Training Course on Humanitarian Assistance in West Africa

Training Course on Humanitarian Assistance in West Africa



The West African region is confronted with a 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, the economic crises and socio-political instability. The effects and consequences of natural and human-made disasters are diverse and include population movements, destruction to property and key socio-economic infrastructure, epidemics, food insecurity and malnutrition, and an increased weakening of state capacities to manage these challenges.

The ECOWAS Commission has thus adopted the ECOWAS Humanitarian Policy 2012-2017 and member states are currently working on the implementation of the respective Plan of Action. This 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 crises and disasters, civilian nongovernment and government organizations, the police and the military often find 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 cooperation often lacks mechanisms for effective cooperation and a division of tasks and responsibilities. The need for coordinated 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 coordinated 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 Ministry of Defense (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 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 attention 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 Capacity

Only 25 participants would be selected for this course.


Course Content

Course modules cover the following major topics (all topics related to humanitarian assistance):

  • 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
  • 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
  • Environment

You will find a programme overview (draft) here



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.



  • Course Language: This course will be conducted in English. French translation will be provided.
  • Accommodation: It is a residential course and course participants will be accommodated at the KAIPTC.
  • Board and Lodging: Board and Lodging for participants will be covered with the generous support of the Austrian Development Agency (ADA).
  • Costs: The costs of travel and visa are to be borne by the participants.
  • Airfare Stipend:
    • A limited number of scholarships are available. Please specify in your application if you could cover your own travel costs or if you would require financial support.
    • A limited number of scholarships 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 concerned 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 or KAIPTC and must be covered by the participant. Visa applications must be organized by the participant.


How to Apply

To apply for the course, please click here

The link will take you to the Course Application page on the KAIPTC’s Learning Management System (LMS). Please read and follow the instructions on the course application page carefully and exactly to be able to submit your application for the course.


NOTE: All applications must be completed fully. Partially completed applications will NOT be considered in the selection process.


For further information contact the following persons


Contacts at KAIPTC


For administrative issues:
Ms Marylyn Akabutu
Training Coordinator
Tel: +233 (0) 302 718 200 Ext. 1012


For course content issues only:

Lt. Col Ortwin Gammer
Austrian Armed Forces
Course Director
Tel: +233 (0) 302 718 200 Ext. 2165



Contacts at ASPR


For administrative issues:
Ms Claudia Hofer
ASPR Administrative Support
Tel: +43 (0) 3355 2498 507