The Fragile Consensus on State Fragility - On the Difficulties of Donor Coordination
German Development Institute D-I-E
German Development Institute
German Development Institute/Deutsches Institut fuer Entwicklungspolitik (DIE); University of Essex - Department of Government
September 16, 2009
Most actors in the field of foreign aid agree with the call for coordinated engagement in fragile states in order to more effectively counter the consequences and origins of state failure. However, despite such demands, governments from OECD countries as well as multilateral agencies engaged in fragile states often act in a relatively uncoordinated manner and fail to reach higher levels of harmonization. This lack of coordination resembles an overall pattern of international development assistance. In this essay, the problems of donor harmonization in fragile states are explained with reference to three challenges which hamper better-coordinated efforts in development assistance in general but are of particular relevance in fragile or failing states: (1) a cognitive challenge with regard to explaining the origins of state fragility and to deducing effective instruments and interventions; (2) a political challenge with regard to divergent and sometimes competing political motives for engagement; and (3) an organizational challenge with regard to bureaucratic politics and rivalry among aid agencies.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 24
Keywords: Fragile States, Development, Foreign Aid, Harmonization, Donor Coordinationworking papers series
Date posted: October 17, 2009 ; Last revised: November 22, 2012
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