The delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Iran in collaboration with the Center of Competence on Humanitarian Negotiation (CCHN), and the Department of International Affairs and Humanitarian Law of Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS), organized a 3-day workshop on «Humanitarian Negotiations» with focus on negotiating with affected communities and people, for selected staff members of the IRCS and other participants from partner NGOs from 13 to 15 June 2022.
The opening ceremony of the workshop on Tuesday June 13, 2022, started with the presence of Mr. Johannes Brewer, Head of the ICRC delegation in Tehran, and Mr. Hassan Esfandiar, Director General of the IRCS International Operations and Humanitarian Programs department. In his speech opening speech at the ceremony, Mr. Esfandiar said: “We tried to have a combination of provincial and HQ staff in the workshop who are involved in humanitarian negotiations the most. Also, the presence of peers and partner organizations to the IRCS in assistance activities, enables us to even reach more convergence”. Mr. Johannes Brewer also noted: “This workshop is in line with the ICRC support to enhance capacities of the Iranian National Society; and its aim is to enable us to share our experiences and thus provide better service to those in need”.
Some 30 managers and experts of the IRCS, from HQ and provincial branches of Khorasan Razavi and South Khorasan, Sistan and Baluchestan and Kerman province, together with managers from Society for Recovery Support (SRS) and Pars Development Activists (PDA) partner NGOs attended the workshop.
During this interactive workshop, participants were introduced to the latest global methods on planning, implementing, and evaluating humanitarian negotiations, as well as some practical tools and methods to be used in the negotiation process. They also shared their experiences, discussed about them, and participated in simulation exercises, and learned from each other’s expertise.
Facilitators from the Frontline Negotiations, Center of Competition on Humanitarian Negotiations (CCHN) and the ICRC lead the workshop. The CCHN was established in 2016 in a joint effort of five humanitarian agencies: the Humanitarian Dialogue Center (HD Center), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), And the United Nations World Food Program (WFP). This center works to facilitate analysis and exchanging experiences and methods of humanitarian negotiation to support a systematic approach to front-line negotiation.
Such workshops known as Peer Workshops, focus on sharing experiences between peers/ participants, with the support of facilitators and experts. Participants, in these workshops, are encouraged to talk about their negotiation experiences and learn from experiences of each other. Facilitators divide participants into smaller discussion groups of 5 to 7 people, encouraging them to listen to each other and talk about the various challenges of front-line negotiations.
Other trainings of the workshop included strategic planning for negotiation, context analysis, evaluating network of influencers, analyzing the interests and motives of counterparts, setting objectives and priorities in negotiation, defining scenarios and red lines in negotiation, and finally assessing the negotiation process through group exercises.
The Humanitarian Negotiation Workshop was concluded with awarding certificates of attendance to the participants.