2.2.4 Key questions to ask about the intervention: To/by whom, where, what and when?

To/by whom

  • How does the selection of beneficiaries relate to divisions existing within a community/country?  Are processes to assess needs and select beneficiaries transparent and well publicised within the wider community? Is the community involved in this selection?
  • Are project staff actually (or perceived to be) neutral or party to the conflict?
  • Do partner agencies (local or international) have a role (real or perceived) in the conflict? What are their relationships with other actors? How are they perceived by the beneficiary community?


  • What is the pattern/status of land ownership in the response area? Are land titles disputed?
  • Does the geographical boundary of the response coincide with lines of division in conflict, with specific ethnic, economic or political groupings?
  • Will access to this area have to be negotiated? What opportunities will initial contacts provide for setting ground rules? Will negotiations provide legitimacy to certain actors?
  • Does the location of our offices, beneficiaries or construction/service/distribution sites convey messages about stronger relations with one group or another?


  • What aid resources are being introduced to the context? This might include financial resources, material programme inputs, local and international staffing, office/transport infrastructure, information, and access.
  • Could aid resources be diverted, stolen or otherwise enmeshed in a war economy? Could beneficiary groups be manipulated to ensure benefit from these resources?


  •  What time-bound conflict triggers exist alongside the intervention? Are annual cycles of offensive linked to seasonal change, political/electoral processes, key dates, etc.
  • How does the timeline of the intervention relate to windows of opportunity or vulnerabilities?

When are distributions planned? The season, day or even time of day can all affect vulnerability to violence.

At this stage, use of a tool such as Do No Harm is recommended. Expertise from within and outside CARE can be employed to assist with this.

Once used a risk register can be created with conflict flashpoints highlighted, indicators identified to monitor how the project and context are interacting, and thresholds set for action.