On-Campus Courses

The Academy’s practitioner-oriented courses, held at the USIP headquarters in Washington and elsewhere, prepare professionals for work in and on conflict zones.

Our Fall 2014 schedule is now available! To learn more, download the schedule or scroll down to the featured courses below.

The knowledge and skills imparted in the Academy's courses are based on lessons learned and best practices from around the world. Instructors include people who have firsthand experience in conflict zones. Class sizes are small and participants interact with highly skilled senior practitioners. The courses, which attract participants from a range of backgrounds, impart specific skills through case studies, simulations, and small group exercises.

New Peacekeeping Strategies Following Violent Regime Change

Wed, 12/03/2014 - 09:00
Fri, 12/05/2014 - 17:00

With a focus on current peacekeeping missions by the United Nations and regional organizations, participants will examine approaches for the international community to assist emerging governments in controlling their national borders, policing their cities and protecting their citizens.

In the aftermath of Iraq and Afghanistan, the United States has demonstrated renewed interest in international peacekeeping. Presidential Policy Directive 23 made it a goal of U.S. policy to strengthen collective security arrangements by building the capacity of partner nations to conduct multilateral peacekeeping missions. 

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Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience – Partnership with Eastern Mennonite University

Mon, 07/21/2014 - 09:00
Fri, 07/25/2014 - 17:00

This training is for those whose work brings them in contact with populations dealing with historic or current trauma. Learning happens through presentations, physical activity, creative expression, and interaction with other participants. Bodywork, meditations from different spiritual traditions, and reflection are woven into the experience.

This, Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience level I training is a five-day educational and experiential training, that brings together restorative justice, human security, spirituality and conflict transformation.

STAR Level I training is a course for those whose work brings them in contact with populations dealing with historic or current trauma. Pastors, social workers and counselors are some of the people who have benefited from STAR training.

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Local and National Dialogues: What Makes Them Work?

Mon, 12/08/2014 - 09:00
Fri, 12/12/2014 - 17:00

Understand the theory and practice of facilitated dialogue, learn the fundamentals of designing a dialogue process, and examine lessons learned from both community- and national-level dialogue processes with a focus on conflict contexts where divides rooted in identity differences figure prominently.

Experts: 

Peacebuilding practitioners, development specialists, educators, activists and others working to promote constructive change in conflict-affected countries often face the challenge of working with groups that are experiencing divisions rooted in identity.  

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The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Civil Society Efforts at Internal Dialogue

After 20 years of a stalled peace process in Israel and the Palestinian Territories, many people might say, "Nothing ever changes. Why bother anymore?" However, USIP's experts have identified a number of new initiatives by actors on the ground that give us hope for the future. Come learn about a range of Israeli and Palestinian civil society–based peacebuilders and conflict resolution efforts.

These initiatives include efforts that are both intra-group (for example, religious and secular Jews in Israel; Palestinians from different political camps) and inter-group (for example, Jewish and Arab citizens of Israel; Israelis and Palestinians from the West Bank).

The course will focus on the development and impact assessment of conflict resolution programs in the current Israeli-Palestinian context.

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Mediating Violent Conflict

Mon, 11/17/2014 - 09:00
Fri, 11/21/2014 - 17:00

Take on the roles of mediators and conflict parties in simulations and role-plays, as you learn what it takes to structure a successful mediation effort, as well as what a third party needs to do when deciding to get involved in a peacebuilding effort.

Experts: 

Working in a conflict situation often demands mediation skills, whether you are working at a grassroots level or in state capitals. Mediation is both an art and science, and requires skilled analysis, careful planning, and effective communication. Designed for practitioners working in or on conflict zones, this course will improve participants’ ability to understand the motivations and objectives of the various parties, promote ripeness, develop effective relationships, increase leverage, and strengthen mediation capacity.

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Understanding Islamic Law

Mon, 02/24/2014 - 09:00
Wed, 02/26/2014 - 17:00

Acquire a firm grounding in the principles, concepts, and terminology of Islamic law as well as an introduction to its history and its role in the contemporary era, including Islamic constitutionalism, criminal law, and human rights law.

Experts: 

Though often maligned and misunderstood, Islamic law is one of the longest enduring and most widely subscribed systems of law in the world. This course will give participants a firm grounding in the principles, concepts, and terminology of Islamic law as well as an introduction to its history and its role in the contemporary era.

