Effective Advising – Global Edition – 2020 Edition

Effective Advising in Complex Contexts: Enabling sustainable peace

COVID-19 NOTICE: Due to the current COVID-19 crisis, Interpeace’s Global Edition of the Effective Advising Course is now taking place online.


The online global edition of Interpeace’s Effective Advising Course is a professional development course made up of 11 2.5 hour sessions as well as self-guided and group exercises over 3 months.

The course equips national and international experts/advisors with new ways of approaching the complexity of their work – and do so more consciously and creatively. Participants’ ability to identify and seize opportunities in their work that can contribute to enabling sustainable peace is reinforced.

A team of three experienced facilitators guide ~20 selected participants from around the world to take a step back from their day-to-day work environments and reflect on their roles and effectiveness as advisors.

Interpeace’s interactive and practice-oriented methodology provides a space for professionals to take a fresh look at advisory challenges and provides practical frameworks to support new ways of working.

The course is structured around three main learning pillars:

  1. Advisory roles, functions and approaches
  2. Advising in complex socio-political (peacebuilding) contexts
  3. Individual attitudes and skills

Five core training modules structure the course: 1) Advisory roles, 2) Peacebuilding principles, 3) Interpersonal skills, 4) Advising in complex systems, and 5) Change processes.

Note: This is not a peacebuilding course. This is a course for advisors seeking structured training to advance their professional approaches and effectiveness working in polarized and peacebuilding contexts.


Course Dates: 20 October 2020-25 January 2021

Deadline for applications: Friday 14 August 2020

Application results will be communicated by mid-September 2020.

Download Course Brochure

Download Application Form

Time commitment: An estimated weekly commitment 2.5 hour live sessions & approximately 2 hours of your own time for preparatory work and assignments. More detailed information on this in the Practical information section.




This course is for professionals from the humanitarian, development, peacebuilding and stabilization fields. We welcome participants from non-governmental organisations, governments, international organisations, military, research centres, grassroot organisations or independent experts. They advise on a range of domains: technical matters, social programs and processes or strategy and policy issues. Participants are working in or on countries wrestling with dynamics of conflict and violence, complex social change, and polarization.

We welcome mid-level to senior level advisors with a range of different backgrounds. One of the course’s success factors is a dynamic mix of participants which creates a unique environment conducive to learning with and from fellow advisors.

Participants are selected following a rigorous selection process to ensure a diversity of participants from different backgrounds, enriching the learning environment and peer-to-peer exchanges.


The three facilitators – Anita Ernstorfer, Nora Refaeil and Jan Ubels  – provide frameworks which advisors can apply to clarify and more consciously address the situations, assignments and challenges they are facing.

The online course will consist in 11 sessions of 2.5 hours each (with short breaks as needed) as well as self-guided and group exercises in between the live sessions. Interpeace’s team will continue to apply a lively mix of working formats to support learning: live sessions, pre-recorde videos, mix of online and offline individual and group assignments, and access to a library of resources and relevant literature, videos, podcasts etc. 

The course is geared towards adult learning with the creation of an environment encouraging exchange and listening between professional peers. A safe space supports the sharing of the often complex and sensitive challenges participants face.

Case studies are used to highlight the practical application of methodologies discussed. Participants should be ready to prepare, share and discuss issues and scenarios from their own professional experience with the group.


By the time you finish the course, you will be equipped to:

  • Analyse and navigate complex situations
  • Understand and accompany change processes
  • Apply key peacebuilding principles and identify opportunities to contribute to sustainable peace
  • Understand a variety of advisory roles and consciously navigate them, adapted to task and context
  • Apply a range of approaches to become a trusted and effective advisor
  • Understand and overcome resistance (contextual, organizational and inter-personal)
  • Develop awareness of your personal traits, responses and interpersonal skills that are central to effective advising in complex contexts
  • Be more aware of your behavioural patterns and manage your well-being, energy and creativity

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1. DAY 1_General Photos (c) Interpeace & Jean-Paul Chami (Medium)
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There are approximately 20 places on the course. Interested individuals are requested to apply, using the application form

The deadline for application is Friday 14 August 2020. You need to send your completed application form and CV to effectiveadvising@interpeace.org. The subject line of your application email must be: “Application Global EAC 2020”.

Please note: incomplete or late applications will not be considered


Cost: There is no course fee. Interpeace’s Effective Advising Course is sponsored by the Governments of Switzerland and Canada. The course is in English – translation cannot be provided.

Technology requirements: To participate in the course, successful applicants will need to have access to certain technology: a laptop/computer, a functioning microphone and webcam and a stable internet connection. Participants should also be familiar with working on word documents, excel sheets, pdfs and be comfortable using webinar platforms such as Zoom.

Time commitment: The duration of each facilitated online session will be 2.5 hours with short breaks as needed. On average, participants will need to invest 2 hours of their own time each week to complete preparatory work and assignments. All online sessions take place at 14:30-17:00 CET. A tentative schedule of the 11 online sessions IS:

For more information please contact: effectiveadvising@interpeace.org

The Effective Advising in Complex Contexts course has been run by Interpeace since 2013, on behalf of the Human Security Division of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. In 2020, the Effective Advising in Complex Contexts course is sponsored by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and the Government of Canada.