Development Co-operation Directorate (DCD-DAC)

Publications series: Conflict and Fragility


The International Network on Conflict and Fragility works on specific development challenges in conflict-affected and fragile states, supporting peacebuilding and statebuilding processes that concentrate on:

    • promoting lessons and experiences from the field

    • setting international norms and standards

    • tracking global results

    • providing practical guidance to help improve responses

To this end, the Conflict and Fragility Series brings together both in-depth analysis and practical recommendations. Print copies of these publications are available for purchase through OECD Publishing ( Free electronic copies may also be downloaded from the OECD Bookshop ( For more information, contact the INCAF Secretariat.



Financing and Aid Architecture

Fragile States Report 2014

Fragile States 2014: Domestic Revenue Mobilisation
February 2014

Fragile States 2014: Domestic Revenue Mobilisation

Aid has declined by 2.4% in 2011 and will continue its downward trend. Meanwhile, the share of the world’s poor found in fragile states is set to rise to a half by 2018; of the seven countries that are unlikely to meet a single MDG, six are fragile.

The report reveals that aid remains the largest source of development finance for fragile least-developed countries, while remittances from migrants have outpaced aid in other fragile states. Those transfers could be used better to finance development; this report provides insights on how to do this.

The report also finds that fragile states still only collect 14% of their GDP in taxes on average, well below the 20% UN benchmark viewed as the minimum needed to meet development goals. Yet a mere 0.07% of official development assistance (ODA) to fragile states is directed towards building accountable tax systems. The report therefore asks how donors can use their aid to support fragile states in mobilising more domestic revenue, and provides many recent country examples.

 Fragile States 2013 Report Thumbnail

Fragile States 2013: Resource flows and trends in a shifting world

November 2012

This annual report serves as a tool to monitor the levels, timing and composition of resource flows to fragile states. This edition This edition takes stock of the evolution of fragility as a concept, ii) analyses financial flows to and within fragile states between 2000 and 2010, and iii) identifies trends and issues that are likely to shape fragility in the years to come.

 International support to post conflict transition

Conflict and fragility

March 2012

1.5 billion people live in countries affected by repeated cycles of violence and insecurity. These countries face tremendous challenges as they transition from conflict to peace. International support can play a crucial role in these contexts, but has so far struggled to deliver transformative results. This volume presents clear policy recommendations for better practice in order to improve the speed, flexibility, predictability and risk management of international support during post-conflict transition.

Conflict and fragility

August 2011

From the anarchy of Somalia to the relative stability of Nepal, fragile and transitional situations represent a broad spectrum of contexts. However, they share some common features: these are risky environments – for the people who live there, for their governments, for neighbouring countries, and for those who seek to provide assistance. International engagement in these situations presents significant risks for donors and implementing partners, but also holds the potential for substantial rewards in terms of improved results and outcomes. This publication provides the evidence to help donors understand how to balance risks and opportunities in order to protect the integrity of their institutions while delivering better results to those who need it most.



Resource Flows in Fragile and Conflict-Affected States 2011

This annual report serves as a tool to better monitor the levels, timing and composition of resource flows to fragile states. This edition presents salient facts on the impact of the global financial crisis on fragile states, aid flows to fragile states and the need for a whole-of-governement response. 


> 2011 Summary: Conflict and fragility  (pdf)

See previous editions



Conflict and fragility

May 2010

This publication enables development partners to map out more effective, rapid and flexible transition financing. This includes improving current policies and practices in financial flows, implementing procedural and cultural changes in donor administrations, and maximising use of the instruments available for in-country transition financing. 


> Booklet: Transition Financing (pdf, 1.23 mb)



Peacebuilding, Statebuilding and Security


Improving International Support to Peave Processes: The Missing Piece

September 2012

Violent conflict is bad for development. Peace processes – if conducted well – offer the promise of creating more equitable, resilient and developed societies.

> Summary of the missing piece (pdf)


Investing in Security: A Global Assessment of Armed Violence Reduction Initiatives

October 2011

This book contains a large-scale mapping of Armed Violence Reduction and Prevention activities, focusing on six countries - Brazil, Burundi, Colombia, Liberia, South Africa and Timor-Leste - with a view to understanding what works and what does not work. While offering new data and analysis, this assessment builds directly on the 2009 publication Armed Violence Reduction: Enabling Development.


> Booklet: Armed Violence Reduction (pdf, 1.56 mb)


Conflict and fragility

August 2011
Until recently, the term “political settlement” has been used almost interchangeably with “peace agreement”. But it has broader implications: political settlements span the continuum from negotiated peace agreements to long-term historical development -- in the latter sense approaching the concept of a social contract. This publication provides an overview of key definitions, components and concepts of political settlements, based on existing literature. It also examines the potential impact of donor activities on political settlements and highlights possible implications for donor engagement and support.



Conflict and fragility

January 2011

This publication presents new thinking on statebuiling and clear recommendations for better practice. Drawing from best practices from the field, it offers guidance on how donors can better facilitate positive endogenous statebuilding processes and strengthen the foundations upon which capable, accountable and responsive states are built.


