Fast-Track Institution Building in Conflict-Affected Countries? Insights from Recent Field Experiments

Elisabeth King, Cyrus Samii

This article synthesises evidence from four recent ‘community-driven development’ field experiments in countries affected by violent conflict. Conflict-affected settings are presumed to combine extraordinary need and opportunity for building institutions. The substantive and methodological consistency of the field experiments (Afghanistan, DRC, Liberia, and Sierra Leone) ...» more

When Does Service Delivery Improve the Legitimacy of a Fragile or Conflict-Affected State?

Claire Mcloughlin

Understanding the key sources of legitimacy available to a state, and whether and how external aid interventions might seek to influence them, is a rapidly growing area of concern for development agencies. Received wisdom holds that providing vital public services – like health, education, water and sanitation – is likely to enhance state legitimacy, especially in fragile or ...» more

Key actors, dynamics and issues of Libyan political economy

The scene of actors in Libya is highly fragmented, localised and fluid. The main division seems to have been between forces that support continued changes (‘pro-revolution’) and others that do not (‘anti-revolution’). Community actors: - Geographic communities. Beyond differences between Cyrenaica, Tripolitana and Fezzan, local communities have been the fundamental actors. ...» more

Rural road (re)construction: Transport and rural livelihoods in the conflict-affected and fragile state environment of South Kivu

Adriaan Ferf, Dorothea Hilhorst, Murhega Mashanda

This paper reports on a study in South Kivu Province in the DRC, which is part of the Secure Livelihoods Research Consortium (SLRC) research programme. The programme in the DRC includes two surveys in years 2012 and 2015. The surveys explore people’s views about the legitimacy of the state and how these are influenced by livelihoods status, access to social services and ...» more

Undercurrents of Violence: Why Sierra Leone’s Political Settlement is not Working

Jeremy Allouche

Sierra Leone’s current political settlement is highly influenced by the externally imposed peace agreement that ended the civil war in 2001. Prior to this, there had been several unsuccessful attempts at establishing a new political settlement between the country’s various elites. Following the attacks by Revolutionary United Front (RUF) soldiers on UN peacekeeping forces in ...» more

Urban humanitarian crises

The degree to which a city is vulnerable to humanitarian crises depends on location-specific physical, social, economic and environmental factors. The literature suggests that geographically, cities in Asia are the most vulnerable to natural disasters. Asian cities also experience the most diverse range of natural disasters. The main causes of urban vulnerability are often ...» more

Evidence of impact of emergency cash transfers on gender and protection

Key messages: The major trends and gaps in the evidence in this report are: On the whole, ‘gender’ is used to refer to women. More recent papers include more analysis of how CTs impact men, especially on if they find it disempowering for women to be favoured as beneficiaries. Gender analysis is not deeply ingrained into emergency CT programme evaluation. Many papers include a ...» more

Political economy of Libya after the Qadhafi regime

Libya lacks a stable, unified and inclusive state. Qadhafi wielded oil-funded patronage and repression to weaken the state and any social counterweight to his power. The predominant social and political dynamic is fragmentation based on multiple interests, identities and loyalties. The major ones are cities, regions, tribes (including factions and families), political ...» more

Violent Conflicts and Civil Strife in West Africa: Causes, Challenges and Prospects

Nancy Annan

The advent of intra-state conflicts or ‘new wars’ in West Africa has brought many of its economies to the brink of collapse, creating humanitarian casualties and concerns. For decades, countries such as Liberia, Sierra Leone, Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea- Bissau were crippled by conflicts and civil strife in which violence and incessant killings were prevalent. While violent ...» more

Lessons Learned Review of UN Support to Core Public Administration Functions in the Immediate Aftermath of Conflict


Although the UN has produced important reports and policy on the rule of law, gender equality, and other post-conflict challenges in the decade since Report of the Panel on UN Peace Operations (the Brahimi Report), very little has been produced on public administration in fragile environments. The UN Lessons Learned review rectifies this gap and captures the experience of the ...» more

Report of the Secretary-General on Women, Peace and Security

UN Secretary-General

This is the Secretary General’s 2013 report (S/2013/525) on Women, Peace and Security (WPS). It notes there were measurable advances in all areas of the women, peace and security agenda. It stresses numerous good practices while also outlining several deficits, notably lack of women’s leadership, poor provision of resources necessary for addressing women’s rights and needs, and ...» more

Gender, Conflict and Peace

Dyan Mazurana, Keith Proctor

Women and girls are marginalised within most societies. That, coupled with the violence of conflict and its gendered dimensions, can often lead to increased vulnerability and to particular kinds of loss, violence and harms. We can clearly see the trends in women and girls’ reduced access to resources, livelihood inputs and basic services; increased family and social ...» more

Women and Natural Resources: Unlocking the Peacebuilding Potential

Adrienne Stork, Cassidy Travis, Silja Halle

What is the relationship between women and natural resources in conflict-affected settings? This report discusses how the management of natural resources can be used to enhance women’s engagement and empowerment in peacebuilding processes. Part I of the report examines the relationship between women and natural resources in peacebuilding contexts, reviewing key issues across ...» more

Gender and Statebuilding in Fragile and Conflict-affected States


Integrating a gender perspective into international support to statebuilding is key to improving the quality of international engagement in fragile states. However, statebuilding theory and practice currently neglect the importance of gender relations. This policy guidance aims to fill this gap by providing an overview of the challenges, opportunities and prospects for more ...» more

Struggling for stability: International support for peace and democracy in post-civil war Nepal

Gravingholt et al.

How can countries emerging from a conflict be supported on their path towards peace and democracy? Although this question has been the focus of recent attention, it remains unclear exactly what factors are critical to the success of external engagement in fragile states. To this end, this study aims to learn from the relatively successful case of Nepal.In Nepal, the signing of ...» more

Can Development Interventions Help Post-conflict Communities Build Social Cohesion? The Case of the Liberia Millennium Villages

Elisabeth King

This paper evaluates the efforts of one international development intervention — the Kokoyah Millennium Villages Project (KMVP) — to improve welfare and build social cohesion in post-conflict Liberia. The study is based on a preliminary analysis of survey data from a quasi-experimental, difference-in-differences (DID) research design, and shows that social cohesion was already ...» more

Taking anecdotal evidence seriously: An alternative view of peace indicators

Roger Mac Ginty

A car journey uninterrupted by a police checkpoint. The ability to visit a shopping centre in an area that you previously avoided. Less sectarian graffiti in the town centre. Catholics and Protestants joining more regularly in joint cultural activities. Tescos and Sainburys opening stores. These are everyday indicators of change in Northern Ireland after the ceasefires of the ...» more

Revolution and its discontents: State, factions and violence in the new Libya

Rosan Smits, Floor Janssen, Ivan Briscoe, Terri Beswick

Libya has come to exemplify the tortuous route out of dictatorship in North Africa. Establishing how donors and multilateral agencies might best help in this process requires more than a standard set of guidelines to political transition. This paper illustrates the need to base strategy on a deep, context-specific understanding of different political and armed groups, the ...» more

Political Settlements and State Formation: The Case of Somaliland

Sarah Phillips

This paper asks why large scale violence was resolved in the internationally unrecognised ‘Republic of Somaliland’ but not in the rest of Somalia. The case of Somaliland offers insights into why some domestic power struggles – including violent ones – build the foundations for relative political order while others perpetuate cycles of economic malaise and political violence. ...» more