"Do No Harm" concept, a veritable tool for conflict transformation.



Roseline Akah Obah


Rosaline Akah Obah, trainer in Do No Harm, Peace Journalism and Conflict Transformation has described the "Do No Harm" concept as a veritable tool for conflict transformation. Mme Obah made the remark Saturday August 8, 2020 in Bafoussam shortly after talking to the participants of the 4th Training of Trainers workshop on Conflict Transformation organized by the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon, PCC Peace Office about the "Do No Harm" concept.

The “Do No Harm” (DNH) is a concept used mostly by institutions and organizations to minimize harm in situations of violent conflicts and support local capacities to build peace. For example, how can aid be provided to IDPs in ways that, rather than feeding into an exacerbating conflict, help local people disengage from the violence that surrounds them and begin to develop alternatives?.

"Whatever decisions we are taking as institutions or organizations, we should always try to see how we can think of other options that can make things better for that commmunity than adding more injuries to the wound when it comes to implementing our humanitarian actions on the field. So "Do No Harm" is a very important tool when it comes to diffusing tensions, bringing people together and making sure that institutions that are working to better humanity in different communities are able to use this tool to involve local capacities in whatever they're planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation is involved in the field", Mme Rosaline Akah Obah said.

For this concept to be effective on the field, civil society organizations, community based organizations, local authorities, traditional authorities, the state and others have to take into consideration this concept in any action they think that has to do with humanity.

The “Do No Harm” is advantageous in that, “There are always options”. In case a particular decision reinforces a Divider (element that divides people) or undermines a Connector (elements that bring people together and offers local capacities for peace), project implementers need to look for alternative ways of achieving their objective. Any option found to reduce a negative impact or to enhance a positive one must be checked again in order to avoid avoidable side-effects.

By Nji Nelson Chefor

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