Fragile and Conflict-Affected Countries | World Bank Institute (WBI)

The World Bank Institute (WBI) is a global connector of knowledge, learning and innovation for poverty reduction. We connect practitioners and institutions to help them find suitable solutions to their development challenges. With a focus on the "how" of reform, we link knowledge from around the world and scale up innovations. Read More »

Fragile and Conflict-Affected Countries

More than 1.5 billion people live in countries affected by fragility and conflict. Poverty rates in these countries average 54%, in contrast to 22% for low-income countries as a whole. Most fragile and conflict-affected countries face particularly severe development challenges such as weak institutional capacity, poor governance, political instability and, frequently, continuing violence or the legacy effects of past severe conflict.

In such situations, building an effective state is both urgent and difficult. Everything is pressing, resources and skills are often scarce, the physical environment is often devastated, and basic infrastructure is often destroyed. The challenge is to create and maintain a state that is able and willing to mobilize resources, exercise political power, control its territory, manage the economy, implement policy, and promote human welfare in an inclusive manner.


To empower state and non-state actors with the right tools, and access to relevant knowledge and experience. This enables them to contribute to successful transitions, sustained peace and state-building processes, and to form broad-based coalitions that promote reforms and enhanced citizen-state relations.


Our approach is to enhance the capacity of state and non-state actors to effectively manage resources towards achieving and maintaining development, peace and security. The World Bank Institute (WBI) has conducted activities in Afghanistan, Burundi, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Chad, Haiti, Liberia, and Sudan.

WBI’s program in fragile and conflict-affected settings focuses on:

  • Enhancing the capacity of the state at all levels - as well as civil society organizations, media and the private sector - to build, lead, and sustain coalitions for state-building, successful transitions, reform, and improved transparency and accountability.
  • Capacity development and skills-building, with emphasis on revenue collection, budget management, procurement, service delivery, and associated monitoring and evaluation.
  • Building in-country leadership skills to achieve results through implementation support to governmental and non-governmental teams.
  • Mobilizing innovative technologies, including ICTs and the Global Development Learning Network (GDLN), to help governments and civil society to share knowledge and promote good governance. For example, an Innovation Fair - Moving Beyond Conflict, in Cape Town in April 2010 - convened development practitioners, researchers, donors, and private sector firms to exchange innovations on conflict prevention and resolution, including ICT applications for improved governance and service delivery, tailored to situations of fragility and conflict.
  • Supporting public private partnerships toward enhanced service delivery.
  • Promoting improved governance and transparency in extractive industries. 

WBI Brochure: Supporting Open and Collaborative Governance
 (PDF 850KB)
Brochure Insert: Fragile and conflict-affected situations  (PDF 197 KB)