As civilian input in crisis management is constantly increasing, there is a growing demand for civilian experts to be sent to civilian missions. Regardless of how skilled the expert is at its domestic work, when an individual is sent to either EU, OSCE or UN mission, he or she will certainly meet a very different environment and challenges in the field in which he has little or no experience in. As selected candidates are usually deployed on short notice, it is of major importance that they are adequately trained to face the issues that are relevant to their field work.
One of essential topics is to understand intercultural competences in civilian crisis management and conflict environment. All selected candidates should be aware of possible sources of tension due to different cultural backgrounds and yet be able to communicate clearly with interlocutors representing their own organisation, other international organisations, local state authorities, the civil society and the local population as a whole. Each mission member should be familiar with basic techniques to identify and overcome culture-related barriers as well as a ‘culture shock’ and how to de-escalate related interpersonal conflicts.
Centre for European Perspective (CEP) developed an e-learning module on Inter-Cultural Competence in close cooperation with More Europe in the ENTRi framework. This e-learning module is dedicated to recognizing and analysing intercultural challenges in order to better understand cultural differences. You are welcome to try it on this link: http://www.entriforccm.eu/Intercultural-Competence_HTML5_v05/index.html. Feel free to share it!