14 – 25 October 2013, Harare, Zimbabwe – UNITAR, in partnership with the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Regional Peacekeeping Training Centre, is delivering a two-week advanced training course on Training of Trainers. This course is part of a three phased training series – the first of which was delivered in September and the third of which follows at the end of October.

The training course is developed by the UNITAR Peacekeeping Training Programme and 4Change (http://www.4change.eu/), and delivered within the premises of the SADC RPTC in Harare (Zimbabwe). The course is part of the “Enhancing the Capacity of African Peacekeeping Training Institutions” initiative, which aims at enhancing the capacity on African training institutions, by providing their trainers with the knowledge and skills to implement high-quality training programmes in the field of peacekeeping and peacebuilding.

The scope of the SADC Regional Peacekeeping Training Centre covers 15 member states. This training of trainers course brought together participants from DRC, Lesotho, Mauritius, Namibia, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe. According to the Commandant of the SADC RPTC, this initiative is needed for three major reasons. The need to increase the number of qualified local course facilitators is one of them. Secondly, he stated that the impact of the trainings currently undertaken by the Centre is still to be improved by increasing the numbers of trainees. Last but not least, the yearly SADC training coordination workshop brought to light that there is a substantial number of SADC member states lack the capacity to undertake specialized training.

The training of trainers approach builds on the idea to give individuals the skills and knowledge to implement adult training programmes on a given topic. It incorporates the main ideas of adult education, with its interactivity and learner centred approach, and melds it with the knowledge to be learned so that those undertaking the programme increase their personal training techniques and acquire activities and understanding to further train others on that topic.

This training course thus is not a one-time learning opportunity, but is part of the greater strategic vision to enhance the capacity of African training institutions in the area of peacekeeping and peacebuilding. During the three-phased approach, the institutes become increasingly empowered to deliver trainings independently. This approach has also been welcomed and encouraged by the Special Committee on Peacekeeping Operations (C34).