Development Co-operation Directorate

States of Fragility 2016

Understanding Violence

Published on November 30, 2016

Also available in: French

The world is getting more violent, and violence is occurring in surprising places. Over the past 15 years, 3.34 billion people, or almost half of the world’s population, have been affected by violence. The number of violent conflicts is decreasing, but conflicts are killing more people: conflict-related deaths have tripled since 2003. Violent extremism and terrorism are also on the rise. The economic cost of violence is rising too: the global economic impact of violence is a staggering USD 13.6 trillion, equivalent to 13.3% of Global GDP. And civilians, especially children and women, are most at risk.States of Fragility 2016: Understanding Violence takes a long hard look at violence in the world – and what we should do about it. The report showcases emerging thinking about violence, presents a new risk-based approach to monitoring various dimensions of fragility, and looks at financial flows in support of fragile contexts. Understanding Violence finds that development, peace and security efforts in the developing world have not kept pace with the new reality of violence. We need to dedicate more resources and attention to violence. And to be effective, we need to put people – especially youth – at the centre of our efforts.


Foreword and acknowledgements
Acronyms and abbreviations
Executive summary
Overview: Violence, fragility and finance
Violence today
The OECD fragility framework
Fragility and violence
Measuring financial flows to fragile contexts
Relations between aid and fragility
The violence lens and final recommendations
Annexes2 chapters available
Methodological annex
Methodological notes on Financial flows to fragile contexts
Powered by OECD iLibrary




On 22 September 2016, a High-Level Panel discussed the summary document of the report.

Moderator: Wendy MacClinchy, lead author of the Highlights Report

The panel was opened by Minister Alexander de Croo

followed by OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria, who discussed the importance of tackling violence and fragility in the post-2015 world. Read the remarks by SG Gurria.  

Highlights from States of Fragility 2016 were presented:

  • Clionadh Raleigh, ACLED, lead on the violence data and research
  • Reza Lahidji, ILPI, lead on the multidimensional fragility framework and financial flows

A discussion of the findings from the report, the global state of violence and fragility, and different responses to these pressing questions,  followed, featuring:

Magdy Martínez-Solimán, Assistant Administrator and Director, UNDP

Ewen McDonald, Deputy Secretary, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia

Watch the event


On 30 November the States of Fragility 2016: Understanding Violence was officially launched. The launch was held as a side event during the 2nd High Level Meeting of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation in Nairobi, Kenya.

The event was hosted and opened by Minister Joe McHugh, Irish Minister of State for the Diaspora and Overseas Development Aid.

He was followed by H.E. Ms. María del Carmen Nasser de Ramos, Vice Minister of International Cooperation and Promotion, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Honduras.

Doug Frantz, Deputy Secretary General of the OECD, spoke about the importance of tackling violence and fragility in the post-2015 world.

Ms Rachel Scott, Team Leader Fragility, Conflict and Resilience, OECD, presented the report’s key findings and recommendations.  Prezi presentation available here.

Watch the presentation of the States of Fragility Report 2016 by Rachel Scott


Debate was followed on @OECDdev #StatesofFragility


Click image to view full infographic




‘Fragile’ ratings for Australia’s near neighbours, Jackson Gothe-Snape (SBS World News Australia, 2 December)

Fragile & failed States could get in the way of Trump’s “America First” Agenda, Connie Veillette, (World Politics Review, 1 December)

L’OCDE appelle les donateurs à soutenir les États fragiles afin d’enrayer l’instabilité, (Agence de presse Xinhua, 3 Decembre )

Using aid for structural change in fragile states could help curb rising instability, says OECD, (Africa Business, 30 November)

Using aid for structural change in fragile states could help curb rising instability, says OECD, (The Online Citizen, 1 Decembre)

Ayuda a países en conflicto debe ser estable para atajar violencia, asegura la OCDE, (El sol de Mexico, 1 Decembre)

OCDE: La “fragilidad” afecta a Venezuela para recibir ayuda estable, (Informe 21, November)



Briefing on "States of Fragility 2016" OECD Secretary General

OECD Press Release

States of fragility, the series

The OECD States of Fragility framework can be found on Github