Fragile environments

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, 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.

Featured organizations

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.  


Recent Articles

  • Mon, 29 Feb 2016
  • Mon, 29 Feb 2016
  • Mon, 22 Feb 2016
  • Mon, 22 Feb 2016
  • Tue, 22 Sep 2015
  • Fri, 18 Sep 2015
  • Thu, 20 Aug 2015
  • Mon, 3 Aug 2015
  • Thu, 30 Jul 2015
  • Wed, 22 Apr 2015

Other Topics

Essential Readings

  • 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

  • Issue 32 (December 2007) Fragile States

Go to annotated bibliography