Fragile States

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Fragile States

Fragile States

economic implications of aid flows for fragile states, and in particular for post- conflict countries. The paper shows that these depend on the configuration between aid absorption and spending; that is, whether or not aid is absorbed and spent, or absorbed but not spent, or neither absorbed nor spent, or spent but not absorbed. Aspects that influence this decision are a country’s macro-economic position, its capacity to absorb aid and the quality of its institutions. Two options for fragile states are explored: front-loading of expenditure, and expenditure smoothing. Under the first, a country increases spending sharply as aid flows in, and reduces it again afterwards. Gupta suggests that this might be a relevant approach for post-conflict countries where returns to physical infrastructure investment are likely to be substantial. Under the second option, a country aims to keep its spending stable over time. According to Gupta, this might be an appropriate strategy for fragile states that face high uncertainty and only temporary access to aid. A challenge that remains if fragile states are to adopt these strategies successfully is the implementation of a supportive medium-term expenditure framework in fiscal planning. Currently such a level of planning is beyond the capabilities of many fragile states, and remains an area wherein the international community can provide valuable assistance.
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Why we need to work more effectively in fragile states

Why we need to work more effectively in fragile states

Since becoming Secretary of State for International Development, I have witnessed at first-hand the difficulties faced by people living in countries affected by conflict, such as Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo. Other states are on the brink of conflict, struggling to manage social tensions or fundamental challenges to central authority. Poor people also suffer where rulers use political office for personal or criminal ends or where there are weak governments that are unable or unwilling to provide for their people, even if they do not attract the headlines of war. Making development work in fragile states is one of the biggest challenges for the UK and for the international community. This policy paper brings together the latest analysis by DFID and others on how to make development more effective in fragile states. It sets out some objectives and makes commitments about how DFID will work differently in future. It does not claim to have all the answers. Much remains to be done, particularly on looking at new channels for delivering aid to fragile states and we need to learn lessons as our experience deepens. It is, however, a starting point from which we can build.
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Budget support in fragile states : feeding the beast or building resilience?

Budget support in fragile states : feeding the beast or building resilience?

6. Take a dynamic, portfolio approach. In fragile states more than anywhere else a system-wide analysis and a system-wide approach are needed. Budget support can be the most transformative aid modality in promising fragile states, but is unlikely to deliver any results if other aid modalities (e.g. multi-donor trust funds, which can be designed to strengthen domestic accountability; off-budget sector funds; project aid; dual-turnkey arrangements; community- driven development), and forms of international engagement (e.g. diplomacy, security) work against statebuilding and social cohesion—especially if is a modest share of the financial resource envelope. Among forms of budget support, there is also merit in mixing general budget support and sector budget support. While sector budget support is less conducive than general budget support to stimulating negotiation across partner government ministries and agreeing strategic priorities, moving away from general budget support to sector budget support may send signals for government to focus on what is most important, while still demonstrating a willingness to assist in sectors where the needs are most urgent. Conversely, a move from sector to general support can signal support and improve development effectiveness.
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Decentralized Local Governance In Fragile States: Learning From Iraq

Decentralized Local Governance In Fragile States: Learning From Iraq

Several government tasks are only possible or are best pursued at the central level: the state’s monopoly on the use of force, major economic regulatory functions and fiscal and monetary policy requirements, and large-scale infrastructure programs that affect much of the country, or most of a region. However, there are numerous other governance issues that do not require exclusivity at the central level, and indeed may be addressed better through some degree of decentralization. Broad generalizations, of course, oversimplify the issues, as both fragile states and sub-national governments contain significant amounts of variation (Picard et al., 2006). Several generic problems associated with central government in fragile states have been identified in the literature and in various case examples.
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Governance, Peace and Security. Whole of Government Approaches to Fragile States