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Managing Intergroup Conflict through Facilitation

Mon, 10/06/2014 - 09:00
Fri, 10/10/2014 - 17:00

How do you get parties to a conflict to listen to one another? How do you build trust and consensus in a group setting? Managing conflicts often relies on having solid facilitation skills—skills that help parties to a conflict resolve their dispute. This course will provide you with the knowledge and skills to effectively deal with conflicts and build sustainable relationships.

Experts: 

Conflict management practitioners working in conflict zones often engage with groups who are at odds with one another. Many of the strategies these practitioners employ depend heavily on having solid facilitation skills. Conflict management skills training, problem-solving workshops, mediation, intergroup dialogue, and other processes all center around an effective facilitator who is able to guide a group in transforming conflict.

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Winning Together: Multiparty Negotiations

Mon, 05/19/2014 - 09:00
Tue, 05/20/2014 - 17:00

“Winning Together: Multiparty Negotiations” is an intensive training course that builds your persuasive abilities so that you can obtain collaborative outcomes within and across your agency, organization, branch of government or military, as well as internationally.

When are your negotiation skills critical? When you are trying to:

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Transforming Military and Police Forces

This course will be offered again in the Fall of 2014

A comprehensive strategy is critical for reforming the security sector in post-conflict, transitioning and fragile states. Participants will explore field-tested methods for building military and police forces, and the capacity of oversight ministries. They will develop comprehensive assessments and plans through exercises and simulations guided by experts and through interaction with classmates who "own" other critical pieces of the capacity-building effort.

Drawing from lessons learned in Liberia, Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan, the course will cover the basic principles and steps in security sector reform. It will describe the structure and function of defense and interior ministries and the organizing, equipping, and managing of military and police forces. At the end of the course, participants will be able to conduct a security sector assessment, prepare a strategic plan, and develop evaluation metrics.

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Land, Property, and Conflict

Tue, 09/16/2014 - 09:00
Fri, 09/19/2014 - 17:00

Disputes and grievances over land and property are implicated in practically all conflicts. This course provides policymakers and practitioners with analytical tools for assessing and addressing an array of complex land and property disputes, from competing ownership claims and restitution to customary land rights and illegal urban settlements. Drawing on case studies of peace operations and peacebuilding efforts, participants explore the range of entry points (humanitarian, human rights, state building, development, etc.) and options for dispute resolution and structural reform.

Drawing on case studies of peace operations and peacebuilding efforts, participants explore the range of entry points (humanitarian, human rights, state building, development, etc.) and options for dispute resolution and structural reform. Participants will learn to understand the overarching principles of engagement, assess the desirability of intervention options, and apply lessons learned from several case studies, including Bosnia, Rwanda, Iraq, Sudan, Afghanistan, and Colombia.

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Courses

Peter van der Auweraert, Deborah H. Isser, John Bruce
Tuesday, September 16, 2014 - 9:00am
Friday, September 19, 2014 - 5:00pm

Disputes and grievances over land and property are implicated in practically all conflicts. This course provides policymakers and practitioners with analytical tools for assessing and addressing an array of complex land and property disputes, from competing ownership claims and restitution to customary land rights and illegal urban settlements. Drawing on case studies of peace operations and peacebuilding efforts, participants explore the range of entry points (humanitarian, human rights, state building, development, etc.) and options for dispute resolution and structural reform.

Alison Milofsky
Monday, October 6, 2014 - 9:00am
Friday, October 10, 2014 - 5:00pm

How do you get parties to a conflict to listen to one another? How do you build trust and consensus in a group setting? Managing conflicts often relies on having solid facilitation skills—skills that help parties to a conflict resolve their dispute. This course will provide you with the knowledge and skills to effectively deal with conflicts and build sustainable relationships.

Pamela Aall
Monday, November 17, 2014 - 9:00am
Friday, November 21, 2014 - 5:00pm

Take on the roles of mediators and conflict parties in simulations and role-plays, as you learn what it takes to structure a successful mediation effort, as well as what a third party needs to do when deciding to get involved in a peacebuilding effort.

Kathleen Kuehnast
Tuesday, December 2, 2014 - 9:00am
Friday, December 5, 2014 - 5:00pm

Men and women experience war differently, so it is essential to understand the dynamic impact of gender roles in conflict and post-conflict settings. Participants will practice applying a “gender lens” to peace processes and conflict prevention scenarios. Using a practical example of gender analysis and the inclusion of gender in peacebuilding, participants will apply a core set of gender analysis skills to a real-world scenario and develop their own action plans.