Conflict sensitivity in education: There has been increasing awareness that education systems are not neutral. Education can exacerbate conflict if it increases social tensions or divisions between groups. This may be the case if: education policies and practice are inequitable; education systems reinforce identity grievances; or educational curricula promote militarism.It is essential to ensure that education interventions themselves do not represent a threat to peace. Conflict sensitivity in education is the process of understanding the context; analysing the two-way interaction between the context and education programmes; and acting to minimise adverse impacts and maximise positive impacts of education interventions on conflict.
There has been a growing shift by those working in the education field from a focus on avoiding negative effects of education interventions (a more narrow view of conflict sensitivity) toward more attention to how education can also address drivers of conflict and make a positive contribution to peacebuilding (a broader view of conflict sensitivity).
Conflict sensitivity in the private sector and infrastructure development:
Similar to aid agencies, companies are not expected to be neutral. Businesses can exacerbate tensions and conflict through:
- Displacement of communities
- Unequal distribution of benefits and disadvantages, such as job opportunities, resources, compensation, and environmental impacts
- Weakening government legitimacy, should they provide a greater degree of public goods and services and/or bypass government procurement processes
- Insufficient attention to the entire user chain, including ensuring that company-generated revenues, company products, company assets and infrastructure all do not support conflict
Incorporating conflict sensitivity into the private sector entails engaging in business in a way that prevents foreign investors and domestic businesses from causing harm and instead strengthens their ability to contribute to peacebuilding.