Diversity and Humanitarian Negotiation
The humanitarian sector has steadily pushed forward with efforts to cultivate negotiation capacity among aid workers. However, considerations of how the profile of the humanitarian negotiator might shape negotiation outcomes have been, at best, in the background of ongoing professional discussions or, at worst, entirely overlooked. This working paper aims to fill this gap. Based on semi-structured interviews and survey data, this working paper assesses the role of identity characteristics in humanitarian negotiation processes. As the interview and survey results suggest, a negotiator’s profile—including identity characteristics and past professional experiences—can shape counterparts’ perceptions of humanitarian negotiators; fuel humanitarians’ own biases and stereotypes of their interlocutors; and feed into challenging internal organisational dynamics, as humanitarian organisations seek to promote diversity and foster inclusion and belonging among staff.
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