Clingendael Academy is one of the world’s largest independent diplomatic academies. 2017 was another successful year for the Clingendael Academy. We continued to expand in terms of the number of projects, number of training sessions and number of staff.

Continuous success and a larger organization meant that we had to redesign some of our work processes to ensure that we can continue to deliver the high level of quality that our participants and clients are used to. We for instance strongly invested in quality control cycles and monitoring & evaluation. In addition, we further invested in implementing our Clingendael Method, which is a mix of content, competences and work processes. We also continued to experiment on the further incorporation of digital and blended learning within our trainings.

Perhaps most importantly we continued to invest in our staff, who remain a key factor in the successes of the Academy.

Some 2017 Facts and Figures

Clingendael Academy trained about 640 diplomats from over 150 countries in 42 different projects in the Netherlands and abroad.

Clingendael trainers visited over 35 countries on all 5 continents to provide 130 training sessions abroad in the fields of diplomatic practice, personal effectiveness, (humanitarian) negotiations, capacity-building, security and conflict resolution.

In total, we trained over 3100 professionals in more than 135 projects.

We supported Bulgaria by enlarging the capacity of their civil service to operate in Brussels by training over 750 civil servants in 60 missions in Sofia.

The trainings at Clingendael normally last between one week and three months, on location the sessions are between two and five days.

We cooperated extensively with the UNDP in three negotiation training and three Insider Mediation training sessions on location and one twee-week training for Insider Mediators at Clingendael.

In total, we conducted 25 programmes on negotiation and mediation skills in conflict resolution.

As part of our new training facility for frontline negotiators on humanitarian access, we conducted 3 trainings for humanitarian negotiators at Clingendael and 4 training sessions on location.

Participants evaluated our trainings with an average score of 4.4 on a scale of 1-5.

We trained 49 Ambassadors from the Republic of Cyprus in trade promotion and public diplomacy.

We conducted the first seven trainings in Tbilisi in the framework of our capacity building project for the Georgian Defense Institution Building School.

The Clingendael Academy team expanded from 20 to 24 Training Fellows.

Diplomatic practice

Diplomatic training is at the heart of Clingendael Academy and builds on an experience of more than 25 years. 2017 has been a productive year, with no less than 30 training programmes organised, reaching out to about 400 diplomats coming from more than 120 countries. Each of these diplomatic trainings is unique and tailor-made to the specific needs of the participating countries, but all the programmes share a common purpose. In two to six week training interventions, we equip the participants with the tools to connect (people and cultures), to address (dilemmas and audiences) and to deliver (policies and results). In this, all Clingendael Academy diplomatic trainings follow the Clingendael Method (linking knowledge, competences and working processes). It incorporates three main elements: knowledge sessions (to understand contemporary international relations), skills training (to develop professional competences) and interactive assignments (linking these to actual work processes).

In 2017 diplomatic trainings were conducted on three levels.

For general and entry level training we welcomed junior diplomats from a.o. Indonesia, ASEAN, Pakistan and Bangladesh, Eastern Europe, East-Africa, West-Africa, the MENA region, Latin America and the Caribbean, Central Asia, the Balkans and Turkey.
Mid-career diplomats from West Africa and the Sahel, Indonesia, SAARC, China, inter alia focused additionally on building their skills in policy coordination and management.
Senior diplomats from West Africa and the Sahel, Indonesia and Afghanistan explored strategic thinking, high-level communication and leadership competences.

We conducted new training activities in Bhutan, where Bhutan diplomats were trained in negotiation techniques, and in New York, where diplomats from the permanent representations of the upcoming members of Security Council also received a dedicated training. Finally, we trained Dutch junior diplomats in the ‘Klasje‘ preparing them for their new jobs at the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).

Other tailor-made courses included a training on the Law of the Sea for ASEAN and a course on Agricultural Diplomacy (for the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs’ DG on Agriculture). We also conducted two open enrollments courses, including our longest running programme: the Course in International Relations, which celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in 2017.

2017 was also a year of didactical innovations, including:

new e-learning module on the work of the United Nations, in order for our participants to prepare before attending a course at Clingendael. Other modules are currently being finalised and will be online soon.
In our new media training sessions, participants have been provided with a theoretical framework on basic interview techniques and other aspects to consider when interacting with the media. Equipped with this newfound knowledge, they were then subjected to a series of recorded simulated interviews on subjects relevant to the specific target group and challenged to apply the lessons learned earlier on in the session.
Analytical tools have been incorporated in specific trainings, such as the Capacity and Integrity Matrix (CIM) - a tool designed to support Rule of Law strengthening processes in the planning phase of such processes.
A Justice/security institution
A Justice/security institution

Negotiation and mediation in conflict resolution

Supported by the Dutch MFA we continued our work with mediators and groups in conflicts We work with international organisations and NGOs who have a longer running engagement with the mediators of groups in conflict. In 2017 we worked with UNDP, the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, SSF, OSCE, UNWomen, ECOWAS and the African Union.

