State Effectiveness


For a state to be effective, it must carry out a core set of governance capabilities that meet citizens’ expectations and earn public trust while setting the conditions for economic and market development. Effective and accountable states must also participate in a global community of nations, which is governed by shared international norms and standards. ISE works to refine concepts and frameworks for governance, economic and civic engagement, and international relationships.

State of the State


There is an urgent and universal need to develop an agenda and framework for reimagining the state’s ability to understand and meet evolving citizen expectations and help ensure a global order that works in the interests of all sectors of society. ISE’s State of the State initiative aims to reinvigorate a collective agenda on state effectiveness by listening to leaders and citizens alike to assess emerging global trends impacting the role of the state, build on the lessons of the last decade of reform and statecraft, and explore the ‘how-to’ of making the state more effective and legitimate. The overall goal of this multi-year dialogue is to design a forward-looking Agenda for the State for the next 10-15 years that can align the efforts of different stakeholders, bridge communities of practices, and help guide future policy and academic directions. Read more on ISE’s work on closing the gap between citizen expectations and what states deliver here.

Communications and COVID-19: Fundamentals for Effective Government to Citizen Crisis Communications

Effective communications during a pandemic is critical as governments mobilize citizens to take action to protect public health. Done poorly, it can mean an erosion in trust, the immediate loss of lives and longer-term negative…

View Complete Publication

State Function: Disaster Readiness & Resilience
Insight & Analysis: State Effectiveness
Publication Type: Recovery and Resilience Notes
Clare Lockhart: Confronting the Governance Gap – Before, After and Beyond COVID-19

The COVID-19 crisis has put the strengths and weaknesses of governments around the world into sharp relief. In their immediate responses to the crisis, governments are being judged by the degree to which they protect…

View Complete Publication

COVID-19 Economic Consequences, Resources and Effective Measures

The world is now responding to the greatest crisis since World War II and is in the midst of an unprecedented fiscal and monetary response to the COVID-19 pandemic. There are massive amounts of resources…

View Complete Publication

Team-Based Performance Management Systems: Lessons from Afghanistan

Many global policy agreements on increased aid effectiveness have advocated for development partners to use and build the capacity of the aid recipient country’s institutions to achieve greater sustainability. However, experience from fragile and conflict-affected…

View Complete Publication

Asset Maps

Rooted in its experience and expertise in state institutions, ISE has developed asset maps as a reframed perspective in which a country’s assets and opportunities are recognized as tools of progress, not static demonstrations of…

View Complete Publication