Since the introduction of the Do No Harm framework more than ten years ago, the humanitarian sector has invested in a range of initiatives to address programme quality and accountability. Although aid agencies often seek to be neutral or nonpartisan toward the winners and losers of a war, the impact of their aid is not neutral regarding whether conflict worsens or abates’. This paper identifies conflict flashpoints common to the activities of first-phase emergency responses; identifies how programme and surge capacity staff currently apply conflict sensitivity in the context of rapid-onset emergencies, maps key conflict-sensitivity challenges faced by aid agencies; and draws out conclusions and practical recommendations to strengthen the use of conflict-sensitive approaches in future humanitarian emergencies.

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