About Us

In October 2016, five leading humanitarian organisations, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the World Food Programme (WFP), Médecins sans Frontières (MSF- Switzerland) and the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD), launched the Centre of Competence on Humanitarian Negotiation (CCHN), based in Geneva.

The Centre of Competence facilitates the capture, analysis and sharing of humanitarian negotiation experiences and practices with a view to supporting a more systematic approach to frontline negotiation. It provides a space for multiagency dialogue and intends to foster a community of practice among humanitarian negotiators.

This joint endeavour is supported by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA). During a five-year incubation phase, the Centre will be hosted by the ICRC and, with the support of the five Strategic Partners, organises dedicated events, peer-to-peer exchanges and carries out research on issues identified by practitioners.

humanitarian negotiations in Africa

Our Mission

The Centre of Competence’s core objectives are to:

1

Facilitate critical reflections, learning and informal peer exchanges among frontline negotiators.

The Centre offers a safe, informal and neutral space to discuss and review humanitarian negotiation practices in regions affected by conflicts.
2

Support the development of a stronger analytical framework and greater capacity for effective humanitarian negotiation.

Informed by current practice, the Centre contributes to the professional and policy debates surrounding frontline negotiation processes, tools and strategies.
3

Foster a community of practice among humanitarian professionals engaged in frontline negotiations.

The ultimate goal of the Centre is to facilitate the emergence of a global community of frontline negotiators across agencies, regions and themes.

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Mission Statement

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Our Team

The Centre of Competence is staffed by secondees from the five Strategic Partners to enable the development of peer support, policy analysis as well as communication and networking activities on humanitarian negotiation.

Claude Bruderlein

Director

Claude Bruderlein is a Strategic Advisor to the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and lead researcher on ICRC negotiation practices. In October 2016, he was elected Director of the joint Centre of Competence on Humanitarian Negotiation (CCHN). He has been engaged in international humanitarian action since 1985. From 1990 - 1995, he worked in humanitarian assistance and protection with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Iran, Israel and the Occupied Territories, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Yemen as well as in Geneva as a legal advisor to ICRC operations. In 1996, he joined the United Nations in New York as Special Advisor on Humanitarian Affairs. He worked particularly on humanitarian access in Afghanistan and North Korea as well as the humanitarian impact of sanctions at the Strategic Planning Unit of the Executive Office of the UN Secretary General. He maintains a faculty research and teaching appointment at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and School of Public Health.
Joelle Germanier - CCHN Head of Operations

Joëlle Germanier

Head of Operations

Joëlle was deployed with the ICRC in various field operations in Africa and Latin America as a protection delegate and Head of Office prior to joining the CCHN. Previously, she led within ICRC’s Law and Policy Department a research project about International Humanitarian Law on the frontline, focusing on urban warfare. Besides her years of experience as a humanitarian practitioner, Joëlle worked as a political attaché for the Swiss Embassy in New Delhi. She holds an MA degree in International Public Law and a BA degree in International Relations from the University of Geneva and Vienna.

Martine Lapeyre

Head of Support & Administration

Martine is currently responsible for maintaining CCHN donor relations, coordinating event team and logistics, as well as overseeing administrative activities. Since she joined the ICRC in 1995, she has been engaging with humanitarian organizations and focusing on administrative, financial, logistical and HR issues. She has also worked in the field for many years, mainly in Chechnya, Congo-Brazzaville, Kenya, Sudan and South Sudan.

Maude Pittet Nazareno

Project Officer

Maude is managing the Community of Care and the Systemization projects. She worked in the ICRC’s Department of International Law and Policy as Executive Assistant and Information Management Officer, prior to joining CCHN. She has more than 15 years in several ICRC’s Departments as Executive Assistant and Information Management Officer. She is also a certified Hypnotherapist and Master in Neuro-Linguistic Programming as well as an IPMA Project Manager.

