Clingendael Academy is one of the world’s largest independent diplomatic academies. 2016 was a very successful year, in which Clingendael Academy expanded in its core areas of expertise while at the same time launching new and challenging projects.

In 2016, we perfected our approach to training, with a mix of content, competences and work processes known as the Clingendael Method. We use the Method in designing new training programmes and updating and changing our training materials. The Method is featured prominently in our new brochure.

We invested not only in our overall teaching philosophy, but also in our staff, a key factor in the Academy’s successes. Our training fellows not only design and coordinate training, but are also excellent trainers and instructors. We also made further progress in incorporating digital and blended learning in our training.

In 2016 the Academy laid the basis for 2017, which is set to be another record year in terms of training. The conflict negotiation facility was renewed for four years, we launched a new facility focused on frontline negotiations, worked on new training projects for the Bulgarian government and the Dutch National Postcode Lottery (NPL) and prepared our tender for the ‘Klasje’, the junior diplomats of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Under the auspices of President Joko Widodo and Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Foreign Minister of Indonesia Retno Marsudi and Trade and Development Minister of the Netherlands Lilianne Ploumen signs a new Memorandum Of Understanding on diplomatic training between the Indonesian Foreign Ministry KEMLU and The Netherlands/Clingendael.

Some 2016 Facts and Figures

Clingendael Academy trained approximately 550 diplomats from 65 countries on its premises in The Hague.

Clingendael trainers visited 25 countries on all five continents to give 49 training sessions in the field, including the training of diplomats in Colombia, Indonesia, South Africa, the United States, Luxembourg and the United Arab Emirates.

We conducted 48 diplomatic training projects in the Netherlands and abroad.

We also trained around 2,200 other professionals through 102 projects.

Overall, our 2016 participants came from 135 countries.

Training at Clingendael Academy normally lasts between one week and three months; on location, the sessions are between two and five days.

Participants rated our training highly, awarding an average score of 4.3 on a scale of 1 to 5.

Our longest-standing cooperation is with Central and Eastern Europe, with diplomatic training courses starting in 1991.

Our cooperation with the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) was renewed during the visit of Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

We cooperated extensively with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in five insider mediation training sessions: three on location and two at Clingendael.

Clingendael Academy launched a new training facility for frontline negotiators on humanitarian access in conflict areas.

We provided a total of 27 programmes on negotiation and mediation skills in conflict resolution.

Our cooperation continued with the Dutch police on their international cooperation training course.

We started a four-year capacity-building programme for the Georgian Defence Institution Building School, with support from the Dutch government and NATO.

Diplomatic Training

Diplomats work among cultures, governments and individuals. They connect, coordinate and communicate. To be effective at their jobs they need to rely on a strong professional basis, having the analytical skills to connect the most recent political developments to the international and institutional environment, as well as having the necessary diplomatic competences.

As knowledge and skills differ for each training and for every participant, we start with the daily professional practice of individual participants and determine their training needs on that basis. We offer diplomatic training for young professionals, mid-career officials taking on new responsibilities, and senior diplomats who engage in strategic policy-making and high-level communication.

Diplomatic Courses for Young Professionals

In 2016, Clingendael trained junior-level diplomats from South-Eastern Europe, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Pakistan, Central Asia and Mongolia, Central America and the Caribbean, and West Africa and the Sahel. We also trained Dutch participants in the ‘klasje’, preparing them for their new jobs at the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and six other ministries. In addition to this regular course, we trained Dutch civil servants who had a few years of experience working for their respective ministries in a month-long crash course on diplomacy.

Diplomats from the Arab Region participate in a NATO negotiation simulation

As neighbours and as partners, from trade to energy, to migration and to security, the participants engaged in a five-week programme enhancing their diplomatic skills and understanding of legal, political and economic issues, regional integration and economic diplomacy, sustainability and negotiations with the EU. Because of this programme’s success, it has been expanded to encompass all countries in the MENA region for 2017.

Secondly, we brought together thirteen diplomats from Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe to strengthen the capacity for regional cooperation. The diplomats reached new understandings on the thematic cross-links in security, the economy and sustainability and the scope for Southern African Development Community (SADC) cooperation.

