Гражданское общество

A partnership for contributing to peace

A conflict-sensitive approach to design better interventions

01/06/2020 - 

Conflict is currently the main driver of food crises around the world: according to the latest release of The Global Report on Food Crises, 77 million people who suffer from acute food insecurity live in places affected by conflict or insecurity. In addition, over 80 percent of humanitarian and development work is carried out in conflict-affected contexts; with this in mind, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) works actively to mainstream conflict-sensitive strategies into its programmes, particularly in the areas of food security, resilience and emergency response. Where appropriate, the Organization also identifies opportunities which contribute to sustaining peace, for example, by strengthening local conflict management capacities over natural resources.


FAO works to eliminate food insecurity, malnutrition, and rural poverty around the world, including in conflict-affected and fragile contexts, helping farmers to irrigate their land in Yemen, supporting livelihoods in Syria, and providing farming inputs and training in South Sudan.


In 2017, FAO partnered with Interpeace, with the goal of developing and promoting initiatives which could contribute to sustaining peace and conflict prevention in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Interpeace is an international organization that works to prevent violence and build lasting peace, and since 1994, has supported locally designed and led peacebuilding initiatives throughout Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Europe and Latin America. 


Through Interpeace’s Advisory Team (IPAT), FAO has developed specific tools, guidance and training to enable more systematic and robust context analyses and conflict-sensitive programming. This strategic partnership brings together FAO’s technical and programmatic knowledge with Interpeace’s 25 years of experience in contributing to peace. A critical tool which has been developed and field-tested with Interpeace is the Conflict-sensitive Programme Clinic, a structured participatory analysis designed to identify and integrate conflict-sensitive strategies into the design and implementation of FAO interventions. This approach helps minimize the risk of negative or harmful impacts, and maximize potential contributions towards strengthening and consolidating conditions for sustainable peace in a particular context. 


The Programme Clinics are designed to empower staff in country offices, those most familiar with the local context, to conduct clinics without having to rely on external facilitation. They provide a clear structure and agenda that leads the group through an intuitive, multi-step process and provides detailed guidance, enabling participants to effectively engage in conflict-sensitive analysis and design thinking even when they have no prior training in this area.




In the past two years area-based context analyses, supported by FAO’s Guide to Context Analysis, also developed with Interpeace, were completed in north-east Nigeria, Somalia, the Philippines, the Sahel (Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali), Syria, and Yemen, and is currently being finalised for southern Kyrgyzstan. Conflict-sensitive programming support was provided to FAO field offices in Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Myanmar, Nigeria, Palestine, the Philippines, Somalia, the Sudan, Syria and Turkey, as well as the Regional Office for the Near East and the Resilience Team in East Africa. Capacity development in conflict-sensitive programme design has included participation by partners, such as other UN agencies, NGOs and local authorities.


Interpeace has worked with FAO to identify good practices and put in place methods that enable interventions to systematically identify and capitalize on opportunities which contribute to peace. Interpeace and FAO will continue their partnership in 2020 - and beyond - to strengthen further FAO’s internal capacities and processes for conflict-sensitive programming, as well as distilling typical pathways through which FAO programmes contribute to local peace impacts, within the scope of its mandate. 




The work of this partnership has not gone unnoticed. Oscar Fernandez-Taranco, the United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support, recently thanked FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu for his leadership on peacebuilding and sustaining peace, and for FAO’s critical partnership with the Secretary-General’s Peacebuilding Fund (PBF). The PBF is the United Nation’s financial instrument of first resort to sustain peace in countries or situations at risk or affected by violent conflict; FAO ranks sixth in the list of organizations that have received support from the PBF during the last two years, with $26.8 million approved for FAO projects in 21 countries.


Most recently, the Director-General also addressed a virtual meeting of the UN Peacebuilding Commission in a video message, highlighting FAO’s role in contributing to sustaining peace and acknowledging the importance of partnerships in achieving this goal.


Conflict prevention is key to fulfilling FAO’s mandate and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals; thanks to its partnership with Interpeace, FAO has become more conflict-sensitive in its approach and more able to contribute to sustaining peace.