Do No Harm framework

Whether they like it or not, healthcare workers become responsible for managing complex situations. This is true in the hospital or clinic setting, and is equally true when it comes to big-picture, population-level action.

One way to think about this violent conflict is not to focus simply on who to side with (this was the question in the previous step). Instead, we can take a step back and consider the inter-group relationships, shared history, activities, services, social and political life, language, religions, symbols -all of which can be “dividers” or “connectors” in the conflict situation. This may help us think of different options and different ways of doing things.

Take a look through the Do No Harm framework, focusing on pages 3 to 5. This framework was developed by a group of humanitarian aid workers who found themselves in similar, tricky situations as those faced by Dr Samoe and his team.

There are seven steps in the Do No Harm framework:

  1. Understanding the context of conflict
  2. Analysing dividers and sources of tension
  3. Analysing connectors and local capacities for peace
  4. Analysing the humanitarian assistance program
  5. Analysing the program’s impact on the conflict through resource transfers and implicit ethical messages
  6. Generating programming options
  7. Testing options and redesigning the program

Once you have read through and understood the framework, you may use the general discussion area below to post some reflections. Otherwise, continue on to the next step.

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Medical Peace Work

University of Bergen

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