FAO | Accessible and global learning

FAO – Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations – is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger and to achieve food security to make sure that people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives. 

Since 2006 FAO has chosen the Moodle platform to manage and provide e-learning courses. 

The challenge

In 2019 FAO had the necessity to modify its old platform characterized by fixed and not mobile responsive layout. Their goal was to promote to the users a new Academy for global learning following FAO’s guidelines and making it more open and globally accessible 

FAO had clear in mind the new graphic layout they wanted to propose to the users, but they didn’t know how to integrate it with the urgent need of a catalogue easier to browse and that could be customized according to the user.  


Born and raised in Moodle, FAO elearning Academy has been implemented with 30 additional plugins to make the user learning experience much more engaging and significant. 

Right now, the platform is provided in six different languages (English, French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic and Chinese) and every page has the language auto switch, also supporting the reading switch from right to left for Arabic and Chinese. 

The courses catalogue has been radically changed. Specific courses are now showcased according to the language selected, allowing the user to focus more on his/her own learning experience. An advanced search bar has been added inside the catalogue for courses series, years and types.  

Besides, the Academy home page has been implemented so that the users can immediately access the newly activated courses. 

The results

MediaTouch has worked with the native functions of Moodle to reach the goal requested by FAO, promoting to users an Academy with a platform that followed the organization’s guidelines and that could help every type of users to search and access courses despite their connectivity.  

The FAO elearning Academy offers over 350 multilingual e-learning courses, free of charge, as a global public good and is the result of a collaborative effort involving over 200 partners throughout the world. The overall objective of the FAO elearning Academy is to strengthen the human capital, through the acquisition of knowledge, skills and competences, in order to generate competent professionals able to face the global challenges.  

The FAO elearning Academy has now reached a global audience of about 700,000 users, the courses cover priority areas such as:  Climate Smart Agriculture, Sustainable Food Systems and Nutrition, food safety, food losses, child labor, Responsible Governance to tenure among others, and are all fully aligned with the SDG Agenda 2030. 

In addition to universities, academic and research institutions, the FAO eLearning Academy shares e-learning courses with other organizations, including UN agencies, the European Union, International Federation of the Red Cross,  NGOs, and international development agencies (ECOWAS, CILSS, COMESA, NEPAD etc…) to support capacity development efforts worldwide. 

The FAO elearning Academy has also created, in collaboration with universities and academic networks, a number of joint University Masters’ and Post Graduate Degree programmes, based on the FAO elearning courses.  

The FAO elearning Academy is adopting the Digital Badges Certification System, to certify the acquisition of competencies, in order to progress talents within organizations and increase employment opportunities. Certification granted by FAO, by passing the final scenario-based performance evaluation, is now associated to the FAO elearning courses. 

The FAO elearning Academy supports member countries, through diversified capacity development interventions to ensure the transfer of know-how,  skills and competencies, using a combination of methodologies: self-paced elearning courses, blended learning programmes, massive open online courses (MOOCs), technical webinars, online tutored courses, mobile learning, International Hackathons on the SDGs, Global 24h Marathons on Sustainability,  University Master’s Degree programmes and Post graduate degree, as well as  face-to- face training workshops. 

FAO was satisfied by the reached results and they have expressed the wish to add more features to the Academy in order to guarantee an even more engaging learning experience to their users. 

Other available resources:

FAO elearning Academy Achievements for 2020: https://online.fliphtml5.com/juyqq/evxt/

FAO elearning Academy Course Catalogue: https://online.fliphtml5.com/juyqq/hnwj/