The Centre of Competence on Humanitarian Negotiation (CCHN) was established in October 2016 in Geneva, Switzerland by the five Strategic Partners of leading humanitarian organizations. They are the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the World Food Programme (WFP), Médecins sans Frontières (MSF- Switzerland) and the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD).
We facilitate the capture, analysis and sharing of humanitarian negotiation experiences and practices with a view to supporting a more systematic approach to frontline negotiation. We also provide a space for multiagency dialogue and intend to foster a global community of practice among humanitarian negotiators.
As a joint endeavour, we are supported by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA). During a five-year incubation phase, we are hosted by the ICRC and, with the support of the five Strategic Partners. We organise dedicated events, peer-to-peer exchanges and carry out research on issues identified by practitioners.
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.
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.