The Virtual Learning Centers (VLCs)

Building capacity for effective online learning tailored to regional needs

The establishment of Virtual Learning Centers (VLCs) has been conceived as a mechanism to improve regional delivery of online training  and to transfer the 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. 

The aim of the project is to build capacity on how 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.

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.

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).


Strategic fit

The project implementation 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). 

The project embraces digital technologies for knowledge and information sharing in line with with FAO strategies and efforts to enhance the use of digital technologies to support countries under the umbrella of the FAO’s Hand-in-Hand initiative for building sustainable agriculture and food security. In addition, the project will contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), particularly SDG targets 2.3 for improving productivity and incomes of smallholders, and SDG 2.4 for ensuring sustainable agriculture and food production systems.

Project activities

The project specifically supports 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 project is 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.

Last modified: Wednesday, 4 May 2022, 11:02 AM