Bowier Trust
Foundation from Switzerland

Bowier Trust Foundation Switzerland

Bowier Trust Foundation Switzerland

E-Learning Class-Teaching / Internet based Distance Learning

Distance Learning Course in Monrovia (DLCM)

Organizer: Bowier Trust Foundation Switzerland

Target group: The BTFS team in Monrovia

Topic: Capacity building for NGOs working in civil society

Training team: Dr. Burkhard Luber and local trainers

Learning approach: inputs via study emails, online learning materials and electronic communication during the course.

Duration: One year with monthly learning cycle


Using email-based learning units, online learning materials, and online interaction between the teaching team and course participants, this course provides an introduction to the main topics of international conflict analysis and peacebuilding, as well as the working elements of non-governmental organizations in Liberian civil society. The course therefore consists of two major topics:

Course Section A covers the following topics:

  • How to understand international conflicts
  • The main elements of international peacebuilding

Course Section B covers the following topics:

  • Work issues and intra-organizational challenges for NGOs as civil society actors
  • NGOs as partners for government agencies
  • Security and Rule of Law as Elements of NGO Work

Approach to learning

The course inputs consist of 12 written learning units (about 10 pages each) sent by the teaching team to the course participants via electronic circular email (one per month), combined with additional corresponding online material and accompanying communication between the course participants and the course instructors. The course inputs include introductory and explanatory texts with a focus on website links that need to be followed up by the course participants. Each course unit is concluded with a homework assignment that allows participants to check their knowledge and learning progress. Parallel to the basic learning material of the course, participants receive additional online materials (links) via email on the topics of the course sections A and B described above.

What participants will learn in this course

In the course section A:

  • The main tools for analyzing international conflicts
  • Identification of actors in international politics: states, multinational corporations, NGOs.
  • Addressing international conflicts (territory, ideology, power) and the factors that destabilize peace: The nuclear arms race, the dangerous militarization of society and culture, the international arms trade
  • The special problem of modern asymmetric warfare and civil wars
  • Elements of international peacebuilding: conflict de-escalation, disarmament, demilitarization, overcoming enemy images and win-lose thinking, confidence-building tools, approaches for sustainable peaceful post-war societies.

In the course section B:

  • Key elements of sustainable civil society such as democracy and human rights, financial transparency, anti-corruption mechanisms, accountability systems
  • The importance of security, constitution and law for civil society
  • The work priorities of NGOs and how to achieve them effectively and sustainably: Democratic and efficient ways of communicating within the NGO, tools for problem solving within the organization, effective public relations strategies, aspects of fundraising.
  • The "how" for cooperative interaction and communication between NGOs, government agencies, and other civil society actors (such as religion and business), including trust building between key stakeholders in society and the security sector/police.

Technical requirements 

  • Electronic device for sending and receiving e-mails and surfing the Internet (PC, notebook, tablet or smartphone) or, alternatively, via online access at NGO offices or academic institutions.
  • E-Mail-Address
  • Smartphone number for communication via the WhatsApp software

Expectations of the participants of the course

Dedicated focus on the course. Continuous daily work with the course units, especially working on the web links in the course material and completing homework assignments. Actively interacting in the course with other students and the teaching team via email.




Participants who have completed the entire course will receive a certificate from BTFS

About the Course Instructor Team:

Dr Burkhard Luber

MA in International Politics, PhD in Peace Studies. Currently an academic teacher of international politics at various international universities. Member of the editorial board of the international journal "The Milieu". Mentor with the NGO empowerment network "Wedu" in Southeast Asia.

Local trainers based in Monrovia