Conflict-Sensitive Programming

Achievements to Build on

We have been working on conflict-sensitive programming for more than 15 years, starting with two orientation workshops in Ethiopia and in Kenya as part of the "Local Capacities for Peace Project in the Horn of Africa". Since that time, many organizations have cooperated with us and with an ever increasing network of local trainers. Through our regular Trainings of Trainers, our global network has grown considerably and has extended from East Africa to other parts of this continent as well as to the Middle East and South Asia. Some of the achievements during recent years are presented here. More information may be found on the pages covering the regional application.

Developments during Previous Years

News 2016

Conflict Assessment in Lebanon

For a long time, the Swiss church-based development organization HEKS has committed to "Do No Harm" in its global operations. In order to assess how conflict-sensitive the practical application has been on the ground, Rolf Grafe and Naglaa Elhag have travelled to Beirut and worked with the local partner organization Najdeh, particularly looking at their operations in the Palestinian refugee camp Shatila. A second visit is planned to Borj el-Barajne, a similar camp where Palestinians have lived as refugees for almost 70 years. The assessment is supposed to contribute to the planning of further activities in the two camps and at the same time offer practical training to the staff of Najdeh.

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Training in Programme Management for the German Civil Peace Service

Peace work has developed into a new profession, requiring specific knowledge and skills. The Academy for Conflict Transformation has been responding to this need by offering a variety of advanced training events. The current course, combining a number of on-line modules with six weekend seminars over the course of the year, has brought together 14 enthusiastic trainees from Germany and Switzerland. Rolf Grafe has accompanied the participants in a three-day training on programme management in Königswinter (including "Do No Harm" and "Reflecting on Peace Practice") and in the supervision of their course projects.

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Programmes for Refugees and Host Population in Eastern Sudan

Due to the depressing political and economic situation in Eritrea, refugees are continuing to cross the border to neighbouring Sudan, where some of their compatriots have stayed already for more than 35 years. This influx poses a big challenge for both the Government of Sudan and for UNHCR. Following a conflict-sensitive approach, the German GIZ is currently planning a programme in Eastern Sudan, which would offer vocational training and livelihood improvements to both the refugees and the host population. Rolf Grafe and Entisar Abdelsadiq are participating in this planning process through a 3-day introductory workshop in Khartoum and a field study looking at the local context in Kassala and in Gedaref.

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Humanitarian Assistance for Syrians

Following the positive experience of a similar programme in Kurdistan in 2015, Save the Children has started to train their staff in the Turkish province of Hatay on "Conflict Sensitivity and Diversity". The aim of the programme is to improve cooperation among culturally, ethnically and religiously diverse staff in order to be able to offer better services to the civilian population in war-torn Northwest Syria and to the refugees who have crossed the Turkish border. Rolf Grafe, John Okanga and Halima Shuria have facilitated the first three workshops in Antakya in August and September 2016. Another workshop is supposed to follow in December.

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Renewed Violence in South Sudan

In spite of many efforts to reach a peaceful agreement between the leaders of newly independent South Sudan, politically motivated clashes between the two major ethnic groups continue to destabilize the country. After the violent confrontations had reached the capital Juba again, international organizations were forced to evacuate their staff, putting on hold the planning for training activities on "Do No Harm", due to be held for the partners of the Swedish Fellowship of Reconciliation.

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Website Update

This website has undergone a complete overhaul, adding much information to the altogether 38 pages. Some of the pages that had been "under reconstruction" for a long time have now been filled again, showing the immense work that is being done by our network. This particularly refers to the pages on "Regional Application", showing our efforts in the various regions of the world. In addition, the pages on "Consultancy Services" and on "Sharing Experiences" have been considerably expanded, new documents have been added for download, and several links have been created on the "Contact" pages. Hopefully, this website is now more valuable than ever before. During the coming months, we are even planning to add specific pages for selected countries.

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Mainstreaming "Do No Harm" within the Norwegian Mission Society

Colleagues from the Norwegian Mission Society have seriously started mainstreaming "Do No Harm" among partner organizations in Africa. Sophie Küspert-Rakotondrainy had already organized a four-days training for her partners in the Development and Social Services Commission of the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus in Kamashi / Ethiopia. While she had been supported by Dominique Habimana in that training, she has now facilitated another workshop in Ngaoundéré / Cameroon together with Dag Rune Sameien from NMS's headquarters. 60 participants from the Église Evangélicale Luthérienne de Cameroun have attended this training conducted in English and French. Further activities are planned at up-coming regional conferences in Kenya and in Thailand.

