Access of humanitarian organizations to people in need has become increasingly challenging worldwide. Whether responding to conflicts and natural disasters or carrying out longer-term health, rehabilitation and development programs, meaningful acceptance and cooperation with governments and communities divided along ethnic, religious or political/ ideological lines is sometimes difficult to achieve.
Authorities, politicians, religious or community leaders, as well as armed groups, need to be persuaded that humanitarian programs are beneficial, transparent and appropriate to their context. Ideal conditions rarely prevail: access to vulnerable groups is frequently limited due to key stakeholders’ lack of understanding or unwillingness to support humanitarian programs or uphold core principles of humanitarian action. In such contexts, humanitarian actors must operate and fulfil their missions while minimizing compromises of their core principles, often in the face of serious security threats. Indeed, many organizations limit their operations due to understandable risk aversion.
Participants will consider various methods and approaches to humanitarian negotiation, including relational dimensions of interactions between parties based on trust, and transactional dimensions based on the creation of joint values and opportunities.
Jointly organized with:
Cover photo: Bangladesh. Rohingya adapt to new lives in refugee camps (AndrewMcConnell / UNHCR).