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Negotiation for Humanitarian Responders


Syrian Red Crescent aid convoy on its way to communities affected by conflict. Photo: Zaher Barazi/Syrian Red Crescent.

Prepare to negotiate the non-negotiable.

Complex negotiations are a daily reality for aid workers, whether it's delivering aid supplies into a conflict zone, gaining access to the most vulnerable in disaster-affected communities, or advocating for good practice aid work with colleagues. It is vital to have the skills and confidence to successfully navigate these situations.

The Negotiation for Humanitarian Responders course is presented jointly by Australian Red Cross and RedR Australia. It will equip you to be a strong and agile negotiator in complex humanitarian settings. It explores legal frameworks, mandates of humanitarian actors and unpacks the complex factors that can help or hinder negotiations.

This four-day residential course emphasises techniques such as analysing your own and others' negotiation positions, active listening, mitigating anger and hostility, and other essential skills. You will learn ways to advocate and defend your positions on behalf of your organisation and its beneficiaries.

Who is this course for?

All aid workers need to be effective negotiators- people's lives can depend on it.

Are you equipped to negotiate with potentially volatile non-state actors? How would you reach a mutually beneficial outcome with government officials or overcome resistance to your project? We'll take you through these and other practical scenarios.

This course is ideal for humanitarian practitioners; government officials, or anyone working in the humanitarian space or emergency response. It builds on participants' field experiences, observations and ideas so they develop and learn from each other.

As a participant of this course you will:

  • Strengthen your negotiation skills
  • Understand legal frameworks and mandates and how they affect humanitarian negotiations
  • Understand how humanitarian contexts affect negotiations
  • Enhance your effectiveness as an advocate for, and within, your organisation

What will you learn?

  • Essential interpersonal and communication skills
  • Key legal frameworks and mandates and how they affect humanitarian negotiations
  • Tools for contextual analysis, planning negotiations and developing negotiating strategies
  • How to prepare for negotiation in humanitarian and protection contexts
  • Reading body language when conducting face-to-face negotiations
  • Tips for negotiating across cultures
  • Pitfalls and strategies for negotiating through an interpreter
  • Tactics to manage aggressive negotiations
  • Culture, gender and negotiation
  • Dilemmas and tactics of multi-party negotiations
  • How to monitor implementation of negotiated agreements

Pre-requisites and assumed knowledge

It is assumed that you have experience working in the humanitarian sector, including an understanding of international humanitarian concepts, principles, standards and terminology.

You will benefit most from this course if you have field experience.

Our facilitators

You will hear directly from those 'in the know' - experienced aid workers from Red Cross, RedR and other humanitarian organisations. Our facilitators go beyond theory to share their experiences in the field; showing you the realities and complexities of negotiating in humanitarian settings.

Course dates and locations

Launching in 2018

Course fees

Full $2,300
Reduced $2,100
The reduced rate applies to current Red Cross staff and volunteers, NGOs or RedR roster members.

Register online

Note: You will be taken to the RedR website to complete your registration. RedR policies (including cancellation policies) will apply.

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