Our analysis or understanding of conflict and violence shapes our response to it.

  • Conflict assessment improves efforts to prevent and respond to violent conflict and mass atrocities by accurately identifying and prioritizing factors driving conflict and supporting peace.  Conflict assessment can improve the effectiveness and sustainability of efforts.
  • Conflict assessment reduces the chance for negative second and third order effects that are counterproductive to goals of peace and security.

Many planners understand that “you have to go slow to go fast.”  A rush to action often means well-intentioned action can have tremendous counterproductive effects.

Overconfidence:  “Can do” attitudes and fear of “analysis paralysis” means people skimp on research for conflict assessment. A lack of humility to “know what we don’t know” can lead to policies and programs based on untested assumption and uniformed guessing.

Untested Assumptions: People tend to reinforce their preexisting views of conflict.

Organizational Interests: Existing organizational capacities too often shape conflict response programs instead of actual assessments of conflict drivers and mitigators.