Handbook on Human Security: A Civil-Military-Police Curriculum

"This is not just a Handbook to be used - this is a banner to be waved"

The Handbook (download PDF) is an innovative, first-of-its-kind integrated civil-military-police training curriculum which aims to provide practical guidance and a shared set of terms and concepts to enable civil-military-police coordination to support human security.

The Handbook includes 10 modules and 31 lessons (see below) with reading and training notes for each lesson, including exercises and scenarios. Each lesson is approximately 1 hour including an optional 15-20 minute powerpoint summarizing the handbook, and then 30-45 minutes of exercises and discussion on the themes.


Module 1:

Leadership in Complex Environments

This module provides an introduction to the most important foundational ideas in this Handbook.

It creates a foundation for understanding why it is important for civil society, civilians in government, military and police to coordinate their approaches to human security.


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Lesson 1: Mapping Stakeholders in Complex Environments

Lesson 2: Adaptive Leadership

Lesson 3: Inter-Cultural Competence

Lesson 4: Self-Assessment


Module 2:

State-Society Relations


This module introduces the definitions of the state-society relationship, the security sector, civil society. This module provides a conceptual foundation for analysis of the roles and responsibilities of each of these stakeholders.

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Lesson 5: State-Society Relations

Lesson 6: Introduction to the Security Sector

Lesson 7: Introduction to Civil Society

Lesson 8: Legal Frameworks for Civil-Military-Police Relations


 Module 3:

Multi-Stakeholder Coordination

This modules identifies a range of approaches to civil-military-police coordination. It explores how coordination relates to local ownership and the use of multi-stakeholder processes. Both technical and conceptual, the module aims to identify different types of coordination forums to increase local ownership in security.

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Lesson 9: Approaches to Multi-Stakeholder Coordination

- Lesson 10: Local Ownership and Community Engagement

Lesson 11: Organising Multi-Stakeholder Processes


Module 4:

Coordination on Conflict Assessment


This module provides security forces, security policymakers and civil society with shared tools for researching and carrying out a conflict assessment and designing a basic intervention plan. Without a shared understanding of the particular challenges of a given conflict, there can be no comprehensive strategy or coordination to support human security.

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Lesson 12: Conflict Assessment Research

Lesson 13: Conflict Assessment Tools

Lesson 14: Moving from Conflict Assessment to Planning


Module 5:

Comparing Approaches to Security


This module compares and contrasts different approaches to security. There are fundamental tensions between different approaches to security. Understanding different points of view is essential to enable all stakeholders to appreciate the different theories of change that underlie the strategic narrative in each approach.


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Lesson 15: Human Security and National Security

Lesson 16: Approaches to Violence

Lesson 17: Approaches to Policing and Justice

Lesson 18: Approaches to to Security Sector Reform (SSR)

Lesson 19: Approaches to Disarmament, Demobilisation & Reintegration


Module 6:

Conflict Prevention & Peacebuilding Skills


Multi-stakeholder coordination requires advanced communication and conflict skills. These skills are necessary for every level of interaction - but become even more important in a complex environment. This module provides civil society, military and police leaders with practical skills in communication, dialogue, negotiation and mediation.


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Lesson 20: Communication and Conflict Skills  

Lesson 21: Dialogue and Facilitation Skills

Lesson 22: Negotiation Skills

Lesson 23: Mediation Skills


Module 7:

Civilian Assistance


This module helps civilians, military and police to understand different terminology, potential dangers and international guidance for coordinating civilian assistance.


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Lesson 24: Understanding Civilian Assistance  

Lesson 25: Coordinating Civilian Assistance  


Module 8:

Protection of Civilians


This module provides a foundation for military, police, and civilians on the core ideas, functions, practices, and principles known as "protection of civilians" (PoC). This module aims to provide a common understanding in each of three areas: general protection of civilians, gender mainstreaming in security, and mitigating civilian harm.


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Lesson 26: Mainstreaming Protection of Civilians

Lesson 27: Gender Mainstreaming in Security  

Lesson 28: Mitigating Civilian Harm


Module 9:

Trauma Awareness, Resilience & Managing Stress


This module provides an introduction to the impact of trauma, stress, resilience and self-care that face military, police, civilians who work in stressful contexts.


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Lesson 29: Trauma Awareness

Lesson 30: Resilience, Self-Care and Managing Stress


Module 10:

Security Governance, Accountability & Performance


This module concludes the Handbook with a lesson outlining how civilians, military and the police can work together to monitor and evaluate security governance, accountability and performance.


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Lesson 31: Assessing Security Governance, Accountability & Performance


Latest Update

The Improving Practice Working Group had a global learning exchange in The Hague on 9-11 October, with participants from 9 regions as well as global training providers. The group worked through a number of modules and case studies from the Handbook on Human Security and deliberated on planning for next year.