Learning Lab on Frontline Humanitarian Negotiation
Now more than ever, humanitarian organisations depend on field staff in remote areas to ensure they can reach people in need of humanitarian aid and protection. These frontline negotiators liaise with a range of different stakeholders to secure access to populations. This role is vital in helping humanitarian agencies do their work safely and sustainably. As humanitarians are re-thinking who they are and how they work, the Centre of Competence on Humanitarian Negotiation (CCHN) provides a platform to hear these important voices from the field and leverage their diverse experiences. Over the past four years, the CCHN has built a digital community where frontline negotiators meet informally and share experiences with peers from other organisations and regions. Drawing on these exchanges with the community, the CCHN has created an experience-based methodology that supports humanitarians to work with their team to understand and engage in humanitarian negotiations, with the full support of their organisations. The latest iteration of this methodology is detailed in the CCHN Field Manual on Frontline Humanitarian Negotiation, ICRC (2019). In this interactive learning lab, we will present a set of practical negotiation tools that emerged from hundreds of informal consultations with frontline negotiators. Through a case study inspired by real events, participants will be able to apply these tools and gain a first-hand insight into the challenges and dilemmas of humanitarian negotiation. The lab will showcase new avenues of collaboration within and across organisations that have the potential to transform the humanitarian system from the ground up.