New Course: Strengthening Civilian Capacities to Protect Civilians

*This call for Expressions of Interest is now closed.*

The Creating Safer Space research network invites Expressions of Interest to participate in a 10-week training course on “Strengthening Civilian Capacities to Protect Civilians”.

This course is an introduction to the objectives, principles, sources of guidance, and methods of Unarmed Civilian Protection (UCP). UCP is a set of field-tested methods for the protection of civilians in areas of violent conflict. It does not rely on the use of guns or other weapons, or on the threat of their use. UCP encompasses efforts of communities to self-protect and/or of international organizations working with local partners to build relationships that can be activated to deescalate episodes of conflict and to prevent or interrupt violence. More information about the content of the course is available at the bottom of this page.

The course is led by Dr Ellen Furnari and Ms Jane Wanjiru, and is based on course content developed by our partner organisation Nonviolent Peaceforce.

There are no course fees, and course material will be provided for free.

Dates and Time
The course dates are 26 March – 4 June 2022. The course will require about 8-10 hours per week to read, participate and complete assignments.

Course Structure
Participants complete all activities online through modules that are accessed through the course website. While there are no scheduled meetings for this course, participants are invited to meet the course facilitators and each other during an informal kick-off Zoom meeting on Saturday 26 March. Additional informal meetings are likely to be arranged during the course, but attendance will not be required.

Basic Requirements
The course is conducted in English, and participants should have access to the internet either by computer or by smart phone.

Eligibility
Researchers, Masters/PhD students and relevant practitioners are invited to submit an Expression of Interest to participate in this course. Anyone is welcome to apply, but places are limited. Priority will be given to those candidates who are most likely to benefit from the course, with priority to candidates from the UK and from the Global South. We especially encourage applicants for our research grants to apply.

How to apply
Please submit an Expression of Interest of no more than 100 words to creating-safer-space@aber.ac.uk, with an explanation of your interest in the course and how it would benefit you in your work or studies.

Certificate of Completion
Successful students will receive a certificate upon completion.

COURSE CONTENT

Learning Objectives:

At completion, students will successfully:
• describe the key principles, objectives, and sources of guidance for UCP;
• analyze a conflict and identify vulnerable populations;
• demonstrate an understanding of the methods of UCP and how they can be adapted and applied to a conflict situation; and
• identify key features of an effective UCP implementation plan and exit strategy, with a view toward maximizing the security both of UCP staff and local civilians.

The course consists of five modules:

Each module contains 15 – 30 pages of reading, with some optional additional video and document resources.

A very important part of the course experience is the online discussions about the readings. Each participant is expected to make at least four contributions to the discussions for each module. Each contribution can be either a considered response to one of the discussion topics or a response to a post made by another course participant, but you must do at least one of each type – a response to the discussion topics and a response to a post made by another participant. These comments should be informed by the module reading, and so it is necessary to complete the reading assignment before contributing to the discussions. The course facilitator will moderate the discussions.

Each module also includes one short assessment designed to check comprehension of some key concepts, and one written assignment for practicing the application of the module concepts to example scenarios.

Dr Ellen Furnari and Ms Jane Wanjiru, the course facilitators, will be available via email to assist with any challenges as you work through the course.

The complete list of required work for the course, then, is as follows: