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Guide to context analysis informing FAO decision-making. Approaches to working in fragile and conflict-affected contexts

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 essential to effective conflict-sensitive programming.

The Guide to Context Analysis is a key step in operationalising this, being an accessible and practical learning tool for non-conflict specialists in FAO decentralised offices to document and institutionalise their knowledge of the local context, and thus inform conflict-sensitive design of FAO interventions. The wider 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 Guide to Context Analysis is sufficiently flexible to suit a variety of potential audiences or reporting formats, including a rapid context analysis for a specific project, an area-based intervention, joint programming with other UN agencies, as well as a standalone strategic analysis to inform decentralised office planning. The Guide can be read both a standalone instructional aid on context analysis, as well as an essential precursor to FAO’s Programme Clinic approach to design conflict-sensitive interventions (comprising both a facilitators’ and participants’ guides).

Available in Arabic and French