Skip to main content

Frequently Asked Questions

General information

What is the primary function of the Centre?

The Centre of Competence on Humanitarian Negotiation facilitates the capture, analysis and sharing of humanitarian negotiation experiences and practices with a view to supporting a more systematic approach to front-line negotiation. It provides a space for multi-agency dialogue and fosters a community of practice among humanitarian negotiators.

We have documented the collective experience and perspective of hundreds of humanitarian practitioners and distilled this into a set of tools and methods for planning and preparing negotiation processes that aim to assist and protect people affected by armed conflict and other forms of violence.

How is the Centre funded?

The CCHN is hosted, administratively and financially, by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Staff-on-loan are provided by the ICRC, World Food Programme (WFP) and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). Financial support is provided by the ICRC and the governments of Denmark, Germany, Luxemburg, Sweden and Switzerland.

What is the Centre’s legal status and governance structure?

The Centre of Competence is the result of a strategic partnership between the ICRC, the WFP, UNHCR (the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees), MSF and the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD). This partnership was formalized at a high-level meeting of the strategic partners, held under the auspices of the Swiss Permanent Mission to the UN in Geneva on 30 November 2015. Fiduciary responsibility for the management of the Centre rests with the ICRC.

When was the CCHN established?

The CCHN was established in October 2016 as a strategic partnership between the ICRC, the WFP, UNHCR, MSF and the HD. During a five-year incubation phase, we are being hosted by the ICRC and work closely with our five strategic partners.

Course admission and eligibility

Where are CCHN activities held?

Since 2016, we have run onsite capacity-building activities in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. We bring experts and facilitators closer to where front-line negotiators work. The COVID-19 pandemic has obliged us to move our work online and use digital platforms such as Zoom and Miro.

What is the language of CCHN activities?

CCHN activities are mainly conducted in English. To support front-line negotiators in a range of regional and local contexts, we also hold workshops in French, Spanish and Arabic. Proficiency in the language of instruction is a requirement for participation. For more information, please visit the webpages of our specific activities.

How can I apply to participate in CCHN activities?

Carefully check the requirements of each CCHN activity that you are applying for. As we have limited places in most of our workshops and sessions, we recommend that you apply for the activity for which you most closely meet the requirements. You may apply for more than one activity.

Please note that you need to complete at least a peer workshop to apply for a community event. Please refer to our Activities page.

In the case of public events, you may apply for more than one activity. If you have any questions or difficulties, please contact the event coordinators, whose contact details you will find on each activity page.

Who can apply for our capacity-building activities?

While our activities are designed to support professional staff from our five strategic partners (ICRC, WFP, UNHCR, MSF and HD), they are open to professionals from all humanitarian organizations active on the front lines of conflict, and to other professionals working on relevant topics, such as government staff, policy makers, researchers and academics.

If I take part in a CCHN activity, do I have to attend the whole of it?

We expect punctuality and full-time attendance for all of our activities. In the case of our workshops and sessions, at least 80% attendance is required to receive a certificate of completion.

Do I need to do any homework before participating in an activity?

That depends on the activity. For some of our workshops, sessions and other activities, participants do have to prepare in advance. We invite accepted participants to a meeting room on CCHN Connect, where they can access the agenda, pre-course reading material, e-modules, presentation videos and assignments. The event coordinator will inform participants regarding any pre-course requirements after they receive their confirmation emails.

Will I receive a certificate upon completion of a CCHN activity?

Everyone who completes a peer workshop or a “training of facilitators” course will receive a certificate of completion. Participants also receive certificates for certain other CCHN capacity-building activities. This is indicated on the event webpage.

How do I pay the workshop fee?

Most CCHN online activities are free. For onsite activities, we may charge a fee just to cover our costs. This fee covers instruction, materials, conference rooms, lunches and coffee breaks. If the workshop venue and catering are provided by one of the CCHN’s strategic partners, the fee may be waived. Whether or not this applies to a specific workshop is specified on the event page. Upon confirmation of your participation, an event coordinator will contact you regarding payment methods and invoices.

Registration is closed. Can I still apply?

Once the registration portal on the activity web page is closed, you can no longer apply. In some special situations we may extend the registration deadline, in which case we will publish the new deadline on the activity web page. If you feel there is an exceptional reason to accept you after the deadline, you can send an email to [email protected], but in general we do not accept late applications.

Visa and fee waiver

Will the CCHN help me obtain a visa for the country in which the activity will take place?

Participants have to make their own visa arrangements and bear the cost of the visa process. If necessary, the CCHN can provide an official invitation letter to accompany a visa application. Since we are administered by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), invitation letters are issued by the ICRC. To request a letter, please contact the event coordinator for the activity. Kindly attach a scanned copy of your passport to your message as this will be required for the letter.

Can I get a discount on the fee or a fee waiver?

A limited number of partial or full waivers may be granted on a case-by-case basis, at the sole discretion of the CCHN. Please discuss this possibility with the negotiation support specialists of the activity. 

Activity location, accommodation, transportation and food

Where can I find the exact location of an activity?

The event coordinator will only inform you of the exact location of an onsite event once your participation is confirmed. The venue may be a hotel, the premises of a strategic partner or those of another partner.

Will CCHN help me find and book accommodation?

For onsite events, you can either stay on the premises where the activity is taking place or else make your own arrangements. The event coordinator will inform you regarding the logistics once your participation has been confirmed.

Who will book my flights and arrange transportation to the venue?

Participants are generally responsible for booking their flights and transportation to the event venue. However, for certain community activities, our event coordinators will organize transportation.

Do I need to arrange my meals during a workshop or session?

Our event coordinators will ensure you receive lunch during workshops and other sessions. You may be invited to a networking dinner; if so, we will inform you after confirmation of your participation. You will need to organize and pay for all other dinners.

Media requests and photo consent

How can I contact members of the Community of Practice, guest experts or panelists for an interview, or to invite them as speakers?

Please contact us to send your request, by specifying the name(s) and affiliation(s) of the person(s) concerned. Whether someone can accept your invitation will depend on their availability.

Will CCHN help me find and book accommodation?

You are participating in a CCHN activity during which the host organization(s) (the CCHN and other partners) will take photographs or record video/audio. In some cases, we may wish to use such coverage of the event on the CCHN website, in publications, on social media platforms or in video promotions. The CCHN therefore requests your authorization to use multimedia coverage of your participation, along with your full name and affiliation, without compensation and for an unlimited period of time. If you wish, you can ask the event coordinator to remove any material that you do not want to be made public.


How can I collaborate with the CCHN to organize a panel discussion or workshop?

Please contact us to send your request. If you already know which CCHN staff you wish to work with, please mention their name(s). We will evaluate such requests on a case-by-case basis.

Jobs and traineeships

I am interested in a job or traineeship with the CCHN. How do I apply?

We publish all vacancy announcements on our website, in our career section; check in regularly to see what is available. And we often advertise on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, so follow us there for the latest opportunities.