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Change in challenging contexts - how does it happen?

Research report

Written by Tim Williamson

Hero image description: A money exchanger in Somalia. Photo: AU/UN IST / Stuart Price. CC0 1.0 Image credit:A money exchanger in Somalia. Image license:AU/UN IST / Stuart Price (CC0 1.0)

​In fragile states and other challenging situations, the establishment of core functions relating to public financial management (PFM) and service delivery is a critical part of state building and resilience, and is central to most partnerships in development. But how does genuine institutional change take place in fragile and conflict-affected states, and how can it be supported?

This is primarily a lesson-learning piece. It draws on the experiences of the ODI Budget Strengthening Initiative’s (BSI) work in South Sudan, Liberia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda, and with the g7+ group of fragile states. BSI was set up in 2010 as an innovative and experimental programme to support fragile and conflict-affected states to build more effective, transparent and accountable budget systems.

This paper sits alongside a series of insider accounts of change written with our partners in government, which are intended to promote lesson learning in how institutional change can take place. They draw from experience of BSI advisers and their counterparts working within ministries of finance and sector ministries.

Tim Williamson