The Concept of "Conflict Sensitivity" and Its Application by Country and Field Office Staff During Implementation of Humanitarian Programmes: Case Study of Save the Children Canada
Conflict Sensitivity, as an approach to deliver humanitarian assistance, emerged in the humanitarian field two decades ago. However, to this day, there is no commonly agreed upon definition of Conflict Sensitivity nor agreement of what Conflict Sensitivity implies. Using a practitioner-based approach, and applying concepts on norm consolidation, I explored how the concept of “Conflict Sensitivity” has been understood and approached by humanitarian teams delivering Save the Children Canada's humanitarian projects in fragile contexts. To ensure that I could capture how Conflict Sensitivity is approached by teams delivering humanitarian assistance in two exceedingly different settings, I selected Nigeria—where Save the Children has a longstanding experience of responding to conflict-affected populations—and Venezuela—where currently there is a relatively new response to the needs of the population in a fragile context. The findings reveal that the understanding and operationalization of Conflict Sensitivity is shaped by the context where teams deliver humanitarian assistance. Findings from the Nigeria office emphasize the importance of not exacerbating existing tensions in the society. In contrast, those working in Venezuela applied elements of Conflict Sensitivity in navigating complex political situations and shrinking humanitarian space. By focusing my research on the actions of those staff members who deliver humanitarian projects directly to populations in need, the research was able to provide insights into how Conflict Sensitivity is applied in day-to-day operations; thereby allowing us to draw conclusions about the different ways on-the-ground practices can influence organizational practice and policies.
International Relations|Public policy|Canadian studies
Popovych, Sofiya, "The Concept of "Conflict Sensitivity" and Its Application by Country and Field Office Staff During Implementation of Humanitarian Programmes: Case Study of Save the Children Canada" (2021). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI28718408.