Conflict sensitivity is based on the assumptions that any initiative conducted in a conflict-affected area will interact with that conflict in a manner, which will have positive or negative consequences on the situation. Thus, a conflict sensitive approach implies that intervention planning and priority setting encompasses a consideration on how to implement or carry out work and monitor it, how to evaluate the success of intervention and how to think about the impact of overall presence.
Conflict sensitivity is an asset at all levels of mission design. At the strategic level it plays an important part when identifying key characteristics of the recipient country, which contribute towards a comprehensive overall country strategy. Conflict sensitivity must also be applied when designing and implementing mission activities on the operational level. Finally, organisations deploying missions must apply a conflict sensitive approach when formulating policies that affect civilian crisis management operations.
The majority of experiences from fieldwork in the last decades have shown that well-intended interventions in conflict areas and situations are sometimes more harmful than beneficial. While some interventions may have very positive outcomes, they may also cause negative side-effects due to a lack of foresight, which stems from an inadequate degree of analysis. Moreover, a thorough analysis of the conflicts’ contexts during intervention planning could in fact significantly improve the potentials to strengthen the peacebuilding dynamics.
Our training on Conflict Analysis & Conflict Sensitivity is especially beneficial to individuals and organisations involved in the planning, implementation and evaluation of interventions in conflict contexts. The course aims to equip participants with the necessary knowledge to identify relevant characteristics of conflicts and avoid taking action that is detrimental as well as increase the peacebuilding potential of interventions. In order to develop such conflict-sensitive interventions, it is essential to have a comprehensive and in-depth understanding of the conflict’s context and of the mutual interaction between the intervention and the conflict context.