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Professional Development and Training



With its Professional Development and Training offer, DCAF’s International Security Sector Advisory Team supports the conduct of training and professional development as a core instrument to strengthen capacity and awareness of security and justice reform for personnel in the field and at headquarters. This includes enhancing capacities to deploy security & justice advisors through high-quality training and strengthening donor and multilateral systems for deployment.

DCAF’s Professional Development and Training Team develops, organizes and delivers such training and supports institutional change to ensure suitable recruitment, selection, and retention of advisors, as well as improving understanding on what competencies are required to meet S&J mission and programme needs.


We provide face-to-face and virtual trainings on security & justice Governance and Reform, SSG/R and Preventing Violent Extremism, Effective Advising Skills, RBM for Peacebuilding, Security and Development. These use problem-solving approaches, guidance, tools, and examples from the field to develop practitioners’ knowledge and skills.

Security and Justice Governance and Reform (SJGR)

This course provides participants with the knowledge and practical tools on SSG/R and justice. It touches upon the holistic nature of SSG/R with a focus on both people-centred and state-centred security and justice provision in fragile and development contexts. In order to focus on engagement and practical application, the course introduces tools related to the programme cycle and builds on our operational experience.

SSG/R’s Contribution to Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE)

The course on SSG/R and PVE enables participants to better understand the drivers, including root causes and triggers, of violent extremism in contexts of fragility and development. It includes a strong component on the security and development nexus and covers human security, access to justice and community violence reduction (CVR). It emphasizes the need to adopt a holistic approach to SSG/R.

Effective Advising Capacities for Strategic Security and Justice Sector Reform Advisors

The target audience of this course is international experts advising on SSG/R processes in peacebuilding contexts, countries emerging from violence and undergoing social, political and institutional transformation. It provides participants with tools to analyse their own advisory roles and capacities, to better understand their contexts of operation, and apply key frameworks of capacity development, change and inclusive governance in their work. 

Making the Difference in Peacebuilding, Security and Development - RBM and Beyond

The course, jointly delivered by DCAF, the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP) and Small Arms Survey, consists of instruction in essential tools and techniques, current lessons from the field, guidance from experts, and hands-on practice developing skills for peace, security and development programmes. It is designed to build the skills of practitioners who already work in results-based management, monitoring, evaluation, accountability and learning in the fields of peacebuilding, security and development.

Other Courses

Our experts also provide inputs to a number of trainings organized by its International Partner Group Members and other institutions. If you wish to organize a training or request training inputs on SSG/R, please get in touch with  

Strengthening Systems 

DCAF’s Professional Development and Training Team provides support to developing robust systems for the international deployment of Security & Justice advisors. Strategic advisors are a key tool used by bilateral and multilateral actors to provide support to Security Sector Reform and Governance.

On an individual level, high-quality training is a key tool to enhance the professional knowledge, skills and attitudes of advisors. Our 2015 study on What Works in International Security and Justice Programming showed that ensuring the right capacities are deployed in these roles is key to achieving results. Other examples of this include reviewing the Netherlands Civilian Mission Expert Pool; providing an overview of the selection, professional development and preparation of EU Member State’s civilian experts deployed to EU missions. We provide concrete recommendations for improvements; and undertakes a full SSR training requirement analysis.