Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2017-2018 (archived)

Module SGIA43715: Conflict Sensitive Programme Management

Department: Government and International Affairs

SGIA43715: Conflict Sensitive Programme Management

Type Open Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Available in 2017/18 Module Cap


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • to explain conflict sensitivity and how a conflict sensitive approach (CSA) to humanitarian and development interventions helps to minimise the negative impacts and maximise the positive impacts of such actions.
  • to be able to identify key decision makers, local leaders, potential spoilers, and beneficiaries;
  • to understand how a conflict environment impacts on decision making and the implementation of relief and development projects and programmes;
  • to be able to design approaches that reduce the risk of an intervention sparking or supporting violence by identifying flash points;


  • Indicative module content typically includes: What is conflict sensitivity and why is it important; institutionalising conflict sensitivity in organisations; operationalising conflict sensitivity in the field; conflict sensitive case studies illustrating various aspects of conflict sensitivity in areas of humanitarian response and development including: shelter, WASH, health, civilian-military relations, education, personnel, procurement, livelihoods, peace building and gender; an introduction to conflict sensitive analysis tools; the importance of impartiality, transparency, accountability and inclusive processes in humanitarian interventions.
  • This module will present a pragmatic approach to conflict sensitivity in policy and practice aimed at adding value to humanitarian emergency and development activities.
  • Students will use learning from Modules 1, 2, 3 and 4 and also be given new information prior to the elective, particularly with respect to any role playing requirements, to enhance the learning and ‘realism’ of the negotiation exercises and to enhance the learning and for group work preparation.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • an advanced knowledge of conflict prevention through conflict sensitive approaches to development and emergencies by NGOs and international agencies.
  • an advanced knowledge of how conceptual frameworks of conflict prevention and conflict sensitivity are operationally applicable in situations of tension and conflict
  • an understanding of how the taught elements are operationally applicable in situations of tension and conflict.
  • an understanding of the methodologies used to study conflict sensitive approaches (csa), and of the impact of our choice of methodology and conceptual framework on our understanding of csa, and vice versa.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • to analyse conflicts and design approaches for conflict prevention at an advanced level.
  • to design conflict sensitive approaches for individuals and agencies working in areas of tension and violence.
  • to engage in research projects at MA level in the subject of conflict analysis and principled negotiation
  • to apply subject related knowledge and advanced theoretical models to the evaluation of current local and global issues, to interpret and analyse empirical data at an advanced level and according to competing explanatory frameworks, and to recognise the impact of a chosen conceptual framework on one’s research findings
Key Skills:
  • to demonstrate an ability to construct argument critically for both oral and written presentation from different sources of material, including material delivered orally and in an article review, report or policy document.
  • to demonstrate an independent approach to learning, critical thinking and creative problem-solving.
  • to use sophisticated techniques of information retrieval and management using an array of print and digital resources.
  • to demonstrate an ability to work cooperatively and constructively in group exercises and role plays
  • to formulate complex arguments in articulate and structured English, within the discursive conventions and genres of academic writing and written to high academic standard to demonstrate effective time management

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • The module will be delivered as a block in workshop format over a period of an evening and two full consecutive days, and will involve a mixture of lectures, short presentations, discussion and small group work, and a role play or oral presentation based on real or constructed cases.
  • Summative assessment will include a pre-workshop article review, and a post-workshop report or policy document. Which post-workshop assessment is selected is in the hands of students (in consultation with the module convener), so as to maximise flexibility with a view to the wide range of professional backgrounds and needs students attending the course are expected to have. The post-workshop assignment is in the form of a report or policy document reflecting on the content and skills learning acquired during the module incorporating perspectives from research, academic or work contexts. The pre-workshop assignment is designed to provide students with a focused task to prepare them, through self-guided learning, for the workshop’s discussions and/or role play, the knowledge, analytical pointers and literature advice for which will be provided through a virtual induction. Prior to the elective students will be provided with key article(s) to read and provide a written review. This might take the form of one longer article or two (or more) shorter articles to review and compare.
  • Formative assessment is intended to develop students' oral communication and academic writing skills, as well as effective time management. Students will receive continuing formative feedback in seminar and group discussions. During the workshop there will be spaces for discussion and reflection on skill development. They will receive formal formative feedback on their role play or oral presentation in a debriefing session after the event, in which students’ performances will be discussed in view of the learning outcomes.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Module in workshop format 1 Term 2 2 days 18
Preparation, reading, assessments Term 2 132
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Assessment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Article Review 1000 words 30%
Report or Policy Document 2500 words 70%

Formative Assessment:

Role play or oral presentations; continuing feedback in seminar and group discussions.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University