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Marketplace for ENvironmental Training and Online Resources ( MENTOR) Regional Workshop to Review GEO/IEA Training Manual 8-11 September 2008, Chiang Mai, Thailand

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Marketplace for ENvironmental Training

and Online Resources (MENTOR)

Regional Workshop to Review GEO/IEA Training Manual

8-11 September 2008, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Objective: To deliver a multi-scaled set of capacity building products and services to enable UNEP’s clients to keep the environmental situation continuously under review at the global and sub-global levels.

DEWA Capacity Development Branch



  • What is MENTOR and eLearning?
    • What are the driving forces for MENTOR and eLearning?
    • Why do we need MENTOR?
    • What is our strategic approach?
    • What are the current challenges?
    • MENTOR and eLearning concept and architecture
    • MENTOR and eLearning focus
  • Past and present status of MENTOR and eLearning
    • POW 2006-2007 activities undertaken
    • POW 2008-2009 activities


  • Who are our partners?
    • Internal (UNEP)
    • External
  • MENTOR and eLearning for the future (2008-2009 and 2010-2011)
    • What do we need for the future?

1. What is MENTOR?

MENTOR (Marketplace for ENvironmental Training and Online Resources) is a state of the art web-based platform for the consolidation of learning resources (tools, guidelines, methodologies, best practices and courses) in data collection, analysis, integrated environmental assessment, monitoring, early warning and information networking tailored for a diverse group of professional clients who are engaged in global, regional and national programmes aimed at keeping the environment under review.

The target group includes clients in developed countries, developing countries and countries with economies in transition with different levels of knowledge, experience and time availability.

The Science Initiative – SI (

strengthening the scientific base of UNEP (a component of the ongoing International Environmental Governance process)

Environment Watch: Vision 2020 strategy (evolved from SI)

assessment component

data/information management and networking component

technology support and capacity building component

Integrated in the 2008/9 programme of work

MENTOR prototype by 2008

MENTOR operational by 2010

Bali Strategic Plan for Technology Support and Capacity-building

endorsed by UNEP Governing Council/GMEF (2005)

Driving forces behind MENTOR


Why do we need MENTOR?

CB resources (tools, methodologies and manuals) are currently being developed and used by DEWA across the different regions. Some are customised to each region and different language versions exist.

Training has been based on traditional approaches (manuals and other hard copy materials, F2F workshops, different language customisations) without version control and record-keeping of training activities & impact.

Therefore, an internal DEWA requirement is to keep stock of training resources, courses, trainers network, trainees, eLearning tools and record the impact of the UNEP/DEWA training programme in environmental assessment and early warning.


What is our strategic approach?

  • Manage the technology support and capacity building programme for UNEP’s early warning and assessment programme via a common web-based platform;
  • Bring greater coherence and clarity to our training programme in response to BSP – define and codify courses/modules, produce/incorporate quality content, offer a course curriculum under the MTS 6 focal areas;
  • Build a trainers network & communities of practice;
  • Build training partnerships inside UNEP and with other institutions (UN, IGO/NGO, private sector) and develop joint training programmes;

UNEP’s strategic approach (Continued)

  • Shift towards technology supported learning and training;
  • Achieve greater outreach through eLearning and blended learning - mainstream eLearning into current & future training activities;
  • Engage high-level environmental officials in a policy dialogue on technology supported learning and training (e.g. AMCEN);
  • Mainstream eLearning into the work of environmental authorities to support operational programmes and environmental education/awareness raising.
current challenges
Current Challenges
  • Access to internet is limited (e.g. limited broadband) in developing countries - how to reach clients?
  • Culture towards learning i.e. traditional approaches f2f (clients not used to self tuition, etc.)
  • Language issues - dominance of English on Internet + ICT.
  • Limited ICT skills in developing countries – lack of awareness of latest Internet technologies, etc.
  • eLearning take-up by environmental institutions – actions needed at policy and operational levels.
  • How to use of eLearning to support work of UN Country Teams in UNDAF implementation, support to local partners, etc.



Trainers Network












Target Groups

Monitor Usage

Conceptual view of MENTOR


Policy Briefs








GEO Cities


2. Past and present status of MENTOR

and eLearning

  • 1st Expert Group Meeting on MENTOR design and development (Washington DC, Dec 2006).
  • Engaged a consultant to provide strategic advice for design & development.
  • MENTOR/eLearning team. Members of various backgrounds (education, environmental experts, IT, media development) have been involved.
  • MENTOR/eLearning team trained on project management (eLDI and eLIPs), LMS administration - LMS (Moodle, Claroline), content development & instructional design (exelearning, Flash, Wink, Hot Potatoes, Virtual DJ), & tutoring.
  • LMS: list of requirements, benchmark, assessed and tested different LMS tools (Moodle and Claroline).
  • An Index of Resources including courses and modules from DEWA and key partners developed. Good quality metadata on those resources has been developed using the SCORM metadata format.
Year 2007

October - 1st eLiP course for Kenyan institutions by UNEP/DEWA & InWent.

