The Training for Peace (TfP) Programme at ACCORD was requested by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) to conduct a training for its International and National Civil Affairs Officers (CAOs) on Conflict Analysis and Reporting. This training aimed at enhancing the existing skills of the twenty two (22) UNMISS Civil Affairs Officers in Conflict Analysis while further providing them with required skills to report on conflict so as to effectively contribute to the implementation of the mission's mandate focusing on the mission's five priority areas.
The training further enhanced the coordination, communication and understanding on conflict analysis and reporting mechanisms in the day to day implementation of the mission's mandate. The training was facilitated by ACCORD facilitators who skilfully brought out the expectations of the participants in order to ensure that the training methodologies are aligned to the expectations as the training progressed.
The training on Conflict Reporting for UNMISS Civil Affairs Officers was held from 15 – 18 July 2014 in Kampala, Uganda. The training team from ACCORD were Dr. Cedric de Coning, Ms. Irene Limo, Ms. Olivia Victoria Davies and one lead consultant - Mr. Liam Mahoney from Fieldview Solutions. One of the key aspects associated with the shift from traditional to complex multidimensional peacekeeping is the increase of civilian functions related to Civil Affairs. Civil Affairs play key roles in peacekeeping operations and are an essential part of peacekeeping. One most common way in which information is shared is through reporting. Reports are therefore a major vehicle through which Civil Affairs Officers make an impact in the complex environments they operate in. The enhanced reporting capabilities of the CAOs at UNMISS therefore directly feeds into the priority on the protection of civilians including internally displaced people sheltering within United Nations compounds and elsewhere.
The training on Conflict Reporting sought to strengthen the capacity of CAOs in reporting, therefore strengthening the platform from which humanitarian actors and security forces draw their background information for their support initiatives in South Sudan. The training was also linked to the increasing human rights monitoring and reporting role being undertaken by the mission. Further, the training sought to build the capacity of CAOs in reporting in order to better support the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) mediation process when called upon to assist.
Among the thematic areas covered includes; understanding the current situation in South Sudan, conflict analysis tools, actor mapping, actual report writing involving conflict and political analysis, presentation and discussion on the current UNMISS approaches to the challenges of Early Warning and Protection of Civilians, as well as peer review and constructive criticism for better writing. The training also incorporated the reflecting strategy in reporting that explained key issues in reporting like when and how to use recommendations in reports. Further, the training covered gender sensitive reporting as well as conflict sensitive reporting. The training involved individual feedback on the daily report writing assignments (specific to South Sudan) undertaken by the CAOs. The participants were given an opportunity to navigate through their internal reporting processes which further strengthened their understanding on the monthly, weekly, daily reporting as well as other internal reports. This also gave an opportunity to the participants to identify the challenges they face in the field when reporting.
ACCORD recognises the need for tailored training to fit the specific context of each field mission, this training was therefore prepared with UNMISS and South Sudan as the focus, with the training materials also tailored for this particular training. This training which formed a basis for other similar trainings was in line with the TfP/ACCORD's strategic goal of significantly improving the civilian capacity of African states, Regional Economic Communities (RECs), the African Union (AU) and United Nations (UN) to prepare, plan, manage and monitor multi-dimensional peace operations in Africa.
The Training for Peace Programme at ACCORD is an initiative funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.