The Clingendael Academy is proud to be one of the largest independent diplomatic training centres in the world. The Clingendael Academy offers diplomatic training courses, thematic and skills development programmes, tailor-made training, expert seminars, open application courses and individual coaching to professionals worldwide, in order to allow them to operate effectively at the international level. We also offer capacity-building programmes to strengthen young democracies and support the development of diplomatic academies or other training institutes around the world.
In 2021, the Clingendael Academy continued to enhance the capacities of professionals within the context of international relations. We provided training programmes for diplomats, security sector personnel, mediators and parties in conflict resolution processes, humanitarian aid workers, and civil servants working with or within the EU, and offered open-registration courses as well.
In addition to live training, both on-site and at Clingendael’s HQ in the Hague, we continued to offer innovative online and blended workshops using an advanced set of tools and professional recording studios.
Tweet by Marc Gerritsen, Strategy Director at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Institute has played a very important role in the international solidarity that South Africa, through the Liberation Movement, inculcated in the international community.”
South Africa’s Minister Naledi Pandor recognised Clingendael’s part in training many ANC political leaders of the first hour and underlined the importance of democratic state building during her visit to Clingendael on 22 November 2021.
Throughout 2021, the Clingendael Academy delivered high end, interactive online training courses for participants from all parts of the globe. Through our digitalisation efforts, we have been able to maintain top-level professional training to the satisfaction of our participants and trainers, also during the COVID-19 lockdowns. These efforts led to the organisation of no less than 170 online training courses and the development of more than 400 digital exercises, with varying duration, scope and complexity.
Our digitalisation efforts included:
Extending and professionalising the broadcasting studios at the Institute;
Developing the digital skillset of our trainers and coordinators for interactive and challenging online training products, such as multilateral negotiation and crisis management simulations;
Increased usage of various digital tools and platforms such as Articulate Rise, Mentimeter and Miro to ensure the blended nature of our curricula;
Increased usage of various hardware combinations to allow for the facilitation of hybrid training and events;
Sharing our expertise on digitalisation, for example with the Georgian Defense Institution Building School;
Continuous evaluation and analysis of our digitalisation efforts, as well as an ongoing search for innovation windows that result from integrating technological developments.
In the upcoming year, we expect, for the most part, a return to physical training courses as travel restrictions are being lifted and health and safety measures allow us to organise in-person trainings again. Hundreds of professionals from around the world will participate in residential tailor-made training courses at Clingendael in the Hague.
At the same time, the e-learning products and digital training experience we have built will add value to our in-person and hybrid training programmes and courses for participants around the world. We will build on and further professionalise our digital services and products. This will be achieved, amongst other things, through the development of two new broadcasting studios to optimise production quality, and the continued training and support of our staff members to utilise the studios to their full effect.
Despite the challenges of online learning and digital fatigue, our diplomatic training programmes made a lasting impact globally in 2021 – the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic. 723 diplomats from 120 different countries across all continents participated in one of our 45 tailor-made diplomatic courses. With a participant satisfaction rate of 9.08 out of 10, we can safely say that the online courses were extremely well received by participants and partners alike.
In 2021, we built on the experience and developments from the first year of the pandemic and continued to develop our diplomatic training courses, both didactically and digitally, with strengthened online learning and training approaches. We expanded the use of innovative digital training tools, developed e-learning courses in addition to live training sessions and further facilitated interactions through specialised software that simulated physical meetings.
We developed a self-paced crisis game for our diplomatic alumni and created an online escape room challenge, in which diplomats were put in different crisis management teams against each other to resolve a fictional diplomatic crisis.
Roleplay in the Course of International Relations ('Leergang Buitenlandse Betrekkingen') in November 2021.
The online environment allowed us to invite diplomats from different time zones to participate in highly specialised joint training courses for experts on various topics, on top of our country and regional specific courses. We implemented courses on global health diplomacy, diplomacy and the humanitarian world, cyber diplomacy and economic diplomacy for a diverse range of global diplomatic audiences.
Clingendael’s distinct degrees of focus for training diplomats in every phase of their career.
Furthermore, for the incoming diplomat class for the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and a select number of internationally operating staff from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Ministry of Agriculture, we offered a seven-week online course with modules covering the areas of Dutch Foreign Policy and working practices at the MFA. Throughout the many online seminars in this programme, participants could upvote each other’s questions to high-level speakers to ensure the most pertinent questions were asked. They debated and negotiated in online sessions, worked together on tailor-made assignments and created bonds that will serve them positively throughout their careers.
