Save the children has for the past three years worked towards harmonizing approaches and standardizing child protection training in Peace Support Operations (PSO), through partnerships with Eastern African Standby Force (EASF) and Training Centres Excellence. The Eastern African Standby Force is one of the five African Union regional standby forces established as part of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA). The EASF, attained its full operational capability in 2015, implying its readiness to effectively respond to crisis within Eastern Africa and across the continent.
In line with its operational functions, the EASF needs a functional planning capability. The planning staff are drawn from the three components (civilian, police and military) of the multi-dimensional peace support operations. Therefore, integration is a key guiding principle for planning, design and execution of actions plans in conflict situations. It links the various components (political development, humanitarian, human rights, rule of law, social and security) and integrates the imperatives of each into the mission strategic thinking and design.
As part of the broader peace building strategy prior to the establishment of a peace building mission, an integrated mission planning process is designed to facilitate achievement of this common understanding by engaging the capacities of all relevant stakeholders to achieving impact in a given country setting. This ensures that the right people are at the table, that the right issues are being considered, and that the appropriate authorities and accountabilities are in place to motivate flexible, creative, and integrated strategic and operational thinking and planning. Through the process, the technical and operational mission staff promote synergies, monitoring of progress, and adjustments to optimize impact.
EASF successfully conducted an Integrated Mission Planning (IMP) Course from 1-12 August 2016 at the International Peace Support Training Center (IPSTC) in Karen, Nairobi. The purpose of the course was to train nominated individuals pledged to the EASF Roster by Member States as potential staff for an EASF Mission Headquarters. The course largely covered the context of contemporary African Union Peace Support Operations (PSO), the AU Mandating process at strategic level, development of an Integrated Mission Plan and associated tools and techniques.
The skills gained during the course would prepare the participants to assume their assigned roles with an AU Mission Headquarters’ construct.
The course offered great learnings and opportunities to influence and embed child protection as a key planning priority for execution during assigned missions. It provided experience and insights on the mandates of different components during integrated mission planning incorporating gender, child protection and other cross-cutting issues in the planning process.
Anthony Ombara, Save the Children, Regional Project Coordinator, Child Protection in PSO participated at the training.
Article contributed by Anthony Ombara (anthony(dot)firstname.lastname@example.org)