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Implementation Brief

Implementation Brief

Implementing Competency 6: Negotiation and Conflict Resolution

Image showing a diverse workforceSelf-assessment is considered to be a major component of learning in public health.1 It provides an opportunity for health professionals to reflect on competency-based strengths and weaknesses in order to identify learning needs and reinforce new skills or behaviors in order to improve performance. The MCH Navigator has been collecting data from our online Self-Assessment for five years and during that time have identified a number of data trends.

With over 10,000 completed assessments in the database, learners have consistently reported high levels of knowledge but low levels of skills across a number of competencies. This translates into MCH professionals having high levels of understanding of a competency but not as much self-efficacy in translating this knowledge into practice. In response to this need, the MCH Navigator has developed a series of implementation briefs that provide specific learning opportunities that focus on how to implement and execute skills associated with the MCH Leadership Competencies. This implementation brief is focused on Competency 6: Negotiation and Conflict Resolution.

Trainings from the MCH Navigator

Image indicating that you can click on the image to watch a video explaining the implementation brief Negotiation is a cooperative process where participants try to find a solution that meets the legitimate interests of involved parties; it is a discussion intended to produce an agreement. Conflict resolution is the process of resolving or managing a dispute by sharing each party’s points of view and adequately addressing their interests so that they are satisfied with the outcome2.

Negotiating and conflict resolution are particularly important skills in public health, as public health professionals frequently work in teams within organizations as well as in collaboration with other external partners. There are many instances in which health professionals attempt to encourage or influence colleagues and/or partners to adopt a specific course of action, persuade peers or stakeholders to take part in joint projects working towards a particular goal or negotiate to secure funds for projects3.

Literature has studied a number of attributes and competencies that help professionals influence positively and negotiate successfully.  The Public Health Textbook is an online resource which covers many public health skills and competencies.  Recognizing Fisher and Ury’s original work4, the Public Health Textbook has grouped implementation strategies associated with negotiation and conflict resolution into three key domains. View each of the three domains below and corresponding learning opportunities for: 1) Planning and ‘pre-conditions’, 2) Engagement, 3) Post-negotiation.


  1. Sujata, B., Oliveras, E., and Edson, W.N. (2001). How Can Self-Assessment Improve the Quality of Healthcare?  Operations Research Issue Paper 2(4). Published for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) by the Quality Assurance (QA) Project.
  2. MCH Leadership Competencies Workgroup (2018), "MCH Leadership Competencies Version 4.0".
  3. Hill, A., Leigh-Hunt, N. (2016). Understanding Individuals: Principles of Negotiating and Influencing. Section 5a. Public Health Textbook.
  4. Fisher, R., Ury, W. (1983). Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In.  New York: Penguin Books.

Negotiation and Conflict Resolution: Implementation Brief
Authors: Keisha Watson, Ph.D., MCH Navigator
Reviewers: Faculty and staff of the Georgetown University Center for Child and Human Development

This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number UE8MC25742; MCH Navigator for $225,000/year. This information or content and conclusions are those of the author and should not be construed as the official position or policy of, nor should any endorsements be inferred by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.