Workshops & Training

Learning through workshops and executive coaching constitute one of the core practice areas for the Center.  In addition to tailored events that are designed specifically for one organization’s learning needs, we also run our own courses each year that eligible participants can sign up for on our website.

Tailored Events

CDC has the privilege of working with a range of more than 60  UN organizations, governments, NGOs, as well as companies from the private sector, to provide made-to-order learning events for both practitioners and decision makers.  CDC has delivered training in Africa, Asia & the Pacific, the Middle East and North Africa, Latin America & the Caribbean, Eastern Europe, and Europe and North America. Courses have been organized in English, French, Arabic, and Spanish.  These are some of the possible areas that we can help with

Individual Coaching for Chief Executives and Heads of Agencies


CDC has worked with dozens of Chief Executives in the United Nations System and in Government to provide individual coaching for media interviews. Clients have included the International Labor Organization in Geneva, the United Nations Secretariat in New York, The World Meteorological Organization, the Special Representatives of the Secretary General, Economic Commission for Europe, Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific and the Executive Privatization Commission in Jordan as well as the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) ;  the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) ; and several United Nations Peacekeeping Missions in Africa and Latin America.  CDC focuses on primary concerns of the CEO or Executive Secretary, and works to improve message content as well as delivery.



Strategic Media Skills for Senior Managers

CDC provides this type of course to help senior managers in organizations better interact with the media.  These usually include coaching and message development as they are important points in dealing with the media.  Participants learn the distinction between various types of interviews and gain an understanding of what the media are looking for and how to converge a good message with a good story.  The communication training can be designed as part of a leadership course as we did with the UN System Staff College in Turin, and the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). This course has also been offered for a number of UN Country teams at the country level. In 2011 CDC had the pleasure of working with UN Country Teams in Barbados, Comoros, and Sri Lanka.

Spokesperson Training

UNESCO Global Monitoring Report

CDC trains spokespersons in media relations, strategic communication and crisis management. The course responds to the need for governments to communicate in transparent and effective ways as part of good governance.  This learning has been delivered to newly appointed United Nations Resident Coordinators, UNICEF country representatives, United Nations Country Teams, Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) media spokespersons, Civil Society Representatives, and Government Officials.  CDC’s training differs from other organizations in that it provides a mix of individual coaching as well as classroom sessions, and through use of digital technology is able to share edited sound-bites with participants during the course. CDC has offered this training in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East.  CDC focuses around a number of different scenarios that one might encounter in different cultures because there is no single global recipe for being a successful spokesperson. The course builds on CDC expertise working with governments in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and in the Middle East, as well as Mr. Bouhafa’s own skills as a long serving spokesperson for UNICEF.

CDC can provide the spokespersons with the necessary skills to design a communication strategy, and to make more effective use of different tools to engage the media. In addition CDC can help develop a media strategy upon request.

Communication Skills for Diplomacy

Italian Diplomats – Turin

Diplomats require strong communication skills, as they often are called upon to represent their country’s viewpoint in the local media, often as the result of a crisis. CDC has worked closely with the UN’s International Training Centre, based in Turin, Italy to develop a four day training component for the Diplomatic Institute of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.   The course is offered several times a year to diplomats that have qualified for the rank of counselor and is also offered through the ITC for diplomats from other countries, when funding from the United Nations is available.  The design for this course takes into account the special challenges faced by a diplomat in exercising his or her duties.

Training for Practitioners

CDC has worked closely with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) among others to design a training component on strategic communication for communication officers serving in more than 100 locations around the world.  The course has been delivered in both French and English to practitioners serving in Africa, Asia, and Europe. A comprehensive training manual is also available.  CDC has also provided similar training to the Executive Privatization Commission in Jordan, the Women’s Movement in Morocco, Child Rights Advocates in West Africa, World Bank Project Staff in Guinea, staff of UN Women, and OCHA staff in Africa and Asia.  This training includes a strong focus on tools and tactics to engage the media. This training can be tailored to the needs of any organization and delivered in English, French, and Spanish.

Manuals & Tool Kits

CDC has produced a number of communication training manuals on a range of issues.  Production of these materials has resulted from adapting course content, usually conducted by CDC, into a workbook format.   We produce “how to” manuals for trainers, learning materials for participants and support materials including CDs containing additional readings and video clips which participants and trainers can both use.  Examples include working with the United Nations Department of Public Information and the Department of Peace Keeping Operations (DPKO) to produce the “Rapid Public Information Response in UN Peacekeeping Operations” course into a manual format.  This is an extensive manual with 7 modules which can be taught together or as stand-alone workshops.

We also designed the ILO self-learning package consisting of individual sessions ranging in communication topics.  These sessions included targeted readings as well as practical activities which help fine tune the learned skills (i.e. actual press conferences where ILO staff briefed media, design a message for an interview, review media clips of ILO staff and identify which were effective in getting their message across).  The content and case studies used were specific to current ILO issues. A DVD with video materials was also developed by us as part of the learning. CDC also designed a learning package for the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) based on the training course we conducted for them at the Harvard Business School.   We designed a pocket guide for practitioners for the UN that was used in a series of training workshops in New York for senior UN staff. Download a copy here  Pocket Guide for Practitioners

Social Media

Social Media learning is offered as a module in our existing courses and as a stand-alone course “Using Social Media to achieve development goals”  which will  guide you through the process of making Social Media a functional part of your organization, and to deploy the full potential of your social media and online tools.


Sign Up Courses

We offer four types of courses each year

  • International Executive Media and TV Workshop (IEMTW)
  • Strategic Media Skills for Senior Managers (SMS)
  • Using Social Media to achieve development goals (SocMedia)

Information is available here and registration here


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Moncef Bouhafa

Program Director
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