folder Programming Guidance

Practical advice based on lessons and experience about how to incorporate cross-cutting themes into programming. Targeted primarily at programme staff, the advice contained in these guides also forms the basis for our Learning from Experience workshops.  

Conflict Sensitivity: Tools and Guidance

Conflict sensitivity is acting with the understanding that any initiative conducted in a conflict-affected environment will interact with that conflict and that such interaction will have consequences that may have positive or negative effects. It is a deliberate and systematic approach to ensuring we understand and minimise these negative effects (risks) and maximise positive effects of our actions (opportunities).

This guide provides simple tools which can be used to identify these potential effects and to strengthen conflict sensitivity. It can be used alongside existing processes to inform the development of new portfolios, programmes, projects and activities across the range of HMG development, diplomacy, defence, and domestic security engagement and to review current activities for conflict sensitivity. It follows recommendations, contained within National Audit Office (NAO) and Independent Commission on Aid Impact (ICAI) reports, that HMG departments strengthen conflict sensitivity across their engagement in fragile and affected states (FCAS). It reflects internationally agreed norms encompassed in the OECD DAC Fragile States Principles (2007) and the New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States (2011).

JACS Guidance Note


A Joint Analysis of Conflict and Stability (JACS) is a strategic assessment used to underpin UK National Security Council Strategies. It was introduced by the UK’s Building Stability Overseas Strategy (BSOS) in 2011 and was reviewed by the Stabilisation Unit in 2016 in light of the new evidence and lessons learned over the past five years. A JACS seeks to answer the question: “What are the key conflict drivers that the UK government should and can target right now, building on which resiliencies and opportunities for peace, bearing in mind what risks?”. This analysis helps the UK avoid interventions which could inadvertently exacerbate conflict dynamics, undermine state legitimacy and fail to respond appropriately to the context. This document outlines the essential components of the analysis, as well as providing practical guidance on how to carry out a JACS.

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