Introduction to the CCHN Field Manual
The CCHN Field Manual on Frontline Humanitarian Negotiation proposes a comprehensive method to conduct humanitarian negotiation in a structured and customized manner. It offers a step-by-step pathway to plan and implement negotiation processes based on a set of practical tools designed to:
– Analyze complex negotiation environments;
– Assess the position, interests, and motives of all the parties involved;
– Build networks and leverage influence;
– Define the terms of a negotiation mandate and clarify negotiation objectives;
– Set limits (red lines) to these negotiations;
– Identify specific objectives and design scenarios; and
– Enter transactions in an effective manner to ensure proper implementation.
These tools are further articulated in a separate Negotiator’s Notebook, Workbook, and Digital Platform linking core knowledge on humanitarian negotiation to ongoing negotiation practices in field operations. The ultimate objective of the CCHN Field Manual is to facilitate the sharing of field experiences and reflections on humanitarian negotiation practices among the members of the CCHN community of practice. By offering a simple experiential model, the goal of the CCHN Field Manual and its related platforms is to become an integral part of the professional conversations among humanitarian practitioners engaged in negotiation processes with civil authorities, military forces, non-state armed groups, affected communities, and other agencies and NGOs in the deployment of lifesaving assistance and protection programs.
The CCHN Field Manual should serve as complementary reading to the existing literature on humanitarian principles and action. It assumes a core knowledge of humanitarian values and professional norms as well as a degree of proficiency in managing humanitarian programs. It will be most useful to practitioners who already benefit from some years of operational experience in conflict environments. The CCHN Field Manual is not meant to define or promote specific objectives of humanitarian negotiation but to present systematic tools to improve negotiation practices based on the experience and wisdom of this growing community of practice.