As prospective participants may be aware, the role of civilian peacekeepers in Peace Support Operations (PSO) have generally been unknown and under researched. However the various roles played by non-military personnel during a PSO contribute greatly to the peace process. The civilian dimension of peace operations cover all the non-military aspects, such as political affairs, civil affairs, human rights, election monitoring and observation, security sector reform (SSR), disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR), rule of law (RoL), Gender, HIV/Aids, child protection, sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA), conduct and discipline, public information, humanitarian liaison and assistance and mission support (including administration, human resources, finance, logistics and information technology and communications) functions.
Recognizing the limited knowledge that existed (and to a degree still persists) on the role of the civilian dimension of PSOs, the TfP Programme at ACCORD decided to focus on the role of civilian specialists in UN and African peace operations and has over the past 13 years spent a considerable amount of time and to study the role of civilian specialists in UN peacekeeping operations. An initial step was to break through the general confusion that exists around the role of civilian specialists in PSOs. A second step was to identify what training civilian role players need.
In order to consider the training needs of the civilian dimension, ACCORD hosted a Civilian Peacekeeping Training Seminar in Durban in October 2000. This Seminar brought together a number of training institutions to discuss the needs of those who deploy civilians in the field and those that train them. The Seminar came up with a number of recommendations and these, combined with the research undertaken prior to the Seminar, motivated the Training for Peace Programme to develop a Civilian Specialist Course from 2001 onwards that has continued to prepare participants for civilian roles in both UN and African missions.
Between 2003 and 2007, the TfP Programme at ACCORD has trained over three hundred and ninety (390) participants in sixteen (16) trainings. Of these, a hundred and twenty eight (128) have been female.
Prospective participants for this course are trained and experienced civilians working in various relevant fields of expertise in Africa and the course aims to prepare them for service in peacekeeping and peacebuilding missions. This will be done by building on their existing skills and expertise by showing them how these can be applied in the peacekeeping and peace building context, and by providing them with the knowledge and additional personal skills they would need in the peacekeeping and peace building environment.
Participants are selected on the basis of an application procedure and the selection of participants for each course will take into account a range of factors, including:
- Your country of origin;
- Your level of education/ qualification (tertiary education an advantage);
- Your work experience and current position/employment;
- Your experience in terms of the topic for the specialisation module. Efforts will be made to select participants that would benefit most from the specialisation topic;
- Your future interests and willingness and availability to serve in peacekeeping and peace building missions;
- Your regional experience;
- Your age; and
- Gender (a gender balance will be maintained).
The CPPC course is a modular course that builds on the existing professional skills of the civilian personnel by focusing on how their skills and expertise can be applied in the peace operation and peace building context. Through this modular concept, the Programme is able to maintain a core curriculum and consistently apply a specific methodology to the Courses, without having to organize a new course every time there is a new specialist need. Specialist needs are accommodated by dedicating about 30% of the Course time to specialist focus areas whilst using the remaining 70% to transfer the general knowledge and personal skills all civilians in peacekeeping and peace building missions should have.
The Courses are typically conducted over 5 days. The methodology is highly participatory and comprises substantive presentations, case studies, group work and practical exercises.
The AFDEM Database
In order to ensure the highest possibility of participants being deployed and the skills acquired during the course being utilized, participants will have the opportunity to apply to join the African Civilian Standby Roster for Humanitarian and Peacebuilding Missions (AFDEM). AFDEM houses the details of past participants who have graduated from the TfP courses, and when called upon to do so, submits them for consideration for possible deployment.
What is the Cost of Participation?
ACCORD will cover costs associated with travel (including return airfare and ground transport in the country where the training is taking place), training materials, accommodation and meals associated with participation. All participants will be responsible for costs relating to:
- Airport tax;
- In-country transport costs from your residence to the airport/ bus terminal etc.;
- All personal costs such as laundry, photocopying, personal transport, telephone calls, alcohol (including during meals), and any other services taken advantage of by yourself that are not directly associated with the course.
All selected applicants will be given further ‘Joining Instructions’ upon confirmation of participation which will give further details on the relevant course to be attended.