Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue

The HD Centre is active in mediation at a Track 1 level, either directly as a facilitator, or through the provision of mediation and facilitation support to a third-party mediator and the conflict parties. In support of these projects we conduct research and analysis bringing forward practical policy recommendations to improve international efforts to secure and sustain peace.

The Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue is an independent and impartial organisation whose motivation is to reduce human suffering in war. We believe preventing and resolving armed conflicts is the surest means of doing so. Through its work, the HD Centre aims at contributing to efforts to improve the global response to armed conflict. Dialogue based on humanitarian principles can assist in achieving political settlements, and that the informal initiatives of a private foundation can usefully complement formal diplomacy. The first programme objective is to undertake and promote action to prevent and resolve armed conflicts, in particular through tailor-made support to peace processes where our involvement adds value, including: Facilitating discussions, including acting as a mediator where appropriate; Ensuring that the parties are able to participate effectively in negotiations; Mobilising humanitarian, diplomatic and/or political responses; Contributing policy input on relevant substantive issues; and Providing other specifically-adapted services, such as financing mechanisms and other logistical support, where the assistance of a private foundation is required. The second objective is to learn from and contribute to policy research to strengthen peace-making expertise, including through: Sharing what we learn from our own operational engagement under (1) above through policy development and dissemination; Staying abreast of and commenting on best practice in relevant fields.

  • Civilian Small Arms Control
  • DDR
  • Good Offices and Peace Support
  • Human Rights
  • Humanitarian Protection
  • Judicial and Legal Reform
  • Security Sector Reform
  • Transitional Justice

Good Offices and Peace Support

The HD Centre’s added value is in its wide network of Track 1 mediators, developed notably through the Oslo Forum, which give us unique access to a number of conflict parties and their proxies. Our specificity lays in the organisation’s low profile and lack of leverage, which participates in us being a non threatening and more acceptable third-party to a number of conflict parties. At any given time, the HD Centre is engaged into 6-8 mediation processes and has accumulated a wealth of knowledge and experience in this field, including in undertaking confidential projects.
Between 1 million to 50 million CHF per annum
  • Capacity and development training
  • Direct project implementation
  • Policy advice
  • Research and policy development
  • Technical assistance
Description of activities
• The HD Centre is involved in programmes of mediation support with the African Union and ECOWAS. In both cases, our support encompasses the organization of workshops (both thematic and process related), training, the provision of experts’ advice, as well commissioning research to document and analyze the mediation work undertaken by these organizations, and then promote change and accompany and better practice. • As and when requested, the HD Centre provides training on conflict mediation and negotiation expertise to improve the belligerents' capacity to engage effectively in peace processes. In the Philippines, the Peace Working Group in Sulu provides training and work sessions on conflict resolution. • The organisation of regular mediators' retreats, in Oslo, Asia and Africa, aims, through the sharing of experience, to strengthen the capacity of mediators and to find peaceful solutions to ongoing conflicts. The Oslo Forum takes place once a year in June. The Asia and Africa regional retreats take place once every two years and focus more specifically on regional issues. • Through the regular production of various publications on a range of conflict mediation-related issues, the HD Centre aims to contribute to building international conflict mediation capacity.
Act as an advisor in peace processes / In Nepal, after facilitating the conclusion of a peace agreement, HDC is now having an advisory role to all parties during the post-conflict transitional phase. The HD Centre is currently involved in mediation projects (some of which are necessarily secret) in various conflict situations around the world. It aims to facilitate dialogue between parties to reach agreements that reduce the humanitarian consequences of the underlying conflict, increase humanitarian security, and ultimately contribute to the conflict’s peaceful resolution. Activities include mediation support, facilitating dialogue among conflict parties, and acting as an observer in peace processes. For example, in Philippines the HD Centre launched, with the Peace Working Group, a new initiative to support local mediation efforts.
• The HD Centre acts as an advisor in peace processes. • Through its publications on various thematic issues, such as gender and mediation, the HD Centre seeks to contribute to building conflict mediation capacity with its findings, analysis and recommendations across a range of relevant issues • The HD Centre provides relevant mediation related advice to regional organizations such as the African Union and ECOWAS.
• Conduct assessments of conflicts for potential engagement in mediation initiatives – including identifying the underlying causes and origins of a conflict and its stakeholders. The HD Centre’s work in Darfur, Sudan, and with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Moro National Liberation Front are the most recent examples of where formal projects were launched following targeted assessment processes. • Conduct policy research and analysis on conflict mediation to strengthen international capacity – including its own – to find successful solutions to ongoing armed conflicts (i.e. both improve the capacity of belligerents to engage effectively in peace processes and that of mediators to facilitate peace processes effectively). This includes various activities: o The organisation, every year, in collaboration with the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, of a Retreat (Oslo Forum) of some of the world's most eminent mediators in order to help improve practice in conflict mediation, the sharing of experience, and enhance mediators' reputation and status as a profession. Regional retreats in Africa and Asia are also organised once every two years. o Research and policy development on thematic issues of particular significance to the practice of conflict mediation. The current issue of focus is gender and mediation. o Production of a range of publications which contribute to building conflict mediation capacity with their findings, analysis and recommendations across a range of relevant issues.
• Conduct assessments on conflicts for potential engagement in mediation, identify the underlying causes of conflict, conduct policy research and analysis on conflict mediation (to improve the capacity of belligerents to engage effectively in peace processes) / The HD Centre’s work in Darfur, Sudan, and with the Government of the Republic of the Philippines and the Moro National Liberation Front are the most recent examples of where formal projects were launched following targeted assessment processes. • The HD Centre provides technical and logistical support, as well as a venue in order to facilitate meetings and dialogue between belligerants. For example, in Sudan the HD Centre provided logistical support to help the conflict parties meet. The HD Centre also provides negotiation and technical expertise as and when requested to facilitate the effective participation in dialogue of the various stakeholders.

