UNOSSC, UNDRR GETI, PAHO/WHO, WHO Joint Certificate Training Program 2023

“Whole-of-society approach to creating healthy, resilient and sustainable cities: Harnessing South-South Cooperation for a post-COVID era”

7, 14, 21, 27 June 2023
8:00 New York | 14:00 Geneva | 19:00 Bangkok | 21:00 Incheon

(Four 90-100 minute online sessions, one end-of-course exam, and one post-course survey)


The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the world what climate change has yet to, that prevailing risk governance and risk management architecture, mechanisms and approaches are inadequate when dealing with systemic, interconnected drivers of risks and cascading impacts. It demonstrated the consequences of failing to grasp and manage the drivers of risk creation and propagation in and across sectors, disciplines, geographies, scales and through time which negatively impact the health and well-being of humans and ecosystems and exacerbate vulnerabilities and exposure.

2023 marks the midpoint in the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, the 2030 Agenda and other 2015 agreements which provides a major opportunity for all to review the progress and change course towards sustainable and resilient future for all. The finding from the Mid-term Review of the Sendai Framework reveals that while progress is being made, risk creating is outstripping risk reduction and the progress in risk governance and decentralization of disaster risk reduction (DRR) strategies and implementation at the local level remains a challenge. Collaboration is critical not only with government offices, institutions, or entities responsible for disaster and crisis management, but also with all stakeholders, requiring an all-of-society and all-of-government engagement and partnership for its achievement. Capacity building of local risk management is a key priority that must be supported and guided by the national-level authorities and partners at all levels. It is also highly crucial to ensure inclusivity in DRR governance structure and enable whole-of-society engagement and participation.

The Buenos Aires outcome document of the second High-level United Nations Conference on South-South Cooperation (BAPA+40) in 2019, recognizes that local authorities as well as women and youth, play a growingly indispensable role in South-South and Triangular Cooperation (SSTC) which can take different forms, such as knowledge sharing, training and capacity building, and technology exchange in thematic areas, such as disaster risk mitigation and climate change. BAPA+40 outcome document also places need and importance to promote inclusive societies for achieving sustainable development, and to build effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions at all levels.

According to the UN, as of 2021, the global youth population is estimated to be 1.2 billion (16% of world population) and about 60% of world’s young people live in developing countries. Youth can play significant role in DRR and have the potential to build safer and more resilient communities through, for example, raising awareness on DRR and disaster preparedness and response, advocating for policy changes and better DRR strategies that prioritize the needs and safety of their communities, promoting youth volunteerism in disaster response efforts; developing and utilizing innovative technologies and digital and social media tools that can help in DRR, and serving as a catalyst for community engagement.

Since 2020, UNOSSC, UNDRR GETI, PAHO/WHO and WHO have jointly organized three annual certificate online training programmes focusing on harnessing South-South Cooperation, DRR and integration of health emergency response and preparedness in building resilience cities and societies, responding to different phases of the outbreak, emergency response and recovery of COVID-19 pandemic. The past three annual training series were well attended by over 6000+ participants from 155 countries and territories.

Building on the success of past three training series and learning from the pandemic, the fourth annual training will be organized in June 2023 aiming to provide foundation of thoughts for engaging multi-governments and multi-stakeholders especially most at-risk groups such as women, youth and person with disabilities in DRR and public health emergency response and preparedness. The course emphasizes a whole-of-society approach to managing complex risk and creating healthy, sustainable, and resilient cities with practical examples and useful tools.

Course Objective:

This training serves as an introductory training for urban leaders, planners, and practitioners, aiming to:

  • Increase the understanding and capacities on the long-term whole-of-society engagement approach to managing complex and systematic urban disaster risks and enhancing public health emergency response preparedness, and South-South cooperation.
  • Better prepare city stakeholders and engage them in making cities resilient for future crises, health and non-health emergencies and uncertainties.
  • Facilitate learning through South-South and triangular cooperation (SSTC) towards sustainable development.
  • Inspire and motivate whole-of-society (especially young people) to play key and active role in securing a resilient and sustainable future.