Programmes for Mid-Career Diplomats

Whereas in our programmes for new diplomats we focus on the general competences and processes of working in foreign policy, our training for mid-career officials focuses on specific themes. Our mid-career programmes included a course on policy coordination for diplomats from Indonesia, on economic diplomacy and connectivity for diplomats from China, on regional integration for ASEAN (with diplomats from all Association of Southeast Asian Nations member states, as well as from the ASEAN Secretariat), on policy planning for diplomats from Afghanistan, and on diplomacy and regional cooperation for mid-level diplomats from the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), with participants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Diplomats from Pakistan and Bangladesh participate during their training

Highlights included a course on democratisation and good governance for eight diplomats and two military staff members from Myanmar, who participated in a one-week programme at Clingendael Academy that combined skills training with an exploration of best practices in civil-military relations, transitional governing bodies and democratisation. We also implemented a short training programme for the Asia-European Foundation (ASEF) and co-organised the concurrent launch of its handbook on ASEF’s Public Diplomacy.

Specialised Training

Other tailor-made courses included: Trends in International Trade and Policy Planning (for diplomats from developing countries at the World Trade Organisation); Trade Promotion and Economic Diplomacy for countries from the MENA region; training on the Law of the Sea for ASEAN; a programme on Climate Change Negotiations for Small Island Developing States; and a course on Agricultural Diplomacy (for the Netherlands Ministry of Economic Affairs’ Directorate-General on Agriculture).

Programmes for Senior Diplomats

Training for senior diplomats is much more focused on advanced skills training, reflection sessions, learning from one another, leadership skills and management. One example of the programmes for senior diplomats that were organised in 2016 was the two-week programme in strategic prospects and opportunities for Indonesia.

International Skills Training

We provide training in all diplomatic skills, including negotiation, intercultural communication, presentation skills and effective influencing. Skills training is part of all our training courses and Academy staff delivered hundreds of sessions throughout the year.

Clingendael Academy also provides stand-alone training sessions focusing specifically on one or two skills. In 2016, Clingendael conducted roughly 60 training sessions in international skills, excluding training in other Clingendael courses. Highlights included the training on negotiation conducted within the European Diplomatic Programme (EDP), as well as several workshops for the EDP during the Amsterdam closing module, intercultural communication for the European External Action Service, negotiation training for diplomats from the African Union in cooperation with the United Nations and mediation training for Tunisian politicians. We also conducted several intercultural communication training sessions for companies in the private sector.

Negotiation Training as a Conflict-Resolution Instrument

In 2014 Clingendael Academy and the Dutch MFA established a facility for the training of groups involved in conflicts and their mediators in negotiation skills and processes. The facility is demand-driven. We cooperate with international organisations that have a longer-running engagement with the groups in conflict or the mediators; and through them we are approached to provide training. Most work was undertaken in cooperation with the UNDP and the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue.

In 2016, we conducted 27 training programmes. Eight took place at Clingendael, with the remainder being training missions on location. We continued our work with Syrians, including sessions for Syrian women’s groups as well as with the High Negotiations Committee (HNC). We visited the Philippines four times for two training sessions in Cotabato for the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), focusing on its transition from an armed group to a political party. The other two sessions were in Davao, bringing together, among others, members of MILF and MNLF (Moro National Liberation Front) as part of the Intra-Moro dialogue. The Davao missions were part of our work with the UNDP for Insider Mediation, for which we also conducted two training programmes at Clingendael Academy, as well as a mission to Guatemala. Clingendael staff also trained women negotiators from Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), ASEAN, the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), women negotiators from Libya, African women mediators and members of the Palestinian technical committees.

The group of Insider Mediators explore The Hague after their training at Clingendael

Peaceplan evaluated our work, concluding that we filled a much-needed niche. Considering this positive evaluation, the Dutch MFA agreed to continue financing the facility during the period 2017-2020.

Negotiation: A Necessary Competence for Humanitarian Aid Workers

In response to a growing need for negotiation training in the humanitarian aid sector, and after the success of the facility for peace negotiations, Clingendael Academy and the Dutch MFA started a project focusing on humanitarian aid workers. Clingendael will contribute to a new Centre of Competence, established by large-scale humanitarian organisations in Geneva, as well as work with humanitarian organisations in missions in the field. For this new project, Clingendael Academy will develop enhanced understanding of humanitarian negotiations as well as new training curricula. The initiative was announced by Lilianne Ploumen, Netherlands Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, in an op-ed in Dutch newspapers on Humanitarian Day.

Security and conflict management

In 2016, we reaped the benefits of some prolonged and sustained investments in turn-key approaches to contracted training programmes. Our basic eight-day Training in International Security (CIV) had a very successful year. Given the current rapid changes in the world and our ambition to remain connected with our participants, we organised a successful CIV alumni event. The CIV was also organised in in-company format for the Ministry of Interior Affairs and the Ministry of Defence, the latter being a new product.

