Sub-Saharan Africa

This report focuses on the role that laws and norms play in humanitarian negotiations. The report is based on an initial set of 35 interviews that conducted by the Advanced Training Program on Humanitarian Action (ATHA) with humanitarian professionals between May and August 2016. This document will sketch out ATHA’s preliminary findings and analysis.

This briefing note aims to support the humanitarian sector’s efforts to apply a deeper level of analytical and strategic thinking to humanitarian negotiation. Toward this end, it provides an overview of how the rich body of literature focused on negotiations in other contexts—political, commercial, and legal settings, for example—can inform our understanding of humanitarian negotiation.

This paper examines trends in the field of humanitarian negotiation. The paper proceeds in three parts. Part I presents an overview of the key challenges faced in the field of humanitarian negotiation. Part II examines the past efforts that have been undertaken to promote a deeper understanding of this field. Based on this analysis, Part III offers concluding remarks.

Dr. O’Laughlin is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Emergency Medicine and Global Health at the University of Washington. Dr. O’Laughlin attended the Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine and completed emergency medicine residency at the University of California, Los Angeles/Olive-View UCLA Emergency Medicine Residency Program.

The Children in Crisis (CiC) Program focuses on addressing the critical needs of crisis-affected children and youth in humanitarian contexts.

Ariana Marnicio, MPH, is Program Manager for the Program on Resilient Communities at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. Prior to joining HHI, Marnicio worked at the Harvard FXB Center for Health and Human Rights and at the Baker Institute for Public Policy.

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