In 2021, we continued to help negotiators in conflict settings, mediators and mediation support staff around the world to improve their contextual and theoretical skills. Through interactive simulations and exercises, participants sharpened their conflict resolution skills and expanded their toolbox to effectively respond to changing dynamics, both on a micro and macro level. The trainings not only deepened the participants’ understanding of negotiation and mediation processes, but also gave them the analytical tools to make deliberate choices that equip them to better push for peaceful resolutions. Participants reported that they feel more confident participating effectively in their processes after having followed our training. By working with partners, we ensure that our activities are demand-driven and fit well into the long-term timelines that are common within negotiation and mediation processes.
We also slowly transitioned back to in-person trainings in 2021. For example, we trained representatives of COMESA and FemWise in Nairobi, representatives of the secretariat of the Inter-Religious Council of Ethiopia, the women of the Women’s Initiatives for Peace in the Donbas and negotiators in Sierra Leone. We also continued to conduct online trainings in order to reach people who were unable to travel. This included follow-up trainings for a network of female mediators in Yemen and courses for women and youth in Sudan. As a result, we now offer a mix of both online and offline courses with a variety of interactive exercises.
In 2021, we published the paper ‘Increasing women’s voices in peace talks’. This publication was the result of a thorough training needs assessment designed to encourage support organisations – including Clingendael Academy – to think creatively about how to provide women with a broader set of tools to overcome structural barriers and effectively engage in peace processes wherever possible.
Furthermore, our mediation support guide is now available in English, French and Arabic for participants in our training.
In 2021, Clingendael Academy continued with a new four year subsidy to increase the negotiation capacity of the humanitarian sector. In order to ensure aid delivery, aid workers must negotiate their way through various security checkpoints, obtain permission to start programmes, protect hospitals, ensure access to prisoners and retain community acceptance – at times with great danger to themselves. Clingendael aims to support the tens of thousands of workers who help the provision of vital aid to places in desperate need, as well as those who coordinate operations from regional or global headquarters. The programme's goal is to contribute to an increase in humanitarian access and improve implementation of humanitarian programmes by improving relevant negotiation processes.
With this aim, we supported four target audiences: humanitarian aid workers, humanitarian mediators, senior humanitarian decisionmakers and diplomats who work on humanitarian portfolios. In addition to training courses and workshops, we also deepened our own knowledge around humanitarian negotiations and diplomacy, for example by researching ‘collective negotiations’, in which organisations develop joint negotiation positions to increase their leverage. We look back on 2021 as a challenging year in which we still had to conduct all work digitally, but in which we managed to lay the foundation for deepening our support to the sector in 2022.
In October 2021, Clingendael facilitated an online negotiation skills training for humanitarian aid workers who work in East Africa.
One of this year’s highlights was that we cooperated with aid workers in Myanmar to support their negotiation processes as they worked under extraordinary circumstances during the military coup and the height of the COVID-19 crisis.
In 2021, the Clingendael Academy strengthened humanitarian negotiation skills of UN World Food Programme (WFP) senior staff members.
Photo source: WFP/Owen Davies.
Another highlight of 2021 was our cooperation with the United Nations World Food Programme. We worked with 80 directors and senior level staff from the UN World Food Programme who oversee large scale humanitarian operations. Participants from all around the world, supporting operations ranging from South Sudan, to Venezuela, to Thailand, worked together online to engage in interactive exercises, reflection sessions and negotiation simulations.
In 2021, the Clingendael Academy organised 30 tailor-made training projects on topics related to international security for a large variety of clients. We trained representatives from the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Dutch National Police and many other international security professionals. Within the diplomatic practice programme, we organised specialised trainings on cyber diplomacy for foreign diplomats. Furthermore, in our open registration training courses, many business sectors were represented and actively participated, such as the banking industry and international airlines.
All international security training courses offer an integrated curriculum of theoretical and practical knowledge, process understanding and applicable skills. In 2021, we introduced new elements into the curricula, such as elaborate international cyber crisis simulations, disinformation workshops and rules of engagement training modules. With our international security courses, we have reached over 350 professionals.
New to our expanding international security portfolio is the so-called BOTNet training for Dutch cyber diplomats and their interdepartmental counterparts, bringing different stakeholders in the cyber domain together and offering them the chance to discuss matters of shared importance.
Clingendael Academy also delivered multiple new trainings for different departments and levels of the Dutch National Police, and contributed to the European Union Police and Civilian Services Training (EUPCST). We offered five courses on international security throughout the year, also welcoming a new group from the municipality of Rotterdam. In total, 2021 saw the Clingendael Academy deliver nine new, tailor-made training courses on international security-related matters.
