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UCP Courses Around the World

UCP Courses

NP Partnerships

Center for Peace Advocacy and Sustainable Development (CEPASD)

This project consisted of a three-day residential and participatory training, held in Abuja, Nigeria for 42 Young Leaders to prevent violence eruptions in the upcoming Nigerian presidential elections in February 2023. Participants, aged between 18 and 32 (equal participation of men and women) were selected by CEPASD’s local organization. The training was led by an experienced UCP trainer, Parfaite Ntahuba from Burundi, and assisted by local mentors from CEPASD, who has been trained in UCP by NP via online training. The training offered accelerated training in Unarmed Civilian Protection (UCP) with a focus on the use of UCP in violence prevention in the context of elections.


❉ Rotary & the National Parks Service of Nigeria                  

This project consisted of ten-week online training on Unarmed Civilian Protection, organized between March and August 2022. This course was developed by NP and funded by Rotary Clubs of White Bear lake, Lakeville, Minneapolis and District 9125 and was conducted in partnership with the National Parks Service of Nigeria. This training was developed in response to the escalation of conflicts and clashes between nomadic cattle herders, local farmers, and the National Park Service of Kamuku and Kainji Lake National Parks. This conflict, over land occupation and killing off of protected fauna and flora, has led to increased kidnapping for ransom, attacks on villages, and common banditry and have added to the instability in the region. Throughout this training, 42 participants—women and men, park rangers, Rotarians, and community members—were accompanied by a mixed team of trainers and local mentors to be trained on Unarmed Civilian Protection methodology and supported by a UCP coach to develop their own locally-led UCP projects.

❉ African Union (AU) & United Nations (UN)                             

In support of the AU's Silencing the Guns initiative, Nonviolent Peaceforce is partnering with the UN to strengthen the skills of African youth leaders in unarmed civilian protection. Nonviolent Peaceforce offers online training in unarmed civilian protection (UCP) to youth peacebuilders from selected countries on the continent and provide follow-up mentoring and advisory services. See more below.


❉ Quaker Peace Network (QPN) Burundi 

Ahead of the May 2020 elections in Burundi, the Quaker Peace Network organized a group of "peace messengers" who were trained to identify early indicators of violence and how to intervene with various UCP methods. One example of success: one of the participants successfully intervened and prevented violence when two members of the ruling party started to beat a person from the opposition in the days leading up to the election. Another participant shared: "My name is Thediane. This training has taught me to transform conflict during these coming elections campaign. Another thing, I have understood that sharing information is very important to promote peace in our different communities." The course was used to train twenty-five leaders, who in turn trained a total of 103 people in five targeted areas.

In November 2022, NP staff and QPN held a 6-day training for 20 Burundi participants (11 women, 9 men) who were interested in expanding their expertise in UCP and committed to sharing UCP practices within their local communities. But before returning to their communities, they were challenged to explain UCP to a group of 90 university students! This exercise turned out to be very useful for both groups— the training participants were able to practice explaining UCP and received valuable feedback about how to improve their skills. Meanwhile, 80% of the university students reported that they plan on sharing the content of the training with colleagues and neighbors! More details on the the training can be found in the full narrative report.


❉ Institut Catholique de Paris & Comité ICP

Since 2019, NP has collaborated with the Institut Catholique de Paris to offer a course in Unarmed Civilian Protection for students and peace professionals alike. Participants acquire key notions and knowledge of UCP. The course, offered in French, aims to equip the next generation of peace leaders with the practical and theoretical knowledge to build lasting peace.  

The Institut Catholique de Paris shares: "In keeping with [our] approach to integral ecology, the course questions our relationship to the Other, to those who are different. It aims to recognize the whole person and our shared humanity as we build coherence and empathy. The course takes a multidisciplinary approach to solidarity, drawing links between economic, legal, sociological and political approaches and aims to move away from emergency management, withdrawal and inhospitality and towards peaceful alternatives." 


❉ Merrimack College

From Spring 2017 to Fall 2019, Nonviolent Peaceforce promoted the UCP course through Merrimack College (in partnership with UNITAR 2017, 2018). At the completion of the course, university students were able to master: the foundations of nonviolence and peacekeeping, how to analyze and map a conflict, and the various unarmed methodologies and where and how to apply them. Successful participants either earned four university credits through Merrimack College, or a certificate of completion of the course from Merrimack College. Approximately 120 students total completed the course through Merrimack College.


❉ United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)

From conception in 2010 to the joint manual/ course launch in 2017, NP and UNITAR co-designed the online course on Strengthening Civilian Capacities to Protect Civilians. The course was intended to contribute to national, regional and international efforts directed at protecting civilians and sustaining peace. The overall goal of the course is to provide an introduction to the foundations of UCP (its principles, methods, and required skills) as well as to offer an overview of UCP in practice.

The course, offered multiple times throughout 2017-2019 via the UNITAR training site, were aimed at serving leadership and staff of aid organizations working in conflict situations and interested in strengthening their capacities to protect the people they serve as well as their own staff; individuals and groups of people who are interested to take part in UCP activities in the field; and civilian, military and police personnel working in conflict and post-conflict environments (as part of a UN or non-UN operation) interested in gaining an appreciation of UCP principles, methods and required skills.

ucp courses

Examples from Others

❉ Creating Safer Space

Creating Safer Space is a global interdisciplinary research network hosted by Aberystwyth University. In April/May 2021, Creating Safer Space hosted a UCP training course.Twenty-seven participants from Africa (Kenya) and Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand) signed up for the course. In March - June 2022, The research network plans to host future courses. Find out more here. NP is working with the network to promote their trainings, develop new materials together, and contribute to their research initiatives.

❉ Selkirk College

The Unarmed Civilian Peacekeeping Program launched on January 16, 2016. From Randy Janzen, instructor of peace studies at Selkirk, chair of the Mir Centre for Peace, and one of the program's instructors: “The program is to train people who have an interest working anywhere in the world ... to become skilled to reduce violence in volatile situations. We usually think of peacekeepers as a military operation, and many of those have been very successful, but this is a civilian or non-military intervention, and ... some researchers show that in fact this is just as effective, and it's way cheaper, and it's actually safer than military peacekeeping.”

❉ Georgetown University 

The course manual has been used in courses as a part of the Georgetown University Program on Justice and Peace. This program is a transdisciplinary, cross-cultural community of students, faculty, staff, and community partners who share a commitment to the academic study and lived pursuits of peace and social justice.