The Virtual Learning Centers (VLCs)

Building capacity for effective online learning tailored to regional needs

The establishment of Virtual Learning Centers (VLCs) was conceived as a mechanism to improve regional delivery of online training and to transfer competences required to organize and deliver online training to FAO regional and sub-regional offices. This approach aims to ensure courses offered are in line with the training needs of the countries in the target regions and are well tailored to the local languages and contexts. Our mission is to provide our trainees with access to inclusive, engaging and high-quality training using a variety of methodologies such as online tutored courses, blended learning, technical webinars and mobile learning.

Using skills in instructional design and learning technologies the VLCs develop courses that readily respond to regional needs and fill skills gaps identified in a range of One Health areas.

By the end of 2021, six VLCs were established in all five FAO regions. Each of them has a VLC coordinator, who is in close contact with countries’ training focal points. The VLCs are coordinated by an FAO team based in Rome.

What are the advantages of an online approach?

By using information and communication technology to deliver and cascade courses and resources, the VLCs allow ample and geographically disparate audiences to be trained in an economical and environmentally friendly manner. Virtual networking allows colleagues in distant locations to easily share experiences with those they might otherwise never meet.

The online approach also facilitates the capacity to develop and deliver virtual training including courses, modules, webinars and discussion fora, where participants can discuss and share experiences with colleagues, FAO staff and international experts.

Click here to find out more about the benefits of virtual learning.

Who are the courses for?

The courses aim to enhance the capacities of national stakeholders within interdisciplinary areas including animal health, animal production, food and feed safety and quality, aquaculture and environment and natural resources (i.e. forestry and wildlife).

Click here to view our courses.

Click here to view our regional VLC course page. 


Strategic fit

The implementation of the VLCs is in line with FAO’s strategic framework  and will deliver its activities against SO2 output indicators (2.1.1.A and 2.1.1.B)

, particularly SDG targets 2.3 for improving productivity and incomes of smallholders, and SDG 2.4 for ensuring sustainable agriculture and food production systems.

VLC activities

The VLCs specifically support the following activities:

  • Establish regional VLCs to deliver virtual training programmes. In addition, to the existing VLC in Southern Africa, the project will assist FAO Regional Offices to establish one VLC in each of the five regions (Africa, Asia/Pacific, Near East and North Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean).
  • Design new courses and develop digital tools, platforms, and resource material for virtual training programmes including training modules in the disciplines mentioned above.

Who is involved?

The VLCS are managed by the FAO Animal Production and Health Division (NSA) in close collaboration with the Zoonoses/AMR Center (CJWZ), Forestry Division (NFO), Fishery Division (NFI) and the regional FAO offices in Africa (RAF), Near East and North Africa (RNE), Eastern Europe and Central Asia (REU) and the Asia and the Pacific (RAP). The European Commission for the Control of Foot-and-Mouth Disease  launched the VLCs concept in 2020, and continues to provide technical and operational support.

Click here if you would like to get involved with the VLCs.

Last modified: Saturday, 10 December 2022, 6:48 PM