About us

In October 2016, five leading humanitarian organisations, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the World Food Program (WFP), Médecins sans Frontières (MSF- Switzerland) and the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD), launched the Centre of Competence on Humanitarian Negotiation (CCHN), based in Geneva.

The Centre of Competence facilitates the capture, analysis and sharing of humanitarian negotiation experiences and practices with a view to supporting a more systematic approach to frontline negotiation. It provides a space for multiagency dialogue and intends to foster a community of practice among humanitarian negotiators.

This joint endeavour is supported by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA). During a five-year incubation phase, the Centre will be hosted by the ICRC and, with the support of the five Strategic Partners, organises dedicated events, peer-to-peer exchanges and carries out research on issues identified by practitioners.

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Our mission

The Centre of Competence’s core objectives are to:

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

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Our Team

The Centre of Competence is staffed by secondees from the five Strategic Partners to enable the development of peer support, policy analysis as well as communication and networking activities on humanitarian negotiation.

Claude Bruderlein

Director

Claude Bruderlein is Strategic Advisor to the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and lead researcher on ICRC negotiation practices. In October 2016, he was elected Director of the joint Centre of Competence on Humanitarian Negotiation. Mr. Bruderlein 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. He maintains a faculty research and teaching appointment at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and School of Public Health.

Martine Lapeyre

Program Manager

Martine is the Program Manager of the Centre of Competence on Humanitarian Negotiation (CCHN). Through engagement with humanitarian colleagues and organizations, she manages the Centre which is a joint initiative between MSF, the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD), ICRC, UNHCR and WFP to facilitate exchange of negotiation experience across humanitarian organizations working of the frontlines. Martine joined the ICRC in 1995 and has been in the field for many years, mainly in Chechnya, Congo-Brazzaville, Kenya and Sudan/South Sudan, focusing on administrative, financial, logistical and HR issues.

Peter Scott-Bowden

Senior Advisor

Alex Mundt

Senior Advisor

Laurent Ligozat

Senior Advisor

Omar is a Senior Advisor at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Humanitarian Negotiation Exchange (HNx) Platform. The HNx platform researches ICRC negotiations practice and supports field teams with their ongoing negotiation cases. Omar joined ICRC in 2007, focusing on Protection work, including prison monitoring in Tunisia, Algeria, Mauritania, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia and Guantanamo Bay. He has extensive experience in armed conflict response having been Head of Office in Kirkuk, Iraq (2010) and Deputy Head of Delegation in Yemen (2011) and Somalia (2014). Before joining ICRC Omar worked for Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) on medical relief projects in Chad (2005) and South Sudan (2006).

Andreas Kaufmann

Communication Coordinator

Andreas Kaufmann is a Communication Coordinator at the Centre of Competence on Humanitarian Negotiation (CCHN) - a joint initiative of ICRC, UNHCR, WFP, MSF and HD Centre. He joined the ICRC in January 2016 to work in communications in the Department of International Law & Policy. He holds a M.A. in Political Science from the University of Zurich and a B.A. in International Relations from the University of Geneva. Before joining the ICRC, he worked for swisspeace, the Center for Security Studies at ETH Zurich, and the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs. He (co-)authored and contributed to numerous publications and blog posts analysing international relations and humanitarian affairs.

Omar Odeh

CCHN Fellow

Omar is a Senior Advisor at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Humanitarian Negotiation Exchange (HNx) Platform. The HNx platform researches ICRC negotiations practice and supports field teams with their ongoing negotiation cases. Omar joined ICRC in 2007, focusing on Protection work, including prison monitoring in Tunisia, Algeria, Mauritania, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia and Guantanamo Bay. He has extensive experience in armed conflict response having been Head of Office in Kirkuk, Iraq (2010) and Deputy Head of Delegation in Yemen (2011) and Somalia (2014). Before joining ICRC Omar worked for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) on medical relief projects in Chad (2005) and South Sudan (2006). He also supports CCHN events and activities.

Strategic Partners

The Centre of Competence is the result of a Strategic Partnership between five agencies and organizations providing humanitarian assistance and protection in complex emergencies: the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the World Food Program (WFP), Médecins sans Frontières (MSF- Switzerland) and the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD). 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.

With the support of

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CCHN Concept Paper

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ToRs of Strategic Partnership

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Structure & governance

The Centre of Competence serves as a central hub for the Strategic Partners’ efforts to strengthen the capacity of humanitarian professionals to engage effectively in negotiation processes. While its 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, the Centre of Competence is hosted on a temporary basis 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 the activities of the Centre.

The Centre relies on financial and in-kind contributions of the Strategic Partners as well as external donors. The fiduciary responsibility for the management of the Centre rests with the ICRC.