Conflict is parties disagreeing and acting on the basis of perceived incompatibilities (How to guide).
Conflict (violent) is resort to psychological or physical force to resolve a disagreement (How to guide).
Direct violence — war, murder, rape, assault, verbal attacks — is physically experienced violence, but has its roots in cultural and structural violence (Galtung, 1969).
Structural violence is injustice and exploitation derived from a social system that privileges some classes, ethnicities, genders, and nationalities over others, and institutionalizes unequal opportunities for education, resources, and respect (Galtung).
Fragile states are characterised as ‘unable to meet [their] population’s expectations or manage changes in expectations and capacity through the political process’ (OECD, see GSDRC fragile states topic guide)
Context refers to the operating environment, which ranges from the micro to the macro level (e.g., community, district / province, region(s), country, neighbouring countries). (Resource pack)
Conflict analysis is a structured process of analysis to better understand a conflict (its background/ history, the groups involved, each group’s perspective, causes of conflict etc.) (How to guide)
Conflict sensitivity means the ability to:
- understand the context in which you operate;
- understand the interaction between your intervention and the context (how the context affects the intervention and how the intervention affects the context; and
- act upon the understanding of this interaction, in order to avoid negative impacts and maximise positive impacts (Resource pack)
Do no harm is an approach that recognises the presence of ‘dividers’ and ‘connectors’ in conflict. It seeks to analyse how an intervention may be implemented in a way that supports local communities to address the underlying causes of conflict rather than exacerbating conflict (How to guide).
Peacebuilding involves ‘a range of measures targeted to reduce the risk of lapsing or relapsing into conflict, to strengthen national capacities at all levels for conflict management, and to lay the foundations for sustainable peace and development’ (UN, see GSDRC statebuilding and peacebuilding topic guide).
Statebuilding is ‘an endogenous process to enhance capacity, institutions and legitimacy of the state driven by state-society relations’ (OECD, see GSDRC statebuilding and peacebuilding guide).
Stabilisation is one of the approaches used in situations of violent conflict which is designed to protect and promote legitimate political authority, using a combination of integrated civilian and military actions to reduce violence, re-establish security and prepare for longer-term recovery by building an enabling environment for structural stability (Stabilisation Unit, 2014).
Risk management or, more specifically, risk reduction – is about the attempt to manage the future by taking action now to eliminate or mitigate known risk factors. Categories of risk:
- Contextual (or country, situational or external): the range of potential adverse outcomes that could arise in a certain context, eg, risk of political destabilisation, a return to violent conflict.
- Programmatic (or intervention): the potential for interventions not to achieve their objectives or to exacerbate contextual risk.
- Institutional (or internal): range of potential adverse consequences of intervention for the implementing organisation and its staff (OECD, 2011).
- Conflict Sensitivity Consortium. (2012). How to guide to conflict sensitivity. London: The Conflict Sensitivity Consortium. See document online
- Galtung, J. (1969). Violence, Peace, and Peace Research. Journal of Peace Research, 6(3), 167-191 See document online
- Stewart, F., (2004). Horizontal Inequalities: A Neglected Dimension of Development. Working Paper No. 1. Oxford: Centre for Research on Inequality, Human Security, and Ethnicity (CRISE) See document online
- APFO, CECORE, CHA, FEWER, International Alert, Saferworld. (2004). Conflict-sensitive approaches to development, humanitarian assistance and peacebuilding: Resource pack. London. See document online
- OECD. (2011). Managing risks in fragile and transitional contexts: the price of success? Paris: OECD. See document online
- Structural stability refers to ‘political systems which are representative and legitimate, capable of managing conflict and change peacefully, and societies in which human rights and rule of law are respected, basic needs are met, security established and opportunities for social and economic development are open to all’ (UK Government’s Building Stability Overseas Strategy, p.5.)