Local actors with different backgrounds and expertise play an important role in mediating humanitarian negotiations. They may naturally take up the role of the mediator or they may have been specifically asked to mediate due to their position and role in, or relation with, a specific community, authority, group and/or its members. For example, he or she mediates a negotiation process between a humanitarian aid organisation and a specific group (member) about humanitarian assistance, either directly with both parties or indirectly. These people play an essential part in the ability of organisations to provide humanitarian assistance to people in need.
The overall objective of this online training is to strengthen the mediation skills of precisely these local actors, in order to reach better outcomes for people in need.
To be an effective mediator, one should be trained in both mediation and negotiation skills because the Clingendael Academy believes that it is as important for a mediator to be able to recognise negotiation styles, tactics and strategies used by the conflicting parties.
Last week we welcomed the first group of local humanitarian mediators in our online humanitarian mediation training. Over the course of a five-day programme, the group dived into negotiation and mediation skills. There was a great diversity of organisations, all working in different contexts (from Afghanistan to South Sudan, from DRC to Lebanon), and with different experiences in mediation. Besides the newly acquired skills, the group expressed their gratitude for getting in touch with colleagues from around the world to share their experiences, views and suggestions.
It was our pleasure to have them on board, and we look forward to welcoming a next group of humanitarian mediators in our training!