In the last decade, preventing conflict and sustaining peace have become increasingly complex. National armies and armed opposition groups are no longer the sole perpetrators of armed violence. Violence is being perpetrated more and more by a range of hybrid actors, such as non-state armed groups, criminal organizations, and illicit trafficking networks. Understanding these emerging dynamics presents novel analytical challenges. 

Developed in collaboration with the Changing Character of War Centre at Oxford University, this 3.5-day programme explores the political context driving the genesis of armed violence and the forces shaping group cohesion, resource strategies, internal structures and levels of violence. By focusing on multidisciplinary investigative approaches, this programme will strengthen your capacity to understand the nature of contemporary conflicts and analyse the evolution, composition, motives and interests of non-state armed groups.



Upon successful completion of this programme, you will be able to:

  • Apply different tools and approaches drawn from numerous disciplines to analyse the evolution, composition, motives and interests of non-state armed groups
  • Benefit from and share good practices and lessons learned from within the UN and from academic research on non-state armed groups

Course Methodology

Course Methodology: 

This programme offers the opportunity to engage in a dynamic learning experience by combining learner-centred design principles, carefully chosen case studies and real-life examples with stimulating presentations, interactive discussions and small-group exercises.

Course Contents

Course Contents: 

In this programme, you will look at contemporary armed violence through a multidisciplinary lens and discuss different ways to analyse, interact and possibly engage with non-state armed groups.

  • Day 1 focuses on the changing global context and provides the theoretical foundations to understand the genesis and evolution of non-state armed groups.
  • Day 2 and Day 3 introduces different a range of tools and approaches drawn from political economy analysis, anthropology and psychology amongst others to look at recruitment strategies, rebel governance, economic incentives as well as group formation and cohesion.
  • Day 4 applies a systemic approach to bring together the different analytical angles and produce a more nuanced analysis.

Target Audience

Target Audience: 

UN staff as well as practitioners and representatives from governments, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, civil society and academia. It is geared to those who are either deployed in duty stations that are affected by the presence of non-state armed groups or whose job description involves the analysis, interaction, and possible engagement with non-state armed groups.

Cost of participation

Cost of participation: 

The programme fee amounts to $2,000. The fee includes all training and learning materials as well as coffee breaks. Participants – or their sponsoring organizations – are responsible for covering all travel and accommodation expenses related to their attendance to the programme.

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