adoption of a wide range of environmental SDG targets and indicators.

This course provides an overview of the importance of monitoring the environmental dimension of development, the linkage with existing statistical frameworks (FDES and SEEA), and how to use environment statistics in decision-making. The modules will also provide a brief overview on all 25 SDG indicators under UNEP custodianship.

The course is currently available in English and Russian.