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Fragile States


CGD research on fragile states examines how rich countries and other development actors can best assist fragile states and their citizens; related work focuses on understanding the transition from immediate post-conflict assistance to longer-term development assistance.

Program goals include

  • understanding the causes and consequences of state fragility;
  • determining opportunities for policy intervention and the sequencing of such interventions;
  • finding ways to improve the effectiveness of aid to fragile states; and,
  • identifying turning points that signal when donors should shift from post-conflict to longer-term development assistance.

CGD senior fellow Vijaya Ramachandran leads this research to help inform and influence policymakers and practitioners working on post-conflict reconstruction and development in difficult environments.

Together with CGD visiting fellow Satish Chand, professor of economics at the University of New South Wales, Ramachandran has commissioned a series of papers by currently or recently active aid practitioners in post-conflict assistance programs. Drawing upon these papers, Ramachandran and Chand plan to develop practical guidelines to help policymakers and practitioners examine and respond to on-the-ground challenges. Areas of interest include an analysis of donor relationships with the military, the sequencing and coordination of donor activity in post-conflict settings, the value of the European Union’s Stability Instrument, the revival of basic public services in post-conflict countries, and the incentives of government actors in various post-conflict settings.

Previous CGD work on weak and fragile states includes the following working papers, books and reports: