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Reflecting on Conflict Sensitivity

Craig Zelizer

April 15, 2015

Reflecting on Conflict Sensitivity: an introduction to the International Network for Education in Emergencies’ (INEE) Reflection Tool for Designing and Implementing Conflict Sensitive Education Programmes in Conflict-Affected and Fragile Contexts

Education and conflict have a complex, deeply connected relationship. Conflict can disrupt educational systems, as has been the case in many contexts[1], and education itself can be a driver of conflict. Education can also be a driver of peaceful, transformative change, which is why it is so important that practitioners involved in education programming ensure that their programming is conflict sensitive. To be conflict sensitive is to ensure that programming takes into account the two-way interaction between programs and the context, such that the program activities minimize negative impacts and maximize positive ones on education outcomes, policies, and conflict programming[2]. Aconflict analysis is the critical first step in ensuring that education programming is conflict sensitive. However, for subsequent steps, the INEE Reflection Tool is a great resource.

The INEE Reflection Tool is a framing instrument that helps assess whether the most salient variables at each stage of the programming cycle have been engaged by guiding practitioners to consider probing questions such as: “Has engagement with key actors and variables been informed by the conflict dynamics?” And “Have programming decisions been made with consideration of how they may affect programs on conflict?”

The Reflection Tool can help practitioners:

  • Approach conflict dynamics from a previously unconsidered angle or reframe understandings of current dynamics;
  • Foster insight and complex learning;
  • Help track programmatic progress,
  • Establish and monitor accountability,
  • Identify blind spots,
  • Encourage proactive action, and
  • Organize and assign responsibilities.

The tool can help practitioners keep track of their use of conflict sensitive approaches in their programming, but it should be used by people who have a sound understanding of the project  cycle and a basic understanding of conflict sensitivity.

Access the tool here!

[1] INEE, 2013. INEE Guidance Note on Conflict Sensitive Education. Pg 8

[2] INEE, 2013. INEE Guidance Note on Conflict Sensitive Education. Pg 12

This post was originally published on April 13th, 2015 by Patrick Gregoire on the Education for Peacebuilding M&E community of practice. Visit us to learn more about the nexus of education and peacebuilding programming and access and share tools, findings, and methods to engage the challenges facing our fields. Make sure to visit our parent community,the DM&E for Peace portal for more resources on the peacebuilding and development field.  

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