We held our first negotiation skills training in Pasto, Colombia in February 2020. Pasto is a town close to Ecuador and the Pacific Coast of Colombia, where aid workers face the challenge of working in an area where a number of armed groups are fighting for control - to the detriment of local and indigenous populations.
Together with 20 aid workers, we explored the complexities of approaching negotiations with a multitude of actors, all of whom come to the table with their own expectations and realities. The emphasis was on developing a deeper understanding of the options a negotiator has within a negotiation process. Understanding this creates more opportunities for conscious choices within one's own sphere of control.
The participants came from a variety of backgrounds, working for (I)NGOs, the UN, social movements or support roles in the Colombian Peace Process. Their depth of experience and breadth of background enriched the reflection sessions, especially when the potential of how to be an effective negotiator was explored.
We thank the participants for their commitment to their work and look forward to coming back for another session.
Please find more information on our humanitarian negotiation programme page.