FAO e-learning Academy


About the Academy

The FAO e-learning Academy provides learning opportunities and multilingual e-learning courses for professionals working in food and nutrition security, social and economic development, and sustainable management of natural resources, with the overall goal of strengthening the capacity of member countries to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The FAO e-learning Academy offers free access to content on a variety of topics of global interest, which is available in a range of formats, including elearning courses for self-paced learning, blended learning programmes, massive open online courses (MOOCs), technical webinars, online tutored courses, mobile learning, face-to-face training workshops and university master’s and postgraduate degree programmes.

The overall goal of the FAO elearning Academy is to contribute to the sustainable economic and social advancement of member countries. To do this, it focuses on the transfer of competencies, development of expertise and promotion of innovation in order to strengthen human resources and institutions.

The FAO elearning Academy capacity development initiatives and elearning courses promote sustainability by ensuring that new competencies are embedded in local institutions and are tailored to country-specific needs. On top of that, it seeks to enable and empower member countries to be better equipped to face the global challenges humanity is confronted with.

Alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals

Our courses are closely aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals and FAO strategic programmes, and are peer reviewed by a wide range of experts to ensure content accuracy, quality and coherence.

The FAO elearning courses are offered free of charge as a global public good, and directly support all the SDGs – in particular, SDG 4: “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

Pedagogical models and delivery mechanisms

The FAO elearning Academy supports member countries through capacity development interventions and elearning courses, to ensure the transfer of know-how, knowledge, skills and competencies using different methodologies: elearning, blended learning programmes, MOOCs, technical webinars, online tutored courses, mobile learning, face-to-face training workshops and university master’s and postgraduate degree programmes.

The FAO elearning Academy learning initiatives, interventions and elearning courses are free of charge.

Our learners – our target audiences

The FAO elearning Academy capacity development activities, initiatives and elearning courses are targeted at policymakers, government officials and technical staff, policy formulators, programme and project designers and – in particular – individuals working to support and implement the SDG Agenda 2030.

The overall objective of the Academy is to support member countries’ national policy environment, legal frameworks and decision-making processes.

Collaboration with a wide range of partners

FAO elearning Academy involves partners in all phases of a learning project.

The Academy capacity development activities and initiatives are designed, developed, delivered and adapted to different language environments. They are disseminated in collaboration with a wide range of partners (listed in the Partners section).

  • Design comprehensive curricula
    The design of any learning initiative begins with multi-stakeholder and multi-disciplinary learning needs assessments. These assessmentsare conducted in close collaboration with the target audience groups and a number of external partners (mentioned in the Partners section). This process leads to:
    • Design of comprehensive curricula
    • Improved creation of pedagogical models and methodologies
    • Targeted capacity development interventions
    • Incorporation of local, regional and global perspectives
  • Content development
    The courses content is developed with the support of subject experts from partner organizations, University professors and FAO technical units.
  • Content adaptations to various language environments
    In addition, the language versions of the courses and adaptations to the language environments are also undertaken in collaboration with partner institutions, with expertise in the thematic area covered, ensuring that the latest findings, methodologies and resources are included. The Content, images, case studies, scenarios, photographs, bibliographical references and examples are adapted to the language environment.
  • Dissemination, uptake and impact
    In addition to universities and university consortia, academic and research institutions, the FAO elearning Academy shares its capacity development materials and FAO elearning courses with other organizations, including United Nations agencies, development agencies, international and intergovernmental organizations, private sector, academic and research institutions, CSOs and NGOs, to support their capacity development efforts.

    The FAO elearning Academy has created a number of university master’s and postgraduate degree programmes with numerous academic partners The FAO elearning courses and educational resources are integrated into the formal university programmes.

    The FAO elearning Academy partner institutions share similar goals, which are: 1) the promotion of innovation; 2) multilingualism; 3) capacity development and accessible education; and 4) aiming to offer the most current and cutting-edge content that integrates new ideas and new technologies.

    Together with our partner organizations, the FAO elearning Academy seeks to promote collaboration in gender and culturally sensitive capacity development programmes, which are by nature interdisciplinary and international.

Certification with digital badges

What are digital badges?

Digital badges, also called digital credentials or micro-credentials, are online visual representations of skills and competencies earned through learning.

Several courses in the FAO elearning Academy are linked to a final certification test, aimed at verifying the acquisition of skills and competencies associated with those elearning courses. Certification is granted through the Digital Badges system.

An FAO digital badge offers learners a visible, verifiable and sharable recognition of their certification.


Partnership is achieved by exchanging expertise, sharing innovations and shared design, development and delivery of competency-based capacity development interventions.

The FAO elearning Academy strategically and actively engages with various types of partners such as United Nations agencies, development agencies, international and intergovernmental organizations, private sector, academic and research institutions, CSOs and NGOs, and others mentioned below.

