TRAINING SPOTLIGHT: Mentoring in Civilian Crisis Management


As mentoring is increasingly being integrated into civilian crisis management mission mandates, experts working in the field are increasingly expected to possess this skill set.

Mentoring as an approach within the scope of civilian crisis management has been increasingly present in civilian crisis management operations. This approach is especially favoured by experts in the areas of rule of law, justice system reform, corrections and police by implementing mentoring components as instruments to support national authorities in their progress toward sustainable democratic change and accountability and in further developing and strengthening their institutions (capacity building).

While definitions of mentoring vary, they are usually defined based on a mission’s mandate. For example mentoring is understood differently within the police pillar of the mission as opposed to the understanding of mentoring within the rule of law pillar. While distinct differences remain, advising is a common synonym used in the context of mentoring in civilian crisis management.

The general purpose of mentoring is to successfully build a working relationship with local counterparts and implement project goals as well as mentoring goals Strong working relationships are crucial in the transfer of expertise to counterparts, the overall implementation of project goals is ensured by mentoring through increased local ownership of the changes implemented by the mission. Thus, mentors act as facilitators of change to their local counterparts in order to enhance domestic capacity for goal implementation.

Experts in different fields know how to effectively perform their functions in their own working environment. However, mentoring is a cross-cutting skill for most experts working in civilian crisis management. Thus, staff assuming mentorship roles in capacity building missions in post-conflict zones are required to adapt their mind-set from professionals with authority and decision-making functions in their field into transposers of skills to their local counterparts so that they procure the necessary skill set, which enhances their ability to identify and solve problems.

Our training course Mentoring in Civilian Crisis Management focuses on bridging the gap between expert and mentor in a post-conflict society. The course focuses on equipping civilian, police, and military experts with the knowledge to foster sustainable cooperation with local experts in order to facilitate a mentoring relationship where sharing of expertise, experience, and knowledge can take place.