One of ZIF's core tasks is the preparation of civilian personnel for their deployment in peace operations and election observation missions of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the European Union (EU), the United Nations (UN), the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and other international organizations.

Preparing civilian experts for their work means to provide them with essential knowledge, skills and competences enabling them to implement the mandates of peace operations. They shall strive to do that in a way that they take care of themselves and avoid harm to their body and soul. To this end, civilian experts need to possess professional, social, personal and methodological competences. A holistic view of these competences is vital, as making equal use of all of them shapes the expert’s core attitude. In turn, successful application of the competences is shaped by this very attitude. Experts strive toward implementing the operations’ mandates effectively and efficiently, bringing benefits to the local population and structures, thus contributing to resilience. In addition, experts take care of their own physical and mental well-being.

This reflective approach forms part of ZIF’s Concept “Civilian Expert”.

Since 2002, ZIF has trained more than 4100 experts in preparation for their work in civilian crisis management.

Core elements of ZIF Training methodology are:

  • a collaborative, reflective, and learner-centered approach;
  • the depiction of mission reality in training, for instance by using scenarios and realistic exercises;
  • promotion of a comprehensive approach taking into consideration the various mandates, roles and approaches by different national and international actors.

ZIF regularly invites national employees of international organizations (UN, EU, OSCE, AU) to its training courses and supports their participation. This is to strengthen the idea of cooperation and to develop already during training a habit of working in a tandem of international and national mission members. All courses are open to international applicants and are held in English. ZIF trainers have extensive mission experience, and are well familiar with ZIF’s Concept “Civilian Expert”.


The following pages will give you a comprehensive overview of the variety of courses ZIF offers, including information on learning objectives, methodology, application requirements and procedures. Additionally, there is an overview of our national and international partners.