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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Information Leaflet

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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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Mission Statement

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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 a 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 (CCHN). He 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.

Joëlle Germanier

Head of Operations

Joëlle Germanier currently serves as Head of Operations at the Centre of Competence on Humanitarian Negotiation (CCHN). She joined CCHN in 2018 as Negotiation Support Specialist. Previously, she was deployed in the field as an ICRC delegate in South Sudan, Colombia and Ivory Coast. She also held various positions within the Law and Policy Department of the ICRC in Geneva. Prior to joining the organization, she studies International Relations and International Public Law at the University of Geneva and Vienna.

Martine Lapeyre

Head of Support & Administration

Martine currently serves as Head of Support and Administration at the Centre of Competence on Humanitarian Negotiation (CCHN). Through engaging with colleagues and other humanitarian organizations, she oversees the support and administration-related activities at the Centre. Martine joined the ICRC in 1995 and has worked in the field for many years, mainly in Chechnya, Congo-Brazzaville, Kenya and Sudan/South Sudan, focusing on administrative, financial, logistical and HR issues.

Maude Pittet-Nazareno

Executive Assistant to the Director

Maude joined the Centre of Competence on Humanitarian Negotiation (CCHN) as Executive Assistant to the Director in 2018. Previously, she worked in the ICRC’s Department of International Law and Policy as Executive Assistant and Information Management Officer.

Naima Weibel

Negotiation Support Specialist - Asia

Naima Weibel joined the Centre of Competence on Humanitarian Negotiation (CCHN) as Negotiation Support Specialist in charge of the development of activities in Asia. She previously worked as Programme Development Consultant for the Centre for European Negotiation and Decision-Making (CENAD), and as Programme Development and Reporting Officer for the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Iraq mission. She holds a MA degree in International Peace and Security from King’s College London, and a BA degree in International Relations from the University of Geneva. Her academic research focused primarily on the impact of movements of population in Afghanistan and in Southeast Asia. Before joining CCHN, Naima also worked as Programme Manager for a think tank developing risk governance policies, Médecins Sans Frontière (MSF) and the Consulate General of Switzerland in China.

Will Harper

Negotiation Support Specialist - Africa

Will Harper joined the CCHN as a Negotiation Support Specialist in April 2019. Prior that, he was Head of Mission for MSF France in South Sudan, one of MSF’s largest missions globally. He has 10 years of experience in response and management to humanitarian crisis in Africa, Asia and the Middle East with INGOs and MSF. Before managing large-scale health projects with MSF, his work focused on implementing and managing emergency and long-term mental health and protection programming as well as work in crisis counselling and juvenile justice. Will holds a Master’s degree in Counselling Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Karim Hafez

Negotiation Support Specialist - Middle East

Karim Hafez is a Negotiation Support Specialist at the Centre of Competence on Humanitarian Negotiations (CCHN), where he supports the Centre in researching and analyzing humanitarian negotiation practices, with a regional focus on the Middle East. He has previously worked with international organizations and reputable think tanks, including the ICRC’s Division of Policy and Humanitarian Diplomacy, United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), and the Cairo Center for Conflict Resolution and Peacekeeping in Africa (CCPA). He is a holder of master’s degree in public policy from the Willy Brandt School of Public Policy, and a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the American University in Cairo (AUC). He is fluent in English, Arabic, French and German.

Andreas Kaufmann

Communications Officer

Andreas Kaufmann has joined the ICRC in January 2016 and is seconded to CCHN as a Communications Officer. Previously, he worked in communications in the ICRC's 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. While at university, his research focused primarily on the international dimensions of the political transitions in Northern Africa since 2011. 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.

Jane Bennett

Accountant

Jane Bennett joined the CCHN team in December 2018 as the part-time Accountant. She is a finance and HR professional with over 20 years of experience in humanitarian and human rights NGOs, working mainly in Geneva (ICJ, ICVA, World YWCA, and WCC) and in Amman (IMC).

Nikolas Rubiato

Events Coordinator

Nikolas Rubiato is an Events Coordinator for the Centre of Competence on Humanitarian Negotiation (CCHN), where she supports the logistics of the different workshops taking place around the world.

Sofia Mueller

Events Coordinator

Sofia Mueller is an Events Coordinator for the Centre of Competence on Humanitarian Negotiation (CCHN), where she supports the logistics of the different workshops taking place around the world.

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

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.

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CCHN Concept Paper

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ToRs of Strategic Partnership

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