At the Dallaire Initiative, we are translating knowledge into action through innovative tools that are helping military, police and peacekeepers to prevent the recruitment and use of child soldiers.
Our tools are at the intersection of good design and insight
Through our tools and training, the Dallaire Initiative is adding value and complementing the credible work of our colleagues in the humanitarian sector, while enhancing and engaging military, police and peacekeepers in the protection of children.
Our tools first and foremost identify gaps and respond to the unique environments that security sector personnel operate within. The Dallaire Initiaitve continues to refine our training resources and develop tools and training aids to provide ongoing engagement with the issue. This ensures that our training lessons can be reinforced and enhanced well after our trainees have left the class room.
The Dallaire Initiative will continue to produce innovative tools that help train and support the security sector in preventing the recruitment and use of child soldiers, allowing us to bridge the gap between humanitarian security interventions.
Process of Tool Design
The Dallaire Initiative uses insights gleaned from our experiences in the field and the needs of our participants to identify gaps in knowledge and tools they require in being preventative actors in the recruitment and use of child soldiers. Often knowledge exists, but requires translation into a format that can be used easily in the field.
We seek to develop tools that will seamlessly integrate in our users routines or habits, while reinforcing our training on the prevention of children as weapons of war.
Our tools are deployed to the field through our three/four day and Training of Trainer courses. Through the ongoing monitoring and evaluation of our training, we seek feedback from the participants on our tools and adjust their format and content accordingly.
Case Study: Playing Cards as Training Tools
When not actively engaged in their mission, soldiers often play cards during their downtime. The development and use of customized playing cards provides a unique and relevant way to inject a training tool that supports our prevention oriented security sector approach to the issue of child soldiers.
These playing cards are currently deployed to support the ongoing work of civil society organizations working with recently demobilised child soldiers in Pibor, South Sudan. These cards have proven particularly useful in helping children to discuss their experiences while in armed groups, where other methods have failed.
The playing cards are currently available in English, French and Somali.
Case Study: Child Soldiers Training Game
Over the course of 2015, the Dallaire Initiative worked with students of the Dalhousie Infromatics and Computer Science programs to develop an interactive training game and generator of the Dallaire Initiative.
As a tool, the game will help contextualize the training of the Dallaire Initiative to various peacekeeping contexts around the globe and provide in-situ refreshers for security sector personnel. Playing through the game, security sector personnel will engage with children used as weapons of war across all 11 interactions found within the Dallaire Initiative’s Child Soldiers: A Handbook for Security Sector Actors.
The first iteration of the game will be deployed to the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) by mid 2016.