Conflict sensitivity is acting with the understanding that any initiative conducted in a conflict-affected environment will interact with that conflict and that such interaction will have consequences that may have positive or negative effects. It is a deliberate and systematic approach to ensuring we understand and minimise these negative effects (risks) and maximise positive effects of our actions (opportunities).
This guide provides simple tools which can be used to identify these potential effects and to strengthen conflict sensitivity. It can be used alongside existing processes to inform the development of new portfolios, programmes, projects and activities across the range of HMG development, diplomacy, defence, and domestic security engagement and to review current activities for conflict sensitivity. It follows recommendations, contained within National Audit Office (NAO) and Independent Commission on Aid Impact (ICAI) reports, that HMG departments strengthen conflict sensitivity across their engagement in fragile and affected states (FCAS). It reflects internationally agreed norms encompassed in the OECD DAC Fragile States Principles (2007) and the New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States (2011).