Previous programmes, such as food assistance programmes, have been followed by either a decrease or an increase in violence at different periods of implementation, as they are likely to alter the power relations in a community.

Disaster risk management

The dynamics of violence following the implementation of projects need to be considered when policy responses are planned. The research therefore points to the need to develop conflict-sensitive analyses when designing and implementing disaster risk management and climate programming.

In conclusion, the underlying review illustrates the interplay between different mechanisms that link climate change and conflict.

To further understand the relationship and advance policy guidance on how to mitigate conflict risks, future research should address resource management, conflict prevention and disaster risk reduction in an integrated manner.

Future research needs to contribute in the following three key areas.

1) Addressing spatial and temporal differences.The impacts of climate change are expected to increase over time, but many climate-related disasters are seasonal and affect the dynamics of conflicts differently throughout the year. In addition, few studies address urban contexts despite increased urbanization and the vulnerability of urban centres in the region.

2) Making use of contextual understanding.Climate change and conflict events have different effects on different societies. It is therefore crucial to understand these context-specific differences in order to enable tailored responses. These should include local and marginalized communities. To provide contextually adequate responses that empower vulnerable groups, it is important to assess the needs, vulnerabilities and resilience of affected communities.

3) Taking account of institutional capacity and governance. The transnational character of climate change provides new challenges, but also increased relevance, for institutions and organizations. Where institutional capacity is low, there is an increased risk that aid will be mismanaged and the risk of conflict after a climatic event increases. It is therefore important to analyze how local, national and regional institutions are developing their ability to deal with these risks.