Conflict sensitive approaches to development assistance can help prevent the onset, exacerbation or resurgence of violent conflict. The World Bank’s Conflict Analysis Framework (CAF) is a tool to assess the causes and consequences of conflict, determine a country’s resilience to conflict, and developing appropriate conflict sensitive approaches to programming. This paper outlines the stages of the CAF, examining when and how it should be applied.
Conflict analysis is a fledgling field, but it is critical. Successful development assistance requires an analytical framework identifying the sources and opportunities for the outbreak of violent conflict. The Conflict Analysis Framework (CAF) is designed to identify key variables affecting conflict (including social, ethnic, political, economic, environmental) and reach a list of factors that most critically affect conflict. The CAF also examines how these variables are linked with poverty. The purpose of the analysis includes determining a countries resilience to conflict and how this can be strengthened through development assistance.
The first step is to ascertain whether or not a country needs a conflict analysis. A risk-screening process should be undertaken, using the nine indicators below. Whilst none of these factors are necessary or sufficient to explain violent conflict, a conflict analysis is increasingly necessary where they are present:
- Violent Conflict in the past 10 years.
- Low per capita GNI.
- High dependence on primary commodities exports.
- Political instability: Including transformation of the state structure or the breakdown of law and order.
- Restricted civil and political rights (increases the likelihood of dissenting views being expressed through violence).
- Militarisation: high defence spending and/or the availability of arms among non-state actors.
- Ethnic Dominance: Where one ethnic group controls the states or the economy.
- Active regional conflicts: where it affects internal stability.
- High youth unemployment: where lack of jobs and opportunities creates frustration, and youth are susceptible to recruitment into armed groups.
The importance of certain factors and variables vary from country to country, with a no one size fits all formula.
- The conflict analysis framework (CAF) is composed of six categories of variables, and teams need to determine the linkages of these variables to conflict and poverty for a country. This would enable sensitive spots to be flagged so that programs can be designed in an effective fashion, taking into account the major concerns flowing out of the analysis.
- The six categories included in the framework are: social and ethnic relations; governance and political institutions; human rights and security; economic structure and performance; environment and natural resources; and external factors. Each of these categories consist of several variables, each with corresponding indicators. The indicators are qualitative and serve asa guide in explaining the essence of the variable.
- With the help of the indicators, the variable’s impact on a country’s conflict and link with poverty is estimated.