Photo credit: GMB Akash/Saferworld
Photo credit: GMB Akash/Saferworld

Conflict-sensitive development

Development, humanitarian and peacebuilding efforts in Nepal by government and international partners often fail to consider the needs of communities in their planning and implementation. In the absence of support and ownership, these efforts are often unsuccessful and sometimes make things worse.

Together with communities and civil society, we work to ensure that people affected by decisions made by national or international organisations are included in the discussions leading up to them. This means that decision-makers should have a thorough understanding of the context, and be able to assess the risks to communities associated with their actions. They should also be able to anticipate and prevent problems that may arise, ensuring that tensions are not worsened by their actions. For example, that they do not unintentionally reinforce inequalities between women and men or caste, ethnic or religious groups.

We conduct regular assessments that inform both our work and our advocacy recommendations to government authorities and donors. For example, in 2017 we collected data from villages in three districts worst affected by the 2015 earthquake on the impact of relief efforts following the disaster. From this data we analysed the impact negligence and delays could have on the communities and highlighted the risk of potential tension and conflict.

With partners, we work to make sure that signs of conflict can be identified and addressed before they escalate. As part of this work, we bring together local, regional and national civil society to work together to identify the causes of tensions and conflicts and anticipate what may happen in the future.

Saferworld and partners have created an online blog – Nepal Monitor – that provides space for civil society to publish analysis of conflict on a quarterly basis. These reports look at potential incidents of conflict relating to governance, social and political tensions, and access to resources or justice. Such reports inform the activities and approaches of Saferworld, its partners and other organisations working in Nepal, enabling us to respond more effectively to rapidly changing contexts.