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Community of Practice

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The need

Why a community of practice?

All current approaches for the protection of civilians and community safety—whether armed or unarmed—added together do not come close to meeting present needs. The world needs effective, affordable, and replicable approaches for protecting civilians and supporting community self-protection: Unarmed Civilian Protection (UCP) is such an approach. By bringing together a global community of practitioners, partners, researchers, and allies, we can make UCP and like-minded approaches more widely available and accessible for the benefit of all those whose reality continues to be dominated by violent conflict.

refugee (clipart)
forcibly displaced people worldwide
world/thermometer (clipart)
(3.3 - 3.6B) people live in contexts that are highly vulnerable to climate change‎
(IPCC ar6 report 2)
fists conflict (clipart)
consecutive years the average level of global peacefulness has deteriorated (2023 Global Peace Index)

UCP/A Community of Practice

"UCP/A Community" logo: green oval with hands as the tree trunk

People have been employing unarmed civilian protection methods as common practice to protect themselves and others throughout history. In recent years, these methods have been brought together in an organized, applied approach known as Unarmed Civilian Protection or Accompaniment. UCP/A organizations have demonstrated that well-trained civilians working closely with communities can prevent and interrupt violence in a wide variety of situations. 

The UCP/A Community of Practice brings together such organizations and individuals dedicated to creating effective, community-centered, nonviolent ways for civilian protection. It is a dynamic network guided by the principles of nonviolence, direct protection, primacy of local actors, and anti-oppression. The UCP/A Community of Practice offers avenues for collaboration and shared advocacy, credible evidence and exemplary models of UCP/A and UCP/A-inspired action. 

UCP/A Community of Practice Common Statement:
English | Spanish | French

Good Practices Gatherings

In order to collect and document UCP Good Practices, NP convenes practitioners, field partners, project participants, policymakers, and researchers to discuss and validate UCP good practices that can be scaled up and replicated to improve upon existing practice and share with others interested in practicing UCP. From 6 Regional Workshops, and 2 International Gatherings, hundreds of practitioners, partners, and researchers from 160 organizations across 45 countries have collectively identified our shared good practices.

Key Learnings

Reflections from the Unarmed Civilian Protection/Accompaniment (UCP/A) Virtual Gathering in November 2021 and the six regional UCP/A Good Practices Workshops that preceded it:
English | Spanish | French | Arabic

"Good Practices in Unarmed Civilian Protection" (Paige McLain, Chris Grathwol, and Will Goltra; Nonviolent Peaceforce and the University of Minnesota Human Rights Lab), February 2021:

International Gatherings (2021 - 2023)

2023 | UCP/A International Gathering 

Participants from all over the world contributed to an inspiring experience designed to support the work of delivering unarmed civilian protection/accompaniment (UCP/A) and expand the UCP/A Community of practice.​ From 8-12 October, 84 attendeespractitioners, community and NGO partners, researchers and academicsgathered in the Geneva area. Together, 37 organizations were represented by attendees from 31 countries and 6 continents.

UCP/A International Gathering Final Report​
English | Spanish | French

2021 | International Virtual Gathering 

The virtual international gathering was held November 12-14 and 19-21 of 202

Regional Gatherings (2017 - 2021)

The research underpinning the Good Practices Workshops consists of case studies conducted in four areas of the world where UCP is practised: South Sudan, Colombia, the Philippines (Mindanao) and Israel/Palestine. The researchers reviewed the work of more than twenty local and international organizations and identified and described 77 UCP good practices. Their findings were published in Wielding Nonviolence in the Midst of Violence (purchase the book heresee the summary pdf here).

From 2017 - 2021, six facilitated consultation groups convened on a regional basis and made up of UCP practitioners, field partners, beneficiaries, and academics for three-day sessions to review their work, analyze findings from Wielding Nonviolence in the Midst of Violence and validate good practices and emerging themes as well as identify dilemmas or challenges raised but not answered by the cases. 

Summary of all Good Practices Workshops: EnglishFrenchSpanishArabic 

Reports from each Good Practices Workshop by region:

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Join the UCP/A Community of Practice

UCP/A Community of Practice is committed to preventing and confronting violence against civilians. Join today by subscribing to the Global ListServ, which includes UCP/A practitioners, researchers, policymakers, and funders interested in supporting and promoting the field of practice. 

Subscribe to the Global Listserv and unlock:

  • Weekly updates packed with UCP/A resources, key announcements, and training opportunities
  • Exclusive invitations to online meetings and consultations
  • The UCP/A Quarterly Newsletter

By subscribing, you will:

  • Stay in the loop about Community events
  • Dive into and engage with training courses
  • Forge alliances and partnerships for new projects and initiatives
  • Co-create impactful documents to spotlight good practices and boost reputation and visibility

The Global ListServ

A Global Listserv for UCP/A organizations from around the world.

 Questions? Check out the FAQs on the form below, or contact Kristina Preiksaityte ([email protected])

Sign Up
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Ready to do more? Join a Working Group

Expand and enhance the Community of Practice through working groups: Internal Communications, Organizational Exchanges, Trainings.

 To join, contact Kristina Preiksaityte ([email protected])

Learn more

Public Resources

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UCP Research Database

Visit this user-friendly way of finding the latest research on unarmed civilian protection, community self-protection and related topics.

Through Creating Safer Space.

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UCP Website

Check out the newly launched UCP/A Community of Practice website dedicated to providing resources, sharing good practices, and supporting next steps for the Community of Practice.



UCP on ConnexUs

Join the conversation and access resources at ConnexUs.

Crowdsourced via ConnexUs.