Conflict-sensitive programme management (CSPM), gender equality, climate change neutrality / adaptation (CCA) and disaster resilience are the transversal themes retained for this region and are systematically taken into account in the design of programmes and projects.

Conflict-sensitive programme management

SDC assesses how a specific intervention may have an impact or be influenced by perceived and real conflicts. SDC mainstreams principles of conflict sensitive programme management in its programming and selection of partners to reduce political and social fragmentation, religious tensions, discord between refugee and local communities, socioeconomic disparities, marginalization of minority groups, and gender inequality.

To ensure a “do no harm” approach and further strengthen connectors in society, SDC strives to make use of inclusive activities such as DRR, health, education, and water as pragmatic entry points to build bridges based on common interests and to rally diverse communities. It also includes deprived host communities in refugee support services and encourages joint projects between refugees and host communities. Participative conflict analysis and programme planning with different partners and target groups ensure a more nuanced and context relevant interventions.


Gender equality

In a context where highlighting gender issues and supporting more gender equality is often perceived as Western cultural imperialism, action related to this sensitive theme needs careful thought. SDC recognizes that women are active contributors, and not just victims, and thus ensures that women and men are represented and participate in assessments, programme design and implementation.

SDC aims to contribute to the reduction of gender inequalities such as legal discrimination, low public and workforce participation, gender-specific violence, and gender-specific concerns in times of war, disaster and military occupation. It seeks to strengthen country-led and partner priorities in order to translate gender equality into locally meaningful concepts and objectives. Education and health are pragmatic entry points and engaging with persons of influence (including religious authorities) can promote dialogue on sensitive gender issues.


Climate change neutrality / adaptation

SDC considers possible mitigation measures to reduce CO2 emissions and includes where possible cost of mitigation in its interventions. Some mitigation options include reduced travel by using virtual communication tools or local expertise and products; low emission vehicles/machinery; energy-saving construction or manufacturing techniques; and CO2 efficient heating/cooling systems. Compensation may also be paid to offset CO2 emissions. In best case scenarios, activities that absorb CO2 emissions, i.e. reduce climate risk, are promoted.

Disaster resilience

SDC refers to the hazard profile of the region and assesses the effects of its activities on health, infrastructure resilience, social networks, and pressure on scarce natural resources. It also evaluates the impact on future coping mechanisms such as local preparedness and risk awareness. Activities are adapted to ensure a “Do No Harm” approach to resilience. Preventive measures include respect for land use restrictions, improvement of watershed management, reforestation, and application of water-saving techniques. Respect for building codes, compliance with local proofing, and use of irrigation systems are examples of mitigation measures. As for preparedness, SDC focuses on enhancing local coping mechanisms and distributing risks to minimize damage.