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United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Sustainable Development Open Education Resource (OER) Platform

SDG Academy, UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (
Non-governmental organization (NGO)

    Accelerating progress to achieve the SDGs requires the strengthening of local digital ecosystems and collaborating with civil society to mainstream digital public goods – namely open educational resources– to support inclusive knowledge sharing and innovation to accelerate progress across the entirety of the SDGs. The UNESCO Recommendation on OER was adopted by the 40th Session of the UNESCO General Conference in 2019. It represents the first UN Normative Instrument in the area of openly licensed content for learning. During the UN Transforming Education Summit (TES) 2022 a session entitled ‘Transforming Education for Sustainable Development (ESD): Implementing the UNESCO OER Recommendation within Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships’ was organized by the SDG Academy at the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), the Permanent Mission of Ireland to the UN, the Permanent Mission of Ghana to UN, UN Academic Impact, UNESCO, and the UN Library. This session highlighted the importance of OER available through curated platforms to scale learning in support of the 17 SDGs. Building on the outcomes of the TES, and harnessing the UNESCO 2019 Recommendation on OER, this project proposes a large-scale initiative to share quality-assured, peer-reviewed, standardized, OER in support of the UN 2030 Agenda to advance learning for sustainable development that is free, easily accessed and can be repurposed. The OER platform will curate and create content about sustainable development which will be openly accessible, adaptable, and sharable globally.

    Implementation of the Project/Activity

    1. Ensure the development and functioning of a quality-assured bank of OER specifically designed for achieving learning for sustainable development. This system will: a. build on local and national systems and processes, complementing and adding value to these systems b. implement UN Normative Instrument for the sharing of openly licensed digital learning content: the UNESCO 2019 Recommendation on OER c. implement internationally recognized standards, identifiers, metadata, and licenses will ensure its interoperability with global knowledge platforms and support its sustainability. d. develop an impact strategy and implement a robust monitoring system to track its progress. 2. Develop and implement capacity and policy support mechanisms to share best practices with a view to the replication and scaling up of OER platforms globally to support the SDGs by the target beneficiaries in line with the UNESCO 2019 Recommendation on OER. This would include the development of OER Repository Guidelines on key areas of the project: a. OER repository infrastructure b. Capacity Building and Policy Support for OER Repository Development c. Quality Assurance Criteria for OER Repositories d. OER Repositories: Accessibility, Multilingualism and Inclusiveness e. OER Repositories: Sustainability. 3. Foster a global community of practice to support the creation and sharing of OER for sustainable development.

    Coordination mechanisms

    Governance of the project will have a three -tier governance structure as follows: Tier 1. The Strategic Leadership Board: The Strategic Leadership Board, consisting of five high-level experts on key project areas, will provide high level guidance on project outcomes. Tier 2. The Joint Committee: The Joint Committee, consisting of 15 members from governments, the private sector, academia, education technology, IGOs, and NGOs will act as advisors on specific technical aspects of the project within their area(s) of expertise. They will also assist in the dissemination of the project results through their personal and professional networks. Tier 3. The Management Team: The Management Team, consisting of staff from UNESCO and UN SDSN, will have responsibility for the overall implementation of the project.


    The monitoring and evaluation framework will aim to assess the progress of the project, outcomes, and impacts while aligning with the project's objectives and key activities. The approach will involve regular data collection, analysis, reporting, and learning and knowledge sharing to inform decision-making. Monitoring and evaluation will be based on a set of predetermined Key Performance Indicators. In addition, evaluation will be linked to a project Impact Strategy with its own set of measurable deliverables.


