In response to the outbreak of COVID-19 in 2020, when over half of the world’s population was in lockdown and people were encouraged to use the time to self-study and learn new skills, we’ve maintained an overview of e-Learning tools and online courses offered by the United Nations System. There are hundreds of courses available, covering a wide range of topics, from sustainable development to human rights, climate change to nuclear safety, and many more.
Pick a course from the list below and get started.
Last update: 5 December 2022
New UN course helps cut through the noise to bolster online safety
(UN News, 3 November 2022)
DESA – United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs
Digital Learning Centre
DESA’s Digital Learning Centre offers courses for anyone seeking knowledge and skills necessary to implement, follow up, and review the 2030 Agenda.
see also: “Knowledge-sharing is a superpower”: https://www.un.org/en/desa/knowledge-sharing-superpower
ECA – Economic Commission for Africa, African Institute for Economic Development and Planning
IDEP eLearning Platform
Since its creation, IDEP works to assist African governments in their training efforts and capacity building in the areas of economic management and planning. With this regards, it works closely with African member states to assess their needs and develop general courses, specialized and tailored to their frames of senior and middle levels.
ECLAC – Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribean
Training is an integral part of the technical cooperation that ECLAC offers its member countries. The beneficiaries are usually technical staff and decision-makers in public authorities, but may also include academic experts and opinion-makers in civil society. The courses and workshops promoted, supported or organized by ECLAC offer participants the opportunity to learn about and share experiences concerning development in various countries and to strengthen their professional skills and competencies in specific areas related to the Commission’s work.
ESCAP – Economic Commission for Asia and the Pacific
ESCAP Learning and Training Programmes
The main objective of ESCAP’s capacity development work is to develop the technical, managerial and institutional capacities of member and associate member governments to plan and deliver more effective policies and programmes in support of inclusive and sustainable development with special attention to least developed and landlocked developing countries as well as small island developing states. In this effort the various sub-programmes of ESCAP develop e-learning courses, training programmes, tools and other online platforms to help member governments increase their institutional capacity to address development challenges as well as share technical knowledge in order that Asia and the Pacific fulfill the 2030 development agenda. A listing of these platforms is available below.
ESCWA – Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia
ESCWA E-learning portal
This portal is a customized platform that serves as a hub for learners wishing to expand their knowledge of different disciplines relevant to ESCWA’s thematic areas and in-line with regional development priorities.
This portal provides e-learning courses on various development issues of importance to the Arab region, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its related Sustainable Development Goals ), climate change, poverty, gender equality, urban development and public sector leadership.
The courses provided follow two formats: self-paced and facilitated. Learners can take individual courses or sets of courses constituting a learning path leading to a professional certificate on the topic issued by ESCWA. Currently, professional certificates are available on gender and on the SDGs.
FAO – Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
FAO elearning Academy
The FAO elearning Academy provides learning opportunities and multilingual elearning courses for professionals working in food and nutrition security, social and economic development, and sustainable management of natural resources, with the overall goal of strengthening the capacity of member countries to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
The FAO elearning Academy offers free access to content on a variety of topics of global interest, which is available in a range of formats, including elearning courses for self-paced learning, blended learning programmes, massive open online courses (MOOCs), technical webinars, online tutored courses, mobile learning, face-to-face training workshops and university master’s and postgraduate degree programmes.
Let these six FAO e-learning courses shape a new you in this new year: Broaden your knowledge of food, agriculture and rural development in 2022 (27 December 2021) https://www.fao.org/fao-stories/article/en/c/1364884/
HRC – Human Rights Council
e-Learning tool on the Human Rights Council and its mechanisms
Interactive, accessible and gender-aware, the e-Learning tool is designed for government officials from LDCs and SIDS as per the mandate of the Trust Fund. However, any government official in charge of human rights issues can use it.
The e-Learning Tool can also be useful for UN staff members who are based in the field and headquarters, staff members of regional and international organizations/groups, representatives of NGOs and civil society organizations, members of national human rights institutions and interns who would like to familiarize themselves with the work of the Human Rights Council and its mechanisms.
IAEA – International Atomic Energy Agency
IAEA Education and Training
The IAEA offers a wide spectrum of education and training activities. These include face-to-face training courses and workshops, as well as online learning, fellowship programmes and schools on various nuclear-related topics.
Stuck in Self Isolation? Here are Hundreds of IAEA Online Courses for Free
(News, 26 March 2020)
New Course Catalogue Improves Access to Over 480 Online Courses and Webinars by the IAEA (23 March 2022)
CyberLearning Platform for Network Education and Training (CLP4NET)
Online courses on nuclear safety and security, radiation protection, sustainable energy development, the use of nuclear applications and more
IFAD – International Fund for Agricultural Development
Browse e-learning courses on rural and agricultural development issues.