Universities, academic institutions and research centres

  • Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF)
  • Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
  • Alberta Innovates – Bio Solutions
  • Alliance of Bioversity International and CIAT
  • Bibliotheca Alexandrina
  • Center of Agricultural Biotechnology, Kasetsart University
  • Central America Integration System (SICA)
  • Centro de Excelencia Virtual en Monitoreo Forestal
  • CGIAR System Organization (CGIAR)
  • Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS)
  • Consiglio dell’Ordine Nazionale dei Tecnologi Alimentari
  • Consortium national pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation, la santé animale et l’environnement (Agreenium)
  • Galilee International Management Institute – Israel
  • Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation Faculty of the University of Twente (ITC)
  • Häme University of Applied Sciences Finland
  • Indian Institute of Science (IISC)
  • Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD)
  • Institut national d’études supérieures agronomiques de Montpellier (SupAgro) – France
  • Institut national de recherche pour l’agriculture, l’alimentation et l’environnement (INRAE) – Montpellier, France
  • Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences, Aberystwyth University
  • Institute of Development Studies (IDS)
  • Inter Islamic Network on Information Technology (INIT)
  • International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA)
  • International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)
  • International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic Studies (CIHEAM)
  • International Centre for Plant Genetics and Breeding, University of Western Australia
  • International Cooperation Centre of Agricultural Research for Development (CIRAD)
  • International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT)
  • International Development Research Centre (IDRC)
  • International Potato Center
  • International Rice Research Institute
  • Italian Council for Agricultural Research and Economics (CREA)
  • Johnson & Wales University, Rhode Island, USA
  • JRC Science Hub – the European Commission’s science and knowledge service
  • La Sapienza University – Italy
  • LUISS University – Italy
  • Mann Library – Cornell University
  • Mc Gill University, Margaret A Gilliam Institute for Global Food Security – Canada
  • Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Zaragoza (IAMZ-CIHEAM)
  • Mediterranean Universities Union (UNIMED)
  • Mutah University, Jordan
  • National Centre for Science Information (NCSI) at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc)
  • Neapolis University Pafos, Cyprus
  • Open University of Catalonia – UOC
  • Open-Med
  • Partnership for Child Development – (PCD), Imperial College London
  • The African Center for Food Security (ACFS), University of Kwazulu-Natal
  • The Association of Universities of Latin America and the Caribbean (UDUAL)
  • The Conference of Italian University Rectors (CRUI)
  • The Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM)
  • UNITELMA Sapienza University – Italy
  • Università di Parma
  • University of Cape Town
  • University of Pretoria
  • University Tor Vergata of Rome
  • Wageningen University

Non-governmental and civil society organizations

  • Access Agriculture
  • Association for Progressive Communications (APC)
  • Association humanitaire contre la faim dans le monde (Action Against Hunger)
  • Bellanet International Secretariat
  • CARE International
  • F3e – Des ressources pour l’évaluation, Des repères pour l’action
  • Farm Radio International
  • Full Circle Associates
  • Future Food Institute (FFI)
  • Humentum
  • International Medical Corps and Concern Worldwide (IMCCW)
  • NNEdPro Global Center for Nutrition and Health
  • OXFAM International
  • Professionals for Fair Development (GRET)
  • Save the Children
  • Sulá Batsú
  • Welthungerhilfe
  • Winrock International
  • Women Thrive Alliance
  • World Vision International

United Nations, development agencies and regional organizations

  • Asian Development Bank (ADB)
  • Australian Government, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT)
  • European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)
  • European Civil Protection and Humanitarian aid Operations (ECHO)
  • European Commission for the Control of Foot-and-Mouth Disease (EuFMD)
  • European Union (EU)
  • Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture of Germany (BMEL)
  • Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office
  • Forest Department of Bangladesh
  • Forestry Commission of Ghana
  • Forestry Development Authority of Liberia
  • German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ)
  • German Federal Foreign Office (GFFO)
  • German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
  • German Humanitarian Assistance
  • Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation
  • Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA)
  • Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)
  • International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
  • International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC)
  • International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
  • International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
  • International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
  • International Labour Organization (ILO)
  • International Land Coalition (ILC)
  • International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)
  • International Maritime Organization (IMO)
  • International Medical Corps
  • International Organization for Migration (IOM)
  • International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC)
  • International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG)
  • International Training Centre of the International Labour Organization (ITC-ILO)
  • Irish Aid
  • Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS)
  • Kingdom of the Netherlands
  • Luxembourg Development Cooperation Agency (LuxDev)
  • Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan (MAFF)
  • Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of Luxembourg
  • Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries of the Republic of Korea
  • Ministry of Water and Environment, Uganda
  • Montpellier Université d’excellence (Muse)
  • New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD)
  • Norway’s International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI)
  • Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD)
  • Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR)
  • Overseas Development Institute (ODI)
  • Permanent Inter-State Committee on Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS)
  • Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID)
  • Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)
  • Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)
  • Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA)
  • UK Aid Direct
  • UN SDG:Learn
  • UN-Habitat
  • UNESCO Chair in World Food Systems
  • United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
  • United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA)
  • United Nations Department of Peace Operations (DPO)
  • United Nations Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA)
  • United Nations Development Coordination Office (UNDCO)
  • United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
  • United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP)
  • United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
  • United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
  • United Nations Executive Office of the Secretary General (UNEOSG)
  • United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
  • United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
  • United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)
  • United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR)
  • United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
  • United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
  • United Nations Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement
  • United Nations SDG Help Desk
  • United Nations Statistics Division (UNSD)
  • United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network, SDG Academy
  • United Nations Women
  • United State Department of Agriculture (USDA)
  • United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
  • United States Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA)
  • Veterinary Medicine Directorate of the United Kingdom (VMD)
  • World Bank Group
  • World Food Programme (WFP)
  • World Health Organization (WHO)
  • World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
  • World Organisation for Animal Health (WOAH)
  • World Trade Organization (WTO)

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