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A Behavioral Analysis of Humanitarian Negotiations: CCHN Collaborates with International Research Team

By January 22, 2020May 3rd, 2021All News, Negotiation Research, Partner News

Dr Anne van Aaken during her presentation at the 3rd Annual Meeting of Frontline Humanitarian Negotiators in December 2018. (Photo Credit: Mark Henley/CCHN)

Researchers from the University of Hamburg, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods and Hebrew University of Jerusalem will join CCHN Peer Workshops in 2020 to investigate behavioral idiosyncrasies of the humanitarian negotiation community. Results will be used for further evidence-based design of CCHN trainings and to aid the community in their daily tasks.

The central goal of the humanitarian community is to provide immediate assistance to those in need as much as allowed by the circumstances. In the field, frontline negotiators must rely on trainings and norms as much as experience to get the job done. For this training to be as fruitful as possible, it must be based on what is known about actual human behavior in situations where interests clash. Anne van Aaken, Tomer Broude, Christoph Engel and Katharina Luckner have designed vignette studies in order to test this during a number of CCHN Workshops in 2020.

Human judgment and decision-making have been extensively studied by psychology and experimental economics, but not with this specific, highly skilled and trained group in mind. However, only by knowing the specific idiosyncrasies of the community and their relevance in situations that the frontline negotiators regularly encounter, can training materials be designed on an evidence basis and ultimately inform the conduct within negotiations in the most fruitful way. This has sparked the collaboration with the CCHN.

Participation in the study is voluntary and completely anonymous. The CCHN highly recommends all workshop participants to take part in the study for the long-term benefit of the wider community – widespread participation of frontline negotiators from a variety of backgrounds and experiences will provide more accurate insights and increase the potential impact of the study. The researchers will be on-site for a number of the workshops to answer questions. Additionally, they can be contacted via the channels below for questions before or after the workshops. A general debriefing and presentation of preliminary results are planned for the 5th Annual Meeting of Frontline Negotiators in Geneva in December 2020.

For comprehensive information on the collaboration, download this flyer.


Anne van Aaken, Universität Hamburg
Institute of Law and Economics
Johnsallee 35, 20148 Hamburg
E-Mail: [email protected]
Phone: +49 40 42838-6827