The Centre of Competence on Humanitarian Negotiation (CCHN) serves as a central hub for the Strategic Partners’ efforts to enhance the ability of humanitarian professionals to effectively engage  in negotiation processes. The main objective of the Centre’s activities is to contribute to the thinking of practitioners on humanitarian negotiation through the sharing of the results of its research and reflections on humanitarian negotiation across contexts. Deliberations during these activities are non-confidential in nature. Participants raise issues of interest at their own discretion and in line with their agencies’ confidentiality requirements.

Context-Specific Activities


We support agencies’ negotiation capacity in given contexts

People-Specific Activities


 We develop field practitioners’ negotiation skills

Theme-Specific Activities


We address negotiation challenges through specific themes

Where are our activities?

The Centre regularly organises workshops in operational contexts and regional hubs for humanitarian professionals engaged in frontline negotiation.

Who participates?

While our activities are designed to support professional staff from the five Strategic Partners (ICRC, WFP, UNHCR, MSF and HD Centre), these activities are open to the participation of professionals from all humanitarian organisations active on the frontlines of conflict.

Context-Specific Activities

At the request of the five Strategic Partners (ICRC, WFP, UNHCR, MSF, and HD Centre), the Centre of Competence regularly organises activities focusing on negotiation practices in specific operational contexts, providing support to country teams in the field. The Centre further supports individual negotiators and their organisations through peer exchanges.

Analysis of Negotiation Practice

In-country bilateral and small group meetings with field practitioners to capture and analyse local negotiation practices and challenges.

Induction Workshops

In-country field workshops introducing essential tools of humanitarian negotiation for national and international staff.

Policy Workshops

In-country policy workshops on the specific challenges and dilemmas for senior managers of humanitarian organizations on access and protection issues.

Peer-to-Peer Exchange

Peer support meetings to share negotiation practices among field practitioners at the local, national or regional level.

People-Specific Activities

In close collaboration with academic partners, the Centre organises activities focusing on the needs and demands of frontline negotiators across contexts and agencies. These activities play a key role in fostering the emergence of a global community of practice among professionals engaged in “frontline negotiations” that spans across agencies, regions and themes.

Participatory Research

Under the guidance of senior researchers and in close collaboration with academic partners, selected participants are invited to conduct research on humanitarian negotiation.

Regional Workshops

Advanced Regional Workshops organized jointly with ATHA/Harvard University, building capacity and skills of field practitioners through exchange of experience and reflections.

Tools and Methods

Policy research on the development of new and practical tools and methods to assist frontline professionals in engaging successfully in frontline negotiations.

Theme-Specific Activities

We address negotiation challenges through specific themes.

Annual Meeting

International gathering of field practitioners and experts around key challenges and dilemmas of humanitarian negotiation. Acts as an informal assembly of practitioners guiding the orientation of the Centre of Competence.

Thematic Working Groups

Informal meetings with practitioners and experts around a particular theme/ challenge of humanitarian negotiation to define the scope of the Annual Meeting. We have set up five working groups, covering thematic issues pertaining to humanitarian negotiation in the Middle East Region, the Lake Chad Region, Myanmar, South Sudan, and Colombia.