ILO – International Labour Organization
e-Learning tools on child labour
The courses are designed to help to better understand what child labour is and the key role ILO stakeholders can play.
ITC-ILO – The International Training Centre of the International Labour Organization
The ITC is an advanced technical and vocational training institution and offers learning, knowledge-sharing, and institutional capacity-building programmes for governments, workers’ and employers’ organizations, and development partners. It aims to be a forum where development intersects with all forms of knowledge in the world of work, from tripartism to technology. As a multicultural hub for learning, the Centre welcomes everyone, regardless of gender, race, or class.
InforMEA is the United Nations Information Portal on Multilateral Environmental Agreements. It is a one-stop portal for information on Multilateral Environmental Agreements – or MEAs – searchable by key terms across treaty texts, COP decisions, national plans and reports, laws, court decisions and more.
The portal includes an E-learning platform containing more than 30 courses in over 60 language versions. All courses are free of charge, self-paced, multilingual nad offer certificates of completion.
IMF – International Monetary Fund
IMF Online Learning
The IMF Online Learning Program aims at strengthening the technical knowledge and expertise in government agencies with a view to developing and implementing sound economic and financial policies fostering stability and growth. Our online training program makes the IMF expertise in key macroeconomic and financial issues available anytime, anywhere, and with free access for all.
Government officials and members of the general public are welcome to learn with first-class IMF experts about macroeconomic analysis and policies, including on public debt and public financial management, central banking law, inclusive growth, macroeconomic statistics, and more.
IMO – International Maritime Organization
IMO e-Learning portal
IMO has developed a number of e-Learning courses with the purpose of increasing the capacity of Member States to effectively implement IMO instruments. For background information on IMO’s training courses as part of IMO’s Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme (ITCP) please click here.
To undertake IMO’s e-Learning courses, two options are available: a) by authorization, or b) self-enrolment.
For more information on the enrolment options and in order to register in the system, please follow carefully the user guide.
Free to access e-learning course: “Energy Saving at Sea” launched (5 December 2022): https://www.imo.org/en/MediaCentre/Pages/WhatsNew-1800.aspx
IOM – International Organization for Migration
The IOM E-Campus is the learning platform developed by the Organization for external audiences. It is a free and virtual space with online courses and training materials on migration. The E-Campus courses are prepared by experts in topics that converge with migration. Currently there are more than 25 courses in Spanish, English, French, Italian and Arabic (the languages offered depend on the course, they are translated periodically).
ITU – International Telecommunication Academy
The ITU Academy is the main online gateway to ITU’s capacity development activities. It brings together under one umbrella a wide range of training activities and knowledge resources in the field of information and communication technologies (ICTs) and digital development.
SDGAcademyX – Free online courses from SDG Academy
The SDG Academy creates and curates graduate-level courses on sustainable development for learners around the world. From sustainable cities to human rights to climate action, each of our courses addresses the fundamental challenge facing our world today: How do people, communities, businesses and governments coexist, cooperate and collaborate to save the one planet we have? The SDG Academy’s courses are fully interactive, so you can meet, debate and learn from both our global faculty of sustainable development experts and your fellow learners.
The One UN Climate Change Learning Partnership (UN CC:Learn) is a joint initiative of more than 30 multilateral organizations helping countries to achieve climate change action both through general climate literacy and applied skills development. UN CC:Learn provides strategic advice and quality learning resources to help people, governments and businesses to understand, adapt, and build resilience to climate change. UN CC:Learn is supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).
Through the collaborative efforts of the United Nations, multilateral organizations, and sustainable development partners from universities, civil society, academia and the private sector, UN SDG:Learn provides a unique gateway that empowers individuals and organizations through an informed decision when selecting among a wealth of SDG-related learning products and services that are currently available.
UN WOMEN Training Centre
The UN Women Training Centre eLearning Campus is a global and innovative online platform for training for gender equality. It is open to everybody interested in using training or learning as a means to advance gender equality, women’s empowerment and women’s rights.
UNCTAD – United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
UNCTAD e-Learning on Trade
UNCTAD e-learning on Trade is a platform that hosts multiple courses designed and run by the teams within the Division of International Trade and Commodities of UNCTAD. Currently, the platform provides two categories of courses: Trade, Gender and Development and Non-Tariff Measures in Trade
UNECE – United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
UNECE ‘Standards for the SDGs’ e-learning platform
This e-learning platform is designed to enhance global understanding of quality infrastructure and its importance for sustainable development.
Courses are open to all and no fee is charged for enrolment. They can be taken independently or be integrated into existing courses, including blended learning courses, for example as an introduction to courses offered in-person.
At present, the platform provides courses in Risk Management in Regulatory Structures, Conformity Assessment, Market Surveillance.
