Global development is increasingly intertwined with state fragility. It's time for donors to rethink how their engagement can better help countries address the underlying causes of fragility.
Global development is increasingly intertwined with state fragility. Poverty is becoming concentrated in fragile states, and conflict, violent extremism, and environmental stresses can emerge from and be exacerbated by fragility. As a result, many donors, including the United States, are reflecting on lessons of the past to rethink how they can better help fragile states address the underlying causes of fragility, build peace and stability, and cope with complex risks.
US strategy in the Middle East and North Africa has not changed in the past 40 years, favoring security approaches over political and economic development, narrow partnerships with select regime elements over broader engagement with governments and people, and short-term responses and interventions over long-term vision. Symptomatic of this strategy is the fact that US security assistance vastly outstrips economic assistance.
In this note, CGD senior policy analyst Alexis Sowa outlines three recommendations for US development assistance to Pakistan: name the leader of US development efforts, clarify the mission, and finance what is already working.
The Commanders Emergency Response Program in Afghanistan: Refining U.S. Military Capabilities in Stability and In-Conflict Development Activities - Working Paper 265
The U.S. military has become substantially engaged in the development and stabilization space and will likely continue to operate in this space for some time to come. This paper proposed five policy changes for the military to improve its development activities.
The Commander’s Emergency Response Program in Afghanistan: Five Practical Recommendations (CGD Brief)
The U.S. military has become substantially engaged in economic development and stabilization and will likely continue to be for some time to come. This brief takes U.S. military involvement in development as a given and concentrates on five recommendations for it to operate more efficiently and effectively.
Bases, Bullets, and Ballots: The Effect of U.S. Military Aid on Political Conflict in Colombia - Working Paper 197
Does foreign military assistance strengthen or further weaken fragile states facing internal conflict? In a new working paper, CGD post-doctoral fellow Oeindrila Dube and co-author Suresh Naidu find that U.S. military assistance to Colombia may increase violence and decrease voter turnout, undermining the perceived value of foreign military assistance.
Experience shows that outside efforts to help reform or reconstruct fragile states must simultaneously address issues of security, governance, and economic growth. Greater than the Sum of Its Parts? looks at how seven governments—the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Germany, France, and Sweden—are seeking to integrate their approach to fragile states. The authors find that "whole of government" approaches remain a work in progress and provide recommendations for how donors can best engage weak countries, including by experimenting with pooled funding arrangements, developing unified national strategies and by evaluating the impact of their interventions.