Scenario-Based Training for Senior Leadership in Peace Operations

The report of the High-Level Independent Panel on Peace Operations (HIPPO) described leadership as “one of the most crucial factors in the success or failure of UN peace operations.” Senior leadership face many challenges in implementing mandates that link to an overall political strategy in increasingly hostile and complex environments. Reports, including the 2015 report from the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS), have stressed the need for strengthened training from selection, to deployment, and through the end of their assignment.

To contribute to this aim, IPI’s Scenario-Based Training for Senior Leadership in Peace Operations project has produced eight training scenarios, covering a range of issues that senior leadership will likely face during their deployment. These scenarios are based on complex crisis situations but go beyond operational responses to challenges. They aim to support team building, leadership skills and critical thinking in responding to the contemporary challenges leaders are likely to face. These scenarios are intended for the use of the United Nations, the African Union, the European Union, regional training institutions and national training institutions. To ensure the relevancy and effectiveness of these products, the project has piloted the scenarios as part of UN and national training courses and international conferences.

To contribute to the discussion on senior leadership in peace operation, this project has developed three research papers. Developed through a combination of desktop research, interviews with key actors such as training institutions and current/former senior leaders, and field research, the three research papers address contemporary debates in better prepare senior leaders for the tasks they face in the field.

IPI has also organized a number of events targeting key actors and stakeholders to ensure a wide range of input in these products as well generate support for this initiative.

Click to download the factsheet

Training Scenarios

These training scenarios are designed to be used by any training institution interested in targeting senior leadership in peace operations. The documents include a background document to be used with all scenarios, a training document which outline the situation and tasks the participants will undertake, and a detailed facilitators guide which provides all the information that a facilitator will need to run the training.

The eight training scenarios are based in the fictitious country of Carana. This context was created by the United Nations and is used frequently in their own trainings. IPI has produced a Carana Light [English,French] which is a condensed factsheet of relevant information needed for all the scenarios. Carana Light should be used with all eight scenarios. Additional reference materials include country maps of Carana as well as the related UN Security Council resolution [English,French].

All scenarios will be available in English and French. Each scenario has a participants guide and facilitators guide. The participants guide is the exercise for the scenario. The facilitators guide includes guidance on how to run the scenario. We have also developed an overarching facilitators guide relevant to all the scenarios to assist in understanding the role of the facilitator, qualities of a good facilitator and strategies on running scenario exercises. IPI is happy to provide inputs and support on using these scenarios. Please contact the staff working on this project below.

The Eight Scenarios
Safety & Security Sexual Exploitation & Abuse Election Support and Human Rights Crises Managing Relations With Parallel Forces Protection of Civilians Integrated Planning for a UN Transition Managing Delegated Authority Through Budgets Engaging with the Host-State
English Participants Guide
Facilitators Guide
Additional Resources*
French Participants Guide
Facilitators Guide
Additional Resources*

*Not all scenarios have additional resources



, Director of the Brian Urquhart Center for Peace Operations

Jake Sherman is the Director of the International Peace Institute’s Brian Urquhart Center for Peace Operations, where he develops and manages IPI’s programs and research agenda on peace and security issues, including conflict prevention and mediation, peace operations, peacebuilding/sustaining peace, and preventing violent extremism.

To ensure the relevancy of the training modules, and to supplement the project, IPI has produced three research papers. These papers focus on various topics relevant to senior leadership training and provide recommendations to address various challenges to current training architecture.