Projects Asia & The Pacific

Essentials of Humanitarian Negotiation (EHN) Workshop

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) | May 2021

InterWorks facilitated a webinar series from 25-28 May 2021, based on the long-running Essentials of Humanitarian Negotiation (EHN) workshop for the UNHCR Regional Centre for Emergency Preparedness. Participants were from diverse backgrounds, offices, and countries, representing UNHCR, WFP, WHO, and many other NGOs. Due to the travel restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, all face-to-face eCentre training activities supporting the mission outlined above have been cancelled for the short and mid-term future. This webinar series was held to maintain the eCentre’s mission focus and to offer training support to the office and partners in the region. InterWorks was asked to assist in the preparation and facilitation of the four-day long webinar series on humanitarian negotiation, and to host the overall webinar platform.

The overall webinar series design, preparation, facilitation of case-study presenters, and administration of the webinar platform was done by InterWorks, LLC under the overall coordination of the UNHCR eCentre which also provided ongoing administrative support and webinar invitation and participation monitoring . Technical issues were minimal, and the Zoom platform was trouble-free for most participants.

The EHN On-Line webinar was designed to achieve the following stated objectives:

  • Increase overall emergency response capacity in the region by improving participants’ understanding of humanitarian negotiation basics, and increasing their ability and confidence to use them in real-life applications
  • Facilitate more concerted protection-oriented emergency responses by promoting principled negotiation among partners
  • Meet other humanitarian professionals, network, and exchange ideas

The workshop included multiple opportunities for participants to practice collaborative negotiation skills such as asking questions, listening, generating solutions and finding win-win solutions to negotiation challenges. It also included sessions on the centrality of protection and negotiating with non-state armed groups to highlight the importance of humanitarian principles and international legal frameworks as critical components of the “interests” of humanitarian negotiators.

I really enjoyed the training, and it was not draining at all (as I feared). It was a good balance of lecture and activities and I think the training went very well.

– Workshop participant