Governance, Peace and Security. Whole of Government Approaches to Fragile States

Yet, although these instruments are certainly laudable in terms of flexible and integrated funding, there are also limitations. Overall, the schemes funded by these instruments are relatively small and the “project-by-project” approach of the instruments is not ideally adapted to the chronic and structural problems of fragile states. 27 The instruments’ management structures therefore pose limitations in terms of establishing a WGA. This is particularly true in the case of the Netherlands’ Stability Fund, which is managed and largely financed by one single actor (the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, including Development Cooperation). Even though the Stability Fund involves actors from the security, the economic and other communities for consultation, they do not contribute financially. This arrangement limits the possibility for real joined-up decision making and planning; actors remain executors and subcontractors. In order to create more ownership and involvement it would therefore be recommended to consider funding arrangements and instruments aimed at involving other actors as equal funding partners. The same would apply to the case of Canada, where the Global Peace and Security Fund (administered by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade) is aimed at funding initiatives co-ordinated by the interdepartmental Stabilisation and Reconstruction Task Force. Similar to the case of the Netherlands, this limits the involvement and shared responsibility of other actors.
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Tracking development assistance for health to fragile states: 2005–2011

Tracking development assistance for health to fragile states: 2005–2011

DAH to low- and middle-income countries is estimated and reported in the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation’ s (IHME) Financing Global Health 2013: Transition in an Age of Austerity [1,2,13,14]. DAH is different from the official de- velopment assistance (ODA) reported by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) as it focuses exclusively on assistance targeting the health sector and tracks resources from a broader set of donors, including bilateral and multilateral aid organizations, NGOs, private foundations based in the US, and other entities [15]. IHME defines DAH as all financial and in-kind contributions pri- marily intended for the health sector. This breadth, com- bined with the unique health-sector focus, makes these data particularly suitable for assessing the health aid disbursed to fragile states for non-emergency humanitarian purposes.
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Aid to Fragile States: Do Donors Help or Hinder?

Aid to Fragile States: Do Donors Help or Hinder?

Engagement—through dialogue and demonstration—should then be the conduit of value change. Minds cannot be altered from behind unbroken walls, but they can see through the cracks. In the northern parts of both Burma and North Korea it is—almost ironically—China which is encouraging a furtive encroachment of capitalism via the development of free enterprise enclaves. These small bridgeheads could become significant forces for change, and could precede a wider opening of these societies. In the second place, solidarity and consistency are important. The impact of US and European sanctions on Burma is already diluted by the breaches in their own foreign investment ban. But more importantly, the country’s immediate neighbours are willing to engage. To be effective, Burma’s partners should—at least with respect to influencing political will—speak with a single voice. Similar arguments apply to Zimbabwe. The political (if not the economic) impact of US and European sanctions is undermined by close and generally uncritical relations which the country enjoys with South Africa and China. On Cuba, the world is similarly divided—the US and Canada cannot agree on relations with the regime (even to the extent of the US threatening to impose sanctions on Canadian and European companies which continue to do business with Havana). The chinks must be mended, not only between the rich states, but among all the partners of fragile states.
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The Impact of China on the Donor Landscape in African Fragile States

The Impact of China on the Donor Landscape in African Fragile States

Abstract This article analyses the impact of China on the donor landscape in African fragile states. This is undertaken by first discussing the global trends of South–South collaboration as part of the broader post- Busan development debate, and secondly, the specific role of China in four African fragile states, which are respectively Liberia, Angola, Mali and Sudan. The article has two main findings. Firstly, China provides additional development opportunities but is not applying the same development cooperation model as traditional Development Assistance Committee (DAC) donors. This fragmentation of global development cooperation modalities requires capacity to coordinate donors by aid-recipient countries. Secondly, as China’s economic interests grow in Africa, it is also expanding its support for regional stability by participating in UN peacekeeping operations. One of the key conditions for China’s participation, however, is a clear mandate by an African regional organisation such as the African Union and Regional Economic
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Institutions, Trade, and Social Cohesion in Fragile States

