Under the framework of the 2023 Regional Refugee Response Plan, Clingendael Academy and UN Women recently organised a three-day training in Bucharest, Romania. The emphasis was on empowering female-led civil society organisations active in the humanitarian and refugee response to the invasion of Ukraine. Taking place from November 21 to 23, the event aimed to improve the skills and expertise of 19 female leaders from Ukraine, Moldova, Poland, and Romania, and was the first of its kind at Clingendael.
Negotiation skills are critical for these leaders to navigate various challenges in the context of ongoing humanitarian crises and war. For example, when obtaining access to persons in need or securing a role in decision-making processes. By elevating their negotiation skills, the training sought to prioritise gender equality and women’s empowerment in response efforts.
The programme emphasized the importance of negotiation skills in establishing cooperation among varied stakeholders in civil society and government. Participants learned about negotiation theory and tactics for more successful resolution of opposing perspectives through interactive lectures, group assignments, and simulations. The initiative also encouraged collaboration among women-led organisations by offering a forum for sharing negotiation experiences, thereby improving the total learning capacity of all participants.
As civil society, particularly women-led organisations, continues to play a critical role in the regional reaction to the Ukraine war and invasion, this training provides them with the necessary skills to navigate complex challenges. The Clingendael Humanitarian Negotiations Team is grateful for the opportunity to train this remarkable group dedicated to daily humanitarian work, contributing significantly to the response and recovery efforts in the region.