In an increasingly divided world, policy professionals have been confronted with the growing politicization of policy debates, including ongoing attempts to question or limit the influence of science in government policy making. These challenges have been particularly visible in crisis situations such as the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. To fulfill their role in these politicized environments, policy professionals must develop capabilities to lead constructive dialogues with a wide range of stakeholders while searching for realistic compromises on policy options. Such capabilities involve the ability of building trust in a tense public arena while mitigating adversarial relationships with actors opposed to the proposed policies. Through an experiential learning approach, the Winter Study Course will examine the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic in conflict environments such as Syria, Yemen and Afghanistan. It will review the challenges and dilemmas of frontline negotiation in these contexts in a close (virtual) interaction with field practitioners in collaboration with the Centre of Competence on Humanitarian Negotiation (CCHN). Doing so, students will acquire a systematic methodology to engage in crisis negotiation in a proactive, critical, and practical manner. The Winter Study Course is designed for those planning to work in high-intensity environments such as the pandemic, climate crisis, natural disasters, armed conflicts and other critical situations.
Also offered by the School of Public Health as GHP 543. The course will be open by the instructor‘s consent. Details on the selection process will be forthcoming.