Tag: fragility

Some Exciting Progress on Governance Diaries

One of the things I do on this blog is float random ideas for how the aid sector could do things differently. I’m under no illusions that anyone is actually listening. The best I can hope for is usually that a couple of people express mild interest in an idea, before it floats off into […]

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Why the Aid Community needs to step up on Fragile/Conflict States

Everyone in the aid biz is talking fragile and conflict affected states these days (FCAS – I’ve given up on trying to get everyone to adopt FRACAS….). That’s partly because that’s where poor people will predominantly be in a couple of decades time, as more stable places grow their way out of extreme poverty, and […]

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Empowerment and Accountability in Messy Places: what’s the latest?

Spent a fascinating two days at IDS last week taking stock of year one of a 5 year research programme: Action for Empowerment and Accountability (A4EA). The aim is to understand how social and political action takes place in ‘Fragile, Conflict, Violence Affected Settings’ (FCVS) and the implications for ‘external actors’ (donors, INGOs etc, but […]

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Why is life in fragile/conflict states not more ‘solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short’? New research programme on ‘Public Authority’

Thomas Hobbes argued that states are essential to guarantee security. In their absence there would be a ‘war of all against all’ in which life would be ‘solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short’. But in most fragile and conflict affected areas, that degree of bloodbath is strikingly absent – individuals, families and communities find ways […]

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Fragility v Conflict – can you help with a new 2×2 please?

Struggling towards the finishing line on my paper on empowerment and accountability (E&A) in fragile and conflict- affected settings (FCAS) – thanks to everyone who commented on the first draft, by the way). It’s nearly there but I need your help with one particular section. I want to argue that lumping ‘fragile’ and ‘conflict’ together […]

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Big new research programme on empowerment and accountability in fragile settings gets under way – can you help choose its name?

Whatever happened to resting on your laurels?  The book’s just published, and I’m onto the next thing – a five year research consortium on empowerment and accountability in fragile and conflict settings (FCS). Spent 3 days recently with some sharp minds from an alphabet soup of project partners – IDS, ITAD, IDEAS, CSSR, PASGR and […]

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What I’m doing in Myanmar – first vlogged installment

Just spent 3 days in Kachin state in the North, trying to get a slightly better understanding of the nature of Myanmar’s conflicts, and implications for trying to improve governance and accountability. Fascinating, but I won’t write anything just yet, as we have a 3 day conference on that topic this week, so will wait […]

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A new/better way of measuring the fragility of states?

Tolstoy opened Anna Karenina with the much-quoted line ‘Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.’ Does the same apply to states? The OECD’s new report on Fragile States goes some way down that route. Instead of its past (much criticised) single dimension of ‘fragile/non fragile’, it assesses fragility […]

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Politics, economists and the dangers of pragmatism: reflections on DFID’s governance and conflict conference

DFID really is an extraordinary institution. I spent Monday and Tuesday at the annual get together one of its tribes professional cadres – about 200 advisers on governance and conflict. They were bombarded with powerpoints from outside speakers (including me), but still found time for plenty of ‘social loafing’, aka networking with their mates. Some impressions: […]

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