Expected outcome:

By the end of this training, participants shall be able to:

  • Describe and understand systematic risks, disaster risk reduction, public health emergency response preparedness and South-South and triangular cooperation. 
  • Explain SSTC trends and policies in disaster risk reduction, Sendai framework and other disaster risk reduction frameworks, public health responses at urban levels.
  • Provide examples of cities’ transitioning to living with COVID-19 and managing complex risk scenarios, share relevant solutions on DRR and health emergency response preparedness, and exchange cities’ SSTC experiences and good practices on DRR and integration of health emergencies preparedness in city urban development actions.
  • Use tools related to disaster risk reduction planning, public health response and SSTC.

Targeted Audience

Local and national government officials in charge of disaster risk reduction and management, urban development and planning, and public health emergency preparedness, national associations of municipalities, urban resilience and development practitioners, as well as civil society, private sector, and academia. Among the focused participants, efforts will be made to mobilize youth including young experts, local government officials and other young stakeholders to raise their awareness on SSC, DRR and health resilience issues facing the world globally. An outreach and engagement efforts will be made with universities in the global south, youth networks and organizations, including with UN agencies such as the Office of the Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth, UNFPA, among others.

The course is open to all applicants from both developed and developing countries, especially young people. Participants from Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDs) are highly encouraged.

No. of Trainees: Maximum 1,000 participants, on a first come first served basis.


Experts from UNDRR, UNOSSC, WHO and PAHO with guest speakers representing various stakeholder groups, e.g., youth, women, person with disabilities, local government, and academic network.

Date & Time

7, 14, 21, 27 June 2023
(A total of 4 online sessions every Wednesdays except for the last session on Tuesday)

All online sessions will be 90-100 minutes starting at the same time from 8:00 New York | 14:00 Geneva | 19:00 Bangkok | 21:00 Incheon.


Virtually through UNOSSC Virtual Training Platform (Access link will be provided to course registrants only)

Workshop Language:

English will be the main language, with simultaneous interpretation in Arabic, Chinese, French, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish (total 7 languages).

Course exam

Participants will be given an online voluntary end-of-course assessment via the UNOSSC Virtual Training platform to test their knowledge and understanding of key content taught and presented in the training. The assessment will consist of a quiz to test knowledge on South-South and triangular cooperation, disaster and risk reduction, and public health. Participants need a score of 80% or above to succeed. 

Course evaluation survey

To enable evidence-based course evaluation, a post-course survey will be disseminated to participants to collect feedback on the course content and organization, as well as understanding participants’ development needs for follow-up and to facilitate future programmatic designing.


Certificate of completion will be given to participants who meet the following requirements:

  1. Attend at least 3 out of 4 live sessions (75% attendance)
  2. Complete a feedback survey, and 
  3. Complete an end-of-course assessment (exam), with the score of 80% or above 

Qualified participants who fulfill all requirements can obtain the certificate automatically from the UNOSSC virtual training platform.

More information and registration

Registration opens on 1 May 2023. Interested participants must complete the registration form by COB Wednesday 31 May 2023.




  • United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) Global Education and Training Institute (GETI) 
  • United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC)
  • World Health Organization (WHO) Health Emergencies Programme
  • Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) 

Provisional Agenda

 Wed, 7 Jun 2023

Session 1:

Welcome & introduction: Whole-of-Society Approach to disaster risk reduction (DRR), public emergencies preparedness and South-South and triangular cooperation (SSTC)

  Wed, 14 Jun 2023

Session 2:

Using Public Health System Resilience Scorecard Addendum to strengthen stakeholder engagement and integration of public health and disaster risk reduction planning: Case examples from local government and stakeholders (UNDRR GETI)

  Wed, 21 Jun 2023

Session 3:

Whole-of-society in urban health disaster risk management: from theory to practice (WHO & PAHO)

  Tue, 27 Jun 2023

Session 4:

Pandemic preparedness and the role of youth and local communities in addressing future crises (UNOSSC)


End-of-course exam & survey

Participants must complete an end-of-course exam and a post-course survey via UNOSSC Virtual Training Platform at the end of the course.

The site will automatically record attendance, session participation, results of exam and survey assessments. Training certificates can be generated by platform automatically for qualified participants who fulfilled all requirements.