UN launches open online course for SDG awareness

The UNDP Massive Open Online Course marks the first knowledge product to combine the 17 SDGs with China's current situation and seeks for the goals to be broken down into actual projects for the Chinese government and the corporate sector.

The UNDP in China launched an open course to promote public engagement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in China on Aug. 4 in Beijing, less than one year after the SDGs were adopted.

The UNDP Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development Goals marks the first knowledge product to combine the global agenda with China’s current situation.

Participants can follow the course on NetEase – which provides detailed introductions of the 17 SDGs and the current status of each goal in China, including the challenges China now faces for fulfilling them – and obtain a certificate from the UNDP upon successfully completing the course.

The MOOC also provides basic recommendations for policy makers, the private sector and the public on the roles they can play to help achieve these goals, according to NetEase.

In cooperating with the UNDP to present the MOOC for SDGs, NetEase hopes to help the 17 SDGs in China to be broken down into actual projects for the Chinese government and the corporate sector, said Ms. Li An, who heads the marketing operating for NetEase Media.

“We hope to raise the awareness of SDGs in China, so that the Chinese public will build on the power for changes,” she said.

The UNDP sees it as an innovation to have a MOOC for SDGs promotion and believes it will represent a more effective way of getting to know SDGs, given the short attention span commonly found in today’s population.

We hope to raise the awareness of SDGs in China, so that the Chinese public will build on the power for changes.

Li An, head of marketing, NetEase Media

“But to spice it up a bit, after every module you have an exam. Take out the phone, scan the QCR code and answer the questions…. 60 points or higher, and you pass the test. With 17 tests done, a certificate is waiting for you!” said Patrick Haverman, deputy country director of the UNDP in China, at the MOOC launch.

“I invite and encourage more people to follow the MOOC. I also suggest university professors of international relations to give this MOOC as homework to their students, given SDGs’ importance on almost all important international occasions, including the G20.”

Haverman also stressed that the UNDP is firmly committed to assist with implementation of the SDGs, a central task for the next 15 years. “It is very important that as many people as possible get familiar with and learn about the SDGs and their benefits, so that they can gain an understanding of how achieving the SDGs can improve society and their lives,” he said.

The UN adopted the SDGs on September 26, 2015, receiving approval from 193 UN member states. The UN hails China’s commitment to shouldering the responsibility of implementing the 2030 development agenda and seeking solidarity and cooperation to constantly push the cause of global development.

This story was published with permission from China.org.cn

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