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CGD research on fragile states examines how rich countries and other development actors can best assist fragile states and their citizens; related work focuses on understanding the transition from immediate post-conflict assistance to longer-term development assistance.
Program goals include
understanding the causes and consequences of state fragility;
determining opportunities for policy intervention and the sequencing of such interventions;
finding ways to improve the effectiveness of aid to fragile states; and,
identifying turning points that signal when donors should shift from post-conflict to longer-term development assistance.
CGD senior fellow Vijaya Ramachandran leads this research to help inform and influence policymakers and practitioners working on post-conflict reconstruction and development in difficult environments.
Together with CGD visiting fellow Satish Chand, professor of economics at the University of New South Wales, Ramachandran has commissioned a series of papers by currently or recently active aid practitioners in post-conflict assistance programs. Drawing upon these papers, Ramachandran and Chand plan to develop practical guidelines to help policymakers and practitioners examine and respond to on-the-ground challenges. Areas of interest include an analysis of donor relationships with the military, the sequencing and coordination of donor activity in post-conflict settings, the value of the European Union’s Stability Instrument, the revival of basic public services in post-conflict countries, and the incentives of government actors in various post-conflict settings.
Previous CGD work on weak and fragile states includes the following working papers, books and reports:
Civil War: A Review of Fifty Years of Research, a working paper by Christopher Blattman, a non-resident fellow and former CGD post-doctoral fellow currently at Yale University, and Edward Miguel of the University of California at Berkeley. The paper investigates how civil wars begin, how the actors are organized, and what economic effects civil wars have on their societies.
This paper offers a proposal to improve performance-based allocation systems of International Development Association (IDA) donors and others to better address the needs of fragile states and better link development allocations with performance.
Today on ForeignPolicy.com, we’ve written an op/ed with our colleague Molly Kinder that makes the case for why the United States should do everything possible to help Pakistan rebuild basic infrastructure in the areas devastated by this summer’s catastrophic floods. Here, we wanted to expand on one of the points from that op/ed—the debate over repurposing money from the existing $7.5 U.S. aid commitment, authorized a year ago by what’s called the Kerry-Lugar-Berman bill.
The question of how much can and should be repurposed from Kerry-Lugar-Berman is dividing policymakers in Congress and in the Obama administration. The House of Representatives has already passed a resolution that, among other things, “supports the use of funds authorized by [Kerry-Lugar-Berman] for the purposes of providing long-term recovery and rehabilitation for flood-affected areas and populations.”
This paper argues for approaches that increase public understanding of the need for prudent spending of oil revenues in booms, and for comprehensive consideration of a range of options for using rents. Drawing on the experience of a few successful countries, it points to a number of common factors that seem to be important in enabling countries to obtain a positive payoff from resource wealth. These include a strong concern for social stability and growth, a capable and engaged technocracy, and interests in the non-oil sectors able to act as agents of restraint.