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.
After launching the second edition of the Field Manual on Frontline Humanitarian Negotiation in November 2019 and its French version in October 2020, the Centre of Competence on Humanitarian Negotiation (CCHN) launched the CCHN Field Manual in Spanish on Wednesday, 17 March 2021.
In February 2021, CCHN held a peer circle discussion on negotiating with criminal groups. This mix of African and Latin-American contexts provided an opportunity for community members from both regions to exchange lessons learned and good practices in conducting negotiations with counterparts labelled as ‘criminal’.
The Centre of Competence on Humanitarian Negotiation (CCHN) organized the 2021 Winter Retreat for community members with a focus on self-care. With sessions from experts in stress management and mentor relationships, the retreat focused on practical tools to improve well-being and the creation of a supportive mentoring community.
Humanitarian professionals are dedicated to assisting vulnerable people in high-risk environments. To do this, they often engage in high-stakes negotiations, during which they face personal, ethical and professional dilemmas. Living and working under such stressful conditions can take a toll on their physical and mental well-being, and many negotiators have expressed the need for self-care tools and peer support.
The Centre of Competence on Humanitarian Negotiation (CCHN) started its workstream on forced migration in Europe in September 2020. We have made it a top priority to help humanitarians working with refugees and migrants in Greece to develop their negotiation skills. In September 2020, we held our first peer workshop in Europe – and the first during the COVID 19 pandemic – in Athens.
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.
High-level diplomacy of humanitarian organizations often appears to be detached from the reality of negotiation in the field. This disconnect has been accentuated during the COVID-19 pandemic, a time when integration between field and headquarters is more crucial than ever before. How can humanitarian diplomacy at headquarters remain aligned with negotiation experience and practice in the field?
Until recently, Libya was a middle-income country that did not need humanitarian aid. However, with a crumbling health system, minimal social services, and poor water and sanitation near coastal areas, it now faces a pandemic. This situation means that humanitarians have become essential actors responding to COVID-19 in Libya, but they are facing enormous challenges when providing assistance.
The Centre of Competence on Humanitarian Negotiation (CCHN) has recently launched a series of webinars on remote negotiation. The webinars have been developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and as a result of feedback from CCHN community members. The webinars will run over several months and aim to facilitate informed discussions within the CCHN community. They will provide practical information, guidance and advice on how to better prepare and conduct negotiations remotely. The first session was held on 31 August 2020 and focused on building rapport remotely.
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.
On 2 July 2020, 120 frontline humanitarian professionals, field practitioners, policymakers, experts and government representatives from 50 countries gathered online for the 3rd CCHN Monthly Forum. During this event, participants took stock of how non-state armed groups have positioned themselves during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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.