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The ICT4Peace Foundation in cooperation with its partners, the Center for International Peace Operations (ZIF), Berlin and the Folke Bernadotte Accademy, (FBA), Stockholm carried out its fourth Crisis Information Management (CiM) Training Course from 2 to 5 December 2014.

The training course for staff of the UN Peace-Keeping Missions in the Eastern African Region was hosted by the UN Department for Peace Keeping Operations/ UN Department for Field Support at the United Nations Regional Service Centre Entebbe (RSCE), Uganda.

The course was aimed at a wide spectrum of operational UN personnel profiles and multi‐stakeholder UN peacekeeping missions:

  1. To introduce participants to evolving information technology capabilities being employed by a wide range of actors in the field, and how to best exploit the new tools and sources from within the UN Crisis Information Management Strategy -­‐-­‐-­‐ CiMS (A/65/491) to strengthen Peace-Keeping mission mandates. The balancing of information security considerations was also central to this course.
  2. To train UN personnel on first principles of field information analysis and management within a crisis scenario; skills that are also applicable to lower tempo standard day to day use.
  3. The interactive course combined lecture and workshop based training approaches that lead to a concluding desk-­‐-­‐-­‐based exercise ‘Criseland’, which has been customized to simulate key skills learnt during the week.

Course Description

Efficient and timely provision of Shared Situational Awareness (SSA) and Crisis Information Management (CIM) are essential to enable effective decision-making in Multi-dimensional Peace Operations and are a prerequisite for effects-based operations and the comprehensive approach, founding principles of the United Nations and African Union integrated mission planning processes.

Ultimately, successful integration and coordination requires a high degree of sensitivity to the interest and operating cultures of a broad set of actors, and efficient and appropriate Information Management (IM).

The role of CIM in Peace and Humanitarian Operations is the provision of SSA and Crisis Information Management, allowing decision-makers to make accurate and appropriate decisions in crisis situations - whether humanitarian or conflict based - using information collected from a variety of military, police and civilian sources.

CIM is performed by civilian, military and police peacekeeping personnel, which requires increased cooperation and coordination amongst hese institutions. In addition, modern Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) including social media (Twitter, Facebook) and crisis mapping and crowd sourcing have become essential tools to support CIM.

This course provides an overview of CIM. The course will look at the process of CIM itself, from data collection, through data processing and analysis to information dissemination and look at the cutting-edge platforms and tools now in use, within and outside the UN system.

An interactive simulation exercise will accompany the entire course and will allow participants to practice and apply the theories discussed in the different modules.

Although this course is centered on the UN system, the role that CIM can play in the process of informed decision-making and the activities that an information manager undertakes can apply to a much wider context. The course language is English.

For an overview of the ICT4Peace Training and curricula development work please see here.

ICT4Peace, with the financial support by the Swiss Government, had launched the idea of developing a Crisis Information Management Training Course in 2009 at the 16th Annual Conference of the International Association of Peacekeeping Training Centers in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

The first two courses were held in Cairo in cooperation with the Cairo Center for Conflict Resolution and Peacekeeping in Africa (CCCPA) in in May 2008 and November 2008 respectively. After this intial phase CCCPA, ZIF, FBA and APSTA joined forces to develop a full fledged CiM Training course, which were held at CCCPA Cairo, IAPTC, Nairobi, ZIF, Berlin and now at the UN RSCE in Entebbe. ICT4Peace has also cooperated with the Kofi Annan Peace Keeping Training Center in Ghana, which is also offering a Crisis Information Management (CIM) Training Course.