12 July 2022, Geneva, Switzerland, Paris, France, New York, USA – UNITAR participated in Learning Session 9 on Innovative tools for target setting, peer learning and policy dialogue on SDG 4 and SDG competencies. This session is organized by UNDESA and UNITAR - SDGs Learning, Training and Practice Center – during the 2022 High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (2022 HLPF). The event brought together UN experts, academics, and government actors to discuss education and the Sustainable Development Goals as well as showcase their experiences in integrating the SDGs into innovative pedagogical tools, educational programs, and policies.
Moderated by Ms. Elena Proden, Senior Specialist of the Strategic implementation of the 2030 Agenda Unit, UNITAR, the session kicked off with the presentation of UNESCO’s new monitoring and target setting tools for SDGs such as PEER and SCOPE that focus, respectively, on national education laws and policies, and progress on SDG4. This was followed by the intervention of the Minister of Education and Science of the Kyrgyz Republic and the Centre for Planetary Health at the Sunway University of Malaysia which highlighted the importance of the integration of planetary health in secondary and higher education.
New educational programs addressing ICT and sustainability skills such as PERCOMM and GENIAL were discussed by their founding academic cohort composed of professors from Leeds Bucket University, University of Lorraine, and Lulea University of Technology.
This event also provided UNITAR the opportunity to present the work of UN SDG:Learn and present its new product, the SDG Fitness Test.
Following the launch of UN SDG:Learn back in 2019 HLPF, UN SDG:Learn partnership now proudly has 64 partners coming from UN and other institutes, and over 160 thousand users. It offers all learners an accessible gateway to all SDG Learning providing both long types of learning such as courses and micro bits such as videos, quizzes, etc. It also features UN SDG:Learn own produced podcast and blog series now, explained Ms. Proden.
Multiple taxonomies are available to facilitate browsing. Users may search for learning opportunities by using specific SDGs, regional pages, or even the cross-cutting topics of "Agenda 2030", "Leave No One Behind" and "Breaking the Silos". In addition to this, registered users can enjoy personalized recommendations based on their mental models - professional communities they belong to such as "business-person, "policy-makers", "citizens”, etc.
With contributions of UN SDG:Learn partners, particularly UNESCO, as well as professors from the Arizona State University, a new assessment tool has been developed. It is called SDG Fitness Test which helps assess on how well you are doing on SDG core cross-cutting competencies through immersing yourself in real-world scenarios.
As presented by Ms. Jun Morohashi, OiC Chief of the Section of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) of UNESCO, these competencies are pivotal to achieving the SDGs. They are Systems Thinking, Anticipatory, Normative, Strategic, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, Self-Awareness, and Integrated Problem-solving competencies. The competencies dig deeper and the performance on each competency is analyzed across three learning domains of Knowledge (Cognitive), Emotions (Socio-Emotional), and Action (Behavioural).
This is what this test aims to answer with 4 real-world scenarios and 24 questions. Each scenario puts you in the shoes of different community activists, private sector, government, NGOs, among others, so you could experience real life situations that are potentially happening around the world on the path to a more sustainable and resilient world.
SDG enthusiasts and learners of all horizons are encouraged to visit the UN SDG:Learn and take the SDG Fitness test to see where they are and what knowledge and skills they lack of. The platform helps then polish up those competencies by providing a customized set of courses and microlearning and build up your own learning pathways for SDGs.