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The Programme Clinic: Designing conflict-sensitive interventions

Approaches to working in fragile and conflict-affected contexts (Facilitation guide)

In 2018 FAO approved its Corporate Framework to Support Sustainable Peace in the Context of Agenda 2030, committing FAO to a more deliberate and transformative impact on sustaining peace, within the scope of its mandate. The foundational element for FAO supported interventions to - at a minimum - do no harm, or to identify where they may contribute to sustaining peace, is to understand contextual dynamics and how they could interact with a proposed intervention. This is essentially what conflict-sensitive programming means.

The Programme Clinic Facilitation Guide is a key step in operationalising this, being a structured participatory analysis designed to identify and integrate “conflict-sensitive” strategies into the design and implementation of FAO interventions. The objective is to minimise the risk of any negative or harmful impacts, as well as maximise any positive contributions towards strengthening and consolidating conditions for sustainable local peace. The Programme Clinic is designed in a way that empowers staff from the decentralised offices to facilitate the process effectively without needing to rely on external expert facilitation. The Programme Clinic is an intuitive multi-step process that enables participants to effectively engage in conflict-sensitive analysis and design thinking even if they have no previous training in conflict sensitivity. The process itself, when done effectively, has a secondary effect of building greater awareness of and competence in conflict-sensitive thinking in those participating in Programme Clinics. Both a detailed facilitators’ as well as participants’ guide have been produced to support the Programme Clinic approach.

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