The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the various UN reform processes currently underway call for UN managers to lead more effective teams; deliver increasingly meaningful results; become role models for UN leadership values and behaviours; contribute to transforming the organization by fostering a culture of innovation; implement change; and ultimately strengthen the UN’s ability to achieve the 2030 Agenda.

These issues have been highlighted by the experiences brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the transition in management focus this has entailed.

The UN System Executive Management Programme (EMP) is tailor-made to prepare UN staff in leadership and management positions to achieve these objectives. The programme has been designed to provide practical tools and knowledge to help managers address the complex realities they face, improving speed, responsiveness, and impact, both in challenging field locations and at headquarters.

This programme leverages UNSSCs academic network, instructional design expertise, and position within the UN system to create a highly-relevant, engaging, impactful and cost-effective programme. The curriculum combines real-life case studies from across the UN system with tested management tools and models, delivered by an interdisciplinary international faculty team and UN-experienced coaches.

For more information, feel free to watch the Recording of the Open House Webinar here and look at the eBook here.



At an overarching level, by the end of the Programme, participants should be able to:

  • Integrate more principled, accountable, and inclusive approaches to managing themselves, and their teams;
  • Collaboratively design and implement scoped, relevant solutions, using systems thinking, to deliver results;
  • More efficiently and effectively communicate with, and engage, internal and external stakeholders, to best leverage resources;
  • Plan and manage change and transition processes while role modelling a transformational mind-set, and creating an enabling environment for innovation 

At a Modular level, and upon successful completion of the Programme, you should be able to:

  • Monitor and evaluate staff performance and address under-performance in a constructive manner;
  • Motivate and coach staff, supporting their career development;
  • Communicate more effectively, both within teams and units, and to external audiences;
  • Utilize tools and frameworks for analyzing and making decisions in a structured manner;
  • Translate overall visions into realistic goals, by planning more strategically;
  • Better harness financial data and statistics for decision making and communication;
  • Communicate more effectively with staff, senior managers and peers;
  • Build and maintain long-term partnerships with key stakeholders;
  • Effectively manage change and guide teams and staff through transition;
  • Be a part of, and contribute to, a UN inter-agency peer network.

Course Methodology

Course Methodology: 

The UN System Executive Management Programme follows learner-centred design principles, and applies adult learning, case-based learning and social learning theories.

The programme consists of 5 Components:

  • Online Learning;
  • DiSC Personality Profile Assessment (new for 2021!);
  • 360-degree Assessment (designed around the UN System Leadership Framework)
  • Executive Coaching sessions; and
  • An intensive Online Workshop.

During the programme you will have access to all course materials which are published on a dedicated UN Executive Lounge on UNSSC's Learning Platform, from your computer and/or mobile device. From this dedicated learning space you will be able to participate in online discussions with peers and online moderators at any time.

The DiSC Personality Profile Test allows insight to motivations and stressors of yourself, and other DiSC Workstyles. This may then be extrapolated out to a unit, team, or stakeholder level.

The 360-degree Assessment will help you gain insights into your own management style, and the coaching sessions will assist in translating learning into action. 

The Online Workshop focuses on the application of learning, while bringing together a diverse array of managers, allowing for cross-fertilization and engagement. You will work on authentic cases, collectively addressing challenges and seeking solutions. Resource persons and relevant experts will facilitate the problem-solving processes.

Course Contents

Course Contents: 

The programme consists of 5 Components:

Online Phase: 22 March – 16 July 2021

12 weeks of online learning with an international faculty team, including peer sharing:

  • Module 1: People Management
  • Module 2: Performance Management
  • Module 3: Communication
  • Module 4: Partnership-building
  • Module 5: Innovation
  • Module 6: Change Management
  • Module 7: Financial Resources Management
  • Module 8: Strategic Planning
  • Module 9: Executive Decision-making

DiSC Personality Profile Assessment (new for 2021!): 22 March – 22 April 2021

Through this assessment participants will be able to identify their own strengths and weaknesses regarding the ways in which they interact with the people around them, while gaining insight into their motivations, stresses, and the way they respond to conflict.

Debriefing will be provided for participants to ascertain the best ways to identify the personality profiles of their staff, and how to tailor communication and engagement within teams for impact and results. 

360-degree Assessment: 22 March – 22 April 2021

You will undertake a 360-degree Assessment, incorporating feedback from direct reports, supervisors and peers. This assessment has been specifically designed utilizing the UN System Leadership Framework, to enable immediate impact.

Executive Coaching Sessions: 22 April - 5 July 2021

Two one-on-one sessions with an experienced executive coach, based on your 360-Degree Assessment report. All coaches either have a UN senior management background or have experience in coaching UN middle and/or senior managers.

Online Workshop: 12 - 16 July 2021

An intensive week-long workshop, building on the learning delivered online. You will be working with other managers from across the system, applying learning through engaging case-studies, and contextualizing to your needs and realities.

Target Audience

Target Audience: 

We welcome UN officials in management and leadership functions at headquarters and in the field. Participants are expected to serve at P5+ or equivalent levels.

Exceptions can be made for participants serving at P4 or equivalent levels in case of comparable management responsibilities.

Managers from NGOs associated with the UN and government officials from member states are also welcome.

A similar programme is mandatory for second reporting officers in the UN Secretariat.

Cost of participation

Cost of participation: 

The programme fee of $4,900 includes:

  • Tuition and materials for nine online learning Modules; a DiSC Personality Profile Assessment; a 360-Degree Assessment (aligned with the UN System Leadership Framework); and two Executive Coaching sessions.
  • The intensive Online Workshop.

The UN System Staff College will award Certificates of Completion to all participants who meet completion requirements.

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