Reports and publications

The effectiveness of United Nations field operations, whether development programmes, humanitarian aid, political missions or rule of law interventions, are increasingly contingent on UN staff’s capacity to analyse and strategically engagenon-state armed groups. The proliferation and evolving hybridity of these organisations blurs simple distinctions between politically oriented insurgents and organized crime or gangs. Adding to this complexity is the emergenceof community-based groups that are perceived to play positive roles by their communities, for example, providing security to local neighbourhoods when the state is absent. Moreover, NATO’s recent intervention in Libya, which supported the groups rising up against Qaddafi’s government, illustrates both the prominence of non-state armed groups and the international community’scomplex relationship with them.

Meeting this challenge requires UN staff to be adept at both understanding and negotiating with these non-state groups. To date, learning in the UN on this topic has been decentralized and disjoined – reducing the effectiveness of staff and the potential of experience sharing across the organization. In response, the United Nations System Staff College (UNSSC) has introduced a learning initiative to advance UN staff capacity to understand and strategically engage non-state armed groups. The purpose of this report is to survey the available policy and academic resources for developing this learning initiative: Analyzing and Engaging Non-State Armed Groups in the Field. Given that it is a preliminary survey, it is not comprehensive; rather, its objective is to frame the challenge, highlight critical resources, and suggest potentially successful approaches to address it (for a description of the scoping process see Annex A).

16 Dec 2014
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In our leadership development work with international clients over the past decade, we have increasingly found ourselves faced with the question: “Is one dominant leadership model enough in today’s global work environment?” Our work has always been global in scope and we have made it a priority to design programs and development approaches suited to multicultural audiences, and to be culturally competent ourselves. 

As the very nature of the terms “global” and “globalization” evolve and we find ourselves working with increasingly diverse groups, we have recently felt the need to dig deeper and examine more closely the values, attributes and practices of leadership viewed from multiple cultural perspectives. Increasingly, there is a view that western leadership theory and practice predominate, which at a minimum does not adequately represent or expand the richness of leadership wisdom that exists and is practiced in many parts of the world.While there are a number of emerging models of global leadership, we believe that there is one dimension which is key yet relatively unaddressed in terms of practical guidance for today’s managers.

It relates to what can be learned from understanding and appreciating the ways in which culture influences leadership effectiveness, as well as the nuances of the various leadership styles found throughout the world. Currently, there is not a significant body of research available about the specific implications and relative effectiveness of these different leadership styles. In this paper we offer some of our thoughts on Multicultural Leadership and why we believe it is particularly important now to explore some new thinking and ideas that will advance leadership development initiatives.

29 Jan 2014
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Written by Laverne Webb, Jeri Darling, and Nanette Alvey

9 Dec 2013
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