Complexity is among the greatest challenges of building and sustaining peace today. How do you  build innovative and creative responses to patterns of self-perpetuating violence in a complex system made up of multiple actors with activities that are happening simultaneously?

Conflict analysis provides insights into the causes and consequences of violent conflict, the dynamics supporting or undermining peace efforts, and the needs and interests of diverse stakeholders. It enables the setting of realistic criteria for identifying common priorities and collective outcomes.

Doing so requires keen observation and self-reflective practitioners who can read inside and outside at once. UNSSC has been conducting inter-agency conflict analysis trainings for more than a decade now. Each time, our objective is to provide participants with practical analytical skills to support their work in volatile areas and countries affected by instability and conflict. Each time, we aim at creating a space, a tight container, a sense of safety and permission to explore simple questions, seemingly familiar to everybody but rarely reflected upon:

What is conflict? How do we experience conflict? How can we analyse experiences of conflict, violence and war in a way that can serve practice and action towards building and sustaining peace? Each time, we engage practitioners to challenge their own assumption and ask good questions that can unlock potential in people and situations. Some practitioners even wrote stories that we are pleased to share.

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The opinions expressed in our blog posts are solely those of the authors. They do not reflect the opinions or views of UNSSC, the United Nations or its members.