Not only does the international community lack understanding of how to operate in fragile contexts, it often fails to diagnose its own role in perpetuating the problems it is seeking to resolve. This paper argues that although coordination within donor governments is necessary, this alone is insufficient; a “whole of system” rather than “whole of government” approach is often required. This means actors sharing timeframes, mechanisms and resources to achieve shared goals.

This paper sets out practical proposals for effective, holistic, shared progress in the most challenging contexts. It sets out detailed recommendations for supporting: the alignment of functioning systems; the necessary duration of International engagement; the harnessing and deployment of necessary resources to build effective states; and effective mechanisms for coherent international actions.

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