LearnITC- The Inland Transport and Trade Connectivity e-Learning Platform
Are you interested in learning how to promote policies to strive towards sustainable transport and better trade connectivity? Do you want to learn about the UN inland transport and trade facilitation legal instruments and standards? Do you want to increase your capacity, knowledge base and skills in sustainable transport and trade connectivity? If you replied yes to any of these questions, then explore the e-Learning courses on the LearnITC- The Inland Transport and Trade Connectivity e-Learning Platform that was launched today.
Sustainable transport and trade connectivity impacts our health, environment and economy. To promote transport, which is safe, clean and competitive and to simplify cross-border trade, UNECE member States have worked together to develop the UN inland transport and trade facilitation legal instruments, standards and other tools. LearnITC is where you can learn more about these topics. The various courses and training materials are available in English, French, and Russian.
City Resilience Training (CRT)
City Resilience Training (CRT) is a collaborative learning platform run by the UNECE Center of Excellence of the University of Geneva, offering courses on how to create more sustainable futures for cities
UNECE LearnQI Platform
The UNECE LearnQI platform is an open access e-learning resource, which offers a series of innovative courses on key areas of quality infrastructure. Developed by the UNECE Working Party on Regulatory Cooperation and Standardization Policies (WP.6), the self-directed courses offer participants a convenient way to gain greater understanding of trade-related topics at their own pace and in their own time.
Upon completion of a course, participants receive a certificate in recognition of their achievement. The LearnQI Platform will evolve with further courses and languages depending on external funding.
UNEP – United Nations Environment Programme
Massive Open Online Courses
UNEP and its partners offer a wide range of courses on critical environmental issues.
UNEP Learning Management System
Home to courses, workshops and seminars offered by different divisions in the organization.
Home school with a virtual dive into the ocean (News Story, 27 March 2020):
UNESCWA – United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia
SDG Knowledge and Learning Platform
The SDG Knowledge and Learning is an open access electronic platform, established by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UN-ESCWA). It contributes to more effective implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development through enhancing the capacities of the Arab countries by disseminating knowledge, promoting learning and providing training in sustainable development.
UNESCO – United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
UNESCO Open Learning
The UNESCO Open Learning platform aims to provide e-learning capacities for online course development and dissemination for topics that are aligned with UNESCO’s mandate under the Natural and Human Sciences, Communication and Information, Education and Culture Sectors. The initial focus will be on science related topics, such as water resources management, Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), climate change adaptation, remote sensing, information and communications technologies (ICT) and other science related topics. Expansion of this focus will be done on a needs basis.
UNESCO offers free online courses on freedom of expression and safety of journalists (29 January 2021)
UNESCO Memory of the World (MoW) e-learning
Online course for teachers and educators on how to integrate the MoW International Register in their teaching. The Register consists of important historical items from all over the world, ranging from ancient manuscripts to music to audiovisual materials. Teachers can use it to foster intercultural dialogue, social cohesion and, importantly, to create engaging and creative experiences for their students.
UNFPA – United Nations Population Fund
e-Learning Modules for Midwives
Nine multimedia e-learning modules on key maternal and newborn life-saving skills and family planning were developed under the UNFPA/Intel/Jhpiego partnership in 2013.
The online classroom video series is an initiative by UN-Habitat and its partners which grew out of the Academy of Sustainable Urban Mobility (AoSUM). The experience and the knowledge of renowned experts from the private and the public sector will be shared with those who are interested in sustainable urban mobility topics. The classroom series is free and consists of 7 videos, each lasts between 10-15 minutes.
UNHCR – The UN Refugee Agency
UNHCR Learn & Connect
This learning platform offers UNHCR staff & external partners access to a comprehensive set of learning activities. As well, the platform provides the opportunity for learners to engage with online communities of practice.
UNICEF – United Nations Children’s Fund
AGORA – UNICEF’s global hub for learning
Agora is a free portal offering tailored learning solutions to UNICEF’s staff, partners and supporters.
UNITAR – United Nations Institute for Training and Research
UNITAR offers courses that run throughout the year or several times a year that are free-of-charge and open to the public.
UNODA – United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs
Disarmament Education Dashboard: Expanding Minds for Peace and Development
Interactive and online training courses on disarmament, non-proliferation and development issues. Navigate the catalogue, enroll in the training courses or apply for scholarships (when available)
UNODC – United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
UNODC Global eLearning
UNODCs online eLearning courses deliver trainings to a community of over 50,000 Member State officials on international security threats such as transnational organized crime, terrorism, illicit drugs, trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants, wildlife and forest crime, cybercrime as well as provide training on border control, intelligence analysis, gender issues, anticorruption, HIV/AIDS and human rights.
These courses, developed by leading international experts, enable law enforcement officers and other professionals to expand their knowledge and stay up to date with the international community’s fight against illicit drugs, crime and terrorism experts in line with United Nations standards and norms and other relevant international instruments.