Institutions, Trade, and Social Cohesion in Fragile States

This paper examines the contribution of institutions, social cohesion, and trade to development (per-capita income) with emphasis on fragile states in Africa. Results from Arellano-Bond GMM estimations suggest that political institutions, openness to trade, and social cohesion affect growth in fragile states via direct and indirect mechanisms. The results indicate that, beyond a certain level, openness to trade may actually be harmful to economic performance in fragile states, particularly in countries with high export concentration. Improvements in institutional quality, or more specifically in democratization, also may be harmful in the short run. On the other hand, social cohesion has a positive effect once a threshold level is reached. The results associated with the effects of political institutions and openness to trade seem to suggest the possibility of a ‘catch-22’, at least in the short run. If a fragile state tries to improve its political institutions or its openness to trade it may wind up with lower per-capita income. According to the formula used to allocate World Bank-IDA funds, such country would get more aid. However, while obtaining more aid may be a good outcome, lower income implies more poverty (assuming no changes in income distribution). Thus, aid may not lead to significant poverty reduction.
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From Rent seeking to Profit creation: Private Sector Development and Economic Turnaround in Fragile States

From Rent seeking to Profit creation: Private Sector Development and Economic Turnaround in Fragile States

13 captures and transfers ‡‡‡‡ , instead of investing in means of production. Prices and output level are distorted and generate substantive incentives to rent-seeking. The underlying risk of violence and insecurity keeps the level of output and prices at distorted level, making rent-seeking behavior an inherently feature of economies in fragile states, and a major principal cause for sustained poor economic performance §§§§ . While abandoning rent-seeking behavior would generate obvious long term “ peace- dividends” (by pushing the equilibrium from D to E) , the prisoner‟s dilemma nature of the situation let rent- seeking remain a deeply entrenched reality well-after a peace-settlement has been reached. In fragile setting, agents to not perceive E has a credible level of activity, and are encourage to invest in activities that safe-guard their (post-conflict) rents and keep the equilibrium to D.
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Civil Society Participation in Fragile States: Critical Thoughts on the New Development Paradigm and its Implementation

Civil Society Participation in Fragile States: Critical Thoughts on the New Development Paradigm and its Implementation

one or another group, one or another civil society organisation to make its claims more heard at the detriment of the claims or voices of others. A civil society that has to face or has faced exclusive policies will not have an equal distribution of arms. Established organisations and especially those favoured by the government will typically be stronger than those who are still in the stages of getting established within the framework of national politics. National civil society organisations defend- ing the interests of the excluded have less tradition to build on, let alone established capacity to deal with other national stakeholders. Equal arms also means full transparency of the dialogue (e.g. no misleading arguments), especially on the side of the government. The latter is almost by definition excluded in fragile states as they lack not only capacity but also com- mitment to effective poverty reduction. The lack of equal kick off positions of all stakeholders involved will undoubtedly bend the dialogue and the outcome of the participation process in a certain direction. In that way, participation does not guarantee at all that the voices of the poor or excluded are heard.
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Detection of infectious disease outbreaks in twenty-two fragile states, 2000-2010: a systematic review

Detection of infectious disease outbreaks in twenty-two fragile states, 2000-2010: a systematic review

Fragile states are home to a sixth of the world’s population, and their populations are particularly vulnerable to infectious disease outbreaks. Timely surveillance and control are essential to minimise the impact of these outbreaks, but little evidence is published about the effectiveness of existing surveillance systems. We did a systematic review of the circumstances (mode) of detection of outbreaks occurring in 22 fragile states in the decade 2000-2010 (i.e. all states consistently meeting fragility criteria during the timeframe of the review), as well as time lags from onset to detection of these outbreaks, and from detection to further events in their timeline. The aim of this review was to enhance the evidence base for implementing infectious disease surveillance in these complex, resource-constrained settings, and to assess the relative importance of different routes whereby outbreak detection occurs.
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The Influence of Decentralization and Power Sharing on Service Delivery in Fragile States: A Case Study of Iraq

The Influence of Decentralization and Power Sharing on Service Delivery in Fragile States: A Case Study of Iraq

