In November and December The Hague Academy developed and organised two pilot courses for VNG international in cooperation with IKV Pax Christi. The subject of this pilot was ‘How to deal with local governance in fragile states?’, and it was tailor-made for military personnel of Dutch and NATO CIMIC (Civil and Military Cooperation) Battalions. This topic especially fits the 3D approach, which prescribes for actors from the Defence, Diplomacy and the Development sectors to cooperate in rebuilding a state after conflict. Therefore, it is crucial for military personnel to have knowledge about local governance in fragile states, and the roles these can have in post-conflict reconstruction.

In the training, theory on local governance in fragile states and human security was alternated with a simulation game on local governments in Burundi and a highly practical role-play . The cooperation with IKV Pax Christi resulted in angles that were new and different to the participants, which led to lively discussions. Everyone agreed that getting to know each other’s way of approaching a situation can be useful in future missions.

The pilot courses were very successful, and, most importantly, the participants felt stimulated to think about what local governance can look like, and what the influence of military personnel on local governments can be while on a mission.