Conflict-Managment Skills Lead to Resilience During Climate and Economic Crises, says Mercy Corps

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New Mercy Corps report shows greater resilience among local leaders who work together

Photos Credit: Corinna Robbins/Mercy Corps By strengthening social networks, communities can better withstand economic and climate crises.

“This study shows that the ability to manage conflict is a significant factor when considering a community’s overall vulnerability.”

By building trust and learning how to manage conflict, community members can build networks that offer critical support in times of severe stress and food insecurity, says a new report by the global organization Mercy Corps.

The report illuminates some of the most effective strategies for cultivating resilience in places that frequently experience economic and climate crisis.

“Though building resilience has become a primary development goal in areas facing recurrent humanitarian crises, much of this work to date has focused on predicting and preparing for climate shocks,” says Sean Granville-Ross, Mercy Corps Country Director for Uganda. “This study shows that the ability to manage conflict is a significant factor when considering a community’s overall vulnerability.”

The report builds on previous Mercy Corps research demonstrating that peacebuilding interventions can have positive effects on a pastoral community’s ability to cope with and adapt to severe drought. Building on these insights, Mercy Corps measured the effect of specific conflict-management strategies on a community’s overall resilience.

The report shows that when leaders of informal and formal governance structures were given opportunities to collaborate and strengthen skills around conflict prevention and dispute resolution, household food security was improved.

Specifically, the report calls on development and humanitarian organizations to:

  •     Gear greater investments towards conflict-management interventions;
  •     Improve institutional-level conflict-management capacities;
  •     Support interventions that strengthen social networks that people rely on in times of stress.

Mercy Corps conducted this research in several locations in the Greater Horn of Africa, including Northern Karamoja and Uganda, with support from USAID’s Office of Conflict Management and Mitigation.
Read or download Mercy Corps’ report, Pathways from Peace to Resilience.

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Katia Riddle
Mercy Corps
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