© Helvetas

Conflict Sensitive Program Management

© Helvetas
Conflict sensitive development cooperation is aware of existing and potential
conflicts and recognizes different identities of stakeholders’ groups. Projects and
their staff do not consider themselves as “neutral” but as players in the process
with roles and space for action. Through conflict-sensitive program management, our staff constantly analyzes and monitors the context and how it interacts with the project and adjusts programs and projects accordingly.

How to address conflicts

Well-designed interventions, based on a sound analysis of the situation, have the
potential to mitigate conflicts. In those cases, projects and their staff can play a
positive catalyzing or facilitating role in a conflict.

Capacity building in non-violent conflict transformation techniques for individuals
and institutions has proven successful and will be intensified in the future.

A further important key for projects in conflicting situations around natural
resources is to promote and adhere to the principles of Good Governance,
particularly: participation, non-discrimination, transparency, accountability,
legitimacy and legality.

In most cases, conflicts around natural resources start at a local level and must be dealt with on this level, by including all stakeholders/parties concerned in the process. Traditional community-based mechanisms are mostly well suited to local conditions and are thus easily adopted by the communities.

However, local conflicts can have their root causes outside the project realm or
spill-over to sub-national or even national levels which are usually outside the
reach of projects. Here, advocacy strategies can be considered and donors have
an important role to play as they are positioned to establish and lead a dialogue at
higher levels, particularly if they can refer to concrete and relevant own project

© Helvetas / Peter Schmidt
© Helvetas / Peter Schmidt
© Helvetas / Regula Gattiker
© Helvetas / Regula Gattiker

How can Helvetas support you?


  • Provide access to tools and instruments for conflict analysis, Conflict Sensitive Program Management, etc.
  • Discuss project ideas, issues to work on
  • Assist in designing analysis (e.g. ToR, suitable tools, lines of inquiry, etc.)
  • Provide relevant further documents and guidelines
  • Assist in the assessment of the situation
  • Assist in finding specialized partners or consultants
  • Assist in elaborating and disseminating Best Practices and Lessons Learned

Field consultancies

  • Provide feedback and advice to programs
  • Conduct trainings or workshops on Natural Resources Management and conflict, Conflict Sensitive Program Management, conflict analysis, peace building and development
  • Conduct assessments, evaluations and planning missions
  • Assist in necessary specialized analysis throughout the Project Cycle Management
  • Elaborate Best Practices and Lessons Learned

Further information

Download the full publications and learn more about our projects related to conflicts and about typical conflicts arising around natural resources management:

Our quarterly newsletter “Highlights”

For development practitioners and anyone interested in our projects and approaches.

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