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Development Aid

Volume 706: debated on Thursday 18 December 2008


Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to ensure that development aid is conflict-sensitive, as advocated by the charity SafeWorld, and that it promotes sustainable security in the recipient area. [HL409]

In its policy paper Preventing Violent Conflict (2007) the Department for International Development (DfID) states its commitment to ensuring that all our development work is conflict-sensitive. For some time now, we have used Strategic Conflict Assessments and other analytical tools to improve our understanding of the interaction between our activities and the potential for violent conflict. Evidence shows this approach reduces the potential harm of development assistance and makes the most of potential benefits.

But we recognise the need to do more. DfID is currently piloting internal conflict audits which examine the conflict sensitivity of existing development programmes. We are also strengthening staff skills and capacities for working in conflict, and developing a series of guidance papers on Effective Working in Situations of Conflict and Fragility. We have recently funded a consortium of NGOs to lead a £2.1 million project to develop best practice on conflict sensitivity.

DfID promotes sustainable security through direct programming and by integrating security issues into poverty reduction programmes. Conflict sensitivity is incorporated into all of our security and justice work—and increasingly so into our development assistance in countries affected by conflict.

The policy paper Preventing Violent Conflict is available on the DfID website at