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.

Budget Reforms in Afghanistan— A Practitioner’s Perspective

Facing critical challenges to its public financial management system, the Government of Afghanistan seized a window of opportunity to successfully craft a new budget process that prioritized reform sequencing, transparency, and public engagement, and laid…

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Towards a Future Research Agenda in Fragile Contexts

The challenge of addressing conditions of fragility remains central from the perspectives of development and security. Fragility is a shared problem for the research, policy, and implementation communities, but too often researchers fail to produce…

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Community Driven Development Series

Policymakers and the international community continue to struggle with how to deliver essential services, particularly in fragile states, in the context of violent conflict, inequality, pervasive corruption, and weak institutions. Community Driven Development (CDD), which…

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Defragmentation: What Can Donors Do?

This is a follow-up note to the ISE Development Practice Note on the consequences of donor-induced fragmentation, which argued that the way development partners have managed their ODA spending and development programs has resulted in…

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Sovereignty Strategies

Read Clare Lockhart’s article ‘Sovereignty Strategies: Enhancing Core Governance Functions as a Postconflict & Conflict-Prevention Measure’ in the AAAS Special Issue of Daedalus.

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