What approaches contribute to sustainable capacity development in fragile state contexts? Stabilizing the governance infrastructure in post-conflict situations sometimes requires the outsourcing of nearly all government roles in the early stages of recovery. With many development initiatives driven by external actors, it is nonetheless critical for such interventions to support the transition to country-owned and country-led development by strengthening emerging capacity where it crystallizes.
Building on Issue 32 of Capacity.org, this page aims to showcase best practice by development organizations and donors, as well as inspiring casestudies that highlight the importance of strengthening community-led initiatives to foster peace and development in such contexts.
Governance and Social Development Resource Centre (GSDRC): Strengthening capacity in the area of governance, conflict and social development
Funded by the UK Department for International Development, GSDRC aims to help reduce poverty by informing policymaking and enhancing professional knowledge in relation to governance, conflict and social development. Services provided by the Resource Centre include an extensive publications database with helpful policy-oriented summaries of each document highlighting the major findings. An interesting feature is a Q&A section where detailed responses to research helpdesk enquiries are published.
The GSDRC topic guide on fragile states introduces some of the best literature on the causes, characteristics and impact of state fragility and the challenge of aid effectiveness and lessons learned from international engagement in these contexts. It is intended primarily as a reference guide for policymakers.
Below, you can read the latest resources in this area, drawn from GSDRC's topic feed.Website:http://www.gsdrc.org/
Tue, 9 Sep 2014
This report suggests that framing violent conflict as limited to war and civil war restricts our ability to address it: the approaches and lens of peacebuilding can enrich efforts to reduce armed violence and fragility linked to organised crime. It notes that this approach has not been widely tested, but that when it has, results are promising.
Fri, 30 May 2014
Fragile states contributed 18 million migrants and 8 million refugees in 2000. More than 20% of these migrants and more than half of the refugees settle in other fragile states. Thus, migration is likely to be both a consequence and a possible cause of conflict and fragility. This paper asks why people from fragile states would want to move to another fragile state. Is it simply a question of jumping out of the frying pan into the fire - that migrants from fragile states have no other options than to settle in another fragile state?
Mon, 12 May 2014
Received wisdom holds that the provision of vital public services necessarily improves the legitimacy of a fragile or conflict-affected state. In practice, however, the relationship between a state's performance in delivering services and its degree of legitimacy is nonlinear. Specifically, this relationship is conditioned by expectations of what the state should provide, subjective assessments of impartiality and distributive justice, the relational aspects of provision, how easy it is to attribute (credit or blame) performance to the state, and the characteristics of the service.
Thu, 1 May 2014
This article shows that aid-dependent states can access donor resources for regime maintenance purposes by using (and challenging) internationally devised narratives on issues such as state fragility. Examining the case of Uganda, it finds that the Museveni regime has used 'image management' strategies and the concept of state fragility to secure sustained international support and avoid censure for governance transgressions.
Mon, 24 Mar 2014
This paper asks why large scale violence was resolved in the internationally unrecognised 'Republic of Somaliland' but not in the rest of Somalia. The case of Somaliland offers insights into why some domestic power struggles - including violent ones - build the foundations for relative political order while others perpetuate cycles of economic malaise and political violence. The paper highlights that legitimate institutions are those born through local political and social processes, and that these are largely shaped through the leadership process. Among its findings are the importance in Somaliland of: a domestically-funded peace process that motivated strategic symbiosis among elites; a lack of predetermined institutional endpoints; Somalilanders' conscious desire for an enclave of peace within the surrounding turmoil; and quality secondary education.
Tue, 11 Feb 2014
Sub-Saharan Africa was largely insulated from the initial stages of the financial crisis as the majority of the countries in the region are de-linked from the international financial markets. However, with the worsening of the global financial and economic crisis, the region as a whole has now been exposed to the downturn, and growth estimates have been continually lowered from 5 percent in 2008 to 1.7 percent in April 2009.
- Fri, 31 Jan 2014
Tue, 10 Dec 2013
After sixteen years of civil conflict, Mozambique experienced a successful transition to peace, despite numerous social, political, and economic conditions that were not conducive to peace or democracy. This essay explores the reasons for this successful outcome. It argues that, in Mozambique and elsewhere, scholars have tended to overlook the role of bilateral donors in underpinning UN-led interventions designed to broker the transition from war to peace via democratic statebuilding. In Mozambique, longstanding relationships between bilateral donors and belligerents and the ability of committed donors to provide flexible, coordinated efforts to implement the peace process were critical to the construction of a durable peace.
Tue, 10 Dec 2013
In response to growing concerns regarding the insecurity of aid operations and the resulting decline in humanitarian access, the present study, commissioned by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), set out to identify and document those strategies and practices that have enabled humanitarian organisations to maintain effective operations in contexts characterised by high security risks.
Tue, 10 Dec 2013
The policy report draws lessons-learned for the UN and others from the first generation of transition compacts in support of postconflict peacebuilding, focusing on case studies from Afghanistan, the DRC, Iraq, Liberia, and Timor-Leste. It finds that transition compacts can be effective but their effectiveness has been mixed. In order to improve their effectiveness the report makes five general recommendations and four recommendations for the UN specifically.
Annotated bibliography on capacity development in fragile situations (LenCD)
GSDRC Topic Guide on Fragile States
Derick Brinkerhoff (2007) Capacity Development in Fragile States, ECDPM Discussion Paper 58D
Capacity.org Issue 32 (December 2007) Fragile States