Development Partnerships


The success of building self-reliant states is directly tied to the effective management of complex development partnerships. ISE’s work on development and foreign aid focuses on how those partnerships can be maximized, taking into account lessons from past cases. ISE’s work draws on the experiences of practitioners in the field as well as policy experts to redefine development partnerships that build capacity, leverage existing assets, foster context-specific policies, and support country-led strategies. Additionally, our Development Practice Note series presents new and innovative practitioner-focused ideas across a variety of fields in development.

Re-examining the Terms of Aid


Over the past twenty years, the international community has agreed again and again that traditional aid effectiveness practices – which often drain local capacity, fragment projects, and spurn national strategies – are not working, but have made little progress at improvements. ISE’s Re-examining the Terms of Aid (RTOA) project is reviewing components to develop an operating model to more effectively implement these commitments. ISE is taking stock of its own experience and research, conducting interviews in Rwanda, Colombia, Afghanistan, and Somalia, along with engaging host governments, donor agencies, civil society, and the security sector to examine best practices, analyze incentive structures, and bridge the gap between country-level implementation and international frameworks. Read the full report here.

Nepal: From Politics to Progress

This paper considers how, at an ‘open moment’ in its history, Nepal might meet the challenge of moving from slogan to implementation. It suggests national programs have a role to play in facilitating this process…

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Recent Experiences in Linking Diplomatic Peacemaking with Development Efforts

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…

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Writing the History of the Future: Securing Stability through Peace Agreements

Peace agreements are a pivotal moment in the transition from long-running conflict to the establishment of a functioning state. Often perceived as offering a clean slate from which to start again, post-conflict conditions often present…

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The Aid Relationship in Afghanistan: Struggling for Government Leadership

This case study explores how, during the transitional years of 2001 to 2006, Afghan authorities shaped their ‘aid relationship’ with the international community. It describes the strategies, frameworks, policies and systems to manage aid that…

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Preliminary Country Report and Ideas: Liberia

This paper assesses Liberia’s political and economic process since its civil war ended in 2003, and explains the convergence of factors that subsequently led to an ‘open moment’ with potential for constructive change. It identifies…

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