The Centre of Competence on Humanitarian Negotiation (CCHN) was founded in 2016 as a joint initiative of five humanitarian agencies: the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, the International Committee of the Red Cross, Médecins Sans Frontières Switzerland, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and the United Nations World Food Programme.
We facilitate the capture, analysis and sharing of humanitarian negotiation experiences and practices to support a more systematic approach to frontline negotiation. We also provide a space for dialogue across different humanitarian organizations.
At the core of our activities is the CCHN Community of Practice, a global community of humanitarian practitioners working at the frontlines of humanitarian action.
The CCHN is currently hosted by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and is based in Geneva, Switzerland. We are supported by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA).
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.
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.
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.
Our five Strategic Partners are leading humanitarian agencies and organizations providing humanitarian assistance and protection in complex emergencies. 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.
Structure & Governance
We serve as a central hub for the Strategic Partners’ efforts to strengthen the capacity of humanitarian professionals to engage effectively in negotiation processes. While our 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, we are hosted 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 our activities.
We rely on the financial and in-kind contributions of the Strategic Partners as well as external donors. The fiduciary responsibility for our management rests with the ICRC.
We are staffed by secondees from our Strategic Partners to enable the development of peer support, policy analysis as well as communication and networking activities on humanitarian negotiation.
Before joining the CCHN, Joëlle worked for several years with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in various field operations in Africa and Latin America focusing her work on protection and operational management. She also worked as Policy and Outreach Advisor at the ICRC’s Headquarters in Geneva. Her earlier professional experiences include diplomatic services within the Embassy of Switzerland in New Delhi (India) as well as field-based legal and advocacy work for non-governmental organizations.
Joëlle holds a master's degree in International Public Law with a specialization in International Humanitarian Law and a bachelor's degree in International Relations from the universities of Geneva, Vienna and Lucerne.
During his 10-year tenure at the World Food Programme, he served in various roles in the field as well as in leadership positions at the organization’s Rome Headquarters; most recently, as the Deputy Chief of Staff. Rehan has negotiation experiences across a range of contexts, including Yemen, Venezuela, Afghanistan, Sudan, South Sudan.
Rehan holds a Master of Public Affairs in Social and Economic Policy awarded by the University of Texas’ LBJ School of Public Affairs (USA) and a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics awarded by the Lahore University of Management Sciences (Pakistan).
Her long-standing humanitarian experience includes field missions as an ICRC Protection Delegate in Gaza and Syria and as the Head of Sub Delegation in South Sudan and 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.
Fiorella holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne, a Master’s Degree in Conflict and Development Studies from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva and a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Anthropology and Arabic Literature from the University of Zurich.
He previously worked for the ICRC, in the Middle East, as a protection delegate, and for several years as a Learning Facilitator 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 is an alumnus of Deakin University's Humanitarian Leadership programme where he also attained a Masters of Humanitarian Assistance.
Her academic background in social studies, law and public administration led her to professionally focus on development work and humanitarian action.
She holds a diploma in Political Science and International Relations and studied at the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. She is a graduate of the Humanitarian Leadership program at Deakin University (Australia) and is pursuing a Master of Advanced Studies in Peace Building from Swisspeace and the University of Basel.
From 2018 to 2021, he directed his consultancy firm “SPV Consulting – For the Non-Profit sector”, providing strategic and operational humanitarian advisory services to organizations and individuals in Africa (Nairobi and Dakar), Asia (Bangkok), Europe (Geneva), Middle East (Amman) and Australia (Melbourne).
Patrick holds an Executive Certificate in Public Leadership from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, a Master of Arts in Contemporary History from the University Paris XII and a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from the University of Perpignan (France) and Freiburg-im-Breisgau (Germany).
His focus at the CCHN is on Public Health in Conflict, looking at specific challenges and dilemmas related to the current health crisis and its social and humanitarian impact. He is lead on the project for Negotiating Access for COVID-19 Vaccination in Conflict Settings.
Brett holds a Master of Science degree in International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He currently resides in Dakar, Senegal.
Dariha holds an MA degree in Political Science from University of Bremen in Germany.
Claude 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.
Claude maintains a faculty research and teaching appointment on frontline negotiation at the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government and T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
Sofia holds a Master’s Degree in Public Management and Politics from the Universities of Lausanne and Bern and a Bachelor’s Degree in International Relations from the University of Geneva.
Barbara holds a Master’s Degree in International Law from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (Switzerland), an undergraduate degree in Human Rights from the University of Padua (Italy), and an Advanced Certificate in Corporate Communications from the University of Fribourg's School of Management. In addition to English and French, Barbara speaks Italian and Spanish.
Before joining the CCHN, Ana worked as a freelance translator and editor for United Nations agencies and International Non-Governmental Organizations.
Ana holds a master's degree in Legal and Economic Translation from the University of Geneva (Switzerland). She speaks English, Spanish, and French.
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.
Before joining CCHN, Lis worked in the NGO sector where she was responsible for day-to-day support, knowledge management, and the customization and implementation of new digital tools and processes.
Lis holds a joint master's degree of the Erasmus Mundus MA Global Studies program, which she attended at the University of Wrocław (PL), Stellenbosch University (ZA), and Ghent University (BE).