Negotiating with a huge variety of stakeholders is a reality for many professionals in the humanitarian field.

This executive short course focuses on the analysis and design of adapted negotiation strategies. Spread over two weeks, it implies two to four hours of daily work in average combining individual and group work as well as live sessions with international experts.

The course is organised in collaboration with Frontline Negotiation – Centre of Competence in Humanitarian Negotiation

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


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

  • Identify the frameworks and principles on which humanitarian negotiation is based;
  • Define the objectives and specificities of humanitarian negotiation;
  • Select and manage the most appropriate interaction and communication styles with a variety of stakeholders during a negotiation process;
  • Discover your own personal style as a negotiator;
  • Understand and apply a set of tools and techniques developed for humanitarian practitioners.

A printable “course-at-a-glance” document is available here.

  • Identifying types of humanitarian negotiations;
  • Comparing different approaches;
  • Structuring a negotiation: analysis, strategy, face to face and follow up;
  • Selecting and putting into practice the most relevant tools for each step;
  • Address challenges when negotiating with non state armed groups;
  • Identify ways to negotiation in case of abducted staff.

Seven plenary live sessions over the two weeks lasting one to two hours only, taking place between 13.30 and 15.30 GMT+1. Two group works. Group composition taking into consideration time line and then self organised. Readings will be given one week before the start of the course, in order to spread the reading time and individual work as much as possible.

  • Professionals in the humanitarian, development or social sector looking to develop their competencies in negotiation as well as
    reflect and capitalize on their experiences.
  • Professionals from other sectors who wish to increase their understanding of negotiation in humanitarian settings.
  • Graduate students with relevant volunteer or intern experience, looking to undertake a postgraduate course with a view to entering
    the humanitarian sector.

For more details on the enrollment process visit this page.


Documents required:

  • CV (Résumé)
  • Scanned copy of passport

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

“This training 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 exactly. 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”.

Course participant, 2020

“On one side, this learning can be used not only externally with the 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 objective) to obtain security guarantees for the staff that will deliver aid or/and work alongside the community. On the other side, it can be used also internally to have the support of key stakeholders of my organization 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 in general”.

Course participant, 2020 

“I found the group and individual exercises very enlightening about negotiation techniques, approaches and “dont’s” of humanitarian negotiations. It was outstanding to discuss for several hours 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 in my future negotiations”.

Course participant, 2020

“The course on negotiation has been extremely helpful to me as Humanitarian Affairs manager on board the Aquarius rescue vessel in the middle of the international migration crisis, while dealing with Italian, Maltese and Spanish authorities in order to find a safe port for rescued people on board”.

Course participant, 2018

  • Negotiation in Humanitarian Crises (online)Dates 2 - 13 November, 2020
  • Negotiation in Humanitarian Crises (online)Duration Two weeks (50 hours in total)
  • Negotiation in Humanitarian Crises (online)Location Online
  • Negotiation in Humanitarian Crises (online)Language English
  • Negotiation in Humanitarian Crises (online)CREDITS 2 ECTS
  • Fee CHF 1'500
  • Application Deadline Two weeks before the start of the course.