The Sustainable Finance Hub launched the SDG Finance Academy last year to provide UNDP colleagues and national partners with the knowledge and tools to finance critical SDG initiatives. This transfer of knowledge was a major step forward in delivering UNDP’s Signature Solutions, yielding achievements such as Uruguay's first-ever sovereign bond specifically designed to leverage funding for the SDGs.

After rolling out to all UNDP regions in 2022, the Academy continued to introduce key sustainable finance concepts to colleagues worldwide in 2023, and took ‘deep dives’ into critical issues such as unlocking private capital and aligning business operation for the SDGs.

In 48 in-person training events covering all four UNDP sustainable finance service offers in all UNDP regions, the Academy reached 1,072 individuals in 2023. Despite the Academy’s impressive reach, Country Offices’ and governments’ need for sustainable finance knowledge far outweighs the capacity to respond. A globally accessible learning platform is required to impart key knowledge and skills, and lay the foundation for in-person training.

The e-Learning Programme

In September 2023, in conjunction with the UN General Assembly, the Academy launched its global e-Learning Programme, accessible to everyone in and outside UNDP at sdgfinance.undp.org/courses.

This open-access programme offers 10 self-paced courses in vital areas of sustainable finance. Topics include budgeting, taxation, thematic bonds and insurance for the SDGs, accessing capital for SDG investment, establishing SDG investment project pipelines, managing impact, designing Integrated National Financing Frameworks, and more.

In the six weeks following the launch, the number of e-learners surpassed all expectations: more than 1,200 people had enrolled in the introductory course – with the average satisfaction rating 9 out of 10.

The positive feedback received was a good indication of the e-Learning Programme’s impact: “Comprehensive content presented in an easy-to-grasp way” “Detailed information, accessible, well summarized” and “The course gave me insights on what is currently happening relative to the SDGs and measures that can be taken to improve upon attainment of the targets” are just a few of the positive comments from learners.

To enhance the learning experience for UNDP-based learners,  a new Academy SharePoint intranet page was launched, providing access to all e-Learning courses PLUS a comprehensive archive of training materials. 

New paths in 2024

New courses are in development for the coming year, along with a glossary of sustainable finance terminology. Existing courses are being translated into all UN languages and case studies are being developed to enable colleagues to learn in their own contexts. This foundation of knowledge is also setting the stage for new in-person Academies in 2024, beginning in Addis Ababa in February.

To bring the SDG Finance Academy to your team, contact lauren.bradford@undp.org – and check out the e-Learning Programme to learn about sustainable finance anytime, anywhere.