Nura Jaafar and Jeremy Dommnich traveled to Nairobi in October as part of the Clingendael Humanitarian Negotiation Project for two weeks to conduct intensive training sessions on humanitarian negotiation skills.
The motivation for these training programs was grounded in the growing need for skilled negotiators in the field of humanitarian work across the African continent. As crises, conflicts, and disasters continue to pose complex challenges, the ability to negotiate effectively in high-pressure situations is more critical than ever.
The foundation training course provided participants with essential negotiation skills, focusing on key principles, strategies, and communication techniques. This program laid a strong groundwork for those new to the negotiationfield, equipping them with the tools required to navigate the intricate world of humanitarian negotiations.
On the other hand, the advanced training course was designed to hone the skills of experienced humanitarians who previously followed the Clingendael foundation training. It delved deeper into complex negotiation scenarios, deadlocks, the influence of mandates and (de)escalating behaviour. Participants were exposed to real-world case studies and role-playing exercises, preparing them for the most challenging situations they may encounter in their work.
The choice of Nairobi as the training location held significant relevance. The city serves as a central hub for humanitarian organizations and aid agencies operating in Africa, making it an ideal gathering point for participants from across the continent. Nairobi's multicultural environment also fostered cross-cultural exchanges, enriching the learning experience for all involved.
This training initiative underlines the commitment of the Clingendael Humanitarian Negotiation Project to empower African participants in the humanitarian sector. We were therefore happy to welcome participants working in Kenya, Cameroon, Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, CAR, Nigeria and Ethiopia in our trainings. By offering a comprehensive curriculum, from foundational to advanced, they are contributing to a brighter and more capable future for those working in this critical field. The knowledge and skills gained during these two weeks are expected to have a far-reaching impact, improving the outcomes of humanitarian efforts across Africa.