The conflict sensitive approach and sustainable development: the case of Kenyans Samburu county (2002 – 2011)
This study examined the sustainability of outcomes of conflict-sensitive development interventions. The study used a case study of Samburu County. It sought to respond the question: what is the sustainability of outcomes of conflict-sensitive development interventions in Samburu County? The study utilized both primary and secondary data. Primary data was obtained through a sample size of 86 respondents from communities and institutions. The process of data collection entailed the use of participant observation, structured interviews, two focus group discussions and key informant interviews. The target individuals included funding agency officials, evaluators of development interventions, practitioners of the conflict sensitive approach, local community members, local community elders, local beneficiaries of development interventions, County Government officials. The institutions that participated in this study include the Kenyan Conflict Sensitivity Consortium, funding agencies targeting Samburu County; implementing agencies that work in Samburu County, the County Government and local learning institutions targeted for peace initiatives. This study found that organizations that have adopted the conflict sensitive approach have changed the way they design, implement and evaluate their development interventions targeting Samburu County. In addition, the study found that with the adoption of this approach in Samburu County, members of beneficiary communities are increasingly gaining interest to know the impact of donor-funded interventions targeting their own communities. Further, the study found that conflict-sensitive development interventions in Samburu County yielded positive impact and sustainable outcomes. The study further pointed out that conflict-blind development interventions implemented in Samburu County caused negative impact and yielded outcomes that were unsustainable. According to this study, adoption of the conflict sensitive approach provided development agencies a profound opportunity to shape their development interventions in order to accomplish their intended goals and at the same time avoid negative impact in contexts of conflict. While the conflict sensitive approach seeks to ensure that development agencies working in Samburu County achieve their intended goals, the study presented a number of factors that limited the adoption of this approach. These include policy challenges, operational challenges, internal management and capacity challenges as well as political issues.