Applying Conflict Sensitivity in Emergency Response

Drawing on field research from Haiti Pakistan and Sri Lanka interviews with over 50 humanitarian professionals and a document review of aid agencies and sector-wide guidance and standards 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 published by the Humanitarian Practice Network 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.

ODI HPN Paper English Version

ODI HPN Paper French Version