06 Mar - 09 Mar 2018
(Opening for applications soon)

All aid workers need to be effective negotiators. People’s lives can depend on it. Are you equipped to negotiate with potentially volatile non-state actors? Do you have effective strategies you can employ to overcome resistance to a project or to negotiate with government officials? Our experienced facilitators will prepare you for these and other practical scenarios often encountered in humanitarian contexts.

Negotiation for Humanitarian Responders is an intensive four day residential training course that will improve your effectiveness in the field. The course aims to provide participants with the skills to advocate for the most vulnerable, mobilise support when you need it and influence the powerful.

Designed and delivered by humanitarian experts (with frontline negotiating experience) from RedR Australia and the Australian Red Cross, this course will equip you with tools to improve your negotiation skills.

If you would like this course tailored for your organisation, please check out options for customised training here

This is a four day intensive residential course that includes both indoor and outdoor activities. Please ensure you are fit and well to gain the most from your training experience. 


This course is ideal for humanitarian workers and government officials responding to humanitarian crises. It builds on participants’ field experiences, observations and ideas so they develop and learn from each other, and the extensive experience of our RedR and Red Cross trainers. It is assumed that participants will have experience working in the humanitarian sector and an understanding of international humanitarian concepts, principles, standards and terminology.

Whether it’s negotiating your relief items on to a military plane for distribution, with government officials to accommodate Sphere Standards, with armed combatants to allow the passage of aid or with a local village chief to ensure women from disaster-affected communities get their voices heard, working in the humanitarian sector involves a never ending series of negotiations. 

In this course, you will hear directly from experienced aid workers from the Australian Red Cross and RedR Australia who have extensive field experience working with international non-government organisations (INGOs) and United Nations agencies. Our facilitators go beyond theory to share their personal experience of the realities and complexities of negotiating in humanitarian settings.

The course is in English and participants require a reasonable proficiency. You will benefit most from this course if you have field experience and/or have completed RedR Australia’s Essentials of Humanitarian Practice course.

Aims and Objectives

This course aims to support the humanitarian sector’s efforts to apply a deeper level of analytical and strategic thinking to humanitarian negotiations. The course will help you advocate for and within your organisation.

Course Objectives:

  • improve essential interpersonal and communication skills
  • apply advocacy tools and techniques
  • understand key legal frameworks and mandates and how they affect humanitarian negotiations
  • negotiation with donors
  • negotiate with the military
  • build a toolbox for contextual analysis and developing negotiating strategies
  • prepare for negotiation in humanitarian and protection contexts
  • read body language when conducting face-to-face negotiations
  • monitor implementation of negotiated agreements

Course Outline

  • theories of negotiation and defining negotiation objectives
  • dilemmas and tactics of multi-party negotiations
  • humanitarian diplomacy
  • extreme advocacy
  • civil military interactions
  • government and donors
  • culture, gender and negotiation
  • bottom lines analysis
  • developing strategy
  • forming the right team
  • pitfalls and strategies for negotiating through an interpreter
  • tactics to manage aggressive negotiations

Full Rate: $2,300 AUD Reduced Rate: $2,100 AUD


Inclusions: All food, accommodation and training materials. 

You are eligible for the reduced rate if you currently work for an NGO, are a member of RedR Australia's humanitarian roster (please supply your membership number) or are a current Australian Red Cross volunteer. Unless otherwise stated, all courses are residential and course fees are inclusive of meals, accommodation, training and materials, but not transport to and from the venue. Course fees are in Australian dollars. A non-refundable deposit of AUD $400 is payable at the time of enrolment to secure your place on a course. This payment must be made via credit card through our secure payment facility.

Further instructions regarding course logistics will be provided upon payment of course fees.



The University of Melbourne's Dookie campus, Dookie-Nalinga Road, Dookie College, Victoria, 3647.

Our residential courses are held at Dookie near Shepparton in Victoria (220km north of Melbourne) and provide a range of learning experiences, including scenarios and field exercises.

Dookie Campus Map

RedR Australia's training facilities are located in remote environments. The closest hospitals can be over 30km away from the venue. Therefore please be prepared with all your medical needs. 

Training Times

Registration takes place from 10:30 am on the first day of all courses and activities will conclude at 1:00 pm on the final day. To receive your course certificate you must complete the entire course.


Please arrange your own travel to and from our training venues.Travel insurance is recommended for all applicants and is mandatory for international participants. Trains run from Melbourne to Shepparton and pick up can be arranged from Shepparton train station.

Pre-course Learning

It is strongly recommended that all participants complete the prescribed reading prior to the course. Pre-reading will be sent to registered participants two weeks prior to the course commencement date.

