HD Centre For Humanitarian Dialogue

Organisation name HD Centre For Humanitarian Dialogue
Address 114, Rue de Lausanne

CH-1202 Geneva Switzerland,

Tel: +41 (0)22 908 11 30 Switzerland

Website http://www.hdcentre.org
Social media
Contact Person / Email Amel Gorani / gorani@hdventre.org; info@hdcentre.org
Related activities on women, peace and security The HD Centre works in the field of conflict mediation. We work globally and are currently involved in conflict resolution efforts in over 20 conflicts spread across Africa, Asia, The Middle East and Eurasia.

We use the tools of private diplomacy to expand the space for the non-violent resolution of armed conflict. We open channels of communication and mediate between parties in conflict, facilitate dialogue, provide support to the broader mediation and peacebuilding community, carry out capacity building work, and conduct research on mediation issues. We deploy our expertise to support local and nationally-owned processes that protect civilians and foster lasting and just peace. To prevent violent conflict, the HD Centre works with political and civil leaders, including women and young people, to establish the structures needed to ensure societies remain peaceful during critical periods such as elections and political transitions.

The HD Centre considers gender issues to be crucial for sustainable peace and promotes women and gender considerations in all its mediation work and that of others. We are working to promote women’s participation in peace mediation in a variety of ways, these include:

  1. Promoting inclusion in peace processes: HD believes that inclusion enhances the quality and sustainability of peace processes and is committed to enhance inclusion of women, civil society actors, youth and other underrepresented stakeholders   in all its conflict resolution and mediation work. We seek to strengthen the inclusion of women, and promote their participation in the processes that we work on, as well as contribute to advancing inclusion in the field of mediation more broadly.
  2. Building in-house capacity – inclusion Coordinator hired in Nov 2013: One way we have sought to enhance our on capacity to advance our inclusion work is by hiring an Inclusion Coordinator to work with the various HD teams to strengthen their efforts to advance inclusion, not just of women but also civil society actors and other stakeholders , within their work and address inclusion issues more systematically and deliberately in HD’s work. The Inclusion Coordinator ‘s work has included:

o             Helping staff identify entry points to boost direct and indirect participation of women, civil society and other underrepresented groups.

o             Devising strategies that enhance meaningful participation of women and other underrepresented groups in a gender-sensitive and more inclusive and more egalitarian manner.

o             Providing technical expertise and facilitation: e.g. gender and conflict analysis, advising on inclusive process design and methodologies.

o             Building HDs relations and collaboration with WPS organizations


  1. Specific initiatives: HD has carried out several initiatives that are aimed specifically at addressing barriers to women’s inclusion in the field of mediation, and conflict resolution more broadly. A notable effort in this regard was HD’s ‘Women at the Peace Table’ project, launched in 2009. The project brought together women mediators, negotiators, advocates and advisers from Africa and Asia to identify and employ strategies for improving women’s participation in peace processes and consideration of gender issues at the peace table.
  2. Women at the Peace Table – Asia

From 2010 to May 2013, the HD Centre worked with women involved in political representation and especially in conflict and post-conflict sectors around the Asia Pacific region to enhance their networks, expertise and access, to increase their numbers and influence, and to provide concrete and practical advice to policymakers and practitioners in conflict resolution and peacemaking.


  1. Women at the Peace Table – Africa

The HD Centre’s Women at the Peace Table program focuses on the inclusion of women in peace processes (as negotiators, mediators, technical experts, and through consultations) and ensuring gender-related issues are addressed within the substance of peace talks and subsequent agreements. While the inclusion of women in peace processes is hugely important in terms of bringing different experiences and perspectives to the table, this inclusion does not, by itself, ensure that gender issues will be effectively addressed in the substance. As a result, the HD Centre sees these as two linked and mutually reinforcing goals for its work on increasing the participation of women in peace processes in Africa.

Other initiatives focused on the inclusion of women: HD also has a number of ongoing dedicated projects and activities that are specifically   focused on enhancing the inclusion of women in ongoing mediation processes in various regions. These include: a project with war widows in the Philippines, a series of intercommunal dialogues with women in Nigeria, support of UN Women conferences and work on women’s inclusion in the Syrian peace process and many more.

  1. HD also contributes to promoting the WPS agenda and promoting women’s role and participation in mediation more specifically through its work and connections in the mediation field, this happens in a variety of ways. For example :

             Oslo Forum: HD’s has worked consistently to raise issues of inclusion and increase the number of women who participate in the Oslo Forum, HD’s flagship annual meeting for senior conflict mediators co-hosted annually with The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. HD made a targeted effort to increase the number of women not only as participants but also as presenters, experts and facilitators. 48% women of the participants in the 2014 Oslo Forum were women. The Oslo Forum has over the years developed an informal database of names of potential women candidates for senior peacemaking vacancies.

             HD proposed inclusion as the theme for the next Mediation Support Network (MSN) meeting, and will help plan and conduct conversations on inclusion at various fora, at the MSN and elsewhere to promote discussion among practitioners and relevant actors about inclusion and how to overcome barriers to inclusion.

             The HD Centre is actively engaged with others (UN agencies, conflict parties, donors and other peacemaking organisations) to help bring women who have been involved in peace negotiations together to develop recommendations on increasing participation.

             HD has also contribute to substantive discussions on inclusion among policy makers and mediation practitioners through a variety of activities including high level events. For example: in June 2009, to further the implementation of the 2008 UN Security Council Resolution 1820 on Women, Peace and Security, the HD Centre partnered with the United Nations (UNIFEM, UNDP BCPR, DPA (MSU) and DPKO) on a High Level Colloquium on Conflict Related Sexual Violence and Peace Processes. The event brought together senior level mediators and technical experts to discuss and propose strategies and principles for addressing sexual violence in mediated peace processes.


             HD Centre has contributed to research and analysis and experience sharing through a number of publications and through its mediation practice series. (see publication for more information).