Our world is evolving rapidly: new technologies, new ways of working, new workforce characteristics, new sets of knowledge, new expectations placed on the individuals and organizations.  The world is also facing critical challenges: climate change, inequality, pandemics, gender gaps, exclusion, and intractable conflicts. In serving the world, the UN must evolve at a pace to maintain maximum influence and impact. All these developments and challenges require the organization and its staff to acquire new knowledge, skill sets, mindsets and competence, and to continuously adapt through acquisition and utilization of knowledge. 

In this spirit, the Office of Human Resources, in collaboration with Capacity Development and Operation Training in the Department of Operation Support, has developed the five-year Learning Strategy (2021-2025) for the UN Secretariat.


2021-2025 UN Secretariat Learning Strategy (see brochure in Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish)

The Learning Strategy supports professional growth and build capabilities among staff members, managers, and teams across the Organization, at a dynamic pace, and in a cost-effective manner. It guides all learning related programmes and activities undertaken in the Secretariat, including those centrally managed and those managed by entities.



  • Preparing for the future of work, instilling a growth mind-set and applying learning in the flow of work

In the Secretariat the concept of continuous learning evolves into intentional learning, operating from the belief that individuals and teams must continuously expand and change in capability through trying new approaches and applying new ideas. Failures and mistakes create opportunities to use what has been learned to adapt in agile ways and grow further. A growth mindset enables curiosity, an openness to different thinking, and an ability to make connections among data, experiences, and questions, producing more knowledge and learning

Functions, jobs, and skills are evolving at an ever-increasing pace. The Organization must stay alert to these changes and adjust learning priorities in response, focusing entities toward preparing a workforce for the future. The strategy guides entities in the formulation of their learning plans to ensure that the capacities are developed with relevance to their work and mandates.

  • Connecting learning across workstreams for cross-pilar capacity building, maximizing the use and sharing learning resources

The fragmentation of functional and substantive learning and knowledge produced within entities is addressed through coordination and curated resources united by new technology so that entities have opportunity to use learning portfolios across pillars to facilitate sharing of knowledge and project collaboration.

  • Creating impactful learning solutions for the application of learning for delivering results

Learning happens in the flow of work. It takes place primarily through stretch assignments, cross-team collaboration and on-demand learning. The focus shifts from completing a training course to generating lasting impact.

  • Strenghtening learning accountabilities at all levels

Heads of Entities and Learning Teams ensure learning plans align with the approach and priorities set out by the Learning Strategy. Individuals, teams and supervisors discuss and establish their learning plans as part of the performance management approach.

To learn more about the Strategy, go to the Knowledge Gateway

Important documents: