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This course is provided by World Bank through Coursera for FREE. 

Duration: 4 weeks, To be announced in 2015 

Course Objective

This course is based on the World Bank’s flagship report, the World Development Report 2014, Risk and Opportunity: Managing Risk for Development. In this course you can learn how risk management can be used to unlock development opportunities, and handle risks proactively. 


The course synthesizes, in an easily accessible and interactive way, the Report’s main messages and policy recommendations, along with additional up-to-date research and experience related to risk management in the developing world. It will guide you, through expert videos, a game, and several animations, to identify critical gaps in risk management and to move from being a “crisis fighter” to becoming a proactive and systematic risk manager.

This course is provided by UN System Staff College (UNSSC) for a FEE. 

Duration: 4th Quarter of 2015  

Course Objective

For more than 25 years, and notably since Amartya Sen's publication "Development as Freedom", the UN system has recognized the need to reflect on the linkages between economic opportunities, political freedoms, social facilities, transparency guarantees and protective security.  Technical solutions, however ably formulated, are not enough: political processes, informal institutions and power relations play a vital role in the success or failure of development interventions. And, development is about much more than what government can or cannot do, or should or should not do.

Successful development assistance requires a deep understanding of the social, economic, political and cultural context in which the UN operates. Explicit attention to the political economy in which we operate and the consistent application of risk management tools provide an important means towards the understanding that "…individuals live and operate in a world of institutions, and that our opportunities and prospects depend crucially on what institutions exist and how they function" (Sen).

Different UN agencies have developed and applied different tools and approaches to political economy, and have done so with varying rates of success. What can the UN system learn from existing approaches, how can we bring more consistency and coherence in the way we work as 'One', and what does that mean for our development effectiveness?

A strong political economy analysis and risk management approach to UN programming will contribute to enhancing the strategic nature of the UN's work, and strengthen the UN's engagement with different actors and sectors by providing frameworks for understanding the various incentives and constraints at the country, sector and project level. A solid political economy analysis will serve as an important tool for risk management, and will strengthen the development effectiveness of the UN by focusing on 'informed choice' and the possibilities for positive change.

The course strengthens staff skills to support more effective and politically feasible development strategies, ensure more realistic expectations of what can be achieved, and help outline the risks involved.

This course is provided by UN System Staff College (UNSSC) for a FEE. 

Duration: 25-28 August 2015

Course Objective

The UN System Staff College, in close collaboration with OHCHR and other UN Agencies, offers its services to UN Country Teams with a view to build capacity to integrate human rights into all policy and programming processes. UNSSC led the update of the UN HRBA Common Learning Package in 2011 which ensured the inclusion of results-based management (RBM) elements and programmatically relevant information on the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) process. The Staff College has conducted several train-the-trainer workshops on the UN HRBA Common Learning Package, through which a critical mass of resource persons from various UN Agencies was built into a roster. UNSSC regularly delivers in-country, regional and global level training on the Human Rights-based Approach to Development Programming.

This course is provided by UN System Staff College (UNSSC) for a FEE. 

Duration: 08 November to 11 December 2015 

Course Objective

This online tutored course aims at building practical conflict analysis skills for professionals and other project staff working in contexts of deteriorating human security, armed conflict and political crisis, as well as humanitarian action and sustainable development. A professional tutor will guide and support participants throughout a practical learning experience culminating in the drafting of an actual conflict analysis report.

This course is provided by UN System Staff College (UNSSC) for a FEE. 

Duration: 12-16 October 2015

Course Objective

This Turin-based SSAFE Training of Trainers programme certifies security personnel to conduct SSAFE. It aims at assuring the quality and effectiveness of the standard safety and security training curriculum jointly developed by UNSSC and UNDSS. It enables the different UN Departments, Agencies, Funds and Programmes and Affiliated Organizations to build the necessary human resources capable to train their own staff in the SSAFE standard curriculum. A field day where realistic scenarios and simulations are conducted in cooperation with the Taurinense Alpini Brigade (Italian Army) completes the ToT programme.

This course is provided by UN System Staff College (UNSSC) for a FEE. 

Duration: 01-30 September 2015

Course Objective

In 2014 the UNSSC launched the UN-wide learning initiative called "Understanding and Analyzing Non-State Armed Groups in the Field". The purpose of this initiative is to document and strengthen UN staff skills on this topic. A pilot training is under development in partnership with a UN working group featuring the following UN entities: EOSG, DPA, DPKO, OCHA, UNDP, UNICEF, UNODC and UNU.

This course is provided by the UN System Staff College (UNSSC) for a FEE. 

Duration: 4 days, next schedule to be announced in 2015. 

Course Objective

This is a UN inter-agency training which provides practical skills to use conflict analysis in order to advance conflict-sensitive programming, improve strategic planning, and design UN responses in contexts of deteriorating human security, armed conflict, political crisis and other threats to peace.

The target group of this training opportunity are UN staff working on humanitarian support, development programming, political crises and other complex emergencies.

The course is one of the most established offerings of the UNSSC. It has been constantly adapted and updated over the past  years to address emerging challenges and to reflect the evolution of UN policy and practice on conflict analysis, conflict prevention and peacebuilding. The training has been delivered regularly in Turin and New York as well as in field locations such as Afghanistan, Guinea, Kenya, Iraq, Mexico, Nepal, Somalia, and Uganda.

The learning objectives of the New York course are:

  • to practice conflict analysis tools on real cases and fictional scenarios;
  • to provide a broad conceptual understanding of conflict prevention and peacebuilding;
  • to use conflict analysis to articulate and prioritize preventive and/or peacebuilding measures;
  • to expose participants to an overview of major UN institutions and mechanisms working on conflict prevention and peacebuilding.

This course is provided by UN System Staff College (UNSSC) for a FEE. 

Duration: 9 to 13 March 2015 

Course Objective

This Turin-based SSAFE Training of Trainers programme certifies security personnel to conduct SSAFE. It aims at assuring the quality and effectiveness of the standard safety and security training curriculum jointly developed by UNSSC and UNDSS. It enables the different UN Departments, Agencies, Funds and Programmes and Affiliated Organizations to build the necessary human resources capable to train their own staff in the SSAFE standard curriculum. A field day where realistic scenarios and simulations are conducted in cooperation with the Taurinense Alpini Brigade (Italian Army) completes the ToT programme.

This online course is provided by UNITAR for a FEE. 

Duration: This course is offered in Spring and Fall semesters. Please check UNITAR's website for more information. 

Course Description

The International Master's Degree in Conflictology presents empirical knowledge and insight on conflict resolution, transformation, mediation and management, for conflicts of all importance, be they interpersonal or global. Practitioners and academics from prestigious universities, the United Nations and peace research institutes guide participants through the virtual learning environment, enabling them to learn about the peaceful resolution of conflicts and prepare for professional practice. This programme trains participants in all applications of conflictology and facilitates the development of professional projects by giving participants access to the largest network of people working to promote peace.

This online course is provided by UNITAR for FREE. 

Duration: 29 May - 19 Dec 2014

Course Objective

Over 20% of the world’s population currently lives in conflict affected areas and fragile states. In many of these places, natural resources and their governance play a key negative role in both the conflict and the fragility. In fact, since 1990 at least 18 violent conflicts have been fuelled by the exploitation of natural resources. At the same time, good governance of natural resources can provide a solid platform for post-conflict reconstruction and peacebuilding. Addressing conflicts where natural resources play an important role has also been one of the difficult challenges faced by the UN peacekeeping operations and the UN Security Council. Since 1948, a quarter of all peacekeeping operations, representing half of the total peacekeeping budget, have been deployed to address conflicts with clear links to natural resources. While UN’s response to these conflicts has improved over the decades, the 2012 UNEP report Greening the Blue Helmets: Environment, Natural Resources and UN Peacekeeping Operations identified a number of opportunities for improved implementation of peacekeeping mandates and the ways in which peacekeepers can capitalize on the peacebuilding potential of natural resources. The findings of this report form the basis of this training module.

This course is provided by UNITAR for a FEE.

Duration: 6 weeks, 25 March to 05 May 2015

Course Objective

At the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Identify potential and existing conflict causes as well as possible factors contributing to peace;
  • Map out the actors that are engaged in or affected by conflict;
  • Trace conflict dynamics;
  • Analyze the interaction between the specific context and current/future interventions.

This online course is provided by UNITAR for FREE. 

Duration: 03 Feb - 19 Dec 2014

Course Objective

UNITAR Peacekeeping Training Programme, in partnership with the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, offers a short course on the History of UN Peacekeeping. This course can be taken in conjunction with the UNITAR Peacekeeping Training Programme course Introduction to Peace Operations for credit in the International Master Degree in Conflictology at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya. This course offers an overview of the history of UN peacekeeping from the founding of the United Nations in 1945 up to present day and presents current trends in peacekeeping that may shape the future. - See more at: http://www.unitar.org/event/milestones-un-peacekeeping-ptp201405e#sthash.llALTqOT.dpuf

This online course provided by University of Minnesota through Coursera for FREE. 

Duration: February 2 to March 30, 2015

Course Objective

Children around the world experience severe adversity in different forms, including maltreatment, disaster, war, and terrorism. Some children manage to adapt and recover, showing resilience, while others do not. What do we know about resilience and how to protect child development in the face of potentially life-altering adversities? This course will examine the global literature on resilience in children and youth, with a focus on core concepts, methods scholars use to study resilience, highlights of lessons learned from half a century of research, and applications to promote resilience in children whose lives are threatened by extreme adversity.

Course materials will examine multimedia biographies as well as research studies on the effects of common and rare traumatic experiences on child development. Both classic and contemporary studies of risk and resilience in children facing the following kinds of adversities will be included

  • natural disasters (eg, tsunami, hurricane, earthquake) 
  • political violence and war (eg, child soldiers, refugees) 
  • terror attacks (eg, 9/11, Beslan school) 
  • compound mass-trauma events (eg, 2011 earthquake - tsunami - nuclear plant meltdown) 
  • child maltreatment 
  • severe poverty or privation 

The course also will highlight new frontiers of research on the neurobiology of resilience, cultural protective processes, and preventive interventions to promote the capacity for resilience in young people.

The course has been designed for relevance to students and professionals from multiple disciplines, diverse backgrounds, and different regions of the globe. Participants completing the course will gain a basic understanding of concepts and methods of research on resilience in children and youth, major findings from the first half-century of science on this topic, and a broad framework for applications of this growing knowledge to improve the lives of children threatened by hazardous circumstances. 

This online course is provided by the UN System Staff College (UNSSC) for a FEE.

Duration: 4 weeks, 6 October to 11 November 2014

Course Objective

Content and learning objectives

The course is developed in the form of eight self-paced modules to be completed sequentially. Please click here to open the syllabus of the eight modules. The learning objectives of the course are:

  • Analysing the different possible forms of decentralized governance (deconcentration, delegation, devolution) and their implications with regard to the organisation of the State at the sub-national level;
  • Identifying the key elements that can improve the effectiveness of a decentralization process for peacebuilding;
  • Examining the relationship between decentralization and peacebuilding, and how and when effective decentralized governance can prevent or mitigate the risk of violent conflicts, and or contribute to their peaceful resolution.

Course delivery method

This course is delivered entirely online. It combines self-paced components with bilateral asynchronous tutoring through the discussion forum and a live tutoring session via phone or Skype. Participants are primarily responsible for their own learning. The format does not allow for live interaction among participants, except from discussions in the online forum. Each participant, after having completed at least the first six modules, will have the chance to have a tutoring session (about 45 minutes)  with  Prof. Andrew Nickson (by phone or through Skype)  in order to further discuss some topics of the course, the input they shared through the "Knowledge Sharing Corners" or ask for clarifications. Prof. Andrew Nickson will also reply to participants’ questions through the online forum for discussion. No special software is required and participants will only need an internet connection (recommended browsers:  Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer 9) and headset with microphone (if they decide to have the tutoring session through Skype).

Average workload: 15-20 hours (this estimate is based on an average of past courses with a similar format)

This course is provided by UN System Staff College (UNSSC) for a FEE. 

Duration: 4 weeks, 27 October to 28 November 2014

Course Objective

The goal of this online tutored course is to build practical conflict analysis skills for professionals working in contexts of deteriorating human security, armed conflict, political crisis and other threats to peace. This individual self-paced course is delivered in English and is developed around a blended formula whereby participants are required to advance and complete different topics and sessions. This course complements existing UNSSC initiatives on conflict analysis, conflict prevention, peacebuilding and strategic planning in post-crisis scenarios. This online course provides basic technical and analytical skills and is a learning activity that complements but does not replace the face-to-face course held in Turin (“Applied Conflict Analysis for Prevention and Peacebuilding course”).

This course is provided by UN System Staff College (UNSSC) for a FEE.

Duration: 5 days, 13-17 October 2014

Course Objective

The objective of the SSAFE programme is twofold. On the one hand, assuring the quality and effectiveness of the standard safety and security training curriculum jointly developed by UNSSC and UNDSS and, on the other hand, enabling the different UN Agencies, Funds and Programmes and Affiliated Organizations to build the necessary human resources capable to train their own staff in the SSAFE curriculum. 

During the Training of Trainers course, participants will be exposed to theoretical lessons, demonstrations, group-work and presentation tasks enabling them to successfully customize and effectively deliver the SSAFE training programme in their respective duty stations. In addition, the course agenda includes one field day in a military training area, which lies at the foot of the Italian Alps, where realistic scenarios and simulations will be conducted in cooperation with the Taurinense Alpini Brigade (Italian Army). 

This Training of Trainers course is a standard residential course taking place in Turin. The course fee is USD 2,500, including full board & lodging for 6 days, training and facilitation services as well as course materials. Participants are responsible for their own travel and transfers. Participants will receive a certificate of attendance from the United Nations System Staff College and the United Nations Department of Safety and Security.

This course is offered by the UN System Staff College (UNSSC) for a FEE.

Duration: TBA, 2015

Course Objective

The course on “Decentralized Governance and Peacebuilding” will enhance participant skills in:

  • Classifying the different possible forms of decentralized governance (deconcentration, delegation, decentralization, devolution) and their implications with regard to the organisation of the State at the sub-national level;
  • Analysing the core aspects of decentralized governance: political, fiscal, social, economic, rule of law and security;
  • Identifying the key elements that can improve the effectiveness of a decentralization process;
  • Assessing the complexity of decentralization processes in volatile and post-conflict situations.
  • Examining the relationship between decentralization and peacebuilding, and how and when effective decentralized governance can prevent or mitigate the risk of violent conflicts, and or contribute to their peaceful resolution.

This course is provided by the UN System Staff College (UNSSC) for a FEE.

Duration: TBA, 2015

Course Objective

The course is built on a range of readings and self-study exercises as well as some interactive spaces with other participants on the course, as well as exchanges with a tutor, if desired. A final assignment will need to be completed to obtain a certificate. Key to your learning on this course is your own experience in the field – either as a human rights advocate, or conflict transformation practitioner or as a technical specialist or indeed as a generalist with some interest in one or more of the above fields.

Whether you work in a post-conflict or post-crisis context, or in complex political circumstances, whether your work focuses on humanitarian assistance, technical development issues or specifically   on the protection of human rights, or on facilitating dialogue in conflict and post-conflict situations, we hope you will benefit from the course and the exploration of working on the nexus where human rights and conflict meet.

This online course is provided by Georgetown University through eDx for FREE. 

Duration: 8 weeks, starts on 01 October 2014

Course Objective

Terrorism has gone from a persistent yet marginal security concern to one of the most important security problems of our day: indeed, there are few countries that do not suffer from some form of terrorism. Though many terrorist attempts fail, some groups wage lengthy and bloody campaigns and, in exceptional cases, kill hundreds or even thousands in pursuit of their ends.

Course topics include the nuances involved in defining terrorism, the nature of Al Qaeda, Hamas, and other important groups, the effectiveness of different counterterrorism tools like detention and military force, linkages (or the lack thereof) between terrorism and world religions like Islam, terrorist recruiting, counterterrorism and the rule of law, the political context in South Asia and the Middle East, and emerging issues like cyber-terrorism.

This online course is provided by UNITAR for a FEE. 

Duration: 5 weeks, 16 March to 17 April 2015

Course Objective

At the end of the course, the participants should be able to:

  • Recognize the incidence of a conflict;
  • Appraise the degree of a conflict;
  • Prescribe a resolution necessary in a given dispute; and
  • Apply the proper procedure and tool for a dispute resolution
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