UNOCT – United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism
UNOCT Connect & Learn
UNOCT’s Connect & Learn platform enables users to connect through inclusive collaboration and discussion in thematic communities of practice and to learn through an eLearning section with courses and modules.
To identify relevant training courses and expand your knowledge and skillset, browse content areas by programme or search all courses.
To connect with your community of experts, browse the groups, events, and knowledge areas within the community of practice fora.
UNSSC – United Nations System Staff College
The UNSSC is an open, dynamic and engaged community committed to innovative learning and training programmes focused on public policy. We create high-quality learning experiences for professionals, positioning them to be outstanding leaders and effective problem solvers.
UNSTATS – United Nations Statistics Division
e-Learning Platform of the United Nations Statistics Division
UNODCs online eLearning courses deliver training to a community of over 50,000 Member State officials on international security threats such as transnational organized crime, terrorism, illicit drugs, trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants, wildlife and forest crime, cybercrime as well as provide training on border control, intelligence analysis, gender issues, anti-corruption, HIV/AIDS and human rights.
UNU-EHS – United Nations University, Institute for Environment and Human Security
UNU-EHS recognizes the importance of digitalization in advancing the sustainable development goals and aims at developing and providing educational and capacity building opportunities through online and e-learning technologies.
UNWTO – World Tourism Organization
Tourism Online Academy
The Tourism Online Academy is an online learning platform that will provide self-paced, 100% online courses that mainly focus on concepts, areas of interest and fundamental principles related to the tourism sector, addressing the challenges it faces such as globalization, the digital revolution, travel marketing and sustainability, among others. These flexible courses allow participants to reconcile academic, professional and other personal commitments.
WFP – World Food Programme
nutx – WFP Nutrition’s Learning Platform
nutx is WFP Nutrition’s learning platform, designed to share WFP’s experience, lessons learned and research on nutrition free of charge. Our learning resources include self-paced e-learning courses, interactive tests and exercises. We also share nutrition case studies, links to online resources and interesting readings.
WHO – World Health Organization
OpenWHO is WHO’s interactive, web-based, knowledge-transfer platform offering online courses to improve the response to health emergencies. OpenWHO enables the Organization and its key partners to transfer life-saving knowledge to large numbers of frontline responders.
A new focus on learning for impact and building competencies to make the world a healthier place. This is the thinking behind the World Health Organization’s new WHO Academy, a state-of-the-art training institution that aims to bring the lifelong learning revolution to the health sector and reach 10 million learners around the world by 2023.
Training for emergencies
Protecting workers’ health and safety: Online training resources at your fingertips (28 April 2022): https://www.who.int/news-room/feature-stories/detail/protecting-workers–health-and-safety–online-training-resources-at-your-fingertips
Open to all, anytime, anywhere: Free online courses bring vaccine knowledge to the global community (7 April 2022): https://www.who.int/news/item/07-04-2022-open-to-all–anytime–anywhere–free-online-courses-bring-vaccine-knowledge-to-the-global-community
WHO-Europe – World Health Organization, Regional Office for Europe
Training Courses in connection with the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)
WIPO – World Intellectual Property Organization
WIPO eLearning Center
The rich portfolio of courses on IP caters to different target audiences: inventors and creators, business managers and IP professionals, policymakers and government officials of IP institutions, diplomats, students and teachers of IP and the civil society. Courses combine traditional face-to-face and distance learning methodologies which explain how to stimulate innovation, creativity and development.
WMO – World Meteorological Organization
WMO pilots E-Learning courses on impact-based forecasts (30 August 2022): https://public.wmo.int/en/media/news/wmo-pilots-e-learning-courses-impact-based-forecasts
WMO is piloting a series of e-learning courses on impact-based forecasting, as part of a coordinated drive to train the meteorological community to develop and communicate forecasts not just about what the weather will be, but what it will do.
The plan is that this education and training tool will then be rolled out more widely, providing a user-friendly, interactive platform for WMO Guidelines on Multi-Hazard Impact-based Forecast and Warning Services. Better communication of risk and impacts underpins decision-making and risk management to save lives and will guide the development of WMO’s roadmap to ensure that early warnings reach everyone in the next five years.
WTO – World Trade Organization
WTO distance learning
The WTO offers on this page several interactive training modules on WTO subjects. Each module is built on course material developed by WTO experts and includes several interactive tests to assess the user’s progress.
World Bank Group Open Learning Campus
By providing dynamic learning opportunities where diverse audiences can learn at their own pace and access the knowledge they need, the Open Learning Campus (OLC) equips individuals with the knowledge and capabilities to tackle the toughest development challenges. Technology is also changing the learning landscape. The OLC helps scale development learning by offering comprehensive learning curricula with wider access and enhanced learner experience.