Conflict, fragility and resilience

States of Fragility Report


States of Fragility - The Series

The States of Fragility report provides cutting-edge evidence and analysis to inform and challenge donor policies for working in the most difficult places: fragile situations. It helps promote better understanding of the drivers and fresh ideas about solutions to fragility. The report is based on the OECD’s unique access to data, statistics and research on fragility – resulting in an impartial and evidence-based view of what makes different contexts fragile. In doing so, the OECD’s analysis helps drive more effective programming and better results where it counts: on the ground.


People in fragile situations are the furthest behind: they need sustained and targeted assistance in order to achieve Agenda 2030


What is fragility?

In line with its new approach to monitoring fragility, the OECD is currently updating its definition of fragility. The updated defination will be based on an understanding of fragility as a heightened exposure to risk combined with a low capacity to mitigate or absorb these risks. This situation of vulnerability can lead to violence, conflict, chronic underdevelopment and protracted political crisis.


States of Fragility 2016

States of Fragility 2016 will analyse new trends and dynamics in violence and conflict, ask what drives these trends and how development actors can address them.


At the same time, the report will introduce a new, risk-based approach to monitoring fragility and financial flows to fragile contexts, building on the innovative model put out in the 2015 report. Instead of classifying contexts as fragile or non-fragile, the new approach will cluster contexts according to the type(s) and/or number of risks they face, and will ask whether these vulnerabilities are being addressed by the right types of financial flows.

The new approach to monitoring fragility was built through an extensive consultation process


The OECD is currently preparing launch events for the States of Fragility 2016 report:



The OECD began reporting on official development assistance (ODA) flows specifically to a group of states affected by fragility in 2005 based on an annually revised composite list drawn from the World Bank, African Development Bank and Asian Development Bank Harmonised List, and the Fund For Peace’s Fragile States Index (formerly the ‘Failed States Index’). The aim of these “Fragile States reports” was to draw the attention of donors - members of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) - to ‘aid orphans’ and to advocate for more effectively targeted and balanced approaches to aid delivery in these countries. Since then the annual report has evolved in scope. Every year the report tackles one specific topic and provides new evidence to feed the current debate. The 2014 report focused on the extent to which aid was used to leverage domestic revenue mobilisation and the 2015 edition assessed the changing face of fragility in the SDG era.


Expert Consultation on a Multidimensional Fragility Model

How should the OECD monitor ‘fragility’ in the coming years? In its States of Fragility Report 2015, the OECD put out an innovative working model building on five dimensions. That model is part of the OECD’s larger effort to move away from the ‘fragile states list’ - a binary view of the world - towards a universal concept of fragility. It builds on the recognition that fragility affects states and societies in different ways. It affects not only developing but potentially all countries. The model has been welcomed as an innovative and timely move towards a more nuanced understanding of fragility. But it can be further improved. There is a need to update and refine the concept both in the dimensions it uses, and the ways in which it measures them.

The OECD engaged in an extensive external consultation process between October and December 2015 to collect inputs for a revised concept – through workshops, guest blogs and by collecting individual feedback. These inputs will serve to shape the fragility concept which we will be using in the States of Fragility 2016 report. We have designed this web page to give you an overview of the consultation process and outcomes.


Consultation Workshops

To gain expert input from academia, civil society and policy-makers for revising the multidimensional model for monitoring fragility, the OECD held a series of workshops in autumn 2015:

We also asked scholars and practitioners to join to the discussion through blogs which you can find here


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