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Webinar 8: CDA’s Do No Harm Approach to Conflict Sensitivity
January 25, 2017

Webinar Date and Time: February 8, 2016 at 10:00am EST. You can watch the webinar here.

Webinar Summary: Do No Harm (DNH), developed by CDA, is one of several conflict sensitivity application tools. The DNH approach helps practitioners think about how assistance can be provided in ways that empower local actors to identify solutions to the conflict without exacerbating tensions. CDA’s Senior Advisor on Conflict Sensitivity/Peacebuilding Effectiveness Sweta Velpillay introduced the DNH framework, demonstrated how programs and policies will interact within its operational context and gave practitioners an overview of how to adapt their programs to minimize negative impacts, while building upon positive impacts.

Speaker Bio: Sweta Velpillay joined CDA in 2016 as a Senior Advisor on Conflict Sensitivity and Peacebuilding Effectiveness. She specialises in conflict analysis, conflict sensitivity, systems analysis for peacebuilding, capacity building and accompaniment, policy influence and strategic program development and management.

Over the past 10 years Sweta has worked for a range of organisations and entities including bilateral donors, local, regional and international NGOs in different roles as conflict advisor, program manager, facilitator and trainer, as well as charged with designing and managing peacebuilding programs and developing and influencing policy. She is experienced in managing large-scale, complex programs and applying peacebuilding expertise in acute humanitarian and development settings.

Prior to joining CDA, Sweta worked in a regional capacity for Oxfam GB to provide technical advice to fragile and conflict affected countries in Asia to improve program effectiveness, design processes that integrate conflict sensitivity into organizational policies and programs and build capacity of country teams and accompany them. At the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (CPCS), she used Systems approaches to peacebuilding to provide technical support to various peace processes through conflict analysis, negotiation support, capacity building for governments, armed groups and civil society, as well as influencing peacebuilding policies of conflict actors and the international community. She worked in particular to ensure that robust local skills and institutional capacity for peacebuilding was prioritized, national level processes were complemented by local peacebuilding initiatives and lessons were shared internationally.

While working with bilateral donors, both at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO, UK) and AusAID, Sweta ensured that conflict sensitivity and aid effectiveness agenda in high intensity conflict contexts contributed to peacebuilding effectiveness. Sweta has worked in and supported teams in Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the Philippines. She has a BSc from Manchester Metropolitan University and a MA in Applied Conflict Transformation Studies from Pannasastra University.

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