Conflict analysis and risk assesment

 After fleeing violence in their native Darfur villages, women from a community of displaced Sudanese collect water from a tank installed by the African Union-United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) near Khor Abeche, South Darfur. UN Photo/Albert Gonzalez Farran

Today’s conflicts have mutated into complex systems that are driven by multiple and competing interests. These conflict dynamics have the potential to generate considerable and lasting turbulence across political and socio-economic spheres, undermining peace and sustainable development. A deeper understanding of the drivers of unrest and conflict and the capacities for peace in an ever-changing world is crucial for UNDP to identify and support national capacities in sustaining peace. Conflict analysis provides an evidence base to enable strategic and targeted responses to better manage new forms of transition and turbulence, and reduce the likelihood of a (re-)emergence of violent conflict.

Sound analysis is not only central to understanding the causes and drivers of conflict, indigenous capacities for peace, and key stakeholders, but it is also critical to developing strategic approaches for the UN system to comprehensively support national efforts to address conflicts and protect development gains. Through the UNDP-DPA Joint Programme, UNDP has developed a comprehensive Conflict and Development Analysis (CDA) tool to guide Country Offices and practitioners in conducting conflict analysis and applying the analysis to programming and strategic positioning.

UNDP supported Mozambique, Madagascar, the Central African Republic, Myanmar, Honduras, Comoros and Niger, amongst others, to undertake various forms of in-depth conflict analysis. The findings have been integrated in strategic country-level planning processes and conflict sensitivity has been integrated across all levels of programming.

As a supplement to the CDA, UNDP has also developed a conflict-related risk assessment tool. The tool is applied on an on-going basis to track and monitor changes in key risk sectors of society, whether they pertain to conflict, natural hazards, or economic shocks. This information is then used to update scenarios and inform subsequent strategic and programmatic interventions, as well as institutional risk management and mitigation. Strengthening national capacities for conflict risk assessment is a crucial component of the broader multi-dimensional approach promoted by UNDP and its partners to actively manage risks and enhance resilience.

To raise awareness and build skills for conflict sensitive programming, UNDP, under the leadership of the UN Interagency Framework Team for Preventive Action, has developed an online self-paced course on conflict sensitive approaches. The course is available for all UN staff and the general public. Complementary support to the course is provided through the successor of the Framework Team, the Task Team on Conflict Prevention.

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