Conflict early warning and early response

Lessons emerging from the literature include: Linking warning and response: The biggest challenge for conflict early warning systems is that they have not yet been effectively transformed into a preventive response. Specific response plans must be developed as part of the early warning system. Preventative interventions to reduce the potential for violence should: i) address ...» more

Lessons from Female Engagement Teams

Evaluations of Female Engagement Teams (FETs) used by the military to engage with women in Afghanistan that are available indicate that: Female soldiers have had a deescalating effect as Afghan males generally accepted females being searched as long as it was done by other females. FETs have had positive engagement with both women and men and were viewed as a kind of ‘third ...» more

Social media and conflict management in post-conflict and fragile contexts

Some of the roles social media has played in conflict management include: In some cases social media and other new media tools have been used to help hold governments accountable, bring citizens together to protest violence, coordinate relief efforts, empower citizens, provide information to reduce tensions, and build bridges of understanding across boundaries. In other cases ...» more

The UK Government’s Approach to Stabilisation (2014)

FCO, MOD, DFID and Stabilisation Unit

This document outlines the UK Government’s Approach to Stabilisation. It explains why and when Her Majesty’s Government (HMG) engages in Stabilisation and sets out how the stabilisation approach links to other tools and approaches which HMG uses in situations of violent conflict.This document supports the strategic and policy framework comprising HMG’s National Security ...» more

What works for rural development in fragile states? Evidence from Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Yemen, Nepal and Bolivia

Schultze-Kraft, M., Rew, M., Kuss, M.

What works for rural development in fragile states and how can rural development contribute to mitigating fragility? This report highlights the major challenges rural development encounters in fragile settings. It looks at empirical evidence from five countries in South Asia, the Arabian Peninsula, Sub-Saharan Africa and South America (Afghanistan, Nepal, Yemen, the Democratic ...» more

Women, gender and the evolving tactics of Boko Haram

Jacob Zenn, Elizabeth Pearson

This article addresses an aspect of Boko Haram’s activities: gender-based violence (GBV) and its targeting of women. It argues that 2013 marked a significant evolution in Boko Haram’s tactics, with a series of kidnappings, in which one of the main features was the instrumental use of women. This was in response to corresponding tactics by the Nigerian security ...» more

Fragile Reforms: World Bank and Asian Development Bank financing in fragile and conflict-affected situations

Monica Stephen

Drawing from research into the delivery of five bank-financed projects covering infrastructure and other sectors, this study highlights a range of insights and opportunities to enhance how the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) approach project financing in fragile and conflict-affected situations.The study documents how conflict-sensitive approaches are and are ...» more

To be well at heart: women’s perceptions of psychosocial wellbeing in three conflict affected countries

Martha Bragin et al.

This article presents the results of a participatory study utilising ethnographic methods to develop a phenomenological understanding of how women in three conflict-affected settings understand, experience and operationalise the term ‘psychosocial well-being’. The study was conducted in three countries (Burundi, Nepal and Uganda), where CARE Österreich (an international relief ...» more

Lessons on Lessons: Why we haven’t learnt anything new for 68 years

Stabilisation Unit

This lessons brief is a summary of a workshop given by Dr. Robert Lamb in conjunction with the Stabilisation Unit. The workshop discussed how to identify recurrent systemic failures in lesson learning within fragile states and consider how they can best be addressed. The presentation systematically reviewed ‘lessons’ research since 1949 and established that researchers have ...» more

Fragile States 2014: Domestic Revenue Mobilisation in Fragile States


What financial resources are available to fragile states – internationally and domestically – to fund their development? What role does aid play? What can be done to close the gaps in resources for development? This report looks at these questions, highlighting the need to focus more on domestic revenue generation as a source of state revenue, and also as a cornerstone of ...» more

Aid and the Islamic State

Eva Svoboda, Louise Redvers

This crisis brief examines the flows of international aid into parts of Iraq controlled by militants from the so-called Islamic State (IS).Key findings:The group calling itself Islamic State (IS) has been present in Iraq in various incarnations for a decade or more. It made its first territorial claim in Iraq in early January 2014, seizing parts of the city of Fallujah in Anbar ...» more

Women in Peace and Security through United Nations Security Resolution 1325: Literature Review, Content Analysis of National Action Plans, and Implementation

Barbara Miller, Milad Pournik,, Aisling Swaine

This Working Paper looks at the Women, Peace and Security agenda as laid out in UNSCR 1325 and in six following Security Council Resolutions to assess progress in the past decade and a half since its adoption in 2000. An extensive desk study of the existing literature was conducted, as well as a detailed content analysis of 40 of the 42 existing 1325 National Action Plans ...» more

Re-thinking Gender in Peacebuilding

Henri Myrttinen, Jana Naujoks, Judy El-Bushra

This report is based on a three-year research project on gender in peacebuilding, which involved field research in four countries (Burundi, Colombia, Nepal and Uganda), with a thematic focus on four areas of peacebuilding:access to justice (including formal, informal, traditional and transitional justice); economic recovery (especially of ex-combatants and of returnee ...» more

Fragile and Conflict-Affected States: Exploring the Relationship between Governance, Instability and Violence

Sebastian AJ Taylor

‘Fragile and conflict-affected states’ (FCAS) constitute an increasingly important category of aid policy and action. This paper argues that the category comprises a large and heterogeneous set of countries, problematizing coherent policy response which is often awkwardly split between boilerplate strategy and case-by-case approach. In both respects, efficiency of aid ...» more

Crime and conflict: the new challenge for peacebuilding

Jessie Banfield

This report suggests that framing violent conflict as limited to war and civil war restricts our ability to address it: the approaches and lens of peacebuilding can enrich efforts to reduce armed violence and fragility linked to organised crime. It notes that this approach has not been widely tested, but that when it has, results are promising. Criminal networks and ...» more

Sequencing reforms in fragile states

Afghan Students Back to School

How can governments in fragile and conflict affected states (FCAS) plan and manage reforms when everything is urgent and important, and when capacity and resources are low? How can external actors strategically support the fulfilment of essential and expected state functions? This Topic Guide provides an overview of the evidence that examines the sequencing of statebuilding and ...» more

Conflict sensitivity in education, the private sector and infrastructure development

Conflict sensitivity in education: There has been increasing awareness that education systems are not neutral. Education can exacerbate conflict if it increases social tensions or divisions between groups. This may be the case if: education policies and practice are inequitable; education systems reinforce identity grievances; or educational curricula promote militarism.It is ...» more

Non-political drivers of violence

A growing body of literature looks at non-political drivers of violence. These, often inter-related factors, include: Climate change and environmental degradation: There is limited evidence to suggest that there is a causal link between climate change and environmental degradation and violence. However, climate change can exacerbate existing fragile situations leading to ...» more