Sofia Mueller

Project Officer Research and Development

Sofia coordinates the R&D team and their respective activities and assists the Director in tasks linked to R&D and the general operations of the CCHN. She previously worked as a Project Coordinator for Initiatives of Change Switzerland, focusing on storytelling and migration. She holds an MA degree in Public Management and Politics from the University of Lausanne and Bern, and a BA degree in International Relations from the University of Geneva.

Toufik Naili

Negotiation Support Specialist - Curriculum & Network

Toufik Naili joined the CCHN in September 2019 as Negotiation Support Specialist on Curriculum and Network. He has worked for the ICRC, in the Middle East, as a protection delegate, and for several years as a Learning Facilitator (L&D) for the Humanitarian Leadership Program in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. He also worked in ILOT as a Project coordinator for the decentralized french cooperation. Toufik holds a Master's Degree in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Manchester.

James Sadlier

Negotiation Support Specialist - Asia

James has ten years of humanitarian experience working with INGOs, Australian Red Cross and UN agencies, most recently as Civil-Military Coordinator for OCHA in North-East Nigeria. He has worked in conflict and natural disaster contexts including Afghanistan, Iraq and Bangladesh. James is an alumnus of Deakin University's Humanitarian Leadership programme where he also attained a Masters of Humanitarian Assistance.

Fiorella Erni

Negotiation Support Specialist for the Middle East

Fiorella was on different field missions with the ICRC as a protection delegate in Gaza and Syria and as Head of Sub Delegation in South Sudan and Congo, DRC. Besides her field experience, Fiorella also worked as Program Responsible for the Horn of Africa at the Human Security Division of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and as Risk- and Crisis Management Consultant in the private sector. She holds an MA degree in Conflict and Development Studies from the Graduate Institute Geneva and a BA degree in Social Anthropology and Arabic Literature from the University of Zurich. Her academic research focussed predominantly on social identification among Palestinian youths in refugee camps Lebanon.

Marcia Vargas

Negotiation Support Specialist for Latin America

Marcia is a humanitarian professional with more than twenty years of experience on the ground in Latin America and Africa, both in conflict situations and natural disasters. She has a diploma in Political Science and International Relations, studied International Humanitarian Law IHL and Human Rights at the Geneva Academy of IHL and Human Rights. She is also a graduate of the Humanitarian Leadership program at Deakin University, Australia and is currently she is doing the Master of Advanced Studies in Peace Building from Swisspeace and the University of Basel.

Dariha Erketaeva

Project Manager - Research and Development

Dariha has 10 years of experience in humanitarian assistance and development. Prior to joining the CCHN, she worked for MSF on the Syria response between 2016-2019, in capacities from coordination to representation, based in Amman. Dariha also coordinated MSF projects in Ethiopia and Central African Republic. She worked as a technical consultant for UNRWA and UN Women. Earlier on, she coordinated a multi-agency post-conflict recovery program, the EU TASK consortium, in her home country Kyrgyzstan. Dariha holds an MA degree in Political Science from University of Bremen in Germany.

Andreas Kaufmann

Communications Coordinator

Andreas has joined the ICRC in January 2016 and is seconded to CCHN as Communications Officer. Previously, he worked in communications in the ICRC's Department of International Law & Policy. Previously, he also worked for Swisspeace, the Center for Security Studies at ETH Zurich, and the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. He (co-)authored and contributed to numerous publications and blog posts analyzing international relations and humanitarian affairs. He holds an M.A. in Political Science from the University of Zurich and a B.A. in International Relations from the University of Geneva.

Agusmia Putri Haerani

Communication Officer

Agusmia is responsible for planning and executing some of the CCHN communication activities; focusing on content production and curation, communication strategy and community engagement. Previously, she worked in communication departments of foreign governmental and academic institutions, the private sector, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and the UNHCR. She holds a master's degree in multicultural and multilingual communication from the University of Luxembourg.