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Activities of the New Trainers

After the successful completion of their Training of Trainers in September 2015, several colleagues have put their new skills into action already, in some cases linking up across international borders or joining hands with others trained during previous years. As a result, "Do No Harm" workshops have been conducted for GIZ and for Transparency International in Rwanda, for NCA in Congo, for EECMY and for the Oromiya Security and Administration Bureau in Ethiopia. Thanks for your efforts: Dominique Habimana, Ignace Dusengimana, Emmanuel Cofi, Albert Mushiarhamina, Sophie Küspert-Rakotondrainy, Jamie Walker.
Meanwhile, colleagues of the previous ToTs have remained active in a number of other countries: Irene Dawa and Dede Obombasa have reported about activities in Uganda, John Bongei and Gerald Ngaruiya have conducted workshops in Kenya, and Entisar Abdelsadig and Mohamed Omer have been engaged in Southern Kordofan in Sudan.

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Conflict Sensitivity in Bahr el-Ghazal

With more and more conflicts erupting in South Sudan, development work in the youngest independent country of the world is facing serious challenges. GIZ has taken notice of the need for conflict-sensitive programming in this country and invited Rolf Grafe and John Okanga to introduce staff and partners of the "Programme for Urban Food Security, Livelihoods and Markets" to the "Do No Harm" concept during a three-days workshop in Wau.

News 2015

Training for the German Civil Peace Service

As part of a ten-weeks preparation course for future peace-building professionals, Rolf Grafe has conducted a five-days training on "Peace and Conflict Impact Assessment" in Königswinter / Germany. The training covered a wide range of planning and monitoring tools, from the traditional "Logical Framework Approach" through "Do No Harm" and "Reflecting on Peace Practice" to "Outcome Mapping". Due to the fact that some additional participants joined the longer course for only this one week, a lot of practical experience from the field could be drawn upon, and so the various tools could be applied on real cases from Togo and Kenya, from Kosovo and Afghanistan, from Nepal and Cambodia, and from Timor-Leste. It was interesting to see how development concepts and peace-building approaches are more and more complementing each other. More training opportunities are up-coming.

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The "Do No Harm" Framework in Kiswahili

An updated version of the Kiswahili translation of the framework is now available, thanks to the continuous efforts of John Okanga. Based on his long experience in training and application, he has changed several terms, leading to this new and final (?) version. For more information, see "Material / Documents".
go to: Material / Documents

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Training of Trainers held in Uganda in September 2015

13 participants from East Africa, Central Asia and Europe have completed eleven days of intensive training during the most recent Training of Trainers in Uganda. Participants had come from countries as far away as Norway and Afghanistan, which assured a fruitful exchange of experience about issues related to conflict-sensitive programming in different environments. We are particularly happy to have more trainers capable to conduct workshops in Arabic and in French, as well as in Dari and Pashto. The three organizations hosting the demonstration workshops of the new trainers (Oxfam Uganda, Uganda Joint Christian Council, Caritas) all praised the high quality of the workshops offered.
For lists of all participants of this and previous ToTs, see "Global Network / Trainers".
go to: Global Network / Trainers

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The "Do No Harm" Framework in Dari

Translation number 8 of the framework is now available. Sayed Tamim, Muzhgan Jalal and Tawfiq Masood are currently working on the terminology of the "Do No Harm" approach in Dari, one of the main languages spoken in Afghanistan. The framework has already been finalized; more may come soon. For more information, see "Material / Documents".
go to: Material / Documents

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Conflict Study in Eastern Equatoria

Based on the reputation gained through a similar study three years ago, Rolf Grafe and Eunice Obala have conducted a conflict study in Torit during the month of June. The results should help the water engineers of Gauff Consult to ensure that no harm is done during the implementation of a planned project for the supply of clean drinking water.

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Follow-up on Former Workshop Participants

The Norwegian Ecumenical Peace Platform is currently following up on the participants of numerous workshops it has funded in Kenya, South Sudan, Uganda, Burundi, Haiti and Myanmar. As part of this process, Rolf Grafe has contacted about 200 individuals and invited them to share their practical observations with the "Do No Harm" tool. Results are supposed to be discussed in a follow-up workshop in Nairobi during the month of May.

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Several Workshops Conducted for NEPP Partners

A number of extended "Do No Harm" workshops have been conducted during the months of April and May, in which not only the theoretical knowledge about the approach has been transferred but also practical exercises on participants' own environments have been done. Zimbabwe, Ethiopia and Afghanistan have been the locations of the three events, which have been facilitated by Jacinta Makokha, Rolf Grafe, Lonah Wanjama, Desteo Tugume and Abdi Egal.

