Conflict Analysis Field Guidelines and Procedures
Conflict analysis is a crucial tool for the design, implementation and evaluation of peacebuilding programmes — whether for the prevention of armed conflict, attempting to bring war and violence to an end, to help societies recover in the aftermath of war, or to attain greater justice and equality. Conflict analysis is the deliberate study of the causes, actors, and dynamics of conflict. Peace practitioners engage in conflict analysis in the same way that a doctor performs a diagnosis on a patient before determining how to proceed with treatment - though conflicts are much more complex than diagnosis of a single patient, as they involve multiple actors, groups, issues and other factors. Conflict analysis helps organisations trying to address conflict to know how to promote positive changes in the situation to reduce the potential for violence and/or transform the conflict to make room for development and social justice.
Download the Guide in full here or relevant sections below.
The Conflict Analysis Field Guide presents guiding principles and practical guidelines for conflict analysis that civil society organisations can adapt and localise to fit their contexts and needs. The objectives of the Guide are:
• To strengthen CSOs' capacity for conflict analysis as a basis for preventive action.
• To promote self-assessment and conflict sensitivity.
• To inform programming/project planning.
1. Acknowledgements and Introduction
This Guide is the result of an accumulative process which started in collaboration with the CDA Collaborative Learning Projects and the Norwegian Church Council in 2011, having since been tested and updated by GPPAC members and staff. Section 1 discusses some definitions and conceptual frameworks towards a better understanding of the topic of conflict analysis. It introduces a set of guiding principles and gender considerations that can serve as good practice standards.
2. Getting Started & Preparations
Section 2 guides you through the key considerations and practicalities for getting started and preparing a conflict analysis exercise. This includes thinking through the purpose and scope of the analysis, preparing a desk review for your preliminary analysis, as well as considering the resources required to follow it through.
3. Putting a Team Together
Section 3 looks at the skills and group dynamics when putting a team together or when working in partnership with other agencies. It encourages self-reflection on the part of the analysts, by considering how the analysts themselves have an effect on the research and analysis process.
4. Gathering information
Section 4 provides guidance on data collection techniques, including choices about what information to gather and whom to approach. It introduces a number of specific considerations for different phases of conflict.
5. Choosing the Methods and Tools
Section 5 is about how to make sense of the information you have gathered, with an introductory overview of the range of tools, frameworks and processes to sort, analyse and validate your findings.
6. Tools & Templates
Section 6 presents a number of conflict analysis tools, including templates, guidelines and examples for their practical use. Each tool or method starts with a description, a purpose and suggestions of the circumstances in which the tool might be particularly helpful.
The bibliography is annotated and organised per topic to enable users to navigate the vast amount of resource materials available for good practice in conflict prevention. Key resources missing in this overview? Let us know and we will list them on this site!
- Additional links and resources
UN Staff College Conflict Analysis Handbook (2016)
Assessing Resilience for Peace Interpeace (2016)
Conflict Sensitivity and Do No Harm CDA Collaborative Learning Projects
Conflict Assessment and Peacebuilding Planning. Schirch (2013)
Gender and Conflict Analysis toolkit. Conciliation Resources (2015)
Everyday Political Analysis. DLP (2016)
Political Economy Analysis Toolkit. ODI (2016)
Electoral Risk Management Tool International IDEA
- Case Studies
The Syrian conflict: A systems conflict analysis. ARK Group (2016)
Kenya: A Validated Report of the National Conflict Mapping. NPI-Africa, UNDP, GPPAC, National SC on Peacebuilding
Conflict Analysis Field Guide