Humanitarian Protection

The availability at all times of humanitarian protection technical advice to conflict parties.
Between 50.000 to 1 million CHF per annum
  • Capacity and development training
  • Research and policy development
Description of activities
Briefings, presentations and workshops to introduce the three above mentioned manuals, present their approaches, and train relevant audiences, have been organised for various humanitarian agencies (ex: OHCHR; UNHCR; ICRC…etc), and governmental representatives.
• Since 2003, the HD Centre has worked closely with humanitarian agencies involved in protecting vulnerable people in war and disaster. This has produced three pioneering guide books now used in humanitarian training programmes: • The Alnap Protection Guide helps humanitarian agencies go beyond providing simple material assistance to people. It supports them in thinking how they can help protect civilians against violence and other human rights violations. It combines humanitarian and human rights approaches to civilian protection in war, and draws on the experience of many of the world's biggest aid agencies. • The Humanitarian Negotiation Manual is designed to help humanitarian organisations become more effective negotiators by providing detailed advice and best practice guidelines. It is based on research into negotiation theory, interviews with humanitarian workers, as well as case studies. The four stages of negotiation it describes include: Analysis Strategy Face-to-Face Follow-Through. • The manual, Proactive Presence, argues for a more frequent and strategic use of unarmed international field missions to protect civilians. It aims to actively promote the willingness and capacity of international organisations to employ such missions. The manual evaluates current and past experiences, drawing out best practices and strategic lessons to guide future unarmed missions and maximize the protection of civilians. The manual is based on a literature review, field visits, and more than 250 interviews with former and current employees of nine unarmed monitoring missions, deployed since the 1990s.

Civilian Small Arms Control

The organisations’ specificity lays in its niche of looking at armed violence and availability of small arms mainly from the perspective of peace process negotiations.
Between 50.000 to 1 million CHF per annum
  • Advocacy
  • Capacity and development training
  • Direct project implementation
  • Policy advice
  • Research and policy development
Description of activities
The Small Arms and Human Security Bulletin, a quarterly publication, provides accessible information on gun violence and small arms for non-specialists. It alternates between a regional and a thematic focus and is available in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Arabic. Putting People First: a series of meetings conducted over 2001-2005 between governments, including the Human Security Network and civil society organisations, to discuss human security and small arms issues.
The HD Centre is undertaking this year a pilot project to look at civilian use of armed violence in the southern Philippines.
Missing Pieces (parliamentary handbook) is a guide for reducing gun violence through parliamentary action. April 2007 - The role of parliamentarians is critical in turning the tide of gun proliferation and violence. By strengthening or creating national laws, improving implementation and enforcement, stimulating and leading public debate, parliaments set new standards for reducing the societal impacts of gun violence. This parliamentary handbook was developed together with the Inter-Parliamentary Union to guide, inspire, and suggest action. It builds on a 2005 publication, Missing Pieces: Directions for reducing gun violence through the UN process on small arms control, which was complemented with inputs from numerous parliamentarians and examples of action at the national level.
HDC undertakes research on the human cost of armed violence and weapons availability and misuse; encourages the main actors to act urgently and strategically on the issue; contributes to global and thematic networks and processes; produces policy recommendations; and facilitates dialogue between stakeholders, drawing on its mandate and capacities to do so. Over the past few years, the HD Centre has identified a number of priority thematic issues, outlined in its publication, Missing Pieces: Directions for reducing gun violence through the UN process on small arms control, published in 2005. Those thematic issues are as follows: Guns in the hands of civilians, gender with a focus on masculinity and violence & women's agency, assistance to survivors of armed violence, and violence, guns and peace processes. Negotiating Disarmament is a long-term research project examining approaches to, and inclusion of disarmament and weapon control in peace processes. The global study In the Line of Fire examines the impacts of arms availability and misuse on humanitarian and development operations and personnel. It was conducted from 2002 to 2005, and represents the largest survey of its kind ever undertaken.
  • Africa
    • Eastern Africa
      • Kenya
      • Sudan
      • Somalia
    • Western Africa
      • Nigeria
  • Asia
    • South Asia
      • India
    • South East Asia
      • Singapore
      • Myanmar
      • Indonesia
      • Philippines
  • Europe
    • Western Europe
      • Switzerland
Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue
Rue de Lausanne 114
Geneva CH-1202
Other
From 3 to 10 years
Between 1 million to 50 million CHF per annum
35
Rue de Lausanne 114
Geneva CH-1202
Headquarters

Project management and oversight, Administration and finance, Fundraising, Mediation support and coordination forum.

