Humanitarian Engagement & Access

Supporting humanitarian practitioners and engaging influential actors to improve humanitarian access in situations of armed conflict

Our Humanitarian Engagement and Access (HEA) Program works to ensure more effective access to people in conflict and crises as well as improving their ability to access the services they need.  Our work engages two main audiences: groups that influence humanitarian conditions on the ground; and humanitarian practitioners.

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Conflict Dynamics has led the field of practice in the development of practical resources and methods for humanitarian negotiation and humanitarian access and we now focus on bringing this support to national practitioners whose role is often underemphasized and under-supported.

Since 2006, we have provided direct support in 30 countries around the world, to ensure practitioners, governments, parties to conflict, and civil society work to enable effective humanitarian assistance.  We have trained humanitarian staff in Afghanistan, Israel and Palestine, Iraq, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Jordan, Syria, Somalia, and Yemen; supported national humanitarian practitioners on the frontlines by providing capacity building in situ; and conducted humanitarian mediation efforts in Cameroon, South Sudan, and Sudan.  All surveyed participants in a training workshop reported that applying our unique access methodology has led to improved access for their organization and 87 percent continued to use the training’s tools and methods in their own work.

Core Resources

In partnership with the government of Switzerland, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, and the International Committee of the Red Cross; Conflict Dynamics has developed a unique methodology for improving humanitarian access. The methodology is captured in the following resources:


Humanitarian Access in Situations of Armed Conflict:

Handbook on the International Normative Framework

Humanitarian Access in Situations of Armed Conflict

Practitioners’ Manual

Summary Versions Available

Focus Areas

Increasing Capacities of Humanitarian Practitioners

Conflict Dynamics utilizes its core resources to present its unique methodology for improving humanitarian access with a variety of actors including government authorities, armed opposition groups, civil society, and humanitarian practitioners, among others. Providing critical training and capacity building to national and local staff on the frontlines of conflict enable practitioners to assist populations outside the reach of larger, international organizations as well as guarantee sustainability in institutional trainings.

Engaging Influential Actors & Pertinent Humanitarian Issues

Conflict Dynamics engages influential actors in order to positively impact the way they facilitate humanitarian access, utilizing a specific methodology rooted in the humanitarian principles and the International Normative Framework. Conflict Dynamics also explores and engages a variety of audiences within the humanitarian community on pressing issues related to access. Drawing on its extensive networks, partnerships, and engagements, Conflict Dynamics continues to identify critical topical issues in the field on which it conducts research and analysis to develop guidance.

Evolving Policies & Practices for Key Humanitarian Stakeholders

Conflict Dynamics continues to enrich the debate surrounding humanitarian engagement and access by contributing to high-level discussions and sharing experiences and lessons learned through a variety of outlets and publications. Colleagues maintain a presence at major conferences; sharing expertise on pressing issues including innovative strategies to defeat challenges of humanitarian access and the impact of counterterrorism measures on humanitarian action, among others. Conflict Dynamics also maintains the Humanitarian Negotiations Information Portal, a virtual resource that promotes knowledge and learning among the humanitarian community.

Strategic Partnerships

Conflict Dynamics continuously seeks to catalyze the impact of its work by partnering with organizations that are mutually complementary to its mission. Partnerships with a variety of actors have helped multiply the update and use of core resources (e.g. Somalia NGO Consortium and Nigeria INGO Forum), achieved change in organizational culture (e.g. Norwegian Refugee Council and the United Nations World Food Programme), and contributed to the financial sustainability of the Humanitarian Engagement and Access Program (e.g. self-funded training engagements with Mercy Corps, Norwegian Refugee Council, Medair, Norwegian Church Aid, and others). Conflict Dynamics will continue to invest substantially and strategically in partnerships that have the greatest potential to further the intended impact of the initiative on humanitarian engagement and access.

Track Record & Field Engagements

Conflict Dynamics maintains a strong track record of presence and willingness to support in conflict situations all over the world. Conflict Dynamics has partnered with and trained staff from numerous organizations including the International Committee of the Red Cross, the United Nations World Food Programme, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the Norwegian Refugee Council and many other international and local NGOs in contexts such as Afghanistan, Cameroon, DRC, Iraq, Mali, Nigeria, Somalia, Somaliland, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. Conflict Dynamics Humanitarian Engagement and Access Team has facilitated over 85 workshops and seminars for more than 1,300 practitioners on a variety of urgent needs in the field.