The Training for Peace (TfP) Programme at ACCORD recently supported the United Nations (UN) Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) Peacekeeping Best Practices Section (PBPS) in the implementation of their civil affairs skills training methodology by conducting a training-of-trainers course in Liberia, and a civil-affairs course specifically, for UNMIL. The training courses were aimed at ensuring Civil Affairs Officers are equipped with the required skills, and to develop a pool of trainers that can implement the DPKO's 'Civil Affairs Skills Training Methodology'.
The training-of-trainers course ran from 13-15 May 2011 in Monrovia, Liberia, and included representatives from ACCORD, UN Head Quarters and field missions and the Folke Bernadotte Academy. Participants were selected based on their training experience, and potential to serve as resource persons for future UN civil affairs training. The UNMIL course, from 16-18 May 2011 in Gbarnga, Liberia, was aimed at delivering a tailored training that will help develop the skills necessary for daily implementation of tasks in the field in UNMIL.
These training courses have helped establish a pool of trainers that will implement the UN 'Civil Affairs Skills Training Methodology'. They have also allowed TfP/ACCORD to better understand the Civil Affairs Skills Training methodology, implement the training course in a mission environment, and also assess how this methodology fits with the ACCORD 'In-mission Conflict Management for Peacekeepers and Peacebuilders Course' that it has been implementing since 2005 for UN missions in Africa.
TfP/ACCORD intends continuing its implementation of mission-specific tailor-made courses that will include its in-mission courses and the civil affairs skills-training curricula, depending on the mission context, phase, needs and requirements.
These initiatives are in line with TfP/ACCORD's focus on strengthening the role and functions of Civil Affairs Officers, in parallel with the development of a Civil Affairs Handbook intended to serve as a reference guide for new and experienced Civil Affairs Officers in the implementation of their daily tasks.