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From Diagnostics to Decision-Making: Strengthening the Link Between Governance Analysis and IDA Strategy

Weaknesses in core government functioning remain a critical impediment to long-term development and reinforce cycles of fragility and poverty. While development portfolios have continued to grow in scope and ambition, the centrality of good governance…

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New Challenges, Risks and Opportunities for Effective Development

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the critical nature of effectively addressing state fragility. The goal is well known: forge pathways to self-reliance by building state institutional capacity and delivering inclusive social, economic and security outcomes…

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Mapping and Targeting Vulnerable Groups for Development and Relief Interventions

Relief and development organizations use various methodologies to map populations, households and individuals that are vulnerable to different shocks – economic and resource shocks, natural disasters and climate change, conflict and violence, health crises and…

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Re-examining the Terms of Aid

The goal of development in fragile states is well established: to help forge pathways out of fragility towards self-reliance and to deliver inclusive and sustainable social, economic, and security outcomes for citizens. The way to…

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Performance and Policy-Based Budgeting: How to Spot the Fakes

In the allocation of scarce public resources, good budgeting is an art and a skill. It is a core function of government, and as such, it is fundamentally a political process with many competing objectives.…

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ISE at USIP Event: Ending Civil Wars: How Can We Succeed with Limited Opportunities?

As a part of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ ongoing project on Civil Wars, Violence and International Responses, the second volume of a special issue of the journal Dædalus was released in January 2018 to…

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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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Issue Brief: Re-examining the Terms of Aid

The current terms of foreign assistance mean that it often falls short of the goal of supporting countries on their development paths. The New Deal for Engagement in Fragile States, endorsed in 2011, represents a…

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The Absorptive Capacity Limit: The point where too much aid becomes bad aid

Absorptive capacity is not fixed – theoretically, it can be improved by successful reform. Absorptive capacity can change if the underlying drivers of absorptive capacity change. An increased capacity to absorb aid can occur for…

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Revocable Debt Relief: Transforming a Liability into a Contingent Liability

Some limited forms of debt forgiveness and assistance have been given to families, including through moratoriums on interest payments and arrangements for no or low-consequence on default. It has also been argued that government can…

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Medium-Term Focus for Short-Term Problem Solving

The modern medium-term and policy-based budgeting system was invented in the 1970s in Australia. It started with the use of internal medium-term fiscal forecasts of revenues and costs of existing policies. Political events then allowed…

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