Conflict analysis - Advantages and Limitations

  • The involvement of project staff leads to an increase in their professional capability to work in complex environments.
  • Conflict analysis encourages project teams to think beyond their set objectives and planned impacts, and to consciously consider the broader environment (Including cultural, political, and socio-economic factors) within which the project operates.
  • Making conscious and explicit attempts to “integrate a conflict lens” into a project usually results in making additional attempts in adopting common good practices such as participation, transparency, and application of developmental policy criteria such as poverty orientation, good governance and sustainability.
  • Conflict analysis might provoke various forms of opposition from within and resistance from outside.
  • Conflict analysis cannot be conducted at any moment. Conflict analysis itself presents an intervention in the conflict, and therefore involves the risk of aggravating existing tensions.
  • Data collection is constrained. In areas where free articulation of opinion might entail personal security risks for staff, first hand information cannot be obtained. In addition to that, most people do not want ‘outsiders’ to find out about ‘the state of internal affairs’.
  • The quality of the conflict analysis depends on the local capacity for professional conduct of conflict analysis. There is no substitute for skilled regional analysts.
  • Most of the time, conflict analysis is a snapshot of a present situation. Conflicts are highly dynamic and a regular updating mechanism is often needed.