In addition to building capacity and skills for professionals, we also helped develop a greater capacity in professional training for a variety of institutional partners. In these programmes, we shared our own knowledge and understanding of challenges and solutions in professional training, facilitated reflection on partners’ own institutional development, and explored and advised on effective training methodology and techniques.
In 2021, the Georgian Defense Institution Building School (DIBS) – which Clingendael helped co-found in 2016 and worked with since – has greatly developed its own capacity, taking on an even more vital role in the Georgian security sector. DIBS also saw notable progress towards becoming a NATO accredited training institute, which is expected for 2022. We are very proud of this cooperation as a testament to the integrated and long-term nature of our partnership processes and structures.
The Georgian Defense Institution Building School (DIBS) fosters the professional and institutional development of the Georgian Ministry of Defence (MOD).
Furthermore, as North Macedonia became NATO’s 30th ally in 2020, Clingendael Academy started a three-year cooperation on the practical integration into NATO. This comprehensive support package, launched in early 2021, focuses on the further institutional and methodological development of North Macedonia’s Joseph Kruzel Training Centre (JKTC). Clingendael helped the JKTC to identify stakeholders and strategic actions as it seeks to become a regional centre on stabilisation and reconstruction. We have also started our work on a Training of Trainers (ToT) and curriculum development trajectory for both the JKTC and the already established Public Affairs Regional Centre (PARC).
As North Macedonia became NATO’s 30th ally in 2020, Clingendael Academy started a three-year cooperation on the practical integration into NATO.
Joseph Kruzel Training Centre Director Ms. Julijana Stojanova (3 rd from left) and key staff, with the Vice-Dean of the Military Academy of North Macedonia (2 nd from right), meeting with NATO CIMIC Centre of Excellence Director Col. Frank van Boxmeer (centre) and Branch Chief Training & Education Jan van Boxmeer (right), and Clingendael staff.
Throughout 2021, we continued our multi-year cooperation with Vietnamese partners on training obligations for security sector personnel under the UN Convention Against Torture (UNCAT). Selected central trainers from the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security taught in pilot programmes, and Clingendael experts observed their implementation of an interactive, classroom-based torture prevention curriculum, specifically developed for police and prison staff professionals, with advisory support from the Clingendael Academy.
As traveling was still restricted in 2021, we converted most workshops for diplomatic training institutes, including for Indonesia (focusing on G-20 chairmanship), South Africa, Suriname and Peru, into informal consultations and online activities.
Lastly, the Clingendael Academy contributed to the European Diplomatic Program (EDP) in 2021. We shared our knowledge and insights on innovation and competence management in diplomatic training with other diplomatic academies in the June workshop in Lisbon, as well as at the November meeting under the Slovenian Presidency.
Clingendael continued its economic diplomacy trainings for groups from almost 60 different nationalities in 2021. These included single sessions in training programmes for foreign diplomats as well as bespoke trainings for diplomats from Ukraine, Serbia, Mozambique and Rwanda, and for the first-ever batch of 24 Palestinian trade attachés. These bespoke trainings included signature elements of Clingendael’s economic diplomacy trainings such as attracting foreign direct investment, organising trade missions and nation branding.
In March 2021, Clingendael organised an economic diplomacy training for the first batch of commercial and economic attachés from the Palestinian Territories.
In 2021, Clingendael Academy expanded its curriculum to include new topics such as economic security, trade diplomacy and sanctions. New corporate clients like InnovationQuarter have also participated in economic diplomacy trainings, for whom Clingendael provided a skills-driven programme aimed at pursuing strategic goals effectively in the realm of private sector and economic diplomacy.
The nexus between energy, trade and sustainability will become a mainstay for the economic diplomacy training programmes to come
Finally, we complemented our annual Shiraka training programme on trade promotion and economic diplomacy for countries from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region with a new annual programme, focusing on the energy transition. The nexus between energy, trade and sustainability will become a mainstay for the economic diplomacy training programmes to come.
We look back on a year in which we have gradually expanded our curriculum, found new clients and unlocked new potential for future trainings in 2022.
We look back on a fruitful 2021 full of new partnerships, enlarged courses and training innovations in our EU affairs portfolio. In the aftermath of Brexit and with the European Commission pushing large initiatives, such as the European Green Deal, the year was marked by a growing interest among professionals to learn more about the EU, especially amongst diplomats and civil servants. We therefore grew our range of specialised trainings and expanded our team of EU experts.
