Leveraging Learning to
Build Forward Together

Continuous learning is vital because change is the only constant. Looking towards the future and learning enables us to integrate new knowledge, develop skills and innovate. Today, acquiring knowledge and learning about changing tools and trends are essential practices for all of us.

As the United Nations’ system-wide learning institution, the UN System Staff College (UNSSC) creates world-class learning experiences grounded in the values enshrined in the UN charter of multilateralism and dignity for all. Our objective is to support peace and sustainable development, while strengthening UN leadership and management capacities in order to implement the 2030 Agenda. That is why the UN system and partners rely on us to enhance their knowledge and skills. At UNSSC, we believe in the power of learning to bring about a world that is safer, freer, more equitable and sustainably prosperous for all.

Looking back, leading into the future through learning

Around the world, professionals need to put forward insightful policies, strategic plans and concrete actions to address the widening disparities caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This imperative is what drove the Staff College’s 2021 efforts to develop, and adjust learning solutions to build the knowledge and skills that are required to support UN staff and relevant partners as they assist in global and national efforts to build forward better.

In this report you will read highlights about how we have continued to adapt our activities in response to the challenging circumstances of the pandemic and the new normal. The report also highlights many of our achievements as a community and our impact across education, research and society, both locally and internationally. We also present impact stories featuring alumni who have taken learnings from the Staff College to help drive progress for the 2030 Agenda, peace and security, and leadership and management – the three areas of the College mandated by the UN General Assembly.

A note
from the director

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated inequalities in countries across the globe. To spur a recovery that is inclusive and resilient, many policymakers, governments, private sector institutions and UN entities have put in place plans to “Build Forward Better.” Our annual report for 2021 focuses on how our learning programmes supported this effort.

In 2021, we initiated new programmes that connected a global community of sustainable development actors to support action on the 2030 Agenda. We delivered numerous cutting-edge learning solutions aimed at supporting senior leaders to undertake adaptive leadership and nurture systems thinking to build forward better. We stepped up our efforts to mainstream learning about holistic and integrated approaches to tackle the climate emergency. We also empowered youth stakeholders and peace-and-security professionals by improving their ability to make a positive impact on sustainable peace. In 2021, the total number of people who benefitted from UNSSC learning programmes increased by an impressive 45 percent over the previous year.

Several collaborative initiatives reinforced the Staff College’s commitment to raising awareness and promoting dialogue on a series of critical issues. Examples include our partnership with the Group of Women Leaders Voices for Change and Inclusion to deliver the “Women’s Voices for An Equal Future” thought leadership series which advocated for women’s equal and meaningful participation in all spheres of society. We also hosted the “Unity in Difference” thought leadership event alongside the Vittorio Dan Segre Foundation to explore identity, diversity and inclusion and contribute to more open and tolerant societies.

In this report we offer highlights from the year together with client and partner stories that allow you to get a deeper understanding of the impact of learning as we work to “Build Forward Better.” As we respond to the key proposals from the Secretary General’s “Our Common Agenda” report, I wish to acknowledge the dedication of all UNSSC colleagues. The Staff College contributed to making the United Nations System and partners better able to offer integrated solutions to the challenges we face.

Jafar Javan

Learning snapshot

Whom we served 2021 2020
Total beneficiaries 27,500 18,982 +45%
Direct training 24,455 15,603 +57%
Indirect Training 3,045 3,379 -10%*
Number of activities | UNSSC Direct Training 194 181 +7%
Number of people who registered for UNSSC webinars 4,172 3,410 +22%
*According to preliminary data, the number of learners trained by UNSSC-certified trainers in the area of UN Staff safety and security decreased by 10%, but this is a partial figure as the data is still being collected.
How we did (0 to 6) 2021 2020
How satisfied are you with the overall quality of the training you attended? 5.5 5.2
How relevant to your work was the training you received? 5.0 5.2
How would you rate UNSSC’s facilitation and teaching methodology? 5.3 5.3

Recommendation rate

Gender breakdown

We served UN staff in 192 duty stations