In collaboration with the Centre of Competence on Humanitarian Negotiation (CCHN).

For a long time negotiating in humanitarian operations was felt as compromising on principles and norms. It is only recently that it was found as reinforcing humanitarian impact to take into consideration interests of all sides and the context in order to make a deal.

This executive short course is a full-time training which focuses on the design of adapted negotiation strategies in humanitarian settings, as well as the development of participant’s self-awareness. It links real situations experienced by participants with the latest concepts around humanitarian negotiation, meaning negotiations aimed at securing access, assistance and protection for civilians facing humanitarian emergencies.

A printable “course-at-a-glance” document is available here or view our latest video below.

Objectives of the course

At the end of the course, participants will be able to:

  • Define the objectives and specificities of humanitarian negotiation
  • Apply a negotiation framework adapted to humanitarian crises
  • Select and manage the most appropriate interaction and communication modes with various stakeholders while in a negotiation process
  • Discover your personal style as negotiator and its consequences.



Around 50 hours of work for the whole course, including:

  • Approximately 20 hours of face-to-face teaching including reflexive practice on real situations faced by participants, panel with experts, and role plays.
  • Approximately 30 hours of self-study time including readings, audio visual presentations, videos.


Structure of the course

  • Defining the similarities and differences between Humanitarian Negotiations and other types of negotiation
  • Analysing a negotiation context
  • Defining a strategy adapted to humanitarian crises
  • Panel with experts
  • Special types of negotiation: abduction of humanitarian staff, mediation with communities.
  • Role plays


  • Professionals in the humanitarian, development or social sector looking to develop their competencies in Humanitarian Negotiation
  • Professionals from other sectors involved in humanitarian operations like government officials, CIMIC officers, liaison officers.
  • Graduate students with relevant volunteer or intern experience, looking to undertake a postgraduate course with a view to entering the humanitarian sector.
  • André Picot André Picot Designation: Course Director "Negotiation in Humanitarian Crises"

For more information about André Picot, the course coordinator, read his latest blog.

Admission requirements:

  1. a university qualification (bachelor’s degree or equivalent);
  2. at least three years of relevant professional experience;
  3. excellent command of English;
  4. motivation working in the humanitarian sector.


Documents required:

  • CV (Résumé)
  • Copy of your highest diploma
  • Work certificate or official document of your current job position
  • Scanned copy of passport


More information about the admission process is available on our application page.

“This training has allowed me to process my thoughts and to put words on situations and experiences which I kind of felt “stuck with” at this point in my carrier, without being able to pinpoint what made me uncomfortable. The reflexive process is too often absent from our daily practice, busy as we are running around trying to “fix things” and I am very grateful to have had that opportunity.”

Maëlle, course participant, November 2020

“On the one hand, what I learned from this training can be used not only externally with interlocutors of governments or non-state armed actors by getting access to a community in need of assistance and/or protection or to evaluate those needs and as part of this negotiation (but not as the main aim) to obtain security guarantees for the staff that will deliver aid or/and work alongside the community. On the other hand, it can be used internally to have the support of key stakeholders of my organisation that are important for one intervention as sometimes it is more difficult to gather a consensus in house. Finally, it can also be used when negotiating with other humanitarian or development organisations.” 

Thaïs, course participant, November 2020


“I found both  group and individual exercises very enlightening about negotiation techniques, approaches and don’ts of humanitarian negotiations. It was great to discuss during the group work on several elements which to me were obvious, but other members had a completely different vision and perspective. Several elements of this part will be used in my team’s and my future negotiations”.

Alexandros, course participant, November 2020




As a Centre which prides itself on being agile, it is with pleasure that we can announce that all our upcoming short courses in 2021 will be available to online and residential students. We are adapting not only to the current global challenges linked to COVID19, but also to the increasing aim to make our courses as inclusive as possible by making more available online.
  • participants can choose either a residential or online option
  • participants inside Europe can choose residential, but they have to follow the sanitary restrictions when they travel to Switzerland (PCR test or quarantine)
  • participants outside of Europe need to choose online (no visas are available at the moment)
  • Participants should expect approximately four hours of live sessions per day – they will be scheduled between 9am – 4pm Geneva time (the exact schedule will be communicated 10 days before the course)
  • All live lecture sessions will bring online and residential participants together (both groups combined)
  • Break out groups online (for online students)
  • Break out groups face to face (for residential students)
  • Other material (videos, readings etc.) available online
  • Negotiation in Humanitarian CrisesDates 9 - 20 May 2022
  • Negotiation in Humanitarian CrisesDuration 2 weeks
  • Negotiation in Humanitarian CrisesLocation Online
  • Negotiation in Humanitarian CrisesLanguage English
  • Negotiation in Humanitarian CrisesCREDITS 2 ECTS
  • Fee CHF 1,500
  • Application Deadline 17 April 2022
  • If applying for a scholarship Deadline: N/A