UN launches e-learning collaborative effort

UN launches e-learning collaborative effort
By Rebecca Wanjiku, Computerworld Kenya
16 Dec, 2008

Sixteen U.N. agencies have merged their efforts to establish UNeLearn, a technology-supported project to share information and expertise in 160 developing countries.

Technology-supported learning offers tremendous potential to address the capacity development needs of a wide range of beneficiaries in developing countries, said Achim Steiner, executive director of the U.N. Environment Programme (UNEP).

“The work of the U.N. country teams will ultimately be strengthened through this collaboration, and member states will be better served,” he added.

The project will allow the U.N. agencies to collaborate on the sustained deployment of e-learning, which has faced challenges in developing countries.

By agreeing to pool and share their collective training resources and shift towards technology-supported learning, UNeLearn is expected to help U.N. agencies eliminate duplicative activities, reduce costs and reach a wider client base.

“As a first step towards the implementation of the project, a comprehensive stock-taking exercise is planned to commence early in 2009 to identify and integrate quality-assured training resources from across the U.N. system,” Steiner said.

The U.N. Staff College will host online content for training in areas such as agriculture, development, education, environment, food security, health and human rights.

The project will address issues of how universities, schools and training departments are teaching; the power of storytelling and other narrative approaches in the design of online learning; and the sustainability of open education resources.

Collaboration will also focus on communities’ impact on learning facilitated by Web 2.0 applications and developments in games-based approaches and mobile technologies.

The initiative is inspired by the U.N.’s “Delivering as One” concept, which aims to maximize coherence among U.N. projects at the country-level to implement the Millennium Development Goals.

Some of the organizations taking part in UNeLearn are the Food and Agricultural Organization; The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; the U.N. Development Programme; UNEP; the U.N. High Commission for Refugees; the U.N. Secretariat; U.N. University; the World Food Program; and the World Trade Organization.

Louise Shaper in Perth WA passed this on, thanks Louise! 🙂

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