Advanced Professional Certificate on Crisis Negotiation in the Middle East

20 - 24 September 2020 | Online and Onsite


The rapid propagation of the coronavirus has mobilized a public health and humanitarian response on an unprecedented global scale. Covid-19 has already made a significant social and economic impact on most countries in the Middle East, redirecting national and international priorities to tackling the public health concerns of this pandemic within and across borders, addressing the impact of confinement and lockdown measures, as well as safeguarding the protection of the most vulnerable.

In view of the current health crisis and its social and humanitarian impact, the Advanced Training Program on Humanitarian Action (ATHA) at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI), in collaboration with the Centre of Competence on Humanitarian Negotiation (CCHN), is offering an Advanced Professional Certificate on Crisis Negotiation in the Middle East.

The 5-day course will be offered partly online and onsite and will include closed lecture sessions with global experts on public health, pandemics, and humanitarian action, as well as skill-based sessions on negotiation under pressure, risk management, strategic planning, and more. It will entail context specific discussions, practical exercises, and case simulations on how to develop and negotiate a response plan in complex environments.

The Advanced Professional Certificate is expected to take place from 20 – 24 September 2020 in two to three distinct locations in the Middle East, co-facilitated by a Harvard and CCHN host and connected via Zoom to CCHN and Harvard University. Application and participant selection will take place starting 31 July 2020. 

About the Advanced Professional Certificate

This course will discuss the complexities of addressing the Covid-19 pandemic amidst the ongoing operational and policy challenges in the Middle East. It will bring together public health experts, crisis management professionals, medical responders, and frontline negotiators to discuss the economic, social, epidemiological, and humanitarian implications of the pandemic in the Middle East, as well as the ongoing challenges of balancing humanitarian imperatives with security, social, and economic considerations. It will examine the requirements for the elaboration of response plans to guide policy making in the course of the pandemic, address the need for co-designing such responses with key stakeholders, and enlarge the scope of intervention to tackle some of the most severe economic and social consequences of the pandemic.

Certificate Objectives

The Advanced Professional Certificate is designed in collaboration with experts and operational partners in order to foster the creation of an informal space for professional learning and exchange on multidimensional impacts of Covid-19 on vulnerable populations and to develop operational and policy approaches across agencies and contexts. The Certificate will seek to explore:

  • Day 1: Public Health in Crisis - Essential elements of public health as they relate to the prevention and response to pandemic situations, including the latest information on the epidemiology profile and global prospects of Covid-19 in the Middle East;
  • Day 2: Planning a Negotiation Process - Planning a negotiation process in complex environments, conducting an interest-based analysis, and drawing scenarios;
  • Day 3: Leveraging Influence - Conducting a stakeholder analysis and mapping, assessing potential influence, and mobilizing support;
  • Day 4: Managing Risks - Review of key concepts and tools of risk management, conducting a risk mapping, drawing and implementing risk mitigation measures;
  • Day 5: Designing a Response Plan - Key concepts and methods in terms of strategic planning, drawing strategic and tactical plans in crisis environments, elaborating partnerships, mobilizing cooperation, and co-designing programs.
Audience and Practical Details

This Advanced Professional Certificate is designed to serve middle to senior managers working on the crisis response from governments, national, and international agencies with a minimum of 5 – 7 years of relevant experience. Interested professionals will be able to apply starting 31 July 2020. To express your interest in joining this course, please complete the expression of interest form

The 5-day Advanced Professional Certificate will take place onsite at selected locations in the Middle East with special authorization of relevant public health authorities and under the respective Harvard University and CCHN Safety and Security Protocol. Participants are expected to commit to completing the full course onsite in a designated location, or alternatively online, depending on the elected method of participation.

The Advanced Professional Certificate is free of charge to the selected participants. Upon completion of the course, participants will receive a Certificate of Completion delivered by the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative and the CCHN.

Selection of Participants

As space is limited, HHI / ATHA and the CCHN will select participants on a rolling basis beginning on 31 July 2020, on the basis of information provided in a designated application. Governments, national, and international agencies, as well as NGOs, may propose candidates for consideration by the CCHN and Harvard University. Certificate of completion will be issued for participants who attend the full course in the fall. 

To express your interest in the upcoming Advanced Professional Certificate Course, please visit:

For more information on the Advanced Professional Certificate Course, please contact Anaïde Nahikian, ATHA Program Manager, at

This certificate program was developed by the Advanced Training Program on Humanitarian Action (ATHA) at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI), in collaboration with the Centre of Competence on Humanitarian Negotiation (CCHN).