Conflict-Sensitive Programming

What practical experience has been made?

The "Do No Harm" approach was developed for the purpose of improving project implementation in conflict situations. Presenting a nice theoretical tool is only one step in this direction - much more interesting is the practical relevance. This page makes available some of the experience that organizations have gained in the field. Hopefully, this experience will also be of value for other practitioners looking for solutions to their specific dilemmas.

Best Practices:
Examples for the Use of Conflict-Sensitive Approaches

Options for Aid in Conflict

Immediately after the publication of the "Do No Harm" book, some selected organizations tried to apply the findings in their own project interventions. These efforts were systematically documented and made available in form of an additional publication called the "Options Manual". For practitioners, the description of adaptations to activities found to have negative side-effects can stimulate creative thinking and may provide guidance for developing options in other settings.

Options Manual

Name of Author: Mary B. Anderson

Translators: CDA (French)

Description: documentation of experiences with "Do No Harm" implementation around the world.


English Version: 12/2000 (PDF; 623 KB; 123 pages)
download: Options Manual English


French Version: draft (PDF; 563 KB; 72 pages)
download: Options Manual French

Stories from Implementers

In the meantime, many organizations have tried to incorporate "Do No Harm" into their project management from the proposal-writing stage through implementation to the final evaluation. Lessons learned are providing wonderful examples on how conflict-sensitive ideas can contribute to positive impact on the ground. Some of the experience gained might be replicable in other areas, too. Following are some of the documentations that are not restricted by any concerns for confidentiality:

VSF Ileret
VSF in Northern Kenya

Name of Authors: Rolf Grafe, Eunice Obala, Andreas Jenet

Description: Experiences with the Application of the "Do No Harm" Approach within the Improved Community Response to Drought Project in Ileret

Version: 08/2009 (PDF; 648 KB; 71 pages)
download: VSF Ileret