Following a Training Needs Assessment in 2011, the Training for Peace in Africa Programme at ACCORD (TfP/ACCORD) has developed a training package for the Civil Affairs Division (CAD) in the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS). The training package aims to enhance the implementation of Civil Affairs Officers' roles, functions and tasks, utilising the CCM tools and techniques. TfP/ACCORD conducted an evaluation of these trainings to assess the utility and the impact of the training package on the work of Civil Affairs.
Following the Training Needs Assessment in 2011, ACCORD and the Civil Affairs Division (CAD) in the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) decided to undertake a series of training courses aimed at improving the capacity of Civil Affairs Officers to support conflict management initiatives. In cooperation with UNMISS CAD, ACCORD conducted three Conflict Management Support Training Courses in 2012 to enhance the skills of 76 UNMISS Civil Affairs Officers, as well as an Advanced Mediation Training for select and senior staff in July 2013. An online Mentoring Support Network (MSN) was also created for all trainees. The evaluation was conducted from the 21- 22 November 2013 in Juba, South Sudan. 13 Civil Affairs Officers from across 8 states of South Sudan were interviewed. These include Civil Affairs Officers from Central Equatorial State, Western Equatorial State, Upper Nile State, Warrap State, Northern Bahr el Ghazel State, Jonglei State, Western Bahr el Ghazel State, and Lake State. TfP/ACCORD was represented by Ms Laura Doriguzzi Bozzo and Ms Olivia Victoria Davies.
The evaluation assessed the added value of the entire training process, as well as further training needs of UNMISS CAD. It also assessed the relevance of the specialised curriculum developed for UNMISS CAD, and lessons learnt which will be useful in replicating the implementation of similar training processes in other UN and African Union missions. The evaluation highlighted the relevance of the training package in its contribution to CAOs work in support of the government and the community to address conflict; and it also contributed to an improvement in the skills required by CAOs to perform functions like facilitation, mediation and negotiation.
Such specifically-tailored training, which meets the specific needs of senior management UNMISS CAOs, is in line with the TfP Programme's strategic goal for improved and sustainable capacity for peace operations on the continent, which will be achieved by ensuring that personnel receive relevant and high quality training, which will in turn contribute towards competent peacekeeping personnel in the UN, AU and RECs. It is also part of the larger engagement the Programme has had to strengthen the capacities of Civil Affairs Officers in peacekeeping operations to better implement their mandates. In the past years, the Unit has been engaged with UN DPKO in supporting the work of Civil Affairs Officers, including the development and distribution of the UN Civil Affairs Handbook the Programme and the UN Department for Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) published and launched earlier last year in April 2012, and close support to the development of the UN Civil Affairs Skills training.
The Training for Peace (TfP) in Africa Programme is an initiative funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
For more information please contact Ms. Seun Abiola, Peacekeeping Unit Coordinator on Seun@accord.org.za and Ms. Olivia Victoria Davies, Peacekeeping Unit Programme Officer on Olivia@accord.org.za.