For humanitarian and development agencies, the focus on conflict-sensitive approaches has arisen in response to the need for more effective programmes that positively affect the pursuit of sustainable peace in all societies, and do no harm. 

Conflict sensitivity can be described as the capacity of an organization to:​

  • Understand the context in which it operates; 
  • Understand the interaction between its interventions and the context; and 
  • Act upon these understandings to avoid negative impacts - do no harm - and maximize positive impacts on sustaining peace.

Conflict analysis is a central component to conflict sensitive practice as it provides the foundation to inform conflict sensitive programming, in particular in terms of an understanding of the interaction between the intervention and the context. More here.


Taking a conflict sensitive approach when planning and coordinating any type of engagement, including programmes, responds to the need for more effective interventions that contribute to sustainable development and lasting peace. It ensures that tensions are not exacerbated, nor existing conflict dynamics reinforced when resources are infused into complex and/or conflict-affected environments. It applies to all fields of work, encompassing humanitarian assistance, development, peacekeeping and peacebuilding. It also applies to all actors including UN entities, development partners, civil society, government, and private sector. Conflict sensitivity is an effective mechanism for mainstreaming conflict prevention into planning and programming processes. 


Online Course on Conflict Sensitivity​


The Course offers an opportunity to acquire a deeper understanding and hands-on skills to apply conflict-sensitive approaches in humanitarian, development, peacebuilding and security work led by the UN and its partner organizations. It is an online, self-paced, and free-of-charge learning tool, accessible to all upon registration. It is part of the UN's continuous efforts to ensure that practitioners are equipped to effectively navigate challenging development environments, including complex political situations. More here.


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