The online course Governance in Urban Sanitation, implemented by the Local Development Programme, is among the first e-Learning courses to be awarded with the Open ECBCheck certification for its compliance with the International Open ECBCheck Standards.

The Open ECBCheck is an accreditation and quality improvement scheme for e-Learning programmes. It supports capacity building organizations to assess the quality of their e-Learning programmes, facilitating continuous improvement through peer reviews and collaboration. Initially developed by the European Foundation for Quality in e-Learning (EFQUEL) and InWent, the OPEN ECBCheck initiative is now supported by over 30 international organizations involved in the delivery of capacity-building activities, including eight United Nations agencies.

The overarching goal of the Open ECBCheck initiative is to raise the standards of technology enhanced learning programmes in the field of capacity building. The course Governance in Urban Sanitation has gone through the certification process, passing a detailed self-assessment phase, followed by a peer-review analysis by other international capacity building organizations.

As a result, Governance in Urban Sanitation became the first UNITAR online course to obtain the Open ECBCheck quality label for its compliance with a comprehensive array of 39 mandatory quality criteria. The criteria encompass the key design aspects an e-Learning programme, covering the different stages of its development, implementation, and evaluation – from the information disseminated prior to the launching of a course to the quality and adequacy of the instructional design, and the technology supporting the learning process. Governance in Urban Sanitation is certified for a three-year period (November, 2013).