Conflict, humanitarian assistance and peacebuilding: Meeting the challenges

This paper summarises current debates on conflict, aid and peacebuilding and suggests that humanitarian agencies can go beyond avoiding negative impacts on conflict (‘do no harm’), to contributing positively to conflict transformation and peacebuilding (‘do good’) in a way that respects their core mandates and key humanitarian principles.

The paper argues that this may be achieved by incorporating a ‘conflict sensitive’ approach in planning and programming.

The paper’s starting point is a recognition of the very real operational dilemmas faced by humanitarian agencies working in conflict areas, and the realisation of staff on the ground that existing agency approaches do not always adequately address these dilemmas.