Consensus is emerging on the centrality of state-building to development. At an operational level, however, the differing mandates and priorities of different donors are resulting in fragmented approaches – increasing the strain on already fragile state institutions. As a result, process and outcome are often confused and because of the difficulty in developing evaluation mechanisms, progress is hard to measure.

This paper outlines a set of strategic goals, critical tasks and indicators for judging progress in fragile states. It makes the case for a new global compact between the international community and fragile state governments and suggests nine procedural reforms towards establishing such a compact. It also sets out indicative outcome goals for fragile states.

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