GSDRC

GSDRC provides applied knowledge services on demand and online. Our expertise is in issues of governance, social development, humanitarian response and conflict. Our specialist research team supports a range of international development agencies, synthesising the latest evidence and expert thinking to inform policy and practice.

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New Topic Guide:
Sequencing Reforms in Fragile States

How can governments in fragile and conflict affected states (FCAS) plan and manage reforms when everything is urgent and important, and when capacity and resources are low? How can external actors strategically support the fulfilment of essential and expected state functions? This Topic Guide provides an overview of the evidence that examines the sequencing of statebuilding and peacebuilding reforms in FCAS.

Latest Document Summaries

Fragile and Conflict-Affected States: Exploring the Relationship between Governance, Instability and Violence

Author: Sebastian AJ Taylor (2014)
Size: 11 pages (2.6 MB)

Fragile and conflict-affected states’ (FCAS) constitute an increasingly important category of aid policy and action. This paper argues that the category comprises a large and heterogeneous set of countries, problematizing coherent policy response which is often awkwardly split between boilerplate strategy and case-by-case approach. In both respects, efficiency of aid allocations is questionable. There is a need to disaggregate the category into smaller groups of countries, understood according to a more nuanced interpretation of the nature of their fragility.


Politically Smart, Locally Led Development

Author: David Booth and Sue Unsworth (2014)
Size: 29 pages (1.65 MB)

This report highlights evidence that donors can work politically, and that this improves outcomes. It examines seven cases, and finds that keys to success included iterative problem-solving and brokering relationships to discover common interests. The paper argues that donors need to be politically informed and astute to assess the scope for change, and to make good choices regarding issues to work on and partners to work with; and they need to allow local actors to take the lead in finding solutions to problems that matter to them.