The Training for Peace Programme (TfP) at ACCORD, in collaboration with the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations (UN DPKO), has published and launched a UN Civil Affairs Handbook. The handbook serves as a reference guide for both newly recruited and experienced Civil Affairs Officers (CAOs), by providing clearer guidance on their role, functions, and the implementation of their daily tasks in the field.
In order to strengthen the capacity of CAOs, TfP/ACCORD and the UN DPKO launched the handbook on 24 April 2012, during the Heads of Civil Affairs Meeting in New York. TfP/ACCORD was represented by Mr. Zinurine Alghali, Peacekeeping Unit Coordinator. The handbook process started in 2009 by TfP/ACCORD to support CAOs in the clarification of their roles and functions, in order to enhance their professionalism and readiness in the field. This is a result of the needs analysis by the UN DPKO in 2008, in which it was identified that the civil affairs function needs to be more specialised and focused. Following the launch, the handbook has been distributed to all CAOs serving in both peacekeeping and Special Political Missions (SPMs) worldwide, including missions in Africa such as the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), the AU-UN Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), the UN Operation in Cote d'Ivoire (UNOCI), UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO), and the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), as well as civil affairs components in the East African Standby Force (EASF).
The UN Civil Affairs Handbook will increase the success of CAOs in their roles and functions as it relates to cross-mission liaison, monitoring and facilitation at the local level; confidence-building, conflict management and reconciliation; and support to the restoration and extension of state authority. Its publication reflects TfP/ACCORD's long-standing engagement with civil affairs, which has been identified as the single largest civilian component within peacekeeping operations, and whose relevance has increased in various missions over the years as a result of its strategic positioning in the field at the local level. The TfP Programme's initiatives thus serve as contributions towards enhanced skills for increased impact in their work.
The Training for Peace Programme at ACCORD is an initiative funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.