Training Course on Humanitarian Assistance in West Africa

The West African region is confronted with an increasing number of inter-connected and transnational challenges, which constitute obstacles to integration and development. More than 130 million people in the region live in extreme poverty, a population that is particularly vulnerable to food insecurity, recurrent natural disasters, climate change, economic crisis and socio-political instability. The effects and humanitarian consequences of natural and human-made disasters are diverse and include population movements, destruction of property and key socio-economic infrastructure, epidemics, food insecurity and malnutrition, and a further weakening of state capacities to manage these challenges.

Scheduled Course

Humanitarian Assistance in West Africa: 7 – 18 October 2019
Application Deadline: 10 August 2019
Download: Call for Applications: Training Course on Humanitarian Assistance in West Africa
Download: Appel candidatures: Cours de formation sur l'assistance humanitaire en Afrique de l'Ouest

The ECOWAS Commission has adopted the ECOWAS Humanitarian Policy 2012-2017 and member states are currently working on the implementation of the respective Plan of Action. This particular course contributes to several strategic objectives of the Plan of Action of the ECOWAS Humanitarian Policy 2012-2017 through building capacities, increasing awareness and knowledge, and meeting training needs in support of effective humanitarian assistance.

In light of humanitarian crisis and disaster, civilian non-governmental and governmental organisations, the police, and the military often finds themselves working side by side. Thereby, it is often the military, as a last resort, which has the necessary resources to provide immediate relief on a large scale. However, civil-military collaboration often lacks mechanisms for effective cooperation and lacks a clear division of tasks and responsibilities. The need for cooperation measures was noted by the creation of the Oslo Guidelines on the use of military and civilian assets in cases of emergency, within OCHA’s Civil-Military Coordination Section (CMCS). This course addresses the need for cooperated measures and mutual understanding between civilian, military and police actors in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

The Humanitarian Assistance in West Africa course is jointly organized by the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) and the Austrian Study Centre for Peace and Conflict Resolution (ASPR), supported by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) and the Austrian Federal Ministry of Defence (MoD).

Course Aim

The aim of the course is to improve effectiveness of humanitarian assistance by providing participants with thorough knowledge and skills of the humanitarian sector and enhancing interaction and mutual understanding between civilian, police, and military actors involved in humanitarian assistance and disaster relief in the West African region.


On completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Demonstrate increased knowledge and skills regarding comprehensive approaches to planning, coordination, and implementation in the field of humanitarian assistance
  • Explain legal and normative frameworks that support humanitarian assistance
  • Enhance interaction and mutual understanding amongst relevant stakeholders (civilian, military, police)
  • Foster networking and peer exchange among practitioners in the field of humanitarian assistance

Target Group

Set at the operational level, the course targets a mixed group of mid-level civilian, police, and military professionals directly or indirectly engaged in humanitarian assistance and/or disaster relief operations in Africa generally, and in the West Africa Region particularly, either at the local, national or regional level. For the selection process, due consideration will be given to a balanced geographical, ethnical, gender, and professional distribution as well as with a strong view on increasing the share of civilian participants/civil society organizations in KAIPTC’s training courses.

Course Content

Course modules cover the following major topics:

  • Humanitarian actors and their mode of operations
  • International humanitarian law, code of conduct, and humanitarian principles
  • The ECOWAS framework and guidelines on disaster response
  • Civil-military coordination and relations
  • Human rights, human security and protection of civilians
  • Gender and Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV)
  • Coordination and information management in the field
  • Forced migration and displacement
  • Humanitarian planning and project management
  • Cultural awareness and community engagement during emergencies
  • Negotiation and mediation
  • Security and safety in the field
  • Media and communication
  • Environmental considerations in humanitarian assistance


The course employs a problem-based learning approach that combines theoretical knowledge with practical application to the realities and working environments of the participants. The course content will be delivered using a combination of tools such as lectures, case studies, group exercises, and role plays.

Relevant Facts

  • Duration: 2 weeks
  • Venue: KAIPTC in Accra, Ghana
  • Accommodation: It is a residential course and participants will be accommodated at the KAIPTC premises in Accra, Ghana
  • Approximately 25 participants will be admitted to the cours.
  • Course Languages: English and French. Translation will be provided.
  • Board and Lodging: Board, Lodging and course fee for participants will be covered with the generous support of the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) and the Austrian Ministra of Defence.
  • Costs: The costs of travel and visa are to be borne by the participants.
  • A limited number of full scholarships (including travel costs) for selected participants will be granted over the structures of the Austrian Defence Attaché System and the Austrian Ministry of Defence (MOD). In case this applies, relevant correspondence will have been addressed to the concerend official structures.
  • Insurance: KAIPTC and ASPR do NOT accept responsibility for individual medical, travel or other insurance. Participants are strongly advised to arrange their own insurance coverage for the duration of the training.
  • Visa: Costs for visa are NOT covered by ASPR of KAIPTC and must be covered by the participant. Visa applciations must be organized by the participant.

To apply for the course, please go to this web address:



Call for applications: Training Course on Humanitarian Assistance in West AfricaAppel candidatures: Cours de formation sur l'assistance humanitaire en Afrique de l'Ouest

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