In 2017 we conducted 25 training programmes. Eight of them took place at Clingendael or in The Hague, the others were training missions on location. A selection of the training sessions is described below.

We continued our work with the UNDP. We conducted our two-week annual training programme in Insider Mediator to peace-builders worldwide at Clingendael. We visited the Philippines for six training sessions. Next to government officials, we trained the MILF and MNLF focusing on cooperation between the different factions of the Bangsamoro. We also conducted a couple of sessions in the wake of the Marawi crisis with religious and community leaders on mediation and reconciliation.

We started a new project with the UNDP in Myanmar, where we cooperated on an with follow-ups planned in 2018. As the JMC has to monitor peace in the regions where the Myanmar government signed the National Ceasefire Agreement (NCA) together with eight Ethnic Armed Groups and civilians, these skills are necessary to contain situations in those regions where conflict could rise again.

Another training project that should be mentioned is the training conducted in negotiation skills in cooperation with the Somalia Stability Fund (SSF) for the Galmudug Federal Member State Administration, and Ahlul Sunna Wal Jama, a moderate Sufi opposition group. The workshop focused on tools of negotiation and problem solving, intended to support the parties in bringing the current talks to a successful closure. Three days after the completion of the workshop, the parties signed a power sharing deal.

Other trainings conducted in 2017 included amongst others, the trainings for for women negotiators from Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia, Insider Mediators from Kenya dealing with electoral violence, Syrians, African women mediators and members of the Palestinian technical committees and ECOWAS’ Mediation Facilitation Division (MFD), among others.

We also continued our work in preparing new insights and materials for our training. One of the new developments in 2017, is using seven distinct phases of negotiation. In addition, we started working on a handbook on the basis of these phases to complement our workbook.

Finally, we are proud that we became a member of the Mediation Support Network in 2017.

International Security

Issues of international security were at the forefront of geopolitical developments in 2017. Media were dominated with news about nuclear threats between North Korea and the US, the military defeat of ISIS and cyberattacks. Against this backdrop, Clingendael Academy offered its successful open enrolment Course on International Security (“CIV”) during the spring and in the fall. The courses were well attended by participants from the Netherlands and abroad and provided interactive knowledge sessions on trends in international security, in which the most recent developments were put into a broader perspective. Furthermore, the Course was also organized as an in-company training for the Ministry of Interior Affairs and the Ministry of Defense.

Our continued cooperation with the Netherlands Defense Academy (NLDA) resulted in another successful two week training for the Advanced Staff and Command Course. With the Netherlands National Police Academy (PA) we delivered the year-long Columbus International Orientation programme for high level national police personnel. 2017 also saw another successful implementation of the two annual UNTSO/UNDOF/USSC training courses, which prepare Dutch military personnel for deployment to the UN missions in the Golan Hights.

As a result of our advice on pre-mission training needs to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2016, as well as a successful pilot training, Clingendael in 2017, was commissioned to develop a new extensive pre-deployment training program for civilian experts from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, preparing them for deployment to conflict zones. We also continued our cooperation in the ENTRi framework, which in December resulted in a negotiation and mediation training in Tbilisi.

In 2017 we have actively strengthened our training capacity and training output in cyber governance and cyber security. As part of this, and in cooperation with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, we initiated a new, multi-year project training high level Indonesian officials in cyber governance.

European Affairs

European Affairs training for Clingendael Academy means specialized training programs on policy making in the European context, ranging from the legislative cycle and the interplay between the EU institutions to the effective influencing of EU decision makers and the understanding of the working culture, or “Brusselisation”.

One of the absolute highlights of 2017 were the EU-skills trainings provided by Clingendael Academy to around 700 civil servants in Sofia to prepare Bulgaria for their six-month term holding the EU Presidency in 2018. Over more than 60 trainings sessions, participants sharpened their skills in EU negotiations, conflict management, effective communication, and expanded their understanding of the functioning of the EU and its foreign policy mechanisms. The Bulgarian Presidency training follows the training for the Dutch (2015) and the Slovaks (2016).

In 2017 we also conducted three new editions of our Orientation on the European Union Course for Dutch government officials working with the EU, which this year included diplomats, financial experts and a member of the Dutch Brexit Taskforce. These courses are constantly adapted to reflect the quickly changing EU dynamics, allowing participants to come to grips with the shifting power balances in Brussels.

The Academy’s EU experts also conducted another successful edition of our open-enrollment course Advocacy and Lobbying in the European Union, in addition to several tailor-made lobby trainings, among others for the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research and a group of Lebanon-based NGO’s.

A final highlight of 2017 was the expansion of our EU experts’ contributions to regional integration initiatives outside the EU, providing lectures on EU integration processes in both Ethiopia and Indonesia, the latter of which was broadcasted live to over 40 universities.

Humanitarian negotiations

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.

Target groups
Target groups

In 2017 we focused on developing a curriculum for the different target groups for humanitarian negotiations. The trainings differ in length and in content. In training for HQ and regional staff for example attention is paid to the interactions between different political levels and the manner these impede on humanitarian negotiations, while with frontline negotiators we put more emphasis on negotiating in unsafe circumstances. We developed brand new exercises for these training sessions, including an exercise with actors in which the participants have to negotiate on two levels (field and capital) while keeping the communication lines open between the two levels.