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Conflict Sensitivity and Diversity in Kurdistan

While Iraq has been in conflict for more than a decade, "Do No Harm" has so far been surprisingly absent from humanitarian and development interventions in that country. Fortunately, this is beginning to change, and several organizations have seen the need for conflict-sensitive programming in this environment. Save the Children sees a particular value in the cultural diversity of its staff, sending a message about the opportunities to work together in this religiously, ethnically and politically divided country. Three initial trainings have been conducted for field staff in Erbil, in Sulaymaniya and in Dohuk, which have led to clear recommendations on the integration of conflict sensitivity.

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"Do No Harm" in Refugee Camps in Uganda

For a long time, Western Uganda has hosted refugees from the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo. Due to the diversity of these groups and the violent events in their home areas, there are tensions among the refugees and also between them and the Ugandan host population. Africa Humanitarian Action has therefore taken up the initiative and arranged two exposure workshops for NGO staff, community leaders and local authorities from Kyaka II and Rwamwanja. Rolf Grafe and Tugume Desteo have facilitated both events in Fort Portal.

News 2014

Cameroon - a new Country on our Map

Another francophone country has been added to our global map. Following the influence of Boko Haram spilling over from Nigeria and the influx of refugees from the war in the Central African Republic, Cameroon has seen rising insecurity in its Northern and Eastern parts. As a consequence, GIZ has decided to start a "Do No Harm" process for staff and partners in these two areas. Rolf Grafe and Richard Mbwaki have been assigned to guide this process, which has started with two workshops in Yaoundé in November.

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Award for Eunice Obala

One of our most experienced trainers in Kenya, Eunice Obala, has received the "Women's Creativity in Rural Life Award" of the Women's World Summit Foundation. This prize honours women and women's groups around the world exhibiting exceptional creativity, courage and commitment for the improvement of the quality of life in rural communities. Eunice had been nominated for this award because of her innovative implementation of participatory approaches in conflict sensitive programming as a project manager for VSF Germany. Congratulations!

For more information on Eunice's work, see the documentation of VSF's ICRD project on this website.
go to: Material / BestPractices

For more information on the award, go to WWSF's website.
WWSF Laureates 2014: Eunice Obala

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Plenty of Activities of the New Trainers

Several of the participants of the last Training of Trainers in May have been quick in starting activities within their own organizations. John Bongei conducted a series of workshops for Finn Church Aid in the northern parts of Kenya; Luyimbazi Tonnie and Desteo Tugume brought "Do No Harm" into the Bunyoro Coalition on Oil and Sustainable Livelihoods Advocacy Network in Uganda, and Raza Hyder has been assigned to take a lead role in the mainstreaming of conflict sensitivity within the programme of Oxfam-Novib in Pakistan.

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More Activities for Somalia

Conceived as a quick impact intervention, the "Transition Initiatives for Stabilization" Programme of DAI has promoted economic development and peaceful co-existence in numerous locations in Somalia and Somaliland. While the programme had already been based on issues like good governance, community participation and transparency, all staff have now also been trained in the "Do No Harm" approach. For this purpose, Camel Bell Ltd. conducted three parallel workshops for altogether 75 participants during the annual programme consultations in Addis Ababa. These workshops, which were facilitated by Halima Shuria and Mustafa Awad, by John Okanga and Mohamed Omar, and by Rolf Grafe and Gerald Ngaruiya, respectively, did not only present the "Do No Harm" framework but also looked at local conflict settings and at existing programming procedures.

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Responding to South Sudan Clashes

Only two years after independence, inter-ethnic clashes have seriously affected the hopes for development in South Sudan. Many international organizations had to evacuate their staff and to suspend their activities. As another outcome, the importance for conflict-sensitive programming had become all too obvious. Consequently, Rolf Grafe and Kiden Grace Wani have trained the local staff of GIZ in "Do No Harm" and helped in the analysis of local contexts. Currently, there are plans to conduct formal "peace and conflict assessments" in Central and Western Equatoria.