Ana Paula Espinosa Mooser

Communication Associate

Ana joined the CCHN in May 2020 as a Communication Associate. She is responsible for supporting CCHN communication activities, including but not limited to humanitarian negotiation community engagement, external relations, event, and promotional materials, publications and donor visibility. Previously, she worked as a freelance translator for UN agencies and INGOs. She holds a master’s degree in Legal and Economic Translation from the University of Geneva.

Jane Bennett

Accountant

Jane Bennett joined the CCHN team in December 2018 as a part-time Accountant. She is a qualified C.P.A. and finance and HR professional with over 20 years of experience in humanitarian and human rights NGOs. Previously, she served as the Director of Finance and Administration – in Geneva for the International Commission of Jurists, ICVA (the International Council of Voluntary Agencies), and the World YWCA and, in Jordan, for the International Medical Corps.
Nikolas Rubiato - CCHN Events Coordinator

Nikolas Rubiato

Events Coordinator

Nikolas is currently responsible for the logistics of the different CCHN workshops taking place around the world. Previously he had worked for the Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire (CERN) as a protocol officer in charge of organizing the visits of the official guests of the directorate. He has a diploma in hospitality management but has always been interested in the organization of events particularly in the humanitarian field.

Liza Abdulla

Events Coordinator

Liza joined the CCHN in May 2020. She is currently responsible for organizing online and worldwide workshops. Previously she had worked in the travel and tourism sector for 10 years and especially in several travel offices such as P&G, Swiss TV, and ICRC and has also experience in hotel management. She holds a diploma in tourism and apprentice trainer. Liza is very interested in humanitarian aid and gives French lessons to Afghan refugees as a volunteer.

Community of Practice

The Centre fosters a global community of practice among humanitarian practitioners engaged in frontline negotiations. A community of practice is a group of individuals who share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly.

We are also committed to connecting humanitarian practitioners with professionals from other sectors whose missions and strategies intersect with their own: including political mediators who mediate humanitarian agreements between parties to a conflict; government representatives who may influence humanitarian negotiations through their political power; and local NGOs involved in the humanitarian response.

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Structure & Governance

The Centre of Competence serves as a central hub for the Strategic Partners’ efforts to strengthen the capacity of humanitarian professionals to engage effectively in negotiation processes. While its activities are designed to support professional staff from the five Strategic Partner organisations, these activities are open to the participation of professionals from all humanitarian organisations active on the frontlines of conflict.

Under the guidance of the Strategic Partnership, the Centre of Competence is hosted on a temporary basis by the ICRC for a period of five years. At the end of the incubation period, the Strategic Partners will decide on the opportunity to establish a permanent institutional framework for the activities of the Centre.

The Centre relies on financial and in-kind contributions of the Strategic Partners as well as external donors. The fiduciary responsibility for the management of the Centre rests with the ICRC.

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CCHN Concept Paper

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ToRs of Strategic Partnership

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Strategic Partners

The Centre of Competence is the result of a Strategic Partnership between five agencies and organizations providing humanitarian assistance and protection in complex emergencies: the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the World Food Program (WFP), Médecins sans Frontières (MSF- Switzerland) and the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD). This partnership was adopted at the High-Level Meeting of the Strategic Partners, organized under the auspices of the Swiss Permanent Mission to the UN in Geneva on 30 November 2015.

Our Donors

This joint endeavour is supported by ministries of foreign affairs of Switzerland, Germany, Sweden, Denmark and Luxembourg.

Our Scientific Collaborations

The CCHN is committed to connecting humanitarian practitioners with professionals from other sectors whose missions and strategies intersect with their own; including political mediators, government representatives and NGOs. We also collaborate with training centres and academic institutions to transform negotiation experiences and practices into knowledge.

Job Openings

Operations Associate

  • Location: Geneva
  • Type of contract: Traineeship (12 months)
  • Estimated start date: November 2020
  • Professional experience: 1-2 years in the humanitarian sector and/or field experience considered a strong asset.
  • Application deadline: Tuesday, 27 October 2020
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