Scenario-based learning for senior leadership teams in UN field missions can greatly improve strategic thinking, decision making, and crisis management in increasingly uncertain operational environments. IPI’s Scenario-Based Learning for Senior Leadership project therefore aims to develop eight training scenarios to be used by senior leadership in peace operations. To integrate these scenarios into existing training being undertaken by the United Nations, the International Peace Institute (IPI) and the UN Integrated Training Service (ITS) within the Department of Peacekeeping Operations/Department of Field Support hosted a closed-door roundtable on July 11, 2018, as part of a continued collaboration between IPI and ITS.
Specifically, the event focused on the idea of developing an in-mission leadership retreat as a means of supporting current leadership teams approach challenges environments, the viability of such an idea, and practicalities involved. The meeting resulting in five main takeaways:
- Teambuilding is an important priority for senior leaders.
- Training is most relevant and needed in anticipation of transition or change.
- Leadership within the UN is different than in other contexts, and these differences should be stressed in training.
- Topics covered in trainings should be tailored to the needs and requirements of each mission.
- In-mission training for senior leadership needs support from UN headquarters.
This event forms part of IPI’s project on Scenario-Based Learning for Senior Leadership Teams in UN Field Missions. Within this project, IPI, with support from the Government of Canada, is developing eight scenario-based-learning modules over the course of this year for UN leadership teams in field missions, as well as for tabletop exercises in UN headquarters and capitals. IPI believes that scenario-based learning for senior leadership teams in UN field missions can greatly improve strategic thinking, decision making, and crisis management in increasingly uncertain operational environments. IPI’s Scenario-Based Learning for Senior Leadership project therefore aims to develop eight training scenarios to be used by senior leadership in peace operations. The modules, which include addressing instances of sexual exploitation and abuse, difficult host-state relations, protection of civilians, a security crisis, issues of election support, among others, reflect real-world challenges that confront senior UN leadership teams in most missions. The modules will also address the main leadership skills required for managing complex multidimensional missions.
The overall objective of IPI’s engagement with senior leadership training is to better equip senior leadership within UN missions to manage contemporary crises, lead teams, make decisions while being confronted with competing objectives and priorities, and effectively deliver the mandate of the United Nations. This will ultimately improve senior leadership training and foster team building within missions.