E-learning and Police Experts Network (PEN)

Contributions from the Norwegian Police University College to the EUs Horizon 2020 Research Programme on Community Based Policing and Post-Conflict Police Reform

In the period 2015 to 2020, Norwegian Police University College (NPUC) was one of ten organizations from Norway, Germany, England, Poland and Ireland that made up the research consortium behind the EU H2020-funded project "Community-Based Policing and Post Conflict Police Reform" (ICT4COP. The Department of International Environmental and Development Studies (Noragric) at the Faculty of Landscape and Society at NMBU coordinated the research project.

The main goal of the project was to understand the interlinked challenges of safety and insecurity of people living in post-conflict areas, and the research examined how sustainable and trust-based relationships can be developed between society and the police. A key focus was to understand the strengths and weakness of community-oriented policing in such contexts.

The project comprised 11 work packages. In-depth qualitative research was conducted in 11 case countries, spread across South Asia, South- Eastern Europe, Africa and Latin America. The project included crosscutting themes on youth, gender, technology and police training. The research was interdisciplinary, with a common overarching methodology and a strong focus on dissemination and exploitation of research results. A clear ambition for the project was to analyse both differences and commonalties in community-oriented policing in very different post-conflict contexts to better inform development and security policy, reform processes and training and education.

NPUC was responsible for the work package on Police Training & Education. This included the establishment of the Police Experts Network (PEN), and the creation of an e-learning programme on COP.


The aim of establishing a network of police experts in the research project was threefold: to harvest knowledge, experience, and expertise from police practitioners, researchers, and civil society actors with field experience in post-conflict police reform; to engage in knowledge creation between practitioners and researchers on community-based policing practice and experiences in different contexts; and to create a broad knowledge dissemination network. Especially for this research project, the collaboration between researchers, police experts and civil society was very crucial. On a voluntary basis, the police experts assisted with evaluation advice to identify "best practices", advice to the researchers on the project and to point out any potential for improvement in the material collected.

E-learning programme

The e-learning programme was created to help international police advisors support and facilitate the co-creation and sustainment of local COP initiatives. The purpose of the programme was not to provide a prescriptive way to co-create COP, nor does it replace other COP e-learning programmes, handbooks dealing with operational, and logistics planning.  The aim is to provide a supplementary approach to the development of COP in post-conflict areas through increased local ownership, engagement and legitimacy amongst local stakeholders. The programme aims to add some of the “missing pieces” in terms of skills needed in COP initiatives, as identified through the project research.  

The overall learning objectives for the programme are to: 

  • Increase awareness and knowledge of COP initiatives;  value of,  strengths and 
    challenges with the approach
  • Build competencies and skills necessary to prepare for, co-create and institutionalise 
  • Increase willingness to engage with and co-create sustainable COP initiatives in post-conflict areas
  • Foster a learning COP community based on reflection and shared .

Structure and content

The programme consists of an introductory module, followed by three main modules reflecting the stages of COP development. Each module has a set of learning objectives describing competencies and skills that are particularly relevant to each phase. These are further explored through learning sprints for each topic. The programme content reflects the competencies and skills required for international police advisors about to engage in COP, as identified through the research.

Each module takes between 20 to 30 minutes to view. Users can follow the programme at their own time and convenience. The modules are:

Module 1: Preparing international police advisors for COP efforts                                             

Module 2: Co-creating COP through engaging with local police and community

Module 3: Institutionalising COP, addressing how COP initiatives can be sustained once international police advisors leave the host country.

Sources of the programme

The content of the e-learning programme derives from three sources merged together to provide a practical guide reflecting current and relevant research and practices in the field. These include input from researchers in the field as delivered through the project work packages reflecting the findings in the countries and on topics that were part of the content, the PEN network and civil society. Given that the aim of the e-learning programme is to reach international police advisors working with COP anywhere, the findings are presented as a combination of general input with some country specific examples. Similarly, findings on youth, gender and ICT provided inputs on sprints dedicated to these topics.

The digital unit of the NPUC has played an important role in bringing this programme to reality. They have immensely contributed from the conception of ideas to the final digital production.

The programme is “open access” and is available here: https://www.communitypolicing.eu/e-learning/

More information about the research project (open access) and our contributions can be accessed at our web site: https://www.communitypolicing.eu/

The core group responsible for this work package

Anne Rød
Anne Rød, Associate professor, she was the leader of the work package on police training and education.
Jaishankar Ganapathy
Jaishankar Ganapathy, associate professor, he is a researcher with this work package and the South Asia work package. He is the current leader of the PEN.
Tor Damkås
Tor Damkås Police Superintendent (retired), he was the earlier leader of PEN. He was responsible for establishing the network.
Kristian Larsen
Kristian Larsen, Senior Advisor, he was responsible for the production and development of the e-learning programme.

Research articles related to this work package:

A Bird’s-Eye View from the Field—How a Police Experts Network Can Be an Important Link in Facilitating Sustainable Community-Oriented Policing in Post-Conflict Contexts: Jaishankar Ganapathy, Tor Damkaas and Alf Halvar Næsje


Pathways to Understanding Community-Oriented Policing in Post-Conflict Societies
Jaishankar Ganapathy and Tor Damkaas https://bulletin.cepol.europa.eu/index.php/bulletin/article/view/245