Managing risk in insecure contexts: Pathways to resilience and peacebuilding

Action Contre La Faim - France
World Bank, the
Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery, the
9:00AM-17:30PM, Geneva Press Club (Club Suisse de la Presse), Route de Ferney 106, 1202


The Geneva Open Day workshop, together with the subsequent London open day workshop (planned for February 2012, date TBC), aims to examine how to harmonise different humanitarian, risk management and conflict/fragile states programming, in order to create the enabling environment for resilience and peacebuilding before, during and after complex political emergencies.

Please refer to the attached concept note for more detailed information and preliminary agenda.

Problem Statement

There are many contexts where a self-reinforcing spiral of insecurity is eroding people’s resilience to disaster, which in turn leads to further conflict. Due to conflict, the risk to natural disaster dramatically increases, with large disasters fuelling even more conflict. At present, many institutions run disjointed aid efforts in insecure contexts. They have separate policies, teams and operations for insecurity programming, disaster risk management and for emergency and recovery operations. Furthermore there is a lack of coordinated strategy, programming and tools between humanitarian and development actors and with those working on various key issues including Disaster Risk Management (DRM), human rights and advocacy, conflict negotiation and relief assistance.

Solution Statement

Recognising insecurity as a cyclical process, the open days will examine what can be done before during and after complex (political) emergencies in order to create the platform to begin building resilience and ensuring peace building. Concretely, this means a better harmonisation of current aid approaches to manage conflict and risk of conflict, humanitarian relief, and disaster risk management. This initiative describes the way forward in difficult contexts where the level of participation of communities and positive involvement of institutions is not sufficient for a set of standard ‘resilience actions’ that are more suited to stable environments.
Four critical steps are proposed to eventually provide the field methodology and enabling environment for harmonising different aid thematic into integrated operations.

• Establish the factors necessary for enabling local-level resilience and peace-building for communities.
• Define how to set up the enabling environment for harmonising different aid approaches.
• Put in place the enabling environment at the local-level and construct the policy and programming tools necessary for integrated programming.
• Field implementation of integrated programming.

The Briefing Paper ‘Disaster Risk Management for Insecure Contexts’ serves as an introduction to the main issues presented and discussed within the Open Days. It is recommended to consult this before attending each Open Day. It outlines the different contributions and similarities between humanitarian, risk management and conflict/fragile states aid initiatives, and how these can be fed into operations that help communities move towards resilience and peace-building.

Open Day Objective

To bring the disaster risk management and conflict/fragile states aid communities together in order to promote an exchange of programming experience. This exchange would lead to a joint reflection on harmonising aid thematic in the form of integrated programming that both manages risks of disaster and conflict, whilst moving communities towards resilience and peace.

Key themes

• How to make disaster risk management ‘conflict sensitive’?
An exchange on opening up the traditional notion of risk beyond natural hazards, learning from the humanitarian and conflict aid communities for programming and operations. How do we ensure that risk management does not add to the risk of further conflict, rather, how can it contribute to dismantling conflict dynamics?

• How to ‘hazard-proof’ programming in insecure contexts?
Learning from the experiences of the DRM aid community, how do we insulate insecurity programming from external hazards and shocks, seasonality, whilst minimising the impacts of global phenomena driving disaster? (e.g. climate change, environmental degradation, market fragility, economic marginalisation, changing demographics).

• What is integrated programming for insecure contexts and what is the process for facilitating this?
How do we harmonise different operations to both respond to crises and emergencies whilst creating the enabling environment for resilience and peace-building? How should we consider the mutual underlying phenomena driving insecurity and natural hazards? How might we do more with less, whilst increasing the direct and indirect impact of field programmes?

• Insecurity programming (IP) is a blanket term for the policies and operations that deal with conflict, fragile states and crisis management..
Agenda Overview

The potential process for harmonising aid operations is discussed over two Open Days, to be held in Geneva and London. Both Open Days require an initial exchange on DRM and conflict methodology in order to stimulate reflection on the key steps towards aid harmonisation for resilience and peace-building for insecure contexts. Different case studies will be presented within the same thematic for Sessions 1 and 2 for the London and Geneva Open Days to maximise a diversity of experience from actors.

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