Senior Managers’ Course in Conventional Weapons Destruction

Details for the next Senior Managers’ Course are unavailable at this time. Course updates will be posted here as they become available. Email the SMC Administrator at for all training-related inquiries.

What is the Senior Managers’ Course?

SMC-TJ-18CISR, working in close collaboration with faculty from JMU's College of Business, specializes in management training for leaders in humanitarian mine action and conventional weapons destruction. The SMC integrates the latest business management concepts with the practical experience of managers within humanitarian mine action to sharpen the skills of senior managers of national mine action programs and local implementing partners so programs are more effective in their operations.

From 2004-2007 CISR hosted five SMCs funded by the U.N. Development Programme and trained more than 100 senior managers from over 30 countries. Beginning in 2010, the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement in the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Political-Military Affairs (PM/WRA) has sponsored the SMC with an expanded focus to include conventional weapons destruction, including physical security and stockpile management, and other emerging topics in the field of post-conflict recovery. With PM/WRA support, CISR and its JMU faculty partners conducted six global SMCs on the JMU campus (2010-2013, 2016, 2019), and four regional SMCs held in Croatia (2017), Tajikistan (2014, 2018), and Vietnam (2015).

To date, CISR has trained 311 senior managers representing 51 countries through the SMC program.

Highlights from Recent Senior Managers’ Courses

  • Global SMC at James Madison University, 2019
    The 2019 Global Senor Manager’s Course took place at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, from 16 September to 4 October, 2019. The 2019 Global SMC welcomed 19 participants representing 16 different mine action programs operating in 12 different countries including Afghanistan, Angola, Cambodia, Iraq, Lao PDR, Libya, Niger, Solomon Islands, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, and Vietnam. This course enhanced global partnerships and accelerated collaboration among the highly skilled mine action practitioners. In addition to managerial skills instruction, the course incorporated many different modules such as a panel featuring representatives from donor countries and a roundtable discussion with international nongovernmental organizations working in mine action around the world.

    “[The course is] a great opportunity to learn theories and tools in respect to management and humanitarian mine action sector in conjunction with sharing experience from specialists…as well as meeting personally with [the] donor community. Last but not least learning from the JMU atmosphere.” ~ 2019 SMC global participant
  • Regional SMC for South and Central Asia, 2018 (SMC-TJ)
    In collaboration with the Tajikistan National Mine Action Center (TNMAC), CISR conducted the 2018 Regional Senior Managers’ Course in Conventional Weapons Destruction (SMC) from 25 June to 13 July, 2018.  Twenty-five participants representing five different countries (Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan) and 14 mine action organizations attended the course held in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. In addition to almost two weeks of managerial skills instruction, the course focused on conventional weapons destruction issues as a whole to address the wide array of program priorities in countries in South and Central Asia.

    “[It’s] an opportunity to learn from excellent experts, professors and very bright participants. It was very balanced between theory and practice, as well as interesting discussions, [and] examples from so many countries...”  ~2018 Regional SMC-TJ participant

  • Regional SMC for Europe and Eurasia in Croatia, 2017 (SMC-CR)
    From 20 March to 7 April, 2017, 20 senior managers from 12 countries gathered for the 2017 Regional SMC in Biograd na Moru, Croatia. Participants were from CWD programs in Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Georgia, Kosovo, Serbia, Slovenia, Turkey and Ukraine. Three participants from Colombia also joined the course to take advantage of the excellent working relationship already established between the Croatian and Colombian mine action authorities and to learn from the programs in Europe and Eurasia. This course strengthened regional partnerships and collaboration and focused on issues critical to the region, including program sustainability, small arms and light weapons, physical security and stockpile management, and managing programs through transitional phases. When considering the most valuable aspect of the course, one participant stated that the SMC encourages them, “to start thinking holistically as a senior manager, to be aware what has to be considered…and how the problems should be addressed or even what to do to avoid them. I liked the interaction of professors with participants and [the] team work.”

  • Global SMC at James Madison University, 2016
    The Global Senior Managers’ Course in ERW and Mine Action (SMC) took place at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, from 23 May to 10 June, 2016. The 2016 Global SMC welcomed 21 participants representing CWD programs in 13 different countries, including Afghanistan, Colombia, Iraq, Laos, Lebanon, Libya, Palau, Senegal, Sri Lanka, Somalia, Tajikistan, Vietnam and Yemen—creating a strong global network of mine action practitioners. In addition, the SMC incorporated highly successful modules developed for the regional SMC, including a panel featuring representatives from donor countries and a roundtable discussion with international nongovernmental organizations working in mine action around the world.

    “The most valuable aspect of the course for me is the exposure to the wider mine action sector. I had [the] opportunity to interact with experience[d] mine action individuals from around the world to learn more about different contexts, how programs are run, what challenges are faced and how they overcome these challenges …” ~ 2016 SMC global participant
  • ERW Training Courses in Jordan: CISR and its JMU faculty partners, participated in three ERW Training Courses in Jordan (2009, 2010, 2011) as subcontractors to Jordan's National Committee for Demining and Rehabilitation. The courses trained 80 senior managers and were funded through grants from the U.S. Department of State.
  • Peru-Ecuador Binational Workshop for Management in Humanitarian Demining: In August 2011, CISR worked with a JMU COB management professor to conduct this training in Lima, Peru. The one-week workshop, conducted in Spanish, brought together 30 ERW/mine action officials from the two neighboring countries. The workshop was jointly sponsored by the U.S. Southern Command through the U.S. Embassy in Peru and the Peruvian government’s Ministry of Foreign Relations and mine-action office, CONTRAMINAS. To learn more about this workshop, click here.

For more information on CISR’s programs in disability rights, peer support, and survivor assistance go to our HMA and CWD Projects page

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