Humanitarian Networks and Partnerships Weeks
HNPW 2024 (29 April - 10 May 2024)

Session title: Human Library: Voices of Frontline Humanitarian Negotiators
Organizer(s): Centre of Competence on Humanitarian Negotiation
8 May 24 11:00-12:30   (Espace telecom)

Hosted by the Centre of Competence on Humanitarian Negotiation (CCHN), this 1.5-hour event is designed to depart from conventional panels and engage participants in intimate, direct conversations with frontline humanitarian negotiators.

Through the innovative format of a Human Library, participants will have the unique opportunity to "borrow" human books — each a frontline negotiator with personal stories of challenges, strategies, and insights from some of the world's most complex crises.

This type of format aims to break down barriers, challenge stereotypes, and promote understanding through the power of personal storytelling. By engaging directly with frontline negotiators, participants can ask questions, delve into the complexities of humanitarian negotiation, and gain insights into the lived experiences of those operating in high-stakes environments.

From navigating negotiations with armed groups to carving out humanitarian space in hard-to-reach areas, these live interactions will humanize the intricacies of negotiation, fostering a deeper understanding and connection beyond conventional panel discussions.

This immersive experience is designed not only to bring the stories of these negotiators to life but also to facilitate a rich exchange of knowledge and ideas within the humanitarian community. By engaging directly with the negotiators, participants will gain actionable insights to enhance global humanitarian negotiation practices.


Founded in 2016, the Centre of Competence on Humanitarian Negotiation (CCHN) is a joint initiative of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Médecins Sans Frontières Switzerland, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and the United Nations World Food Programme.

Our aim is to facilatate the capture, analysis, and sharing of experiences and practices around humanitarian negotiation and to provide a space for dialogue across organizations. At the core of our activities is the CCHN Community of Practice, a global community of humanitarian practitioners working at the frontlines of humanitarian action.


      • Visam Alzain, Security Manager - Violet Organization (Turkey/ Syria)
      • Juliet Kelechi Unubi, Humanitarian Affairs Advisor - ICRC (Nigeria)
      • Joanna "Aśka" Warchał-Beneschi, Coordinator - NGO Forum "Razem" (Poland)

    Germanier, Director – Centre of Competence on Humanitarian Negotiation

This is a public website hosted by the UN OCHA to facilitate information exchange in disaster preparedness and response.
The information on this page is provided by individuals and organizations and does not reflect the views of OCHA or the United Nations.