Please refer to your course orientation guide, received upon enrolment, for more detailed essential course information.

Trainers from RedR Australia and the Australian Red Cross have extensive experience in complex emergencies and natural disasters in Africa, the Middle East and the Asia Pacific. As they are all active emergency response experts that regularly deploy into global crises, trainers may change from those featured here on the website.


Jessica Hazelwood

Negotiating with armed militia whilst working as a paediatric nurse at a medical clinic in South Sudan was not not in the job description when Jessica deployed with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) but it was one of the realities of field work. Utilizing her background in law and health, Jessica has worked for ICRC in complex humanitarian emergencies and conflict zones in Afghanistan, Pakistan and South Sudan. Jessica has a Bachelor of Nursing and a Bachelor of Law and has commenced a PhD focused on the role of non-State law in the regulation of armed non-state groups engaged in non-international armed conflict through the Durand Line. Her research is inspired by her experiences in Afghanistan and involves an analysis of the intersection between international, siyar (a branch of Shariah law) and tribal law.

Paula Fitzgerald

Paula is RedR Australia’s training manager. She has more than 15 years humanitarian and development experience working in Asia, the Caribbean, Africa and the Pacific. From 2013 – 2014, she managed the South Sudan country office of the International Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), and held program management roles with IFRC in Afghanistan, Haiti and the Philippines. As a program coordinator with Australian Red Cross, Paula worked in partnership with Red Cross societies in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Timor Leste. Paula has extensive experience in the international children’s rights movement with ECPAT/Child Wise and UNICEF as an advocate, researcher and trainer with special focus on child abuse prevention. Paula holds a post graduate diploma in international relations.

Emma Kettle

Emma started working in the development sector when she arrived in Australia in 2003.  Her role as Manager of Knowledge and Learning at Australian Volunteers International focused on pre-deployment preparation and in-country capacity development training for development volunteers.  During this period, Emma specialised in designing and delivering inter-cultural programmes and training in inter-cultural competence for development workers. After a brief sojourn in the private sector as a GM Trainer, Emma set up her own training consultancy, Kettle Consultants, working across the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific, with a diverse client base that included AusAID, Emirates Group, Oxfam, Coffey International, the Qatar Foundation for Combatting Human Trafficking, and RedR Australia.  Emma joined the staff of RedR in 2013 as a Senior Humanitarian Trainer, before taking on management of the International Emergency Response Team the following year.  Emma completed a deployment to WHO for the Ebola Emergency in 2015, and recently completed a Masters in Disaster and Emergency Management focusing on the impact of cultural training on surge responder effectiveness.  Emma now holds the role of Director of Capability at RedR and leads the Humanitarian Training Team and RedR’s RTO business.


Adam Chernok

Adam Chernok is a barrister at the Victorian Bar.  He has studied and undertaken research at the University of Melbourne and Griffith University and is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Queensland.  Specialising in criminal defence and human rights matters, Adam is an experienced courtroom advocate in cases arising out of so-called ‘organised crime’ and which are the product of sophisticated police investigations and involve complex evidentiary and legal issues. Internationally, Adam has conducted death penalty work across Southeast Asia as well as being briefed in the Republic of Nauru, where he spent six months defending a group of asylum seekers charged with offences arising out of a riot at the Australian detention centre.

Frederic Capdevila

Frederic Capdevila has spent a decade in the not-for-profit sector working with Transparency International, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and the United Nations. He has worked in contexts as diverse as East Timor, Guinea, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Colombia, Israel and Russia. As a delegate, protection coordinator, and head of office with the ICRC, the main focus of his work has involved liaising, engaging and negotiating with members of governments, armed forces, international/national organisations and civil society to ensure the respect and integration of international humanitarian law and human rights law.

Renata Sivacolundhu

Renata Sivacolundhu is a communications and protection specialist and recently deployed with RedR Australia to Myanmar as an emergency communications and advocacy officer supporting the UN Food and Agricultural Office. For the past five years, she has worked for the Australian Red Cross as an International Humanitarian Law officer and in protection roles for the Immigration Detention Monitoring Program. She has led Australian Red Cross monitoring visits to a number of immigration detention facilities in Australia and supported ICRC’s monitoring visits to regional processing centres in Nauru and Papua New Guinea. Her work includes direct dialogue with and reporting to authorities around issues of humanitarian concern as well as other considerations such as access to places of detention and mode of operations.  Previously, Renata spent eight years working as a public information specialist with the United Nations in New York and was the UNHQ focal point for human rights, rule of law and indigenous issues.