Within the broader topic of service delivery in fragile contexts, this research focuses on Iraq, a country marked by sectarian violence, terrorism and general insecurity, which lead to an exceedingly fragile situation for the state and its inhabitants. A defining feature of fragile states is the restricted access to public services (Baird, 2010) as a result of violent conflicts, the breakdown of social order, flawed political institutions, and corruption. Those factors contribute to an unstable environment and accordingly create a shaky foundation for effectively delivering public services (OECD, 2008). Especially people struck by economic deprivation and violence suffer from the absence of public services. A lack of basic security, health services, water services, and education means a lower quality of life and potentially creates grievances among the affected population, which contributes to a lack of state legitimacy. Effective service delivery in turn cannot only bring advantages to people in unstable situations but also improve their perception of the state. Once the public sector becomes more efficient in delivering basic services, citizens who benefit from the improvements start attributing legitimacy to the state (Brinkerhoff et al., 2012). For this reason, a growing number of non- governmental, governmental, and international organisations works to improve service delivery in fragile states.
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Rethinking internal displacement geo political games, fragile states, & the relief industry

Rethinking internal displacement geo political games, fragile states, & the relief industry

recount UNHCR’s past record in IDP protection, which were white-washed in its previous grand proposals. In a 2005 UNHCR report titled Consistent & Predictable Responses to IDPs, Mattar & White uncovered the inherent pathologies, ambiguities and anomalies within the organisation’s decision making processes in eight fragile states with large IDP populations, which casted a shadow of doubt on its ability to effectively protect IDPs. They showed first how there was no consistency in UNHCR’s timing to become engaged with IDPs. Secondly, there were strained relations between UNHCR and other agencies and NGOs due to its unpredictability and perceived dominance. Thirdly was the impact on the collaborative approach and the inter-agency operations and discussions, with UNHCR’s ambivalence and lack of defined parameters in an operational framework. Fourthly, serious rifts arose as a result of the conflict of mandates between refugees and IDPs. Operational problems developed with the agency overstretched to the point where ‘the protection needs of the targeted IDPs were vast, and were not essentially different from those faced by the Angolan population at large’. 170 Similarly, Barutciski documented the unreliability and opportunism within UNHCR’s involvement with IDPs which brought a complete halt to humanitarian principles of neutrality, impartiality and humanity that was evident in Kosovo, where UNHCR exaggerated the number of IDPs and casualty figures. At the onset of a NATO air campaign in 1999 UNHCR claimed that the displaced masses had been uprooted by Serbian forces; a declaration that could not be corroborated, but was nonetheless welcomed by NATO in the propaganda war. The agency then claimed that 250,000 died in the conflict of Bosnia- Herzegovina when conservative estimates from recognised institutions (SIPRI) placed casualty numbers between 25,000 and 55,000. 171 More importantly, the crisis in the former Yugoslavia highlighted the overall problem of becoming a lead agency for protected displaced masses. Such a status ‘represents a ‘default’ position to fill a co-ordination
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Financing Peace: International and National Resources for Postconflict Countries and Fragile States

Financing Peace: International and National Resources for Postconflict Countries and Fragile States

Some literature has pointed to a pronounced disparity, however, between the generous international resources directed to postconflict states and the relatively few resources directed to other fragile states that are merely at risk of violent conflict. Analyzing aid flows to “difficult partnership countries,” an earlier euphemism for fragile states, Levin and Dollar (2005) estimated that these countries received 58% less bilateral aid and 34% less multilateral aid than their non-fragile counterparts, when controlling for differences in population, per capita income, and CPIA (World Bank Country Policy and Institutional Assessment) scores; without controlling for CPIA scores the difference would be greater. Yet within this group, postconflict countries were an exception, receiving more aid per capita than the average for low-income countries as a whole, a finding the authors rather disarmingly characterize as supporting the “hypothesis that donors increasingly pay attention to post-conflict opportunities” (ibid., pp. 14-15).
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Assessing the Impact of the Scale-up of DFID s Support to Fragile States

Assessing the Impact of the Scale-up of DFID s Support to Fragile States

3.16 It will take time for alternative delivery channels to develop the capacity required to absorb the levels of funding now available in fragile states. The number of private sector contractors willing and able to work in fragile states such as Somalia is currently limited. The availability of appropriate delivery partners should be a clear prerequisite for the design of large programmes. Scale-up of funding based on an assumption that delivery partners will materialise or that the UN system will be able to absorb the work, even in sectors where they have limited track record, is premature. DFID has recognised this issue, albeit sometime after initial scale-up. DFID’s procurement and commercial teams have increased their early market engagement. This involves engaging with a broad range of suppliers, including the private sector and NGOs, to assess their interest in working in countries like Somalia. They also provide support to country offices at the business case stage to help to consider alternatives.
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Aid Allocation and Fragile States