> Policy Note  (pdf, 1.7 mb)

> Key Messages for Policymakers (pdf, 586 kb)


INCAF thumbnail states legitimacy


The State’s Legitimacy in Fragile Situations

February 2010

State legitimacy matters because it transforms power into authority and provides the basis for rule by consent, rather than by coercion.  This publication urges development partners to pay much more attention to legitimacy and to broaden their understanding of it to encompass aspects that are derived from people’s shared beliefs and traditions, not just from Western state models. It also provides practical recommendations on how development partners can support better relations between state and society in fragile situations.


Do No Harm: International Support for Statebuilding

February 2010

Despite the best of intentions, donors can inadvertently undermine the processes of statebuilding. How can donors ensure they do no harm? How can they be sure they intervene constructively in fragile situations? This publication addresses how the interventions of development partners may risk undermining positive statebuilding processes, and makes recommendations as to how this may be avoided in the future.


Preventing Violence, War and State Collapse: The Future of Conflict Early Warning and Response

March 2009
This publication assesses the value and role of early warning for the prevention of violent conflict and identifies the most effective early warning and response systems. It concludes with a set of recommendations for policy makers in donor and partner countries in influencing future developments in this field. 


Conflict and fragility

March 2009
This publication examines the dynamics of armed violence and outlines what can be done to reduce it. It identifies a number of emerging trends: 1) conflict and crime are increasingly linked, 2) levels of armed violence are a severe challenge in many non-conflict countries, 3) youth populations in the global South are increasing, as are ungoverned urban spaces and youth gangs.


> Booklet: Armed Violence Reduction (pdf, 1.56 mb)


Conflict and fragility

February 2008
This handbook  provides guidance to operationalise the 2005 DAC Guidelines Security System Reform and Governance and closes the gap between policy and practice. It contains valuable tools to help encourage a dialogue on security and justice issues and to support a security system reform (SSR) process through the assessment, design and implementation phases. It also provides new guidance on monitoring, review and evaluation of SSR programmes, and highlights how to ensure greater coherence across the different actors and departments engaged in SSR.

Additional Section: Section 9: Integrating Gender Awareness and Equality



Effective Engagement in Fragile States

International Engagement in Fragile States: Can't we do better?

September 2011

Four years after ministers of the OECD Development Assistance Committee endorsed the Principles for Good International Engagement in Fragile States and Situations, 13 countries have decided to take stock of the quality and impact of international engagement across the areas of diplomacy, development and security. Based on 13 national consultations and using a mixed methods approach, the survey has catalysed dialogue among national and international stakeholders and contributed to deepening consensus on key goals and priorities. The 2011 Monitoring Report synthesises main findings and recommendations from across these 13 countries, providing evidence from the ground of what works and what doesn’t.

Participating Countries: Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Timor-Leste and Togo


Download Centre

Read the 2009 reports



Additional OECD Publications on Fragile States

OECD Handbook on Contracting Out Government Functions and Services in Post-Conflict and Fragile Situations

September 2010

The contracting out of government functions and services to external providers is an established practice in many developed and developing countries. On the one hand, it can offer essential support to states that have to deliver basic services urgently; on the other, it risks bypassing governments and undermining their long-term recovery.

This handbook does not take a view for or against contracting out; nor is it a technical manual. The handbook is for field practitioners and government policy makers in countries that are either emerging from conflict or are otherwise considered to be fragile. Its aim is to help them make more informed choices about the types of contracting that are best suited to their country. It is a tool to assess whether contracting out might be a possible way forward — either temporarily or over a longer period of time — for delivering a core service (such as basic education, healthcare, water and sanitation) or a government function (such as managing public finances and human resources).



Conflict and fragility


This report aims to fill a significant gap and bring greater clarity to the policy discussion about state building. It offers important insights into the causes and features of fragility, and how states can reach stability and resilience over time. The report highlights that state building needs to be seen in the context of state formation and state-society relations. Based on this understanding, it examines the implications for international state-building efforts in relation to various facets of fragility, and concludes with a set of practical recommendations on policy and programming for bilateral and multilateral donors.



Service Delivery in Fragile Situations: Key Concepts, Findings and Lessons


This publication provides an understanding of the mutual influence of state fragility and service delivery and offers guidance to donors wishing to strengthen service provision and governance in these states. Based on an analysis of the major policy issues and approaches available, the paper identifies the challenges and dilemmas the international community and its partners face in fragile settings. It concludes with a set of policy lessons and recommendations intended to help donors better target their interventions.


Whole of Government Approaches to Fragile States


This present study assesses existing "whole of government" approaches (WGAs), drawing upon recent experiences of a number of OECD countries in fragile states. It lays out the rationale for using such a WGA in fragile states and addresses common challenges. WGAs of different countries are analysed in terms of concepts and policies, tools and instruments as well as their co-ordination and management. Building on case studies, the report provides recommendations on how to improve the operationalisation and implementation of WGAs