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Guidelines | October 26, 2023

Social and Power Dynamics Assessments

A Basic Guide for Busy Practitioners (4th Edition)

This Basic Guide provides practical guidance for programming teams to examine social and power dynamics as a systematic part of assessments. Considering issues of cohesion, conflict, power, equity, inclusion and safety enables a better understanding of the context in which a program operates. This supports the design of conflict- and protection-sensitive, gender-responsive, disability-inclusive, and politically savvy programs.  The Basic Guide includes guidance for two main scenarios:  

  • Essential questions to be covered in any multisectoral assessment, to ensure a foundational understanding of conflict, gender, governance, protection and disability in all programs. These need-to-know questions provide rapid insight to inform any type of programming.  

  • Good enough guidance for a standalone or integrated assessment in any of the following areas, individually or combined: conflict, gender, governance, protection and disability inclusion. This basic-yet-comprehensive guidance will support greater understanding, analysis and subsequent design directly addressing these issues. This section is accompanied by additional suggestions for taking a holistic, integrative approach to aid in combining and streamlining multiple assessments. A Youth chapter is forthcoming in the next edition. 

 The Basic Guide also includes practical tips to ensure a Do No Harm (DNH) approach in exploring sensitive topics. Note to external users: Some links to examples and resource materials may not be accessible outside of CRS systems. 

Volume editors: Valarie Vat Kamatsiko and Nell Bolton