The Training for Peace Programme (TfP) at ACCORD's Peacekeeping Unit, has been actively engaged in supporting the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) Civil Affairs Division (CAD) capacity to implement its mandate. Its relationship with UN peacekeeping operations can be dated several years ago, and has since been able to implement several projects in the areas of training, policy development and applied research.
Currently, TfP/ACCORD, in partnership with ACCORD's Peacemaking and Training Units, has been engaged in two main processes that facilitate and support the work of UNMISS CAD. The first process refers to the design of a curriculum that has being tailored around the needs of UNMISS CAD in relation to conflict management support. As part of this process, TfP/ACCORD hosted a training needs assessment workshop from 10-14 October 2011 in Juba, South Sudan. The workshop allowed the Programme to assess specific needs that UNMISS CAD has in terms of training on conflict management, particularly in relation to providing support and enabling existing processes in South Sudan. Furthermore, it also allowed the Programme to raise awareness for a selected number of Civil Affairs Officers in relation to conflict management and its role within civil affairs mandate. As a follow up of the workshop, ACCORD is currently using the information acquired in the workshop in several interviews conducted in Juba in designing a training curriculum, which will be implemented throughout 2012. It is expected that ACCORD will carry out two introductory training activities which will be followed by a refresher event.
ACCORD's conflict management handbook for peacekeepers and peacebuilders can be downloaded here.
The second project in which ACCORD is engaged at the moment relates to an assessment of the conflict management field in South Sudan, which follows a successful evaluation of the CAD in the former UN Mission in Sudan, conducted during the second semester of 2010. UNMISS Civil Affairs approached ACCORD requesting support in evaluating the current state of the conflict management field in South Sudan, particularly in relation to mediation and negotiation, and to better understand the complex environment in which Civil Affairs officers are presently operating. The research focuses on identifying the existing capacities for conflict management in South Sudan – both internal and international – as well as the gaps that remain undressed. The research has been conducted in three parts: (1) desktop based research and remote interviews; (2) general assessment field study; (3) specific assessment field study. ACCORD's team has currently conducted the first two parts of the assessment between November and December 2011. Mr. Jeremy Taylor, ACCORD's Peacemaking Unit Senior Programme Officer, will be in South Sudan from 20 February 2011 conducting the last part of the assessment.
ACCORD and UNMIS CAD assessment of UNMIS Conflict Management work can be found here.
These activities reflect the efforts that ACCORD currently has in strengthening civilian capacity of peacekeeping operations, focusing in training, policy development and research activities.