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CIFAL Scotland is happy to offer this prestigious e-Learning opportunity in partnership with UK-based specialists in intergovernmental processes on sustainable development Stakeholder Forum to be conducted through the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) Virtual Learning Platform.

“It has been a great learning experience for me. Thanks to everyone at UNITAR. This course enabled me to learn about the Post 2015 Development Agenda in the global, regional and national context.”

“Great job by the moderators and facilitators of the course. I will most definitely continue to be a part of the UNITAR e-learning platform.”

“Moderators were exceptional in responding to comments and probing into specific country specific situations to enable learning from varied experiences.”

Course Background

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – which have proved highly successful in rallying public, private and political support for global poverty reduction and provided an effective tool to stimulate the production of new poverty-related data and additional aid commitments – are set to expire at the end of 2015. Consequently, the international community and stakeholders around the world are currently engaged in a process to negotiate a new global framework to eradicate poverty - the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

This new agenda will define a vision of how the world should look in 2030; a bold, courageous narrative of an integrated sustainable future where no one is left behind. The framework will also include a new set of global goals, targets and indicators to incentivise and measure progress – the sustainable development goals (SDGs).

While the MDGs prioritised the social dimension of development, the aim is for the SDGs to embody a comprehensive and integrated approach to development, and to seek to balance sustained socioeconomic growth with the sustainable use of natural resources. In addition, the SDGs will apply to all countries, unlike the MDGs, which served as goals for developing nations only. Building upon the successes and lessons learned from the MDGs, the SDGs are expected to become an important tool for national priority-setting, mobilisation of resources, and the achievement of specific development gains.

To be effective, the Post-2015 Development Agenda and its global goals will need to be developed with input and support from a wide range of stakeholders. This course is designed to provide participants with the essential knowledge needed to engage with the international process on the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

Event Goal

The course aims to enhance the capacity of participants to engage with the international agenda on sustainable development goals (SDGs). Participants will learn about the origins and purpose of the SDGs and how the goals will build upon the lessons learned from the development and implementation of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Participants will discuss and compare the options for the targets and indicators that will underpin the goals, and will develop a working knowledge of the key actors and modalities of the international decision-making process on the SDGs, as well as identify opportunities for engagement.

Learning Objectives The course aims to enhance the capacity of participants to engage with the international agenda on the Post-2015 Development Framework, with a particular focus on the intergovernmental process on the SDGs. At the end of the course, participants will be able to:
  • Explain the origins and purpose of the Post-2015 Development Agenda and the SDGs;
  • Describe how the SDGs will build upon the lessons learned from the development and implementation of the MDGs;
  • Discuss and compare the options for the targets and indicators that will underpin the goals;
  • Describe the ongoing process of consultations on the Post-2015 Development Agenda and the modalities of the international decision-making process on the SDGs;
  • Identify key milestones, deliverables and opportunities for engagement;

Content and Structure

The course is comprised of 3 modules:

Module 1
Introducing the Post-2015 Development Agenda and the SDGs

Module 2
Incentivising and measuring development progress with goals, targets and indicators

Module 3
The Post-2015 processes: Key milestones and opportunities to participate


Learning activities are based on UNITAR’s sound adult learning pedagogical principles. They are distributed in such a way to ensure the achievement of the learning objectives in a flexible manner: learning materials can indeed be consulted in a non-linear way so as to provide participants with a high degree of flexibility in choosing the learning pace that is the most adequate to them. Thus, participants are responsible for their own learning throughout the course. Recognised experts from Stakeholder Forum, sustainable development specialists, moderate the course. Each course aims to deepen the participant’s skills and understanding as well as provide them with the opportunity to network and dialogue with other participants, sharing country specific experiences and good practice in sustainability issues.

Learning materials include the following elements:

  • Basic reading materials (compulsory) intended to understand the basic
    concepts and principles of modules’ subject matter;
  • Advanced reading materials (optional) for participants willing to learn more
    about the topic;
  • External links to relevant publications, reports and websites;
  • Glossaries of terms and of acronyms as supportive learning tools;
  • A community discussion board (forum) will allow participants to discuss topics
    initiated by the course moderator and to post questions, comments or new discussions.

Learning time is estimated to be about 7 hours per week.
This includes study time (about 5 hours/week) and participation in collaborative activities (about 2 hours/week). Time dedicated to assessment activities is not taken into account in this estimation.

Course Completion & Certification

Successful completion of the course requires participants to achieve a minimum total score of 70% and entitles to a certificate of completion. A certificate of participation will be issued to participants who took all the exercises but achieved a score inferior to 70%.

Assessment Activities
The assessment activities are organized as follows:

  • 3 mandatory quizzes which aim to evaluate participants’ comprehension of the course content. The 3 tests altogether account for 50% of the final grade.
  • One case study where participants can apply their knowledge practically. The case study is based on course content inviting participants to invoke both country specific and personal experiences.

Target Audience

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be a central component of a new international framework to help countries address the social, economic and environmental challenges the world currently faces. The course targets groups and individuals that are working on issues around sustainable development and are interested in obtaining a general understanding about the SDGs and latest developments. They include:

  • Civil servants in national Ministries, provincial departments and local authorities
  • Diplomats from Permanent Missions and Ministries of Foreign Affairs
  • Environmental managers and policy officers in private sector and civil society organisations
  • Faculty, researchers and students
  • Interested citizens

Technical Requirements

UNITAR recommends the following hardware and software to take our e-Learning courses:

  • Platform: Windows XP sp3, Vista sp2, Windows 7 sp1, MacOS X.
  • Hardware: 2 GB of RAM and higher for Vista and Windows 7.
  • Software: Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Powerpoint and Adobe
    Acrobat Reader (downloadable for free at
  • Browser: Internet Explorer 8 or higher; Mozilla Firefox 8 or higher.
  • Internet connection: 128kbps and higher.
  • Note: JavaScript, pop-ups & cookies must be enabled.

Additional Information

For more information contact us

Event focal point info:
CIFAL Scotland
UN House
4 Hunter Square
Edinburgh, Scotland EH1 1QW
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel: + 44 (0)131 2254814


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