Resilience and Fragility - Analytical tools

Resilience and Fragility - Analytical tools

There are variety of tools specifically developed for use in situations of conflict and fragility.

Conflict Sensitivity

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. Conflict sensitivity means ensuring that, to the best of its abilities, EU actions (political, policy, external assistance) avoid having a negative impact and maximise the positive impact on conflict dynamics, thereby contributing to conflict prevention, structural stability and peace building.  

Central to the notion of conflict sensitivity is the idea that all EU action in a conflict affected setting can, and is likely to, have an impact on the conflict. By applying a pro-active conflict sensitive approach we increase the EU's adherence to the “Do No Harm” principle.

To be conflict sensitive you need to:

  • Understand the context;
  • Understand the interaction between your engagement and the context;
  • Act upon this understanding in order to avoid negative impacts and maximize positive impacts and
  • ''Leave No One Behind"; 

Conflict Analysis

Conflict is an important part of social and political change. Violent conflict is a problem that the EU is committed to addressing.

Conflict analysis contributes to making an informed choice in articulating a comprehensive approach to the EU's objective of preserving peace, preventing conflict and strengthening international security across a wide range of mechanisms and tools, including public and quiet diplomacy, (high level) political dialogue, policy dialogue, trade negotiations, external assistance, mediation, CSDP missions and other interventions.

Key elements of EU Conflict Analysis:



Gender-sensitive analysis means that the programmes/projects take into account the gender dimensions of conflicts, as well as underlying values and attitudes relating to gender.


EU Conflict Early Warning System (EWS)

The 2011 Council Conclusions on Conflict Prevention, building on the Treaty of Lisbon (Article 21(2) c), have provided the strongest mandate yet for the EU to engage in conflict prevention. As follow-up, the EEAS in close partnership with the Commission has developed an EU Conflict Early Warning System (EWS).

The EWS is an important element in the shift to prevention. It is a tool for EU decision-makers to manage risk factors and prioritise resources accordingly. The aim of the EWS is to assess structural long and short-term factors driving conflict risk and identify opportunities for preventive action. The EWS is designed to create a shared EU assessment of long-term risks of conflict leading to comprehensive early preventive action to mitigate risks before violence erupts. It is based on two components: early warning and early action.

The EWS is described in the Joint Staff Working Document "EU Conflict Early Warning System: Objectives, Process and Guidance for Implementation" of July 2017.


Recovery and Peace Building Assessments (RPBAs)

As part of the 2008 Joint Declaration on Post-Crisis Assessment and Recovery Planning, the World Bank Group (WBG), the United Nations (UN), and the Euro­pean Union (EU) have committed to providing joint support for assessing, planning, and mobilizing efforts geared toward recovery, reconstruction, and devel­opment in countries affected by crises. This tripartite agreement is executed via the mechanism of joint Re­covery and Peacebuilding Assessments (RPBA).

Previously known as Post-Conflict Needs Assessments (PCNAs), RPBAs support more effective and coordinat­ed engagement in countries that are emerging from conflict or political crisis. RPBAs offer countries a stan­dardized and internationally recognised approach for identifying the underlying causes and impacts of conflict and crisis. They also help governments develop a strategy for prioritizing recovery and peacebuilding activities.

RPBAs include both the assessment of needs and the national prioritization and costing of these needs in an accompanying transitional results matrix (TRM). They can be used for various purposes including influencing political actors to inform and give shape to a political process, galvanize policy changes, and build accep­tance to conduct work in areas affected by subnational conflict, among others.

RPBAs are undertaken by a range of actors, including national and local government representatives; mem­bers of the tripartite agreement, the WBG, UN, and the EU; international and national consultants; representa­tives of other relevant donor and humanitarian organi­zations; and members of civil society groups. 

More information about the tool is available here.

Post Disaster Needs Assessments (PDNA)

Post Disaster Needs Assessments (PDNA) is the "sister" tool to the RPBA for natural disasters and have been used in numerous cases to-date.

In 2008 the EU, the World Bank and the United Nations signed a joint declaration, which commits the partners to collaborate and develop a common approach to post-disaster needs assessment and recovery planning, including the “development of toolkits and staff training” to enhance institutional capacities for these processes.

PDNA is a government-led exercise, with integrated support from the European Commission, the World Bank, the UN, and other national and international actors. The main goal of the PDNA is to assist governments to assess the full extent of a disaster’s impact on the country and, on the basis of these findings, to produce Recovery Strategy for mobilizing financial and technical resources and providing links to longer-term sustainable development. A PDNA compiles information on the physical impacts of a disaster, the economic cost of the damages and losses, the human impacts as experienced by the affected population, and the resulting early and long-term recovery needs and priorities.

The PDNA does not duplicate national and international humanitarian assessments but complements them with the objective of ensuring one consolidated process. If humanitarian assessments have been carried out by the government, UN, civil society or other groups, the respective information and analysis is used as input to the PDNA exercise.

The PDNA Guidelines has been developed to provide technical support. Volume A of the Guidelines provides a general overview of the PDNA framework and process, Volume B provides sector-specific guidance.

More information about the tool is available here.