Effective Advising: Building Capacity Sustainably in SSG/R Contexts

Monday 11 May 2020 Session

11 May - 15 May 2020

Important note: Due to the global health situation, this course will be run remotely in the form of an interactive online training.


The many SSR/G missions under way around the world employ advisors to build the capacity of security institutions to contribute to good governance. States contribute to these capacity building efforts bilaterally or multilaterally through the missions of the United Nations, the European Union and others. Advising is the activity of sharing expertise in a given issue area with a host country counterpart to contribute to the strengthening of institutional processes. SSR/G advisors are recruited from the police, defense, border and other security and justice institutions in donor countries. These practitioners have significant and valuable technical expertise to share with host country institutions counterparts. However, without the opportunity to reflect on how to approach capacity building, advisors often feel ill-prepared. While there are key good practices in all areas of institutional reform, good practices of capacity building dictate that providing assistance to security institutions will need to promote local ownership, identify viable solutions for capacity gaps and be mindful of culture and absorbative capacity. Advising is less about the exporting of existing system which are built around a country’s history and culture as well as its resources, human and capital. It is more about navigating the willingness and capacity for change to take place and deciding how to strengthen institutional processes and practices so that they will be accepted, utilized, maintained and that they will be sustainable – last much beyond the advisor’s presence. In order for those practices to be espoused systematically in advising activities and yield desired results of stronger security institutions, advisors need to be given the tools through training.

Proposed training

There are advisors in missions all over the world which were deployed without training on effective advising practices being available to them. This course offers the tools that should be integrated in the implementation of advising activities. The course content includes established good practices, evidence-based approaches and several tools developed specifically for advising effectively in complex contexts. The course is designed as an interactive experience which will allow participants to share their own successes, challenges and to reflect on the integration of additional tools which can maximize their impact in the future. This course is offered online in a 3-hour session over 5 consecutive days. A face-to-face component is planned six months afterwards to give participants the time to integrate the learning and practice the advising tools in a scenario-based exercise.

How to apply

Applications to the course should be completed by sending an e-mail to ISSAT at training@issat.dcaf.ch including:

  • an up-to-date CV
  • a short motivational cover letter

The deadline for ISSAT applications to the course is Friday, 17 April 2020Confirmation of an allocated place will be made by Thursday, 23 April 2020.  

11 May - 15 May 2020 (5 days)