CAS Communication, Advocacy and Negotiation in Humanitarian Action 2019



29 April 2019 - 14 June 2019
10 ECTS credits
180 Teaching hours
7 weeks






+41 (0)22 908 44 53




Registration deadline

15 April 2019


CHF 5'000.-


  • Analyse the communication environment in which Humanitarian Action evolves
  • Master concepts, methodologies and major related tools and processes in order to design the most suited Communication, Advocacy and Negotiation strategies
  • Critically review past and current Humanitarian Communication and Humanitarian Principles
  • Reflect on, critically review one’s own practice and make recommendations


Professional working in humanitarian action wishing to review or improve his competencies in communication, advocacy and humanitarian negotiation
Communication professional and specialist wishing to use his acquired experience and skills in the humanitarian sector


7 weeks:

  • Humanitarian Communication: Concepts and Framework
  • Dialogue with Communities
  • Designing an Advocacy Strategy
  • Media and Humanitarian Action: Approaches and Challenges
  • Representation to create Relationship: Strategy and Ethical Concerns
  • Negotiation in Humanitarian Settings
  • Personal Assignment

This programme is part of CERAH’s training offer including one MAS, one DAS and one CAS with 5 specialisations.


Prof. Doris SCHOPPER, Geneva Centre for Education and Research in Humanitarian Action (CERAH), a joint Centre of the University of Geneva and the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID), Geneva



Diploma delivered jointly with

Université de Genève, IHEID
Clear and efficient communication is essential to the success of projects carried out in humanitarian settings. CERAH is one of the few institutes providing courses in communication, advocacy and negotiation that are specifically tailored for humanitarian action.

Communication during aid action projects confronts several, important challenges. Humanitarian workers need to, often simultaneously, build positive relations with the affected populations, authorities and journalists, raise awareness and support, as well as lobby the cause they defend.

It is therefore important for humanitarian professionals to understand the different needs, stages and strategies of communication which play out during humanitarian project implementation. These include the development of a real dialogue with all stakeholders - including affected populations - the production and reception of information, the use of traditional and new communication tools and the cooperation with the media. Such practical expertise and competence needs to be complemented by critical understanding of the media landscape and the wider image of humanitarian action. This course delivers on both aspects.

This Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) enables participants to acquire theoretical and analytical competencies essential to develop communication, advocacy and negotiation strategies in the context of humanitarian action.

At the end of the course, participants will have strengthened communication competencies and will be able to develop a proper advocacy or negotiation strategy in line with their humanitarian objectives and their environment.


  • Week 1: Humanitarian Communication: Concepts and Framework
  • Week 2: Dialogue with Communities
  • Week 3: Designing an Advocacy strategy
  • Week 4: Media and Humanitarian Action: Approaches & Challenges
  • Week 5: Representation to create Relationship: Strategy and ethical concerns
  • Week 6: Negotiation in Humanitarian Settings: Main concepts and Strategy

Pedagogical method

7 intensive weeks (around 300 hours) of individual work including

  • pre-readings,
  • face to face sessions (lectures, role plays, working groups, field work, media training)
  • personal work (readings, research, writing)

Comité scientifique

Valérie BABIZE, Field operationnal communication coordinator, Médecins sans Frontières (MSF), Switzerland
Dr Edith FAVOREU, Deputy Director and Head of Training, CERAH
Dr Valérie GORIN, Lecturer / SNF Senior Researcher, University of Lausanne and CERAH
David LOQUERCIO, CHS Alliance Head of Policy, Advocacy and Learning
Sarah MACE, Humanitarian Communication Trainer & Advisor for the CDAC Network
Jean-Paul MARTHOZ, Visiting Professor Catholic University of Louvain (UCL), Journalist and Writer
Prof Doris SCHOPPER, Director, CERAH

Number of participants

20 candidates maximum are selected each year.

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