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Training Program

Why Train with Us?

The Institute brings special capabilities to the task of helping practitioners to deal with conflict.

  • As an independent federal entity, the Institute brings as resources to its programs leading foreign affairs and conflict management practitioners and experts from both inside and outside the government. In tailoring its training programs to meet specific needs, the Institute draws on years of experience and success.
  • Training activities benefit from the expertise developed in other Institute programs. The Institute's Fellowship, Research and Studies, and Rule of Law programs have earned worldwide recognition for their quality and policy relevance. Researchers associated with Institute projects on the Balkans, Religion and Peacemaking, and Cross-Cultural Negotiation also regularly help conduct Institute training programs.
  • Outside research on training methods conducted through the Grant Program enriches the Institute's training expertise.

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Partners and Audiences

  • The Institute has developed a network of training partnerships with diplomatic, military, and research institutions worldwide. These partnerships help the Institute reach key audiences with relevant skills-training programs.
  • Recent training programs have been developed in partnership with the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. Department of Defense, the Inter-American Defense College, the Institute for Defense Analyses, the United Nations and its constituent organizations, the ASEAN Regional Forum, the Council on Security Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific, the Organization of American States, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy, the Hunt Alternatives Foundation, Harvard University, the American Friends Service Committee and several governments.
  • Approximately 1,500 foreign affairs, national security, public security, and humanitarian relief practitioners participate annually in the Institute's training programs. Participants include diplomats, government officials, police, and military personnel from the United States and dozens of foreign countries. In addition, most Institute training programs include representatives of international and non-governmental organizations and practitioners of unofficial or "Track II" diplomacy.
  • Since Institute training programs are usually arranged in partnership with other organizations, admission is generally by invitation; training seminars and workshops are normally not open to unofficiated applicants.

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While each training program is tailored to meet specific goals that are agreed in advance with the partner organization, the Institute's general training objectives include:

  • analyzing the life cycles of conflicts, from escalation through post-conflict transition;
  • assisting participants to think critically and creatively about practical political and societal alternatives for dealing with conflict situations, with emphasis on developing analytical tools for formulating and implementing prevention strategies and response options;
  • developing nuanced understanding of the roles of various official (Track I) and unofficial (Track II) individuals and institutions, including their objectives, capabilities, and constraints;
  • exploring strategies for enhancing coordination among Track I and Track II parties;
  • developing negotiating skills;
  • learning how to work effectively with or as a third party, including techniques of facilitation, negotiation, and mediation; and
  • providing structured and challenging opportunities to share experiences with other professionals, to develop working relationships, to broaden networks of individuals involved in conflict management, and to jointly explore problem-solving approaches.


Although each course is tailored for its particular audience, the Institute focuses on a number of core competencies, including:

  • conflict analysis;
  • problem-solving strategies;
  • negotiation skills; and
  • third-party skills such as facilitation and mediation.

Institute programs often include:

  • an introduction to conflict analysis and management;
  • skill-building exercises in analysis, negotiation, facilitation, and mediation;
  • simulation exercises to integrate the skills learned;
  • problem-solving workshops aimed at addressing real-world problems in which the participants are involved.

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Thank you for your interest in our training programs. Organizations interested in participating in or co-sponsoring Institute training programs should contact the Training Program, by email: training@usip.org or fax: 202-429-6063.








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