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Mr
Martin Griffiths
Director
Mr. Luc Chounet-Cambas
Project Manager
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Partnership

Delhi Policy Group

Description: 

The HD Centre works with the Delhi Policy Group (DPG), an India based think tank, on a project of documenting India’s experience in mediating internal conflicts. This partnership extends to another three organisations in the Philippines and Indonesia, to produce comparative analysis and policy advice on mediation and conflict management in south-east Asia. This partnership is active in the field of good offices and peace support.

Partner organisations: 
Academic

Small Arms Survey

Location: 
Other
Other: 
International partnership (based in Geneva)
Description: 

Visit: http://www.smallarmssurvey.org

The Small Arms Survey (the Survey) is an independent research project located at the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva, Switzerland. Through its work with a worldwide network of researchers and partners, it aims to contribute to international efforts to combat the proliferation of small arms and light weapons, in particular through in-depth field research, the publication of a yearbook and related publications, and through the dissemination of reliable and impartial information. The Survey is also a resource for governments, policy-makers, researchers and activists, an independent monitor of national and international governmental and non-governmental policy-initiatives on small arms, and an outlet for policy-relevant research on small arms issues. The HD Centre and the Small Arms Survey worked together on the In the Line of Fire project.

Partner organisations: 
Academic

Network

Human Security Network

Type: 
Governments
Description: 

Visit: http://www.humansecuritynetwork.org/

From its creation in 1999, the Human Security Network (the Network), composed of fourteen states, has emphasised the importance of addressing the pressing threat that small arms pose to people’s safety and security. The statement on the human dimension of small arms submitted to the UN Conference on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All its Aspects in July 2001, represents an example of this concern. However, much progress can still be made by the Network to develop concrete action and long-term policy.

The HD Centre works closely with the Network to ensure that the small arms crisis remains a priority on its agenda. Joint initiatives have included the Putting People First project and the Small arms workshop at the 28th Red Cross and Red Crescent Conference in Geneva. The HD Centre also provided support to the Government of Mali during its time as the Network Chair (mid 2003-mid 2004).

IANSA

Type: 
NGO
Description: 

Visit: http://www.iansa.org
The International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA) is the global movement against gun violence - a network of 700 civil society organisations working in 100 countries to stop the proliferation and misuse of small arms and light weapons (SALW).

IANSA seeks to make people safer from gun violence by securing stronger regulation on guns in society and better controls on arms exports. It represents the voices of civil society on the international stage, for example in the UN process on small arms, and draws on the practical experience of its members to campaign for policies that will protect human security.

IANSA aims to reduce small arms violence by: raising awareness among policymakers, the public and the media about the global threat to human security caused by small arms promoting the work of NGOs to prevent small arms proliferation through national and local legislation, regional agreements, public education and research fostering collaborative advocacy efforts, and providing a forum for NGOs to share experiences and build skills establishing regional and subject-specific small arms networks promoting the voices of victims in regional and global policy discussions IANSA is a participant-led network with highly diverse participants in different fields of work around the world.

The structure, based on national, sub-regional and regional networks of civil society organisations, ensures that the network is driven by the needs and priorities of its participants. Since 1998, IANSA has helped broaden and strengthen international small arms advocacy and research efforts, as well as devise remedies to counter gun proliferation through the creation of five regional NGO networks covering more than 30 nations.

Since its formation, IANSA has been instrumental in raising and unifying the voices of NGOs involved in the United Nations Small Arms Programme of Action. At major conferences held in 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2006, IANSA brought governments into serious, meaningful dialogue with the NGO sector over small arms, ensuring that civil society remains effectively engaged in this important programme. IANSA is now recognised by the UN as an important global NGO network with valuable expertise to contribute to discussions at all levels.

As a founding member of the joint Control Arms Campaign with Oxfam and Amnesty International, IANSA has also been heavily involved in pushing for a global arms trade treaty. Control Arms amassed significant public support for the campaign that culminated in the Million Faces petition, where individuals submitted their portraits in expressing their support for the treaty. A major political victory was achieved in 2006 when 153 of the world's governments voted to start work on an arms trade treaty in 2007.

Mediation Support Network

Type: 
NGO
Main purpose: 
Policy
Geographical scope: 
Global
Description: 

The Mediation Support Network gathers mediation support organisations such as CMI, Folke Bernadotte Academy, US Institute of Peace, SwissPeace, KOFF, Berghof, Conciliation Resources, the UN DPA Mediation Support Unit, the Initiative for Quiet Diplomacy (University of Essex). Such network has met twice and aims at building synergies between actors involved in mediation support, including in the provision of guidelines and handbooks, as well as capacity building and training activities in the field of mediation and peace processes

The Geneva Peacebuilding Platform