This Online Peer Workshop on Frontline Humanitarian Negotiation aimed to exchange good negotiation pratices and stregthen the negotiation capacities of the Oman Charitable Organization, different Omani charities, the International Federation of Red Cross and Crescent Societies (IFRC), Red Crescent National Societies of the Gulf Countries and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). It was also a great opportunity to establish a long-term partnership between the IFRC, CCHN and ICRC in the Gulf region.
At the 2020 Geneva Peace Week (GPW), the Centre of Competence on Humanitarian Negotiation (CCHN) organized a joint live event in collaboration with the Permanent Missions of France and Germany to the United Nations in Geneva to discuss collective efforts on how humanitarian organizations can ensure access to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The CCHN invited distinguished speakers and experts to exchange their views with members of the CCHN Community of Practice and to discuss the multifaceted challenges of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Embracing the challenge to support one of CCHN’s Strategic Partners in examining the Global Access situation in the context of COVID-19, the CCHN was trusted by the World Food Programme to facilitate and moderate the Global Access Discussion. This series of panel discussions and staff exchanges was held on 10 August 2020. The facilitation format was based on our experiences through the series of Peer Circle discussions and online Monthly Forums on Humanitarian Responses to the COVID-19, organized form May to July.
Impacted by the global pandemic of COVID-19, many humanitarians have switched to online training and self-development activities to prepare themselves in maintaining their programs under the current circumstances. To continue providing support for frontline negotiators and humanitarian staff in the Middle-East, CCHN has provided not only online but also hybrid events in a series of Summer Briefing Sessions on the Response to COVID-19.
In response to the precarious global health situation, poor health infrastructure, and political tensions surrounding restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, frontline humanitarian negotiators are confronted with specific challenges and dilemmas. In a CCHN survey conducted in March 2020, members of the CCHN Community of Practice requested a briefing on the essential elements of public health to support their engagement with local state and non-state authorities. To fulfil the demands, the CCHN has organized a series of Online Briefing Sessions focused on public health approaches and provided by specialists and researchers.
UNHCR, in collaboration with CCHN, launched a new Humanitarian Negotiation Learning Programme (HNLP) in March 2020. It is a pilot course targeting fourteen staff members working in the UNHCR Regional Bureaus and some of its key operations.
The ability to negotiate in conflict areas is becoming ever more important. On 26-27 November last year, the German Federal Foreign Office and the CCHN hosted a high-level panel and professional roundtable forum on the subject in Berlin.
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.
To reach a wider audience in non-English speaking countries, the CCHN has held workshops in Spanish and French since 2018. Considering the high demand from partners in the Middle East, the CCHN organized its first Peer Workshop on Frontline Humanitarian Negotiation in Arabic on 9-11 December 2019 in Muscat, Oman.
At the Geneva Peace Week 2019, the CCHN together with ICRC, UNHCR and Fight for Humanity organized a joint event on humanitarian negotiation under pressure. The event aimed to demonstrate how frontline negotiations and humanitarian issues more broadly are intertwined with building peace through dialogue, negotiation, advocacy and public communication.