Aid Allocation and Fragile States

Aid flows have been shown to be more volatile than other sources of developing country government revenue (Gemmell and McGillivray 1998). High aid volatility makes budgetary policy more difficult and can increase exchange rate variability, thus potentially offsetting any positive impacts of aid (Bulíř and Hamann 2003; Edwards and van Wijnbergen 1989). Levin and Dollar (2005) also examined the volatility of aid per capita to the DPC group. Specific for fragile states would be that results take longer to materialise in these environments, therefore volatility is particularly damaging. It was found that aid to the DPC group was almost twice that of other low-income countries. This result was not altered after controlling for the specific circumstances faced by DPCs, namely rapid changes in policies and institutional strength and the onset or cessation of conflict. There is, however, volatility heterogeneity among the DPC group, and this is of serious concern. The aid volatility faced by the darlings, as defined above, is very close to that experienced by other low-income countries. Strikingly, the volatility of aid to orphans is more than twice that of the darlings. It is therefore the volatility of aid to the orphans that pushes the average volatility of the DPC group to such a comparatively high level.
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Rethinking Foreign Aid for Fragile States

Rethinking Foreign Aid for Fragile States

Our dependent variables in the robust regressions were size of GDP, GDP Per Capita, and HDI. For each of these dependent variables, the model specification had net Official Development Assistance (ODA, foreign aid) lagged 1 period (lag1nodar), net ODA lagged 2 periods (lag2nodar), an interactive term between the Quality of Public Administration and Transparency, Accountability and Corruption in the Public Sector (QPA*TAC = INTQPATAC) and the State Fragility Index (SFI) as explanatory variables.The lagged ODA was used as a proxy indicator of generally observed low degree of absorptive capacity in most fragile states. It is the actual flows of aid that affect the outcome not the commitment of aid. Aid flows lag behind aid commitment and tend to take longer when aid recipient countries have low absorptive capacity. The interactive variable was intended to capture varying institutional factors affecting effectiveness of aid.
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Health in Fragile States: Opinion Piece

Health in Fragile States: Opinion Piece

The relationship between the security of a State and the health of its people is complex and multifaceted. Fragile states present unique challenges to healthcare systems, whether through increased burden of disease, conflict, scarcity of healthcare workforce, financial limitations, fragile governance or weak institutional leadership (Haar and Rubenstein 2012, 289-316; Newbrander, Waldman and Shepherd-Banigan 2011, 639-60; Sondorp and Patel 2004, 4-5; Horton 2001, 1472-73). For example, rapid, uncontrolled population movements appreciably increase morbidity and mortality (Toole and Waldman 1997, 283-312; Salama et al. 2004, 1801-13). This is illustrated by the fact that during outbreaks of cholera, mortality increases more than 50-fold among displaced populations versus situations where conditions are stable (Goma Epidemiology Group 1995, 339-44). In addition, population displacement following disasters can severely complicate care provision, further adding to the burden of disease (Bengtsson et al. 2011).
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Enhancing Effective Utilization of Aid in Fragile States

Enhancing Effective Utilization of Aid in Fragile States

Clearly, fragile states do not have the capacity to formulate these plans in a detailed manner. In fact, their institutions generally have less ability than those of other LICs to develop and/or implement medium-term planning mechanisms. In most LICs, medium- term frameworks do not exist, and where they do exist, they are not well-integrated into the budget. That implies that fragile states should focus essentially on multi-year macroeconomic scenarios prepared by the countries themselves and their partners. These scenarios should be consistent with fiscal sustainability and macroeconomic stability and the overall expenditure allocations in them should reflect the country’s own priorities. The annual budget should then be aligned with the chosen medium-term path. In addition, it is important to ensure that there is a strong relationship between the process for preparing the national plan (e.g., PRSP—the poverty reduction strategy papers), and the budget. Furthermore, proper arrangements should be established between the government and donors for coordinating the management of aid, and, over time, for bringing increasing amounts of aid on budget.
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