Projects Asia & The Pacific

Essentials of Humanitarian Negotiation Workshop

UNHCR | Oct 2011

InterWorks conducted the “Essentials of Humanitarian Negotiation” (EHN) workshop in Mae Sot, Thailand, from 10 – 13 October 2011. This workshop was modified from the original five-day course to a three and a half day course to meet the availability and requirements of the intended audience of partner CBOs, NGOs and UNHCR staff that work on the Myanmar refugee programmes in Western Thailand. The workshop focused on the skills and techniques of negotiation, applied to situations where humanitarians frequently use them: negotiating with government interlocutors, partner agencies, fellow staff members and beneficiaries. The workshop applied these skills to protection-oriented situations where access, respect for human rights, humanitarian principles and humanitarian space are at stake.

The Essentials in Humanitarian Negotiation workshop emphasizes techniques for reaching mutually beneficial solutions, such as focusing on common interests, developing options for mutual gain, actively listening, and managing inter-personal dynamics in cross-cultural environments. The event was highly interactive, devoting a significant amount of time to realistic negotiation exercises, role plays and simulations. This version of the course was adapted to the particular audience working along the Thailand – Myanmar border and was condensed and focused to meet the needs of the participants to the extent possible in the time available.

Photo from the Mae Sot refugee camp in Thailand where the EHN Workshop participants work