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Training of Trainers held in Uganda in May 2014

14 participants from East Africa, West Africa, South Asia and Europe have spent eleven days of intensive training during the recently concluded Training of Trainers in Uganda. With participants from 9 different countries, this training has been unusually rich in terms of cross-cultural interaction and practical experiences from different backgrounds. We are particularly happy to have two new trainers each for workshops to be conducted in Arabic and in French. The three host organizations (Caritas Uganda, Pentecostal Churches of Uganda, and Winsor Consult) were all full of praise about the quality of the workshops offered.
For lists of all participants of this and previous ToTs, see "Global Network / Trainers".
go to: Global Network / Trainers

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Network Meetings

Apart from trainings and the development of new materials, the exchange of experience among "Do No Harm" practitioners is playing a vital role in the efforts to promote conflict-sensitive planning. Currently, there are four different networks active, three among "Do No Harm" trainers (led by John Okanga in Kenya, Robert Ssewava in Uganda, Rolf Grafe in South Sudan) and one among like-minded organizations (led by Halima Shuria for Somalia). More information will soon be available on the pages about "Regional Application".

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The "Do No Harm" Framework in German

Another translation of the framework has been finalized, so that the number of languages in which this fundamental tool is now available has risen to seven. For more information, see "Material / Documents".
go to: Material / Documents

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More Workshops in East Africa

The Norwegian Ecumenical Peace Platform continues to invest in the dissemination of knowledge about "Do No Harm" in East Africa. Two more workshops are financed during the first half of 2014, which do not only provide the theoretical background to the approach but also spend time on the analysis of local contexts and the assessment of project activities on these context. Rolf Grafe and John Okanga have facilitated the first workshop in Nairobi for participants from Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Somalia. A second workshop has taken place in Juba for organizations from South Sudan, facilitated by Rolf Grafe and Kiden Grace Wani.

News 2013

DoNoHarmBrochure French

Translation of the "Do No Harm" brochure into French

As a result of a "Do No Harm" support process in Mali, the growing demand for French materials has pushed us to translate the 24-pages "Do No Harm" brochure into that language. Richard Mbwaki Malonga has taken over this task, and in the meantime the French version has been printed and is available at a protective fee of € 3.--

For more information, see "Material / For Implementers".
go to: Material / For Implementers

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Conflict Sensitivity in the Middle East

Surprisingly, the "Do No Harm" approach seems still not very much known in the Middle East, which has become quite obvious in the implementation of projects dealing with the influx of Syrian refugees in the neighbouring countries. Rolf Grafe and Naglaa Elhag have given two presentations to USAID staff in Amman, leading to discussions about the relevance of "Do No Harm" in a comparatively peaceful country like Jordan. Tensions between the host community and the refugees have been on the rise recently, and so the need for conflict-sensitive planning has shown up.

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Exporting "Do No Harm" to West Africa

Following a severe political crisis in Mali, development organizations working in that country have recognized the need for conflict-sensitive programming. Rolf Grafe and Richard Mbwaki have followed an invitation from Norwegian Church Aid to help them train staff and partners in "Do No Harm" and incorporate conflict sensitivity into the strategic plan for NCA's country programme. After a three-months process, we look back to interesting experiences in a different cultural context. As a side-effect, the assignment has also led to many documents having been translated into French.

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Growing Interest for "Do No Harm" in Somalia

More and more organizations are expressing interest in using the "Do No Harm" approach in their operations in Somalia. Following several workshops for international NGOs during the last two years and a conflict-sensitivity audit of Unicef's education programme, plans to establish a network of trainers as well as of implementing organizations are under way. Most recently, Rolf Grafe and Halima Shuria presented the "Do No Harm" concept during a forum for all partners of USAID in Somalia.

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12 New "Do No Harm" Trainers

Another Training of Trainers has been concluded in Uganda during the month of February. Twelve participants from East Africa, the Middle East and the United States went through ten days of intensive training, learning about the contents of the "Do No Harm" approach, improving their facilitation skills, and finally proving their new skills in three workshops for development organizations in Kampala. The three host organizations (Diakonia Sweden, John Paul II Justice and Peace Centre, and Kamwokya CCC) were all full of praise about the quality of the workshops offered.
For lists of all participants of this and previous ToTs, see "Global Network / Trainers".
go to: Global Network / Trainers

News 2012

DoNoHarmBrochure Somali

Translation of the "Do No Harm" brochure into Somali

Colleagues from the Puntland office of Diakonia Sweden have translated the 24-pages "Do No Harm" brochure into the Somali language. The brochures, which have been printed with financial support from SIDA, can be obtained free of charge from the Diakonia office in Garoowe.

