Building Institutional Capacity for Conflict Sensitive Practice in International NGOs

This paper, based on internal documents and interviews with staff from 12 large development INGOs, exams the processes and practicalities of mainstreaming conflict sensitivity. Applying organisational-development theory and theories of developmental learning, it exams the problems INGOs have faced in mainstreaming conflict sensitivity within their own staff as well as with external partners and in building the capacity to maintain conflict-sensitive practices. It concludes that conflict-sensitive development requires not only increased organisational capacity but also effective partnerships among and within a wide range of actors and sectors.

Key Findings

Mainstreaming conflict sensitivity requires:

  • Increased organisational capacity and improved training
  • Effective partnerships
  • Linkages between organisational mandate and values
  • Balance between technical abilities of staff and their social and analytical skills
  • Organisational awareness of its impacts on the contextual dynamics
  • Peacebuilding needs to be treated as a cross-cutting issue

Full Report

Building Institutional Capacity, 2004