Evaluating hostile environment awareness training - Bryan Hopkins

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ENTRi hostile awareness training evaluation

In the aftermath of wars in countries around the world, organisations such as the United Nations, the European Union and the African Union set up peace-keeping and peace-building missions to help states recover and re-establish a civil framework. A crucial part of this is technical assistance, through experts working with local people to get administrative systems functioning again. Such experts need to be able to operate effectively in situations where the security situation may be fragile, so many of them complete some form of hostile environment awareness training.

Within the European Union, many of these courses are certified by ENTRi, the European Commission-sponsored Europe's New Training Initiative for Civilian Crisis Management. I was asked to carry out an impact evaluation of several of these programmes.

Using a theory-based evaluation process, I deployed an on-line survey and carried out interviews with participants and other stakeholders in order to determine a picture of the contribution made to safe practice by the courses. Identifying causality is always very difficult, and the particular challenge with security-related training is that success means that nothing happens (thankfully!), but the overall conclusions were that ENTRi's hostile awareness cetificated programmes are indeed helping European experts to make a real difference in bringing stability back to many countries around the world.
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