Building Capacity in Fragile States | World Bank Institute (WBI)

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July 24, 2009—In fragile and conflict-affected countries, building an effective state is both urgent and difficult. Everything is pressing, resources and skills are often scarce, and the setting is often devastated. The challenge is to rise from the ashes and create a state that has both the capacity and  willingness to mobilize resources, exercise political power, control its territory, manage the economy, implement policy, and promote human welfare in an inclusive manner, including delivery of vital services such as justice and security, health care, education, water and sanitation.


WBI’s approach to work in fragile and conflict-affected states will include activities at country, regional and global levels, developed in collaboration with operational units in the Bank Group and other partner institutions. A particular focus will be on partnering with national and regional institutions to develop and disseminate content. A unique focus of WBI’s work will be on multi-stakeholder engagement—the bringing together of key actors such as parliamentarians, journalists, civil society, private sector, and government to establish coalitions for change and reform. Areas of support include:

  • Leadership programs tailored to fragile states, supporting leaders at different levels (national, regional and local government officials, and parliamentarians), and future agents of change (youth, women)
  • Capacity building for ministries of finance and planning, focused on budget management, procurement, monitoring and evaluation
  • Capacity support to enhance and accelerate service delivery, by scaling up capacity development components of projects in health and education, among others
  • Strengthen partnerships with the private sector, including for transparency in the extractive industries value chain, and public-private partnerships for service delivery
  • Structured learning events and South–South knowledge exchanges, using the Global Development Learning Network


open-quotesThe challenge is to rise from the ashes and create a state that has both the capacity and willingness to mobilize resources...close-quotes


  • WBI will deliver a series of global events on capacity building in fragile states, starting with a peer-to-peer knowledge exchange event on capacity development in conflict-affected African countries, to be delivered jointly with the Bank’s Africa Region at the Bank-Fund Annual Meetings in Istanbul in October 2009. This will be followed by a stock-taking conference for a broad range of stakeholders in 2010.
  • To start building a knowledge base on fragile states, WBI will organize a series of knowledge exchange activities among fragile states on specific topics to showcase and share successful approaches.
  • At the country level, a series of leadership and consensus-building activities will be organized on extractive industries, procurement, rapids results approaches, action planning, and social capital development. These would include South-South exchanges and peer mentoring, followed by intensive support to leadership teams for implementation and measuring results.
  • Building a program on basic skills for working in fragile states in partnership with local and regional institutes and centers of excellence.