Development in conflict: A seven-step tool for planners

Development in conflict: A seven-step tool for planners

Peace and Conflict Impact Assessment is a planning and management tool that can assist development and humanitarian organisations in analysing situations of (potential) conflict and identifying strategic opportunities for conflict prevention and peace-building. It can also be adapted for monitoring the impact of these activities.

The Peace and Conflict Impact Assessment methodology outlined in this report is based on good development practice and related approaches to conflict analysis such as Early Warning. The methodology is premised on the principles of stakeholder consultation, commitment to indigenous visions for peace and local ownership of the peace process. At the same time, it allows the users to consider regional dynamics influencing the conflict.

Development agencies can make important contributions to conflict prevention and peacebuilding in politically unstable situations. They have the capacity to address root causes of conflict with a long-term perspective and so contribute to structural stability. But how do we know what is the ‘right thing’ to do in a volatile and complex environment, and how do we know that we are getting it right? This question is becoming increasingly important as more and more agencies are committing themselves to conflict prevention.

Developing a strategic response to conflict-prone situations, choosing the right type of activities, and monitoring their impact on the dynamics of conflict and peace requires a conscious effort to understand the ever-changing conflict environment in which an organisation is operating. Many development agencies are already undertaking this work on a daily basis, drawing on a range of reporting frameworks, analytical tools and – importantly – the personal contacts they have been able to establish. However, it is worth systematising these practices and developing a more comprehensive and strategic way of analysing and monitoring conflict and feeding this information into planning and management decisions.

This Peace and Conflict Impact Assessment tool has the potential to be used in all interventions including trade and investment, emergency relief and development assistance. It should assist in ensuring coherence between different policy interventions on a micro and macro level and between international and local interventions.