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Guide to Training Programs in Conflict Resolution and Related Fields

Information from Prof. Craig Zelizer, Georgetown University
One avenue to develop additional skills related to peace and conflict resolution is through various training programs. Pursuing academic studies is one great method to developing expertise and for more information about programs see the Academic Guide. In this section, I provide some general suggestions for key questions to ask in researching opportunities and

A) review of key websites,
B) provide a list of summer training programs, and
C) discuss other training opportunities (short and long-term and a combination of online and on location trainings).

You're also encouraged to research local and regional opportunities by contacting local organizations, universities, and NGOs as there are many relevant activities taking place around the world. In addition, a number of organizations do offer scholarships and funding (for example the Rotary Program listed below does provide some funding for select participants), and you're encouraged to inquire about the possibilities by reviewing website and contacting organizations.

When exploring any training program there are a number of questions that I would recommend anyone consider before considering a particular program.

1) Reputation of the Program - Given that the field of conflict resolution is still emerging and for most sectors there is a lack of standards/certification, it is important to do conduct a background inquiry about each program. What is the overall reputation of the organization? Can you speak with alumni of previous courses? Who are the training staff? What is the level of expertise? Any credible training program should be willing to provide you with answers to these questions and be willing to connect you with alumni? Talk with your colleagues to also obtain their opinions about a particular program/institution?

2) Format for Learning - What is the teaching format of the course? How do they help participants to develop skills? If there is experiential learning, are the cases based on real situations? What type of support and mentoring do participants receive to advance their skill level?

3) Elicitive vs. Prescriptive - Some training programs are fixed and always provide the same material and structure regardless of the audience. Other programs provide a more elicitive approach that adapts material/content to the particular needs of a group. In reality most trainings combine both, but it is important to explore if the content and format of a particular training is appropriate for you? For example, while mediation is a wonderful process and model, some trainings in mediation may provide examples and models that are not suitable for other regions.

4) Price - While organizations need to generate funds to support their activities, evaluating the price of a training is an important component. How much does the training cost? Does it cover all expenses? Do they provide scholarships (or partial)?

5) Follow Up - Some trainings are a one time event and after that you are on your own. Other organizations will provide on-going support and mentoring after a training (and perhaps connect you with their networks).

What are some other questions you think are key?

RESOURCES FOR TRAINING

A) KEY WEBSITES - You can find a number of excellent training opportunities on this site looking in the Forums Sections. Also try searching by keyword(s) to find various opportunities Other sites worth visiting include:

Alliance for Peacebuiding Member Forums
ReliefWeb Training Guide
National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation Events Blog

B) KEY SUMMER TRAINING PROGRAMS - A number of institutions around the world offer intensive summer training programs in peace, conflict resolution and related fields.

American University, Summer Peacebuilding and Development Institute, Washington, DC
, Every summer, offers annual Summer Institute, a series of one-week, two-credit courses on fascinating and practical topics. These Summer Institute courses are unique in that they also serve as a professional development training program for NGO practitioners and professionals from all over the world.

Conflict Management in the Balkans, Slovenia
- The Conflict Management Program in Slovenia offers a unique opportunity to examine past conflicts in the Balkans and their consequences firsthand. What lessons can be learned for future conflict management? Within the program, special emphasis is placed on the role of foreign intervention, the contribution of political and economic transformation to both conflict and peace, and the power of conflict prevention and resolution.

Eastern Mennonite University, Summer Peacebuilding Institute,Harrisonburg, VA - The 13th annual Summer Peacebuilding Institute, a program of the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (CJP) at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, will be held from May 5 to June 13, 2008. Three 7-day sessions and one 5-day session, each with six intensive courses running concurrently, will be offered for academic credit or as professional training for practitioners at various experience and skill levels. An interactive approach is used in the classroom to draw upon the rich experiences of the participants as well as the instructors.

