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Best practice paper: how ZOA changed to better work in conflict

In this paper, ZOA shares the lessons learnt and the achievements of our organisational change process regarding conflict sensitivity. The best practice paper starts with reflections on the internal change process itself, followed by five case studies across countries and sectors. It ends with some key conclusions and take-aways for those interested in undertaking a similar process.

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organisational change

Living conflict sensitivity 

A few years ago, ZOA realised that its work might have had negative effects on pre-existing conflicts. But also, that ZOA could do more to leverage peacebuilding opportunities across its work in these contexts. This coincided with a shift in international thinking towards the Triple Humanitarian, Development and Peace Nexus. In light of this, the organisation saw the need to strengthen the integration of conflict sensitivity as part of its core ways of working.

As organisational change processes can be challenging and multi-dimensional, ZOA sought external support and applied successfully for accompaniment from PeaceNexus, a private Swiss foundation dedicated to building capacities for conflict sensitivity and more effective peacebuilding. PeaceNexus has accompanied ZOA in this journey over 5 years (2015–2020). The ultimate objective was for ZOA to do no harm, be conflict-sensitive and contribute to peacebuilding where possible through its work. In this paper, ZOA would like to share with a wider audience the lessons learnt and the achievements of this organisational change process.

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