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The Advanced Conflict Transformation Course offered every year in Johannesburg for the last 8 years has been the flag ship of COPA's capacity building trainings. This course continues to attract African and non-African participants from various countries working within Africa addressing conflict issues. Currently many of the alumni members of this course are individuals of high repute in both government circles, UN organizations, Regional bodies and Religious organizations.

In addition to ACT, COPA offers complementary thematic courses (1-2 weeks) purposed to enhance the capacity of local leaders in peace building, human rights, advocacy, and development.  In order to enhance the pool of trainers COPA in partnership with RTC also carries out Training of Trainers workshops (TOT) to increase the accessibility and dissemination of the knowledge.  All of these courses cover diverse aspects of conflict transformation,peace building, Leadership and training skills, and are aimed at participants working in related fields on the African continent.


1. Advanced Conflict Transformation (ACT)

The Advanced Conflict Transformation Course (ACT) works to strengthen and improve participants’ peace practice. The program emphasizes learning and reflection and includes a variety of ways for participants to reflect on their practice with action research as its main component. 
Because the overall methodology of the program is experience-based, students draw on their own experience of living and working in situations of conflict and violence as a basis for their learning.  The training helps students to develop the necessary skills to reflect on their experiences, analyze them and develop creative responses and interventions to enable transformation of the systems, structures and behaviours that give rise to injustice. 
The planned impact of ACT is to create a critical mass of peace builders in conflict transformation, development, human rights and community work who can strategically engage stakeholders and the community, to peaceably transform conflict and reduce human suffering in Africa. 
The ACT course aims:

  • To provide an accessible, flexible opportunity for advanced, practical learning in conflict transformation for people who want to make constructive change happen in their situation.
  • To generate and share more widely new knowledge, theory and insights relevant to work for peace and justice in the region.
  • To challenge and strengthen existing work for peace and justice in the region by deepening the capacity of practitioners, and their organisations and networks, for complex analysis and strategic activity at all levels.

The course aims to galvanize stakeholders for peace and reconciliation processes in Southern Africa, Western Africa,Eastern Africa, Horn of Africa and the Great Lakes region leading to improved national and regional dialogue.  It will also enhance peace and conflict transformation knowledge and skills for individuals and organizations in Africa.  Participants gain an understanding of current thinking on conflict transformation as well as greater confidence and skills for developing African approaches to conflict transformation.. For more information contact us.

2. Thematic Workshops

Thematic workshops address the training needs of people who want to focus on conflicts transformation and have limited time available due to other commitments.   These courses emphasize culturally sensitive and sustainable responses to national and regional conflicts.  The courses are interactive employing a wide variety of participative approaches to learning including role-playing, simulations, small group discussions, and case studies. Thematic courses use appropriate videos in conflict transformation and peace building.
COPA organizes thematic workshops in the areas of:

  • Peacebuilding
  • Peace education,
  • Community policing,-
  • Advocacy and lobbying,
  • Monitoring and Evaluation,
  • Religion and Conflict
  • Conflict sensitive approach to development
  • Traditional structures and Mechanisms for peace
  • Documentation & recording conflict and peace process
  • Youth and conflict transformation


3. Tailor-Made Workshops

Tailor-made trainings are normally offered in response to expression of interest from organizations to augment their staff’s capacity to effectively implement their peace & community programs in a manner respectful to cultural norms and the underlying conflict dynamics.  These courses strengthen the organization’s effectiveness in responding to conflicts they encounter in doing work for development, peace, reconciliation and demobilization.  COPA attracts to these workshops NGOs wanting to grow their program beyond development and emergency relief to include advocacy, lobbying, peace-building, and reconciliation. In the recent past beneficiaries to these trainings have included Pact Kenya, Oxfam GB & Practical Action. For more information contact us.

4. Training of trainers (TOT) workshops

COPA in partnership with Respodning To Conflict (RTC) have developed the ToT with the purpose of enabling knowledgable individuals to gain the necessary facilitation skills to train others at community level. Participants at this training are individuals who should be practicing in their various fields, with required experience and desire to share their knowledge with others.

The training develops the confidence and skills of the participant so as to move forward in their quest for building peace. During the sessions participants are given opportunities to prepare and facilitate sessions, and give and receive feedback from each other.

Key areas that are covered include:

  • Creating a safe space for views to be aired;
  • Learning by doing: Giving and receiving feedback;
  • Communication skills that enhance inclusion and respect;
  • Exploring how learning for change takes place;
  • The role of the facilitator/trainer.

For more information contact us.