For more information, see "Material / For Implementers".
go to: Material / For Implementers

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"Do No Harm" in South Sudan

Development organizations operating in the youngest country of the world are eager to integrate conflict sensitivity into their work. During recent months, several workshops have been held in South Sudan, for the German GIZ, for the Norwegian Ecumenical Peace Platform, and for Norwegian Church Aid. Rolf Grafe, Gerald Ngaruiya, John Okanga and Halima Shuria all contributed to the facilitation work in Juba and in Torit.

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"Do No Harm" in Palestine

The German Civil Peace Service (ZFD) is trying to apply conflict sensitivity among local organizations working in the area of Jericho within the occupied Palestinian Territories. Following an introductory workshop conducted by Naglaa Elhag in January 2012, staff members have developed tools for integrating "Do No Harm" questions into participatory planning methods for small projects implemented by local partners. Impressions during a visit in August were very positive. Meanwhile, two staff members have undergone a Training of Trainers, enabling them to disseminate the knowledge about conflict-sensitive programming further.

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First Meeting of the Uganda Network

A number of Ugandans have gone through formal "Do No Harm" trainings in recent years - time to get to know each other and maybe form a powerful network! A first meeting of interested trainers was held in Kampala on July 21, during which the challenges of training were discussed and the experiences with practical application were presented. Robert Ssewava, Naglaa Elhag and Rolf Grafe organized the meeting.

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On Tour in Somalia

The Danish Refugee Council is keen on integrating the "Do No Harm" approach in its operations in the various parts of Somalia. Rolf Grafe has travelled to the country at the Horn of Africa for a series of three introductory workshops with DRC staff in South-Central Somalia, in Somaliland and in Puntland. Halima Shuria, Hodan Elmi and Mohamoud Said are acting as co-facilitators in Mogadishu, Hargaysa and Garoowe, respectively.

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Plenty of Activities by the New Trainers in the Horn of Africa

Participants of the last Training of Trainers in November 2011 are proving to be a particularly active group. We have been informed about a number of activities being implemented already within the various organizations. These include trainings for the staff of CARE and for the partners of DEA in Somaliland, for FIDA and DEA staff in Nairobi, as well as for partners of GIZ in South Sudan. Furthermore, Hodan Elmi is in the process of developing a set of illustrations about key "Do No Harm" messages" for Somalia, which are meant to be published as a booklet.

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"Do No Harm" in North Sudan

Norwegian Church Aid has renewed its commitment to conflict-sensitive programming in North Sudan. Naglaa Elhag and Rolf Grafe have conducted a four-days introductory workshop in Khartoum for representatives of partner organizations working allover the country. The workshop has not only included the dissemination of the theoretical concept but has also analysed local conflict settings in Khartoum, in the Nuba Mountains, in Darfur and around the new Hamdab Dam as well as the potential implications of project activities in that area.

News 2011

Conflict Sensitivity Audit in Darfur

Following seven years of humanitarian intervention in Darfur, Norwegian Church Aid has commissioned an assessment of the implications of their work on local conflict. Naglaa Elhag and John Okanga have travelled to Sudan to find out to what degree the joint programme of Protestant and Catholic relief agencies has been implemented in a conflict-sensitive way. Access to basic services in a situation of serious violent conflict had been the focus of these operations in Darfur.

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Challenges around Sibiloi National Park

Based on earlier work with pastoralists in the extreme North of Kenya, VSF Germany has joined hands with Kenya Wildlife Service to look at the competition between wildlife conservation in Sibiloi National Park and the demand for grazing land of local communities. Rolf Grafe and Eunice Obala are consulting the organizations in a process of conflict-sensitive planning which should eventually not only help pastoralist communities to settle their violent conflicts but also find solutions for a peaceful co-existence with park authorities at the "cradle of mankind".

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Conflict Study in Central Equatoria

As part of the planning process for a drinking water supply project, Rolf Grafe and Naglaa Elhag have conducted a conflict study in Yei during the month of June. The results should help the water engineers from Gauff Consult to ensure that no harm is done during the implementation of the project.

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Conflict Sensitivity Appraisal in Somalia

UNICEF is undergoing an evaluation of its "Strategic Partnership Initiative for the Recovery and Development of Education in Somalia". Rolf Grafe and Mohamoud "Gumbe" have taken over the task of assessing the question to what degree this programme has been implemented in a conflict-sensitive way. They are currently travelling between Boosaaso, Garoowe, Gaalkacyo and Hargaysa.

News 2010

DoNoHarmBrochure English

A New Publication

In order to make practical implementation easier, we have printed a 24-pages pocket guide in handy A6 format. Hopefully, practitioners will take it with them on field trips.

For more information, see "Material / For Implementers".
go to: Material / For Implementers