Conflict-Sensitive Programming

Who is running this website?

This website continues the work of the Local Capacities for Peace Project in the Horn of Africa, which closed in December 2006. Since then, work on conflict-sensitive approaches in this region and elsewhere has been carried forward independently by the former project director, Rolf Grafe, and by several other committed individuals. The purpose of this website is to make the collective knowledge available to all those who want to promote "Do No Harm" further.

Information on "Do No Harm":
A Network of Committed Consultants

Working for a Cause

It is a frustrating experience to see well-meant development initiatives not achieving anything due to the eruption of violent conflicts. This has been a frequent phenomenon in many African countries during the past two decades. Unfortunately, it has also become evident that sometimes these very development initiatives have played a negative role in the deterioration of local relationships, which might eventually lead to more violence. While we can reasonably assume that these side-effects are unintended, there is a need to make people aware about ways to avoid them. The promotion of the "Do No Harm" concept and of other conflict-sensitive approaches aims exactly at this. We would like to offer our services in order to help relief and development workers not only achieve their primary project objectives but at the same time have a positive impact towards peace and reconciliation.

Assembling Capacities

The knowledge about "Do No Harm" is the unifying aspect of our network for conflict-sensitive programming. At the same time, each member is bringing in his / her own individual expertise. This may refer to particular sectors, such as health, agriculture, education or environmental protection, but also to specific individual skills in planning, monitoring and evaluation, in workshop facilitation, or in mediation and conflict transformation. At the same time, the members come from different religious and cultural backgrounds and bring in various language proficiencies. As a network of committed consultants, we are assembling plenty of capacities that allow tailor-made responses to a broad variety of challenges.

Different Origins

This network stands in the tradition of the Local Capacities for Peace Project in the Horn of Africa. As a consequence, most of our experience has been gained in East Africa, where we have tried to introduce "Do No Harm" into the work of relief and development organizations in countries as diverse as Kenya and Uganda, Ethiopia and Somalia, North and South Sudan. We have integrated conflict sensitivity into the logical framework approach, into participatory community development, into strategic planning as well as into peace-building and inter-faith dialogue. And we are using the particular perspective of "Do No Harm" in all kinds of assignments, whether assessments, planning workshops, trainings or evaluations, always being aware that programming in situations of violent conflict must be different from the routines applied elsewhere.

Our experience is not restricted to East Africa, though. Thanks to a number of missions outside of this region, we have also had the opportunity to apply our skills in other parts of Africa, in the Middle East and in South Asia, and to report back about lessons learnt to donors and researchers in Europe and in North America.