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Humanitarian Access in Situations of Armed Conflict - Field Manual Version 1.0


About this resource

Resource type:Tools, guidelines and methodologies
Keywords:Conflict, violence & peace, Development & humanitarian aid, Logistics, Remote Programming and Management
Agency:Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Switzerland
Date published:2011


In light of the challenges in securing and sustaining humanitarian access and the central role access plays in contributing to the protection of civilians, Switzerland launched an initiative in 2009 to develop two practical resources on humanitarian access in situations of armed conflict: this Field Manual on humanitarian access and an accompanying Handbook on the Normative Framework. These products contribute directly to the fulfillment of the objectives of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) Strategy on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict (2009 – 2012) pertaining to humanitarian access.
This Field Manual provides a structured approach and practical guidance for humanitarian practitioners on humanitarian access in situations of armed conflict. Even with this structured approach, humanitarian organizations will still face difficult choices on how to approach access. For this reason, the Field Manual includes guidance on how to work through the dilemmas of humanitarian access.
The companion Handbook on Humanitarian Access presents the normative framework pertaining to humanitarian access in situations of armed conflict, and therefore serves as a useful reference source for humanitarian practitioners on the normative framework.
This initial version of the Field Manual – labeled Version 1.0 – was elaborated by Conflict Dynamics International in collaboration with the FDFA and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
Development of the structured approach and guidance contained in this Manuel
involved a consultation process which included bilateral meetings with humanitarian organizations, regional consultation events and consultations during several field visits, including dedicated field missions.

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