The Third Side: Do No Harm

Note Regarding External Links on This Page
We are still in the process of converting the "external resource" links from our old computer system to our new one. Unfortunately, this is a time-consuming task which, because of limited funds, we are undertaking on a time-available basis. In the meantime, many of these references can be found by using our Search Plus External Links system.


A Cautionary Note: Do No Harm

Providing assistance can sometimes do more harm than good. Monetary assistance can be used to buy weapons; even humanitarian assistance can be used by one side to fuel the conflict, rather than mitigate its negative effects. Mary Anderson's book, Do No Harm, and the associated website highlight the pitfalls aid providers can fall into, and gives suggestions about ways these traps can be avoided to make sure aid is really helpful, not harmful to the recipients.

The group of essays on Development and Conflict also explain how development aid often contributes to conflict, rather than helping to prevent it. They don't argue against aid, but explain how aid providers should look carefully at what they are providing to whom, in what way, and what the short and long-term effects of this aid are on the recipients themselves and the larger society.

For More Information

Much of the material on this user guide is drawn from Thanks to William Ury and Joshua Weiss for giving us permission to republish their material here.