    UNESCO Section for Universal Access to Information of the Communication of the Communications and Information Sector, SDG Academy, UN SDSN, Governmental, institutional, academic, and civil society entities working towards the achievement of the SDGs

    Goal 4

    Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

    Goal 4


    By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes


    Proportion of children and young people (a) in grades 2/3; (b) at the end of primary; and (c) at the end of lower secondary achieving at least a minimum proficiency level in (i) reading and (ii) mathematics, by sex


    Completion rate (primary education, lower secondary education, upper secondary education)


    By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and pre-primary education so that they are ready for primary education


    Proportion of children aged 24–59 months who are developmentally on track in health, learning and psychosocial well-being, by sex


    Participation rate in organized learning (one year before the official primary entry age), by sex


    By 2030, ensure equal access for all women and men to affordable and quality technical, vocational and tertiary education, including university


    Participation rate of youth and adults in formal and non-formal education and training in the previous 12 months, by sex


    By 2030, substantially increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship


    Proportion of youth and adults with information and communications technology (ICT) skills, by type of skill


    By 2030, eliminate gender disparities in education and ensure equal access to all levels of education and vocational training for the vulnerable, including persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples and children in vulnerable situations

    Parity indices (female/male, rural/urban, bottom/top wealth quintile and others such as disability status, indigenous peoples and conflict-affected, as data become available) for all education indicators on this list that can be disaggregated


    By 2030, ensure that all youth and a substantial proportion of adults, both men and women, achieve literacy and numeracy


    Proportion of population in a given age group achieving at least a fixed level of proficiency in functional (a) literacy and (b) numeracy skills, by sex


    By 2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development


    Extent to which (i) global citizenship education and (ii) education for sustainable development are mainstreamed in (a) national education policies; (b) curricula; (c) teacher education and (d) student assessment


    Build and upgrade education facilities that are child, disability and gender sensitive and provide safe, non-violent, inclusive and effective learning environments for all


    Proportion of schools offering basic services, by type of service


    By 2020, substantially expand globally the number of scholarships available to developing countries, in particular least developed countries, small island developing States and African countries, for enrolment in higher education, including vocational training and information and communications technology, technical, engineering and scientific programmes, in developed countries and other developing countries

    Volume of official development assistance flows for scholarships by sector and type of study


    By 2030, substantially increase the supply of qualified teachers, including through international cooperation for teacher training in developing countries, especially least developed countries and small island developing States


    Proportion of teachers with the minimum required qualifications, by education level

    Goal 17

    Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development

    Goal 17


    Strengthen domestic resource mobilization, including through international support to developing countries, to improve domestic capacity for tax and other revenue collection

    Total government revenue as a proportion of GDP, by source
    Proportion of domestic budget funded by domestic taxes


    Developed countries to implement fully their official development assistance commitments, including the commitment by many developed countries to achieve the target of 0.7 per cent of ODA/GNI to developing countries and 0.15 to 0.20 per cent of ODA/GNI to least developed countries; ODA providers are encouraged to consider setting a target to provide at least 0.20 per cent of ODA/GNI to least developed countries

    Net official development assistance, total and to least developed countries, as a proportion of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance Committee donors’ gross national income (GNI)


    Mobilize additional financial resources for developing countries from multiple sources


    Additional financial resources mobilized for developing countries from multiple sources 

    Volume of remittances (in United States dollars) as a proportion of total GDP


    Assist developing countries in attaining long-term debt sustainability through coordinated policies aimed at fostering debt financing, debt relief and debt restructuring, as appropriate, and address the external debt of highly indebted poor countries to reduce debt distress

    Debt service as a proportion of exports of goods and services


    Adopt and implement investment promotion regimes for least developed countries


    Number of countries that adopt and implement investment promotion regimes for developing countries, including the least developed countries


    Enhance North-South, South-South and triangular regional and international cooperation on and access to science, technology and innovation and enhance knowledge sharing on mutually agreed terms, including through improved coordination among existing mechanisms, in particular at the United Nations level, and through a global technology facilitation mechanism


     Fixed Internet broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants, by speed


    Promote the development, transfer, dissemination and diffusion of environmentally sound technologies to developing countries on favourable terms, including on concessional and preferential terms, as mutually agreed


    Total amount of funding for developing countries to promote the development, transfer, dissemination and diffusion of environmentally sound technologies


    Fully operationalize the technology bank and science, technology and innovation capacity-building mechanism for least developed countries by 2017 and enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology

    Proportion of individuals using the Internet


    Enhance international support for implementing effective and targeted capacity-building in developing countries to support national plans to implement all the Sustainable Development Goals, including through North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation


