Operational Communications, Advocacy & Negotiation


© ICRC / WINIGER, Edouard

Next session: 25-29 May, 2020


You are a humanitarian practitioner who has to negotiate with several stakeholders on a range of issues including access and coordination, this course could interest you. 

One of very few courses focused on negotiation, it allows humanitarian programme managers to develop skills to enable them to successfully negotiate with a multitude of actors. Through lectures and case studies, participants learn to design a negotiation strategy that is adapted to a specific context and takes into account short, mid-and long-term outcomes.

External speakers include academics and practitioners, and come from a range of institutions and organisations including the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, International Committee of the Red Cross and Médecins Sans Frontières.


Learning outcomes in terms of knowledge - Understanding of

  • Define negotiation and surrounding concepts
  • Explain the specifics of humanitarian negotiation
  • Identify the frame and principles on which humanitarian negotiation is based
  • Present and explain the different objectives of humanitarian negotiation
  • Identify the main challenges and dilemmas of humanitarian negotiation
  • Present and explain the four pillars of principled negotiation and understand the main differences between negotiation theories
  • Identify challenges and best practice when working with an interpreter

Learning outcomes in terms of practical skills - Capacity to

  • Define what is the most suited strategic approach for humanitarian negotiation
  • Analyse the environment, stakes, and dilemmas surrounding the negotiation
  • Design a negotiation process as a project, taking into account the external and internal environment
  • Create a stakeholders mapping  and analysis of the various interests, influences and power relations
  • Identify and manage the most appropriate interaction and communication modes with various stakeholders while in a negotiation process
  • Develop an argument that is coherent with principles of substance, relationship and process

Learning outcomes in terms of analytical competencies - Ability to

  • Identify your personal style as negotiator and analyse the interlocutor’s openness
  • Discuss the ethical issues and challenges around negotiation


2 ECTS - Credits recognized by the University of Geneva and the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies.