REACT Training Program


Rapid expert assistance and
co-operation teams for conflict prevention, crisis management and post-conflict rehabilitation (REACT)

Background Information

The REACT course consists of a five-week training program focused on peacebuilding and conflict prevention. It is aimed at professionals interested in working on issues related to peace operations and the maintenance of international peace and security.


REACT is the only training course of its kind held in Spain. Since 2003, more than 500 students have benefited from our course throughout its 25 editions. The next edition will take place from May to July 2022.


Provide participants with the knowledge and skills required to understand and analyze the main threats to international peace and security, the circumstances in which armed conflicts arise, their key actors and their impact on civilians.

Improve participants’ skills in conflict prevention, management and resolution as well as the protection of civilians in armed conflict.

Strengthen the competence and confidence of the participants to deal with risk or critical situations in an effective manner, as would be the case when working in peace missions.

Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding: Conceptual Framework

  • Peace and conflict analysis
  • Conflict prevention
  • Conflict management
  • Peacebuilding

International Law: Overview

  • Public International Law: Basic Concepts

  • International Protection of Human Rights

  • International Humanitarian Law

  • International Criminal Law

Protection of Civilians

  • Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict
  • Women, Peace and Security. Gender in Operations
  • Children and Armed Conflict
  • Refugees and Displaced Persons

Current Conflicts and Threats to International Peace and Security

  • Asia: Afghanistan, North Korea and Myanmar

  • Middle East: Israel-Palestine, Iraq, Syria and Yemen

  • Sub-Saharan Africa: Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, and South Sudan

  • Maghreb: Libya and Western Sahara

  • Eastern Europe and the Caucasus: Ukraine and Kosovo

  • Latin America: Colombia

  • Radicalization, Terrorism and Violent Extremism

  • Transnational Organized Crime

  • Weapons of Mass Destruction

  • Hybrid Threats

  • Climate Change

Key Actors and Their Contribution to International Peace and Security

  • United Nations, Peace and Security Pillar

  • European Union, Common Security and Defense Policy

  • Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)

  • African Union, Common Defense and Security

  • North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

  • The Role of Civil Society

Tools for Sustainable Peace

  • Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration of Ex-Combatants (DDR)

  • Security Sector Reform (SSR)

  • Accountability and Transitional Justice

  • Elections in Peacebuilding

  • The Role of the Media in Peace and Conflicts

Skills and Competencies

  • Perception of risks and threats. Personal safety.

  • Security and protection procedures for vehicle movement

  • Kidnapping and hostage taking

  • Weapons, mines, improvised explosives and unexploded ordnance

  • Protection of sensitive and classified information

  • First aid in hostile environments

  • Field orientation and communication

  • Off-road driving

  • Working with interpreters

  • Stress management

  • Multicultural Negotiation and Communication

  • Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense

  • Interacting with the media

  • Professional Development

Watch the video and learn about ModuleVII: Skills and Competencies.

REACT Helsinki España 2022

Operating in Hostile Environments

The REACT course will teach students how to effectively deal with critical or emergency situations while deployed in hostile environments.

This training is aimed at improving the capabilities of the participants to work as a team member in an international field operation.

Next edition will take place in May and July 2022

General Information ↓


Registration Form ↓

The teaching staff consists of trainers and experts from international organizations (including the United Nations, European Union, OSCE and NATO), diplomats and other civil employees, military personnel, policemen, experts from the International Committee of the Red Cross and other humanitarian NGOs, independent consultants and university professors.

The course will use different methodologies, including presentations and lectures, discussions, group work, practical and advanced role-playing sessions, outdoor activities and simulation exercises.

Candidates must possess a high level of English since all classes are taught in English.

El Albir, Alfaz del Pi, Alicante from: May 30th to June 26th, 2022
Los Ángeles de San Rafael, Segovia: from 27th till 1st July (Training HEAT module, Hostile Environment Awareness Training)

Participants who successfully complete the course will receive a diploma from the International University Center for Peace Missions in Helsinki Spain.

  • United Nations (UN)

  • Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)

  • North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

  • Spanish Ministry of Defense

  • International Committee of the Red Cross

The cost to participate in the REACT project is 4.950 €.  It includes the following services:

  • 220 h of training

  • 550 € registration fee (non-refundable)

  • Five days of HEAT training (field trip, equipment and simulation)

  • Reading material

  • Field work

  • Personal mentoring focused on professional development

  • Transportation from Madrid to El Albir

  • Transport from El Albir to Los Ángeles de San Rafael

  • Diploma

Meals and accommodation are not included in the course fee.

Only a limited number of partial scholarships are available, which cover up to 35% of the total cost.

These scholarships are awarded according to the evaluation of the profile and needs of the candidates.

If you are interested in participating in REACT 2022, please send us a copy of the following documents:

  • REACT Registration Form
  • Motivation Letter

  • CV

  • Recent digital photo, passport size

  • Copy of passport

  • Copy of academic transcript

  • Two letters of recommendation on letterhead. Should include date and stamp/signature of the entity/person writing the letter.

  • ORIGINALS MUST be sent by post. It is possible to send them in advance via email. However, it will still be necessary to send the originals as well.

  • English language certificate. In case you do not have one, please notify us and we will arrange a brief telephone interview.

  • If you wish to apply for a partial scholarship, a document proving your annual income together with an official translation into English or Spanish is mandatory.

Applications will be considered in order of arrival until all places are filled. Therefore, we recommend filling out the application form in advance.

All these application documents should be sent to

Deadline for applications: March 1, 2022.

Incomplete applications will NOT be considered.

Participant testimonials

Ornella Uberti

Productive Project Officer UN Verification Mission in Colombia. Participating in REACT was to strengthen learning and add new knowledge, in addition to having known incredible people. From this high quality programme I got an overview of current international conflicts, intervention strategies and valuable information for my field work.

Michael Minassie

Ethiopia Journalist. The REACT course provided me with the tools necessary to analyze conflict situations in various contexts and come up with creative ideas on ways of resolving them. The HEAT exercise has equipped me with skills to deal with extreme situations like kidnapping, ambush, fire, to mention but a few. Kudos to Helsinki España for organizing this course given by high profile thinkers and practitioners from various backgrounds and brought together trainees from many countries, thus enriching multiculturalism.

Catherine Alayon

Colombia Researcher at the Truth Commission Trainer in Education on the Risk of Antipersonnel Mines. The REACT course is a learning and cultural exchange experience that delves into the causes and impacts of armed conflicts in the world. In this course I was able to learn about the actors, institutions and challenges of peacekeeping and strengthen my actions for field work. Thanks to this training, I will continue working hand in hand with the communities, children, women, in peace-building processes.

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