In the aftermath of Brexit and with the European Commission pushing large initiatives, such as the European Green Deal, the year was marked by a growing interest among professionals to learn more about the EU.
As always, our focus remains on practical insights and skills that can be directly applied to professionals’ daily work. To reflect new developments within European integration, we also significantly expanded the scope and depth of our online learning tools, creating more than a dozen new thematic digital learning modules, focusing for example on the rule of law, EU foreign policy making and EU defense cooperation.
To meet the increased demand for our flagship course Insight into Europe, a four-day training on the EU for Dutch civil servants, we added a fifth edition in 2021. With every training fully booked, we managed to engage more than 100 Dutch civil servants from a wide range of ministries and embassies. Throughout the year, we received dozens of reflections from alumni about how they integrated their trainings directly into their daily work and achieved a better result for the Netherlands during negotiations with other member states in the Council of the European Union.
In order to respond to increased and specific interest in EU trainings, we also organised the first edition of a two-day EU masterclass for Dutch professionals not working in the civil service, and a new one-day masterclass on EU-third country diplomacy for international professionals. In these intensive trainings, our experts offer condensed sessions from our flagship EU trainings in combination with online e-learnings to deepen participants’ insights. The warm reception and popularity of these new programs will ensure they become a staple of our training portfolio going forward.
On 26 February 2021, a diverse group of fourteen people, representing 8 different North Macedonian NGOs of the ‘Blueprint Group’, joined Clingendael’s online EU accession training.
The last year also saw the Academy provide dozens of tailored EU-trainings to groups with specific needs. We, for example, trained NGOs in North Macedonia with EU-accession courses, prepared Slovenian diplomats for their Presidency of the Council of the EU and trained national health authorities on EU health diplomacy.
During 2021, we conducted a record number of 18 open enrolment courses, through which the core content and training expertise of our Academy team was made available to a broad range of professionals. To provide a distinct offering, the trainings focus on those areas where we can offer unique insights based on our broader activities within the Academy.
Over the course of the year, we offered a diverse training portfolio with longer content-focused programs, such as courses focusing on international politics and international security, and shorter skills-based programs, such as courses on intercultural communication and third country lobbying. This diverse training catalogue was met with a resoundingly positive response, allowing us to train more than 250 participants and achieve an average course evaluation of 8.9 out of 10.
Jaap de Hoop Scheffer (left), former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Secretary General of NATO and Ron Ton (right), Director of the Clingendael Academy, in the training for starting diplomats and civil servants in April 2021.
One of 2021’s highlights was our flagship negotiation skills training programme: the Seminar International Negotiations, which is conducted biannually. In this four-day training, the same trainers that work with the incoming members of the UN Security Council, humanitarian front-line negotiators and groups in conflict preparing for peace talks, educate participants in Clingendael’s so-called ‘Situational Negotiations’ methodology.
With an average score of 9.4 out of 10, the 2021 editions of the Seminar International Negotiations were among the highest rated so far
This dynamic approach to resolving conflicts of interest teaches participants to become adaptive and malleable negotiators in dynamic and entropic environments. With an average score of 9.4 out of 10, the 2021 editions of the Seminar International Negotiations were among the highest rated so far and all 35 participants indicated they would highly recommend this course to their colleagues.
In 2021, Clingendael Academy provided more than 20 different tailor-made trainings to third parties, such as the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Dutch Academy for Legislation, aiming to increase their personal effectiveness. To meet the specific learning objectives, our team of trainers designed tailored programmes in consultation with the organisation or team that put forward the training request. During the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, examples included training civil servants on how to effectively negotiate in online settings, or training NGOs on how to set up impactful and effective digital advocacy campaigns.
Working in an international environment demands flexibility and understanding, without losing track of the goals that need to be achieved. Many people working for the Dutch Authority for Financial Markets (AFM) face this problem on a daily basis, especially when working on cross-border issues with their international partners. In 2021, the Clingendael Academy contributed to their increased effectiveness in these environments by providing two trainings on intercultural communication. We also implemented eight such sessions for the Dutch Tax Authority, training more than 600 tax officers
Clingendael delivered training in diplomatic skills to over 600 Dutch tax officers. The programme was organised in close cooperation with the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration and Nyenrode Business University.
A guiding factor in these trainings is our Clingendael PACIS-model of Intercultural Competence, in which we distinguish between pitfalls, clusters, interactions and sensitivities in intercultural communication training, with intercultural awareness being an enabling criterion as well as an overarching end goal.
Clingendael’s PACIS Model of Intercultural Competence