Trauma-responsive Project Planning

trauma sensitivity
© Karlos Manluping

Informationen zum Seminar


Early Bird: 315€ when booking until 7 August 2024   
Registration Deadline: 18 September 2024


Technical Check: on 27 September 2024 from 13:30 to 14:30 CEST      
Online Live Sessions: from 2 to 23 October 2024, every Wednesday from 13:30 to 17:30 CEST

Who can register for this course?

The course is designed for people who have been working to understand the sources/causes/origins of trauma responses, the diverse impacts of trauma on individuals and collectively, and how those impacts - and responses to them - can sustain or interrupt cycles of harm. After establishing a broad foundational understanding of these dynamics (ideally in prior learning, though we will touch on this foundation at the opening of this course), people can focus on the specific application of that knowledge to project planning and management. As planners, designers, implementers, and evaluators of projects and programs in traumagenic circumstances, we do well to ask different questions that emphasise the realities of trauma responses in our planning, implementation, and evaluation processes. Team leaders, individuals working independently, facilitators and trainers, project designers, implementers, and evaluators can all benefit from this course that invites participants to focus trauma-responsiveness on project design and planning.

Depending on methods and topic of the training, we limit the number of available spaces to a manageable size (a maximum of 20 participants). Register early to reserve your place!


The four weeks will begin with orientation in the group - including finding study pairs or triads - and the course material, which will include an assessment framework and readings that can enhance participants’ lenses for applying trauma responsiveness to project planning.

In the second week, the participants identify challenges, resources, and possibilities for trauma-responsive project planning, looking at specific ways the group has experienced trauma-responsive or trauma-clueless project and program management; participants are invited to work with the assessment framework using instructor-provided case studies and/or bring resources and cases that have been part of their experience.

In the third week, the conversations that emerge in the second week will continue, inviting small group work related to challenges, resources, and possibilities. That week, participants will create and share a 5-minute video or podcast, and will be responsible for listening to and offering feedback/questions to approximately 4 others’ short presentations.

In the fourth and final session, there will be room to discuss these final projects; acknowledge the possibilities, boundaries, and limitations for integrating trauma-responsiveness into peacebuilding projects; and close the training. All sessions (and self-guided learning) will involve some self-care and collective care practice.


By the end of the training, participants will have:

  • deepened their understanding of the meaning of being “trauma-responsive” and the implications for peace and conflict analysis, project planning and implementation, and organizational functioning
  • engaged with a trauma-informed assessment framework related to their active and/or past projects
  • explored and shared resources for understanding and addressing the intersections of trauma (collective, personal, relational, organizational, cultural, structural, historical, trans-generational) and their work realities
  • considered possibilities, boundaries, and limitations – personally and professionally – for addressing the impacts of trauma
  • practiced body-mind tools to reignite personal and team safety, dignity, and belonging in the face of chronic violence and uncertainty

Key Concepts

Being trauma responsive involves not only cultivating knowledge and capacity to speak about trauma and resilience in non-stigmatizing ways, but also engaging energy in meeting needs that emerge in the midst and aftermath of traumagenic circumstances.

Trauma responsiveness requires asking questions and taking action first and frequently within ourselves as practitioners. From this starting-with-self foundation, the participants can move to exploring organizational support for self-care and collective care.

While integration of care practices is essential to trauma-responsive project planning, so are structural efforts to meet justice needs, address historical harms, and practice sharing power: for example, who is in leadership (and not)? Who can participate (and not)? How do individuals and organizations acknowledge harm and work toward accountability and repair? What policies and processes support a just environment? What supports exist toward safety, belonging, dignity and shared power? How do we address gaps?


The learning methodology centers participants’ experiences and questions they bring to the training and will adapt content to emergent questions. The trainers approach is grounded in about 20 years of theory and practice in multiple environments and centers the idea that a trauma-responsive learning community makes space to hold discomfort, with care and attentiveness to safety, dignity and belonging. The participants are invited to engage their own body-mind-spirit and experience in analytical, playful, and stress-relieving exercises; the approach makes space for unexpected learning and emergent themes, as well as the pre-planned content.

In the course, participants use a variety of tools, including a digital learning platform, a video conferencing tool, and an online whiteboard. Participants should therefore have a good internet connection (1 Mbit down/upload or better). A headset is highly recommended.


  • Participants will be assigned 1-2 hours of readings, as well as questions to explore within a pair or triad, in between synchronous group learning sessions.
  • Participants will produce a 5-minute podcast or video presentation to share with classmates communicating one of the ways they plan to apply our learning.
  • As a final deliverable, participants may choose one of the following: 
    a) Design a case study and accompanying questions that can help project team members sharpen their lenses toward trauma-responsive paths, practices and policies. 
    b) Create a 2-page guide of key challenges and possibilities to shape trauma-responsive project planning. 
    c) Evaluate a current or past project using the trauma-responsive organizational assessment questions. 
    d) Creative option: participants may propose another way of integrating the course learning.

After a successful participation, participants receive a certificate and become part of our alumni network.

Total expected weekly hours: 5 to 7 hours per week

Register bindingly for this training.
For further information on our cancellation policies and financing options, please see our FAQs.

The fee can be paid by invoice.