2.1 A ‘good enough approach’ for rapid onset crises

Urgency and access may limit the amount of conflict analysis that can be undertaken in the first days of a response but a minimal analysis is still possible. It is important to ensure as early as possible that some staff have prior knowledge of the conflict context which can be used without the immediate need for additional field assessments. So we use the term ‘good enough’ conflict analysis to recognise that we cannot do as much conflict analysis as we may like. With slow onset emergencies we can see the problem looming, and have opportunity to undertake more detailed conflict analysis as the situation unravels, prior to responding, in the preparedness phase.

What is ‘good enough’ on day 1 will be different from what is ‘good enough’ on day 10, and likewise this will be different from what is ‘good enough’ on day 20. What we can say is we expect the conflict analysis to progressively deepen over time during the first phase of response. During the later phases we would anticipate that ‘good enough’ is a much higher standard, and would involve the application of a specific conflict analysis tool, such as Do No Harm.

The following is a four phase process that can be used for a good enough approach in rapid onset crises.

Recommended Actions Minimum Questions
Rapidly assess conflict in operating area •       What are the tensions and who are they between?

•       Why are there tensions?

•       Where precisely in relation to CARE’s work, and

•       What triggers the violence?

Check partner for conflict risk •       Have we assessed our partners as being neutral or aligned in the conflict?
Ensure partner has signed and understands code of conduct? •       Are they aware of its content and meaning, and how NGO behaviour can fuel conflict?

•       Are all staff and partners aware of how to safely and confidentially raise concerns about CARE’s programming internally?

Check preliminary beneficiary criteria for conflict risk •       Will helping our beneficiaries fuel the tensions identified?

•       Will it expose women/girls to additional risk?

Brainstorm how CARE’s programme can contribute to cohesion in operating area •       Can we achieve our goal and also strengthen links between the people that the crisis is dividing right now?
Recommended Actions Minimum Questions
Review tensions in area and deepen conflict analysis •       Is it getting better, worse or staying the same?

•       Are the triggers or causes linked to aid?

Check to see how partners and staff are viewed by beneficiary population •       Are the partners perceived as neutral, impartial and driven by the humanitarian imperative by the local population?

•       Can we verify if they are abiding by code of conduct?

Check who is selecting beneficiaries to ensure the body is representative and legitimate •       Does the body represent the diversity of the local population and target population?

•       Is it respected and viewed as transparent?

Check that the selection criteria and process is sensitive to the conflict •       Have the criteria favoured one group more than another, and does this overlap with conflict divisions?

•       Can non-beneficiaries complain?

Check the distribution method has been assessed for conflict and GBV risks? •       Will the distribution method expose beneficiaries especially women to risk of attack, robbery, discrimination or abuse?
Brainstorm ways to prevent aid diversion, document. •       How might our aid end up in the control of armed groups?

•       How can we limit this risk?

Link and share information with peer agencies •       Are we engaging in protection cluster/ host community working groups?
Recommended Actions Minimum Questions
Review tensions in area based on feedback, staff views and public information to deepen conflict analysis •       Is it getting better, worse or staying the same?

•       Are the triggers or causes linked to aid?

·      What are the best, worst and most likely scenarios for the future of the conflict? What does each scenario depend on?

Ensure feedback and  response system is in place to help monitor tensions •       Are both beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries complaining?

•       Are CARE and partner staff accessing safe spaces to discuss concerns?

•       Who is responsible for gathering this information and discussing changes in programming?

•       How are changes being communicated back to the local population

Brainstorm and review all other ways that CARE’s programming could be causing harm? •       Is aid being diverted?

•       Are people/institutions or customs that promote peace being undermined or ignored?

•       Are local livelihoods being affected by our programming?

Does our programming reinforce the military position/objectives of a group (for example by encouraging people to move away from an area)

Brainstorm options for achieving goals through alternative means if negative impacts apparent •       Can we change our partner selection, beneficiary criteria, distribution method, geographic focus, or aid material?
Ensure protection analysis been conducted that integrates gender and conflict dynamics •       Are women and men, girls and boys facing different risks?

•       Is CARE’s support sensitive to these risks?

Recommended Actions Minimum Questions
Review programming against conflict sensitivity benchmarks:

•       Context

•       Programming impacts

•       Monitoring process

•      Adaptation/Sensitivity

•       Is the conflict situation deteriorating or improving?

•       How have changes in the context affected CARE’s programming?

•       How has CAREs work had a positive or negative impact on tension and cohesion in the area.

•       How often are CARE and partner staff meeting to discuss complaints and unexpected negative effects of CARE’s work?

•       Is the feedback system working well?

•       Is CARE’s communication strategy ensuring that CARE provides all relevant information in a way which is accessible to beneficiaries and local communities?

•       What programming changes have been made in response to complaints? Has that eased tensions?

•       What further changes could be made to improve relations and reduce violence and tension in the programming area?

Deliver training to address gaps in partner and CARE staff knowledge •       Are there gaps in the areas of IHL, gender, conflict sensitivity and accountability?