INCORE: International Summer Course, Northern Ireland. The INCORE Summer School provides a structured learning opportunity to analyse the dynamic and constantly changing field of conflict resolution and peacebuilding. Focusing on the latest research and concepts in specific topics of conflict resolution, participants are invited to compare, contrast and learn from different perspectives. The School offers a unique opportunity to create links between theory, practice and policy. Special attention is given to how the experience and research of both practitioners and academics can impact upon policy makers within the field of conflict resolution

Mindanao Summer Peacebuilding Institute, Philippines - This institute, which will run for three weeks, will bring together a wide range of people with experience, knowledge and skills in peace-related work. Intensive training in areas such as religious peacebuilding, mediation, grassroots peace work, and conflict transformation will hopefully increase such skills, drawing on the shared knowledge of both the participants and the facilitators.

School for International Training, Summer Contact Program, Brattleboro, VT - Participants in the Summer Institute will develop a full range of skills using participatory and experiential learning methods. Learning takes place both in the classroom and as participants live and socialize together in both structured and unstructured activities. With participants representing more than 25 countries, and a wide variety of regional, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds, the Summer Institute creates a multicultural learning laboratory in which the skills and techniques learned can be immediately applied, tested, and evaluated.

C. ADDITIONAL TRAINING PROGRAMS

International Peace and Development Training Centre, Romania - Established in 2003 the International Peace and Development Training Centre specializes in providing advanced and expert training programs for governments, UN staff, policy makers, conflict parties and leadership, field workers, local and national organisations, and staff of international agencies

Responding to Conflict, UK - Specializes in transforming conflict and violence by facilitating individuals and organisations to address the underlying causes of violence in situations of real or potential conflict through skills development and capacity building. We work towards a just and sustainable peace. Offers a variety of short-term and long-term training programs.

Rotary Peace and Conflict Studies Program, Thailand
The Rotary Peace and Conflict Studies Program is a professional development program held in Bangkok, Thailand, through which up to 30 participants embark on three months of intensive study instructed by some of the leading specialists in the peace and conflict resolution fields. The specialized curriculum has been crafted to capitalize on the experience of both participants and lecturers while balancing theoretical and practical learning.

Transcend Online Peace University (and optional MA program in colla... - TPU is the world's first on-line global peace university, designed for practitioners and those interested in skills and knowledge development in the fields addressed by TPU courses. TPU was launched in 2003 following requests by UN staff, practitioners, development workers, politicians, and people engaged in peacebuilding and conflict transformation from around the world who wished to have programs to help them develop their knowledge, skills and tools in specific fields, while continuing in their work. NEW: Four TPU courses can now be taken for credit towards a Distance learning Masters in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of Sydney. Interested parties should contact me in first instance via jake.lynch (at) usyd.edu.au . The rest of the MA program can be done in short intensives, beginning in July of this year, in London, and a dissertation.

United Nations Institute for Training and Research is an official United Nations programme that trains peacekeepers, humanitarian workers, United Nations staff, and other persons interested in global peace and security. We publish and distribute several courses, allowing anyone to study peacekeeping topics from anywhere in the world. Students from anywhere in the world can enrol in one or more courses online or by mail through one of our many training programmes.

United States Institute of Peace Training Program - The Professional Training program works in the U.S. and in zones of conflict around the world, integrating online training with onsite seminars and workshops to help practitioners develop and improve their conflict management skills. Most training programs are limited to invited participants, but USIP also maintains a strong free online training program. that offers courses in interfaith conflict resolution, conflict analysis and other topics.


The Academy for Conflict Transformation
runs a variety of training courses to impart the practical skills and knowledge needed for civil conflict management in crisis areas. It offers a venue to study, and to discuss topical issues of peace development, civil conflict resolution and the Civil Peace Service (CPS). Our Four-Month Qualification Course leading to certification as a "Peace Expert/ Conflict Consultant" is the most comprehensive course of its type on offer in Germany. The Nine-Week Qualification Course, the short Trainings for Peace and the free Self-Learning Courses complete the range of qualifications we offer.

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