    Dollar value of financial and technical assistance (including through North-South, South‑South and triangular cooperation) committed to developing countries


    Promote a universal, rules-based, open, non-discriminatory and equitable multilateral trading system under the World Trade Organization, including through the conclusion of negotiations under its Doha Development Agenda

    Worldwide weighted tariff-average


    Significantly increase the exports of developing countries, in particular with a view to doubling the least developed countries’ share of global exports by 2020


    Developing countries’ and least developed countries’ share of global exports


    Realize timely implementation of duty-free and quota-free market access on a lasting basis for all least developed countries, consistent with World Trade Organization decisions, including by ensuring that preferential rules of origin applicable to imports from least developed countries are transparent and simple, and contribute to facilitating market access


    Weighted average tariffs faced by developing countries, least developed countries and small island developing States


    Enhance global macroeconomic stability, including through policy coordination and policy coherence

    Macroeconomic Dashboard


    Enhance policy coherence for sustainable development

    Number of countries with mechanisms in place to enhance policy coherence of sustainable development


    Respect each country’s policy space and leadership to establish and implement policies for poverty eradication and sustainable development 

    Extent of use of country-owned results frameworks and planning tools by providers of development cooperation


    Enhance the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development, complemented by multi-stakeholder partnerships that mobilize and share knowledge, expertise, technology and financial resources, to support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals in all countries, in particular developing countries


    Number of countries reporting progress in multi-stakeholder development effectiveness monitoring frameworks that support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals


    Encourage and promote effective public, public-private and civil society partnerships, building on the experience and resourcing strategies of partnerships 


    Amount in United States dollars committed to public-private partnerships for infrastructure


    By 2020, enhance capacity-building support to developing countries, including for least developed countries and small island developing States, to increase significantly the availability of high-quality, timely and reliable data disaggregated by income, gender, age, race, ethnicity, migratory status, disability, geographic location and other characteristics relevant in national contexts


    Statistical capacity indicator for Sustainable Development Goal monitoring

    Number of countries that have national statistical legislation that complies with the Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics

    Number of countries with a national statistical plan that is fully funded and under implementation, by source of funding


    By 2030, build on existing initiatives to develop measurements of progress on sustainable development that complement gross domestic product, and support statistical capacity-building in developing countries

    Dollar value of all resources made available to strengthen statistical capacity in developing countries

    Proportion of countries that (a) have conducted at least one population and housing census in the last 10 years; and (b) have achieved 100 per cent birth registration and 80 per cent death registration

    Name Description

    An OER platform infrastructure that will provide easily-identified, refereed, openly licensed educational resources to support learning for sustainable development. It will identify open licensed relevant content that will be peer reviewed.

    Established mechanisms (processes and protocols for content) to underpin the development of the OER platform, focusing on the creation and dissemination of its content.

    OER Repository capacity and policy guidelines to share best practices from the Sustainable Development (SD) OER platform development and use. The objective of these Guidelines will be to support stakeholders in replicating and scaling up the project.

    Capacity building and policy support initiatives for a community of practice to support use through the SD OER Platform Guidelines will be developed.

    Staff / Technical expertise
    Staff from SDSN and UNESCO will be responsible for the development and maintenance of the OER platform technology.
    In-kind contribution
    The joint committee members from the public and private sector will contribute financially to the project.
    In-kind contribution
    The joint committee and management group are responsible for soliciting additional funding from private sector corporations as well as grants.
    No progress reports have been submitted. Please sign in and click here to submit one.
    Action Network
    Type of initiative
    Stakeholder Acceleration Actions
    07 July 2023 (start date)
    31 December 2026 (date of completion)
    SDG Academy, UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network
    Geographical coverage
    New York, USA
    Other beneficiaries

    Senior and mid-level civil servants in the executive branch of government (policymakers, i.e. directors, managers) that drive the attainment of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement; National training institutions for civil servants; Education professionals, researchers, and educators; Libraries (including public libraries as well as UN, academic, and government libraries); Private Sector and civil society stakeholders that drive the upscaling of the achievement of the SDGs.

    Contact Information

    Jessica Crist, Education Manager