We conducted three training sessions at Clingendael, two in Beirut (of which one was organized in combination of our NPL project), one in Kampala and two in New Delhi. In these eight training sessions we trained 135 participants from 21 different humanitarian organisations.

We invested heavily in setting up a new monitoring and evaluation (M&E) system to measure the impact of our training sessions over the long run. Insights coming from M&E also flow back into the set-up of the training. Furthermore, we worked on new insights and a handbook on the basis of the seven phases of negotiations, specifically for humanitarian negotiations.

An important step in 2017 was strengthening our network inside the humanitarian sector. We visited all members of the Dutch Relief Alliance. We had an excellent first cooperation meeting with the UNCHR Global Learning Center about cooperation. We were also part of the annual meeting for frontline negotiators in Geneva, organized by the Centre of Competence.

Personal effectiveness

We provided hundreds of personal effectiveness trainings throughout all Academy project on skills such as negotiation, intercultural communication, presentation skills and effective influencing.

Clingendael Academy staff also provided stand-alone training sessions focusing specifically on one or two skills, including successful editions of our open enrollment courses on negotiation, mediation and consensus building and intercultural communication. Highlights furthermore included the negotiation training conducted within the European Diplomatic Programme (EDP), as well as several workshops for the EDP during the closing module on Malta, intercultural communication for the European External Action Service and two training sessions for the Public Prosecutor Office in the Netherlands on diplomatic skills. We also conducted in company tranings of intercultural communication for the private sector.

We expect further growth in 2018. We for example were successful in a procurement procedure to provide intercultural communication training for the Deutsche Bundesbank, starting next year.

Strategic thinking

Clingendael Academy offers training in a variety of strategic planning tools that can be implemented in different contexts – allowing professionals and organisations to anticipate as much as possible international developments. We provide standalone trainings and incorporate tools in different types of programmes.

In 2017, we conducted a scenario planning training for the Ethiopian Foreign Relations and Strategic Studies Institute and delivered the first strategic policy planning course in cooperation with the Defence Institution Building School in Georgia. Additionally, we train humanitarian aid workers in stakeholder analysis and context analysis in order to support their preparation for a specific negotiation.

Economic and sustainable development

We are further developing our portfolio in trainings at home and abroad on economic and sustainable development. We expect further grow in this theme.

At Clingendael we welcomed trade promotion and water experts from the MENA-region in two different trainings as part of the Shiraka Training Programme (STP). The training for water experts focuses on the skills for effective Integrated water Resources Management (IWRM), including negotiations about transboundary water issues and gaining insights from the Netherlands model for water management.

The training for trade experts focused on practical elements of economic diplomacy such as organizing trade missions, negotiating trade deals and attracting sustainable investment.

Water management, trade promotion and sustainability were again featured in the second edition of the Blue Economy training for representatives from 20 Small Island Development States (SIDS). Participants from countries such as Samoa, Tuvalu and St. Kitts and Nevis spent two weeks at Clingendael, focusing on sustainable ocean development and effective ocean management.

We traveled abroad to provide training sessions on Economic Diplomacy at the ambassadors conference in Cyprus, in which we linked trade promotion to public diplomacy.

We were also part of a programme together with the Free University of Amsterdam to prepare Indonesian civil servants for trade negotiations in two sessions, one at Clingendael and the other in Jakarta.

Institutional development

Clingendael Academy builds capacity at the individual level, but also shares best educational and management practices with partner institutes. We explore integrated training, coach trainers and tutors to deliver different ways of learning, and help introduce interactive elements. Focal points include: designing and using interactive exercises; training needs analysis and curriculum development; institutional development, and training of trainers.

In Georgia, the one-year anniversary of Defense Institution Building School bookmarked a successful starting year. During this year, Clingendael facilitated stakeholder consultations, helped conduct DIBS’ first full training needs analysis for professionals in the Georgian security sector, and delivered concrete workshops, including for instance, curriculum development. Through the close cooperation with the DIBS director, staff and advisers, Clingendael helped provide the basis for DIBS’ institutional development for the next three years.

Clingendael also continued to support Ethiopia’s Foreign Relations Strategic Studies Institute (EFRSSI) in strategic foreign policy thinking, through workshops in scenario planning, political reporting, negotiation and mediation and country analysis. Furthermore, as part of our longstanding cooperation with Indonesia, we delivered a diverse, competence-oriented programme for its Centre for Education and Training of the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. And together with Maastricht university, we continued to support the development of the Law Faculty of Padjajaran University in Bandung. Additionally, Clingendael trainers supported diplomatic academies in Latin-America in using interactive working forms and effective classroom communication and interaction and cooperated with Analitika in Sarajevo to prepare programmes to improve policy making and good governance in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Finally, we continued with our programme to support the Vietnamese Police on integrating universal human rights standards in police curricula, specifically focusing on international anti-torture laws.