Digital Competencies and Skills

Digital Competencies and Skills

Digital technologies changed how knowledge and information is accessed, shared and produced. The Covid – 19 global pandemic  significantly increased the digital transmission of knowledge, making digital competencies crucial for participation in society, including  lifelong learning and employment opportunities.

What we are doing

Digital competency development initiatives on accessing, understanding, sharing and creating information wisely using digital technologies, including for learning and employment purposes, focus on policy advise and capacity development. Ensuring inclusiveness in terms of accessibility and  and gender equality are key aspects of these initiatives. Furthermore, ensuring that access meets both the needs and material circumstances of learners – including those related to the digital divide - is a priority.

Supporting  digital competencies training for teachers and instructors 

Teacher/Instructor training on the effective use of technologies for teaching and learning in both formal and informal settings is a priority in activities linked to the  ICT Competency Framework for Teachers  (ICT CFT) Version 3 and the development and sharing of OER-based resources to support Ministries, and institutions responsible for teacher training worldwide. This activity includes the development, sharing and use of Open Education Resources (OER) curated by UNESCO and partner countries, through the ICT CFT/OER website.

Support accessible open and distance learning

The UNESCO Guidelines on the Inclusion of Learners with Disabilities in Open and Distance Learning (ODL) provide an overview for governments, institutions, instructors and instructional designers, along with quality assurance and qualifications recognition bodies, when developing ODL platforms, processes, courses, examination and other with a view to incorporating the needs of all users. Information is incorporated on the use of open and distance learning during emergency situations, where face-to-face teaching is not viable.  

Supporting Youth Coding and Digital Skills training for Entrepreneurship 

The UNESCO YouthMobile Initiative leverages computer science education and the widespread availability of mobile phones to empower its students. Young girls and boys are introduced to coding as both a resource to solve local issues and as a tool to develop complex learning skills. Students are encouraged to develop, promote and eventually sell mobile applications as the key to ensure sustainable development. UNESCO works with public and private partners to equip young people with technical skills, preparing them to become actors in the digital society. In this way, they will be able to contribute to the design of mobile solutions and applications that can solve sustainable development problems.


Online Training Model – Contextualizing OER for Teachers’ Digital Skills Development in Caribbean SIDS
UNESCO ICT Competency Framework for Teachers
UNESCO OER Recommendation
Contextualizing open educational resources to enhance teachers’ digital competencies in the Caribbean

Our Challenges

UNESCO YouthMobile Initiative
Digital Skills Development
Media and Information Literacy
UNESCO's ICT Competency Framework for Teachers

Contribution to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

This programme contributes to building open and inclusive knowledge societies, and to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, namely

UNESCO contributes to SDG 4 on quality education for all.


Gender equality

SDG 10

SDG 10 calls for reducing inequalities.

SDG 16

Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

SDG 17

SDG 17 calls for partnerships for the Goals.

Overview of the ICT Competency Framework for Teachers’ Harnessing OER (ICT CFT/OER) project

This video will take you on a trip to explore the ICT Competency Framework for Teachers’ Harnessing OER (ICT CFT/OER) project. The journey starts with the UNESCO Communication and Information Sector, at UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, which launched the project in 2013, and coordinates it globally. The video then takes you through to site visits of the ICT CFT Network in South Africa and Egypt. The video reflects the different steps of the project, the decision making, teacher training then finally the use of these capacities in the classroom with the students.

The Mathew Goniwee School of Management and Governance (MGLSG), in South Africa has adopted the project and contextualized it to its own needs. A great number of trainings were organized all over the country and, as a result, more than 2000 teachers were trained on ICTs nationally. The video will take you to Kgoro Ya Thuto School in Johannesburg where trained teachers are using ICTs with their students. The video then takes you to the American University in Cairo (AUC) in Egypt, where AUC, in collaboration with the the UNESCO Cairo, have been training teachers on the effective use of ICTs in the classroom, including the development of OER –based teaching material. The project is growing with more countries joining the Network.

Our Publications

The inclusion of learners with disabilities: guidelines on emergency movement to online and distance learning
Publication supported by the United Nations Partnership on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNPRPD) Multi Partner Trust Fund
UNESCO ICT Competency Framework for Teachers