Leadership and Political Affairs

The FBA strengthens leadership and political advisory capacity in international operations and public administration in conflict and post-conflict environments.

Leadership is a decisive factor for an organization’s ability to efficiently conduct its mission. It is therefore important that leaders in international operations and public administration are prepared for the tasks and challenges they will face. With the right training and tools a leader can work efficiently, so that operations and public administration reach better results.

Two particularly important support functions for the leadership in international operations and public administration are political advising and strategic communication. A political adviser works closely with the leadership and gives advice on political strategies, observes and reports on political developments, and supports decision making with critical analysis. The success of a leader does not only depend on the possibility to implement a mandate, but also on the ability to adapt to different situations and handle political and diplomatic issues, where support from an experienced political adviser is crucial.

Strategic communication is key to making results and effects of the work of international operations and public administration visible, which contributes to creating transparency and legitimacy. In today’s rapid media environment support from a communication adviser is central for a leader to efficiently carry out the mission.

What does the FBA do?

  • Policy, research and development
    The FBA has published a handbook for political advisers in international missions.

  • Training
    The FBA has, in cooperation with the European External Action Service, developed a training course for senior EU mission leaders to improve the leadership capacity in international operations. There is a similar course for UN senior mission leaders, arranged by the UN but with support from the FBA. FBA also offers tailor-made courses for political advisers in peace operations, and upon request the FBA offers training on leadership and communication in order to meet specific needs within organizations such as the EU, UN and OSCE.

  • International work
    The FBA seconds Swedish mission leaders, political advisers and communication advisers to international peace missions. Please see the map about our international projects.

  • Cooperation
    The FBA cooperates, within the field of leadership and political affairs, with the OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR), European External Action Service (EEAS), Central European University, the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


Looking back at a year of election observation

Liberia, Kyrgyzstan and Honduras. Kenya, Kosovo and Nepal. Those are just a handful of the countries that have held elections during 2017, to which FBA has deployed election observers. “It has been an exciting year. And 2018 looks just as interesting, with forthcoming elections in Russia, Cambodia and Zimbabwe, only to name a few”, says Maja Tjernström who works with election observation at FBA.

2017-12-22 14:37

Read our publications

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Putting Civilians First: NGO Perceptions and Expectations of UN Peacekeeping

NGOs and UN peacekeeping operations increasingly operate in a shared domain. NGOs commonly rely – at least partly – on UN peacekeepers for access and security, but they also express concerns about this. Yet remarkably little is known about what are their main concerns and how widespread they are. Even more importantly, what can be done to address them? This FBA Brief, written by members of one of the FBA’s research working groups, examines the answers to those questions.

Han Dorussen, Marian de Vooght



  • Posted by Andreas Berg

    Back ‘home’ in Kosovo and remembering old lessons

    The distinct smell of coal dust creeps into your nose as soon as you step off the plane in Pristina, a strange and familiar welcome back greeting for those of us intimate with this small corner of Europe. I felt it again in November 2017 when I came to Kosovo for a few days of visiting old friends and colleagues. For anyone with strong memories of living in a foreign country, you will remember the joys ... Read entire post »

    2017-12-13 11:21
  • Posted by Sabrina Karim

    Liberia after Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

    On November 8 2005, Liberians elected Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to be the first female president of an African country. She made history that day and she oversaw fourteen years of peace in a country that had experienced two decades of devastating armed conflict. In 2011, she was re-elected and won the Nobel Peace Prize. Her fame and legacy has brought widespread international attention onto Liberia.

    On October 10, 2017, Liberians will go to the polls for the ... Read entire post »

    2017-10-06 15:28
  • Posted by Maja Jakobsson

    Strengthening forces for peace through experience-sharing

    The security situation in Afghanistan has deteriorated as of late, with the highest number of conflict-related civilian casualties in 2016 since 2009. The efforts for a formal and sustainable peace process are insufficient and face numerous obstacles. Violent battles between government and Taliban forces have resulted in new districts falling under Taliban power. Attacks by other groups, loyal to the Islamic State, are increasing in numbers.

    Despite this, there are still strong forces for peace in Afghanistan. ... Read entire post »

    2017-09-21 16:18

Eldridge Adolfo

Eldridge Adolfo is expert on South Sudan, Colombia, Sierra Leone and preventive diplomacy

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