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Working Effectively in Fragile States: Current thinking in the UK

Research reports

This paper is part of a series synthesizing work on PRSPs; aid modalities; and aid harmonisation to encourage dialogue between UK and Japanese researchers on these issues.

This paper sets out a synthesis of some of the recent thinking on working in fragile states. It draws heavily on DFID’s recent policy paper, ‘Why we need to work more effectively in fragile states’ and papers submitted to the recent OECD-DAC High Level Forum on Development Effectiveness in Fragile States, held in London on 13-14 January 2005. It is hoped that a synthesis of some of this recent thinking will stimulate further debate and discussion as this area is important and likely to become more so.

The paper is divided into four central sections. The first of these sets out what is meant by ‘fragile states’, including how fragility can be estimated and the impact of fragile states. The second section then sets out in more detail why a new approach is needed, including an analysis of current ways of engaging with them. The third section covers current thinking in the UK on how best to engage in fragile states,emphasising the need for harmonisation and alignment as a means of drawing up a framework on how to engage. The fourth section covers some of DFID’s experience with the new approach so far. The paper ends with a short summary.

Debbie Warrener and Carolin Loehr