No. 70 October 2011
Applying conflict sensitivity in emergency response: Current practice and ways forward
How can emergency response be delivered in a more conflict-sensitive manner? To what extent should this be a priority for the sector? What practical tools and approaches have aid agencies used to better understand their contexts of intervention and minimize conflict risks?
As these issues become increasingly prominent in regions of the world as diverse as the Horn of Africa, Afghanistan and Libya, Network Paper 70 offers insights to these pressing questions.
Drawing on field research from Haiti, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, this paper maps the current state of conflict-sensitive practice in emergencies. It identifies good practices which can be built upon, key gaps, and points out practical ways to integrate conflict sensitivity more strategically across the emergency programme cycle.
One of the key conclusions from this study is that there are clear opportunities for synergy between conflict sensitivity integration and the emergency capacity-building initiatives currently ongoing within many agencies. Significant improvements can be achieved through relatively simple steps which complement existing tools, standards and efforts to improve programme quality. The paper suggests six minimum standards for conflict sensitive emergency response which, if applied, would not only help minimize harm and reduce conflict risks but also increase the overall effectiveness of humanitarian response.
This paper is based on research commissioned by CARE International UK and CAFOD on behalf of the Conflict Sensitivity Consortium with the participation of World Vision International, Peace and Community Action, Catholic Relief Services, ActionAid International and Plan International.