Browse by Theme: Conflict & Fragility

On going assessment of the factors, issues, and other dynamics is essential to developing objective strategy and making wise choices in conflict situations.

Broad participation in an analysis and assessment process by all the parties will help build a shared perspective on the problem and the steps necessary to move forward.

Indeed, joint analysis is often a key step in bringing parties to the table. The following guide offers a series of questions to help identify useful information.

The commentary is specifically focused on the data from the analysis that will impact the building of a forum and the getting-to-the-table stage of disputes.

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One of the long-standing challenges to successful peacebuilding has been the difficulty of measuring results and generating evidence that can help identify what types of interventions work best. This guide builds on work undertaken by CARE International and International Alert in three countries to pilot theory based evaluation tools to help evaluate the impact of the peacebuilding projects. 19 projects and 38 theories of change were tested, with the resulting tools, tips and processes captured here.

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This paper lays out the case for a renewed focus on conflict sensitivity by donor agencies. It presents recommendations for how donors can integrate conflict sensitivity into their own systems and processes, as well as how they can promote conflict sensitivity in their implementing partners. The paper is intended to inform and influence policy makers and practitioners across a range of donor agencies. The recommendations have relevance across humanitarian, development and peacebuilding activities. It has been developed by the DFID-funded Conflict Sensitivity Consortium, and draws upon experience and lessons learned during implementation of the consortium project.

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A report from the Danish Institute for International Studies with input from CARE Denmark, focuses on the links between climate change and conflict, the types of conflict and approaches to conflict prevention. CARE Niger’s Wells for Peace project is featured as a case study, with its main innovation ‘a thoroughly participatory approach in which social agreement amongst key stakeholders and users is reached before the infrastructure – in this case a well – is established.’ The approach is credited with preventing local conflicts that normally result from water initiatives. With conflicts turning violent in the intervention region falling from 56% at baseline to 24% to 0% after 5 years.

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Pastoral areas in the Horn of Africa are frequently seen as a region of poverty and constant crisis, where repeated rain failures leave millions of people dependent on food aid. The long-term erosion of pastoralists’ resilience is ascribed to various causes: a degraded range, the loss of key grazing lands, increasing population pressure and conflict. But pastoralism is also a modern industry, bringing in hundreds of millions of dollars each year from a thriving international trade, creating an increasingly commercialised livestock-owning class coexist-ing with an ever poorer majority.

This presents a dual challenge. How can this vital economic sector be supported, at the same time as sup-porting the majority of pastoralists to remain independent, with resilient livelihoods?

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The Conflict Sensitivity Consortium, including CARE International, has placed a heavy emphasis on testing practical approaches to effective conflict sensitivity, learning from experience and carefully documenting identified best practices. This approach has culminated in the production of this How to Guide to Conflict Sensitivity. This Guide draws upon Consortium experience to illustrate real examples of applying conflict sensitivity. It aims to provide practical advice suitable for anyone aiming to improve conflict sensitivity, whether in the field of development, humanitarian aid or peacebuilding work. It aims to provide user-friendly information for people who are focusing at project or at organisation-wide level, whether aiming for best practice or just starting out on the journey towards conflict sensitivity.

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"Focusing on theories of change can improve the effectiveness of peacebuilding interventions.

A review of 19 peacebuilding projects in three conflict-affected countries found that the process of articulating and reviewing theories of change adds rigour and transparency, clarifies project logic, highlights assumptions that need to be tested, and helps identify appropriate participants and partners.

However, the approach has limitations, including the difficulty of gathering theory validating evidence."

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