UNDP launches innovative Crisis Academy for next generation of crisis leaders

Virtual gamified launch displays signature learning experience, features 6 learning pathways

November 15, 2022
Crisis Academy Launch

UNDP Crisis Academy

UNDP Photo
Crisis Academy Hall Pass

Scan the QR code to enter the Crisis Academy Hall

UNDP Photo


15 November, 2022, NEW YORK – To prepare a new generation of crisis leaders and ensure its staff is fit-for-purpose for engagements in fragile environments globally, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has launched aCrisis Academy. The virtual inauguration highlighted an innovative learning experience, where participants played arcade games to learn about Crisis Academy’s six digital campuses namely SURGE Crisis response, Stabilization, Humanitarian-Development-Peace Nexus, Community Infrastructure, Conflict prevention and peacebuilding and Data and emerging technologies.

The Crisis Academy contributes to the delivery of UNDP’s recently launched Crisis Offer which supports countries in anticipating, preventing, responding to and recovering from crisis.

“Being crisis-ready means having a cadre of experts ready to not only respond to crisis situations but also able to apply collective intelligence as a lever to confront complexity,” said Asako Okai, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and UNDP Crisis Bureau Director.

The Crisis Academy’s three-step learning journey comprises learning, knowledge exchange and strategic action. The first focuses on co-created learning that unlocks membership into specialized digital communities across the six thematic areas where graduates can continue to collaborate. The final element supports action through deployment to a real-world crisis — where learning transforms into action.

Since October 2021, UNDP’s Crisis Bureau has deployed 284 staff across the world, in crisis zones and countries in need of support. These include Afghanistan, Ukraine and more recently, Pakistan. Many of the deployed staff have gone on to share their experiences and knowledge across virtual communities that now fall under the Crisis Academy and have contributed to new co-created learning experiences.

The Crisis Academy is based on the experience of moving UNDP’s longest running training, the SURGE Induction Workshop, to virtual platforms in the wake of the pandemic. Since 2020, more than 150 learning events including trainings, webinars and calls from the field, have taken place across the six digital communities now part of the Crisis Academy. Cumulatively, they house 2,000 members including UNDP staff and crisis and data experts from across the world.

“#FutureSmartUNDP is more than a mantra. It is our benchmark for success. Crisis Academy’s gamified and digital-first learning model is another example of how we are leveraging future forward models to become a knowledge organization and more effectively leverage our collective expertise to secure development gains,” said ASG Okai.

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For more information, contact:

Aimee Brown, UNDP Crisis Bureau Communications Specialist, aimee.brown@undp.org

Usman Iqtidar, UNDP SURGE Academy Communications Specialist

Learn more about UNDP’s work in crisis: www.undp.org/crisis