Clingendael Academy’s cooperation with the Dutch Defence Academy (NLDA) and the Police Academy (PA) was further strengthened throughout 2016. For the NLDA, we delivered training in the Advanced Staff and Command Course. With the Police Academy, we transformed the Columbus International Orientation Course into a co-production, organised jointly with and moderated by the PA and Clingendael Academy. In 2016, Clingendael Academy also provided a new one-day training course in international affairs for the Master Tactical Leadership team of the PA.

Official launch of the Georgian Defence Institution Building School

In September 2016, Clingendael started a four-year programme with the Georgian Defence Institution Building School (DIBS). Clingendael will support the school with a variety of capacity-building workshops and training sessions, for which it receives support from the Dutch government and the NATO Defence Capacity-Building Trust Fund.

In 2016, our engagement in providing pre-deployment training for international crisis management missions underwent a substantial transformation. The European Commission’s New Training Initiative for Civilian Crisis Management (ENTRi) project was renewed, although its activities changed from training provision to training support. Clingendael Academy provided advice on the way ahead for pre-mission training for the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which also included the conduct of a pilot pre-deployment training course for Dutch civilian experts.

A developing area of activity is cyber capacity-building. Clingendael Academy was commissioned to lead the initial phase of the Internet Infrastructure Initiative under the Global Forum on Cyber Expertise (GFCE). Presentations were given at the GFCE annual meeting in Washington DC and a workshop was organised at the UN-sponsored Internet Governance Forum in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Last but not least, our support programme with the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security on implementing the UN Convention against Torture continued successfully. Three missions took place, two in The Hague and one in Hanoi, focusing on training and education.

Understanding the EU

We train professionals on EU policy, on where and how to influence effectively and on ‘Brusselisation’, which refers to the working culture of Brussels. Among the highlights of Clingendael Academy’s EU training were the four separate editions of the Orientation on the EU Course, specifically designed for Dutch government officials who work with the EU, which concluded with a visit to Brussels in December 2016.

We also expanded our EU activities that are tailored to professionals from outside the EU. We trained the Tunisian negotiation team that will conduct the Trade Negotiations with the EU. We also delivered a two-day seminar in Delhi entitled ‘How to Cooperate Effectively with the EU’ for the Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. After the two-day sessions, the diplomats came to the Netherlands and Brussels to continue the training and visit the European institutions.

Tunisian participants simulate trade negotiation with the EU

Our training on Effective EU Influencing and Advocacy was also a highlight of 2016. Apart from our open enrolment course, Effective Influencing and Lobbying in Brussels, we delivered Effective EU Influencing training sessions to a number of different organisations, including the University Medical Centre of Utrecht and the Dutch National Bank (DNB).

Capacity-building in Diplomatic Training

For capacity-building, Clingendael Academy shares its educational and management approach with partner institutes. We explore integrated training, coach the trainers and tutors to appreciate different ways of learning, and help introduce interactive elements. Focal points include: designing and using interactive exercises; curriculum development; institutional development and the training of trainers. In 2016, we helped strengthen capacity-building for the Training Department of the Department of International Relations and Cooperation of South Africa (DIRCO), the Bulgarian Diplomatic Institute (BDI), the Diplomatic Academy of Kosovo and the Diplomatic Academy of the Palestinian MFA, which is in its initial phase.

Diplomats from Bhutan participate in training on negotiation techniques

Specific highlights were the workshop on capacity-building for the staff of the Colombian Diplomatic Academy, which included sessions on strategic planning, as well as on developing training materials. We also conducted a training needs’ assessment for Bhutan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Through high-level meetings, including with Bhutan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and department directors, as well as a dedicated workshop, Clingendael Academy’s team delivered an analysis of training and capacity-building needs for Bhutan’s diplomatic service, as well as possible avenues of international cooperation. Furthermore, as part of our long-standing cooperation with Indonesia’s MFA, we conducted a one-week programme for the Indonesian Centre for Education and Training. This programme focused on competence-based training, as well as on measuring and evaluating the output, outcome and impact of professional training.

Open Enrollment Courses

Part of the Diplomatic, European, Security and Skills programmes at Clingendael Academy is open to individual, open subscription. These courses include Clingendael’s longest-running programme, the Course in International Relations (Leergang Buitenlandse Betrekkingen), which saw its 71st edition in 2016. It was a strong year for the open enrolment courses. Specific highlights were International Mediation and Consensus-Building, which was fully booked for the second year in succession. And, as in 2015, the performance of the International Security Courses was very impressive, with both courses being fully booked.