Strengthening community resilience in conflict: learnings from the Partners for Resilience programme

Thea Hilhorst, MJ Vervest, Isabelle Desportes, Samantha Melis, Rodrigo Mena Fluhmann, R Van Voorst

Research output: Working paperAcademic

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This report describes the main findings and recommendations of research carried out for the Partners for Resilience (PfR) alliance on how the PfR programme is affected by – or may affect – conflict. Although PfR works in different conflict-affected countries and contexts, it does not address conflict or insecurity explicitly. This is potentially problematic for PfR’s effectiveness. It is therefore important to consider whether PfR could or should address conflict more explicitly. For this research, a qualitative analysis of the experiences within the ongoing PfR programme was conducted in all 10 countries: Ethiopia, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mali, Philippines, South Sudan, Uganda and the regional programmes in Asia, Africa and Central America. The research was conducted by consultants and researchers from the International Institute of Social Studies, the Hague. The core of the study consisted of an online survey, for which PfR staff and partners from all countries were invited, in addition to Skype interviews and a desk study. In all, 52 people participated. The overall recommendation for PfR is to address conflict more explicitly in its IRM approach and to integrate conflict in the design and programming of a new phase. This would entail acknowledgment by PfR that conflict is impacting the goals of PfR work, and a commitment to support and train staff in addressing conflict. More concretely, the report offers several recommendations and ideas for next steps. In line with suggestions of research participants, the key elements for conflict-sensitive programming for PfR partners are: 1. transparent communication towards all parties 2. facilitation of multi-stakeholder dialogues to increase parties’ understanding of conflict dynamics 3. the creation of a safe spaces for stakeholders. It is also suggested that Netherlands embassies play a role in addressing conflict and supporting PfR, for example by lobbying stakeholders and supporting partners financially or otherwise. Moreover, PfR should create a conflict-sensitivity toolbox and develop guidelines for conflict-sensitive and inclusive policy and programming (not just including women, but also ethnic minorities) and training for its worldwide staff in the use of conflict risk assessment tools. We believe that these steps will make the work of PfR more effective and decrease the risk that interventions feed into conflict. A more detailed set of recommendations feature at the end of this report.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationThe Hague
PublisherInternational Institute of Social Studies (ISS)
Number of pages90
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

SeriesISS Working Papers - General Series

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  • ISS-CI


  • ISS Working Paper-General Series


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