Effective Advising – Global Edition

Effective Advising in Complex Contexts: Enabling sustainable peace



Violent conflict is one of the primary obstacles to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. The international and national community – from the humanitarian, development, stabilisation, peacebuilding and human rights sectors – need to enhance their effectiveness in supporting locally led efforts fostering sustainable peace.

Interpeace’s Effective Advising Course equips experts and advisors with new ways of approaching the complexity of their work in and on conflict affected contexts. Focused on three interlinked spheres of action: intra- and interpersonal, contextual, and organisational, the course reinforces participants’ ability to identify and seize opportunities for change.

Over a period of 11 weeks, the online global edition of this professional development course is made up of 12 ~2.5-hour sessions, 3 dedicated group work sessions, as well as background reading and individual preparation.

A team of three experienced facilitators guide ~25 participants from around the world to take a step back from their day-to-day work environments and reflect on their individual roles, personal approaches, behaviours 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 tackle these more consciously and creatively using practical frameworks.

Five core training modules structure the course: 1) Advisory roles; 2) Advising in peacebuilding contexts; 3) Personal agency & interpersonal skills; 4) Advising in complex systems and 5) Change processes and managing resistance.

Note: This is not a course focused on peacebuilding theory or programming. This is a course for advisors seeking structured training to advance their professional approaches and individual behaviours working in polarized and peacebuilding contexts.


Course Dates: 29 March 2022 – 10 June 2022

Deadline for applications: Friday 10 December 2021

Application results will be communicated by mid-January 2022.

Time commitment: An estimated weekly commitment of 2.5 hours for live session & approximately an additional 2 hours of your own time for preparatory work and assignments. More detailed information available in the Practical information section.


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This course is for professionals from the humanitarian, development, peacebuilding and stabilisation fields and focuses on skills and practices that are applicable across sectors.

We welcome participants from non-governmental organisations, governments, international organisations, military, research centres, grassroot organisations or independent experts. Participants advise on a range of domains: technical matters, social change strategies and programmes, policy issues and organizational change processes. Participants work 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 online edition of the Effective Advising course takes place on Zoom.


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 consists in 12 interactive sessions of 2.5 hours each (with short breaks as needed), 3 dedicated group work sessions on participants’ cases, as well as background reading and individual preparation. Interpeace’s team applies a lively mix of working formats to support learning: live sessions, pre-recorded 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.

Practical examples are used to highlight the 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 better equipped to:

  • Navigate complex situations and contexts
  • Understand and accompany change processes
  • Apply greater awareness of the importance of organizational practices and individual behaviours to contribute to sustaining peace in conflict-affected contexts
  • 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, organisational and interpersonal)
  • Develop awareness of your personal 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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There are approximately 25 places on the course. Interested individuals are requested to apply using the application form.

The deadline for applications is Friday 10 December 2021. You need to send your completed application form and CV to For more information please contact: effectiveadvising@interpeace.org. The subject line of your application email must be: “Application Online Global EAC 2022”.

Please note: incomplete or late aplications will not be considered.


Due to COVID-19, Interpeace’s Global Edition of the Effective Advising Course now takes place online. If possible, in-person and hybrid courses will resume during the second half of 2022

Cost: There is no course fee. Interpeace’s Effective Advising Course is sponsored by the Governments of Switzerland and Canada.

Language: The course is in English – translation cannot be provided.

Technology requirements: To participate in the course, successful applicants will need to have access to: a stable internet connection, a laptop/computer, a functioning microphone/headset, webcam and Zoom software. 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 12 online sessions and 3 dedicated group work sessions on participant cases 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.