November - DEWA/CBPS conducted one pilot module on Integrated Environment Assessment process (GEO module 2) and piloted two topic overview resources (Vital Water Graphics and Vital Waste Graphics).

December –

Second Expert Group meeting on MENTOR in DTIE, 4-5 December in Paris, France.

Policy Briefs & eLearning modules meeting on 6th December at DTIE, Paris, France.

Past and present status of MENTOR

and eLearning (Continued)


Past and present status of MENTOR

and eLearning (continued)

  • Year 2008
  • April – 2nd eLiP course for environmental institutions (governmental, scientific and non governmental) in East Africa was launched.
  • May – 1st eLiP course for environmental institutions in West Africa.
  • Since February 2008 DEWA/CBPS has been engaged with the establishment of the Kenyan eLearning Center
  • UNEP organized a Pre-conference seminar on Mainstreaming eLearning for Environment, at the 3rd International Conference on ICT for Development, Education and Training (eLearning Africa Ghana) May 28-30, Accra, Ghana.
  • Decision 6 of African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) (June 2008 Johannesburg) on support to ICT and eLearning activities.

Past and present status of MENTOR

and eLearning (continued)

  • UNEP’s GEO Resource Book (UNEP, IISD & other experts) in eLearning format.
  • The latest version (in Spanish) of the GEO Cities Methodology in eLearning format. We are expecting to pilot it by the end of 2008.
  • DEWA-AP’s Manual for National/City Assessment on Climate Change.
  • UNEP/DEWA will keep fostering collaboration with key partners (InWEnt, SCOPE and UNESCO, EHTZ, Microsoft, CISCO, etc.)

3. Who are our partners?

DEWA will engage with internal and external partners to achieve greater outreach of DEWA’s/UNEP’s training programme and to raise awareness of technology supported learning and training with focus on environment:

  • a. Internal (UNEP)
  • DEPI/EETU (Division of Environmental Policy Implementation)
  • DCPI (Division of Communications and Public Information)
  • GRID Arendal - GVU (Global Virtual University)
  • External
  • InWEnt – eLearning Implementation and Development course (eLDI) and eLearning in Practice (eLIP).
  • SCOPE and UNESCO – Policy Briefs + emerging issues for GEO YB
  • KeLC – Kenyan eLearning Center (which UNEP has been instrumental in establishing)
  • NOLNET – Namibia eLearning Center
  • ICWE – eLearning Conferences (eLearning Africa and Educa Berlin)

4. MENTOR and eLearning for the future (2008-2009 and 2010-2011)?

  • DEWA/CDB as the Manager of DEWA’s Capacity Building/Training Programme.
  • Build a trainers network to support our internal training programme but also to guide clients towards an authoritative expert resource base covering the categories.
  • Identify good CB resources developed by DEWA, UNEP and partners.
  • Populate MENTOR platform with DEWA’s capacity building resources and courses (short term) and UNEP’s (medium term) (through the “Index of resources”).
  • Develop a course curriculum of courses related to the MTS 6 focal areas (some resources developed by UNEP and some from our partners).

MENTOR and eLearning for the future (2008-2009 and 2010-2011)? (continued)

  • Organize blended format trainings on existing DEWA courses and the MTS 6 focal areas.
  • Provide assistance to DEWA Branches and the regions in converting capacity building materials into eLearning format.
  • Train trainers in the regions on how to design and implement eLearning courses and how to be tutors (e.g. IEA trainers network).
  • Develop eLearning courses for other Divisions in UNEP e.g. Environmental Sustainability Module for ONE UN.
  • Develop eLearning courses for other key partners (Policy briefs and GEO Year Book emerging issues).

What do we need for the future?

  • Technical resources (LMS/CMS)
    • We need a technical platform that is accessible and reliable 24/365 days.
    • UNEP’s CMS working (broad width band)
  • Human resources (full time staff)
    • Full time team (programme manager, platform administrator, media designers, content developers, instructional designers).
  • Financial Resources (POW 2008-2009)
    • Develop Project proposals for PAG (Project Approval Group)