Introduction to Humanitarian Negotiations


February 2023


Certificate of Advanced Studies: Foundations of Humanitarian Action

The ability to negotiate is one of the most shared and used soft skills among Humanitarian workers. From Head of Mission to truck driver, almost all personnel involved in humanitarian operations does negotiate, every day, on various topics ranging from access to protection. Interestingly though, despite the sensitivity of negotiation and its potential positive or negative impact on humanitarian organizations and interventions, the recognition of the need to prepare and train current and future relief workers in this regard is fairly recent. The first humanitarian negotiation manual was issued in 2004, and it is only in the last decade that systematic training on humanitarian negotiation was developed and provided to humanitarian staff and teams. This course introduces you to the planning and implementation of humanitarian negotiations, including context analysis and engagement with interlocutors. The adult-education and experiential methodology approach of the course, based on real case scenarios and role play, enables you to get first-hand experience of soft skills and inter-personal competences required for negotiation in humanitarian action.

The course is planned as an in-present training from February 15 to 17, 2023. It is eligible for the Certificate of Advanced Studies at the academy for humanitarian action in the area of "Foundations of Humanitarian Action". The course fee covers the costs for participation as well as catering during the course. The participation fee can be reimbursed for staff of Aktion Deutschland Hilft member organizations.

For international/non-EU participants, the deadline for registration is: November 1st, 2022. This should allow you enough time to obtain a visa for Germany. Register by November 30th, 2022 to receive your EARLY-BIRD discount and pay only 350€.

© Aktion Deutschland Hilft / Trappe

You will learn

How to identify specificities of humanitarian negotiations

How to navigate different stages of humanitarian negotiations

How to analyze context and interlocutors prior to humanitarian negotiations

How to identify positions, interests, motivations and needs of interlocutors

How to use interpersonal communication skills and tools in negotiations

How to build trust and develop rapport with interlocutors

How to deal with difficult interlocutors

How to identify options, red lines and alternatives

Target group

Staff of humanitarian NGOs with several years of professional experience undertaking and/or supervising personnel undertaking humanitarian negotiations


9:00 - 9:30

Introduction of the Course and the Participants

9:30 - 10:15

Humanitarian Negotiations: Definitions and Specificities

10:15 - 11:00

Planning and Conducting Negotiations: Stages and Steps

11:00 - 11:15

Coffee Break

11:15 - 12:00

Positions, Motivations and Needs in Negotiations

12:00 - 12:45

Communication Skills in Negotiations

12:45 - 13:30

Lunch Break

13:30 - 14:15

Negotiation Principles

14:15 - 16:15

First Negotiation Role Play

16:15 - 16:30

Coffee Break

16:30 - 17:30

Defining and Prioritizing Negotiation Objectives

17:30 - 18:00

Wrap-up, Evaluation and Closing Circle

Jérôme Grimaud


Jérôme Grimaud is a humanitarian worker and accredited mediator with over 19 years of professional experience. He is currently Senior Protection Advisor within the NRC/OCHA Protection Capacity Roster (ProCap). Jérôme Grimaud devoted his first missions to protective accompaniment in Central America and to frontline negotiations in the Middle East before becoming a delegate of the International Movement of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. He gradually specialized in the field of protection, humanitarian negotiations and mediation, both as a practitioner and a trainer. For the last four years he has developed and piloted humanitarian mediation initiatives aiming at improving protection of civilians with various NGOs, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the Red Cross (Mali, CAR, DR Congo, South Sudan, Lebanon, Afghanistan). He also collaborated with the Centre of Competence in Humanitarian Negotiations (CCHN). Jérôme Grimaud participates in search and rescue operations on the Mediterranean with Sea Watch. He is affiliated to Harvard University’s Humanitarian Initiative (HHI) as research fellow. His research focusses on Protection of civilians in Humanitarian Settings. He also provides training and facilitates lectures within the European University Network on Humanitarian Action (NOHA) Master’s Programme, as well as at Durham University.


* To cover the fees you can upload an educational voucher of the state of NRW during the registration

15.2.2023 - 17.2.2023

26 hours of training

Catering included


ProviderThis training is organized by the Institute for International Law of Peace and Armed Conflict.
This training is organized by Aktion Deutschland Hilft e.V.