Current Practice and Recommendations for the Future

Humanitarian responses to rapid onset emergencies can pose significant challenges in terms of applying conflict sensitivity. Using case studies of three recent emergencies (Haiti 2010 earthquake, Pakistan 2010 floods, and Sri Lanka 2010 floods), as well as extensive consultation with headquarters and field-based humanitarian staff, CARE UK and CAFOD on behalf of the conflict sensitivity consortium saught to understand if and how conflict sensitive approaches are currently being applied in rapid onset emergencies, and develop recommendations to enhance the conflict sensitivity of future emergency responses.

Using a pragmatic and practitioner-oriented approach the research they conducted identifies conflict flashpoints common to the activities of first-phase emergency responses and provides practical recommendations to mitigate the risk of conflict at key moments in the project cycle, as well as for integrating conflict sensitivity across emergency teams, systems and guidance. The report also addresses opportunities for synergy with SPHERE and other key standards and guidelines used widely in the humanitarian sector.


The resport's principle recommendations are organized according to their level of application (programme-level I, agency-level II, or humanitarian sector- level III). However, they can also be seen as reinforcing conflict sensitivity at different points across the humanitarian programme cycle, as the below diagram illustrates.


(Please log into private resources area - for the piloted training modules used to test how to build CS in Emergencies)