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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2011

Severine M. Rugumamu

Capacity development in fragile environments in Africa has often proven to be a complex undertaking. This has largely been because of existing knowledge gaps on what…

Abstract

Capacity development in fragile environments in Africa has often proven to be a complex undertaking. This has largely been because of existing knowledge gaps on what exactly causes fragility of states, the economy and society. The liberal peace development model that generally informs post‐conflict reconstruction and capacity development has a limited conception of fragility by narrowly focusing on the national dimensions of the problem, promoting donor‐driven solutions, emphasizing minimal participation of beneficiary actors in the identification and prioritization of capacity development needs, and by subcontracting the design and management of projects and programs. The resulting capacity development impact has generally been disappointing. In the absence of homegrown strategic plans, stakeholder participation and ownership, international development partners have all too often addressed capacity gaps by financing training, supply of equipment and professional exchanges of parliamentarians and parliamentary staffers. These efforts usually achieved their presumed number targets but tended to ignore addressing the larger issues of political economy within which capacity development take place. However, the recent re‐conceptualization of parliamentary capacity development as a development of nationally owned, coordinated, harmonized, and aligned development activities seems to be gaining growing attention in Africa. As the experience of Rwanda eloquently demonstrates, capacity development is essentially about politics, economics and power, institutions and incentives, habits and attitudes – factors that are only partly susceptible to technical fixes and quantitative specifications. These structural factors have to be negotiated carefully and tactfully.

Details

World Journal of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development, vol. 7 no. 2/3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-5961

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2011

Abbi M. Kedir

Fragile states (FS) are often neglected and categorized as “aid orphans”. In extreme circumstances, they are loaded with aid beyond their absorptive capacity. However…

Abstract

Fragile states (FS) are often neglected and categorized as “aid orphans”. In extreme circumstances, they are loaded with aid beyond their absorptive capacity. However, whether they receive little or too much, there is a compelling imperative to coordinate aid aimed at capacity development effectively. In an ever shrinking pot of funds from donors mainly due to the current global economic downturn, it is extremely important to coordinate and harmonise aid delivery. FS cannot afford to waste any money trapped under rubble of multi‐donor aid bureaucracy. Due to the multidimensional nature of fragility, we draw on case studies and interdisciplinary insights from Authority‐Legitimacy‐Capacity (ALC), Country Development Framework (CDF) and other models and frameworks of donor coordination. A number of asymmetries (e.g. technical, cultural and, financial) between donors and recipients need to be addressed. Donors can harmonise their respective Africa strategies reports and give priority to infrastructure instead of focusing exclusively on the social agenda as in the past. FS should fight the local culture of corruption, avoid fungibility, protect vulnerable groups in society, focus on reintegration as well as demobilizing ex‐combatants with employment provisions. Donors should not give mixed signals to recipients and need to be flexible in their operational procedures. Finally, we discuss the implications of key emerging issues that threaten or facilitate sustainable reconstruction, development and poverty reduction in post‐conflict environments.

Details

World Journal of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development, vol. 7 no. 2/3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-5961

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Article
Publication date: 2 February 2015

Siambabala Bernard Manyena and Stuart Gordon

The fragile states and stabilisation concepts appear to resonate with the concept of community resilience. Yet, there is barely a framework that integrates the three…

Abstract

Purpose

The fragile states and stabilisation concepts appear to resonate with the concept of community resilience. Yet, there is barely a framework that integrates the three concepts. The authors posit that despite the increasing interest in community resilience in fragile states, there is much less clarity of resilience, fragility and stabilisation connections. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is based on the literature review of the concepts of community resilience, fragility and stabilisation.

Findings

The findings restate that the state fragility results from the breakdown of the social contract between the state and its citizens. Whilst both resilience and stabilisation are desirable constructs in reducing fragility, they should be broadly underpinned by agency not only to enhance preventive, anticipatory, absorptive and adaptive actions but also lead to social transformative capacity where agency is embedded for communities to exercise some sort of power to foster change.

Originality/value

This paper has encourages debate on resilience, fragility and stabilisation connections by suggesting framework for “doing” resilience-informed stabilisation programmes in fragile states. The framework, which may not necessarily be approached in a linear fashion, has three major components: identifying existing resilience factors, enhancing and sustaining these and delivering resilient communities. However, there is need to test the utility of the framework in practice.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management, vol. 24 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

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Book part
Publication date: 2 July 2010

J. Andrew Grant

Informed by the literature on regional security and fragile states, ‘new regionalisms’, and natural resources and violent conflict, this essay investigates the challenges…

Abstract

Informed by the literature on regional security and fragile states, ‘new regionalisms’, and natural resources and violent conflict, this essay investigates the challenges of state-building in West Africa. These range from the influence of diasporas and subregional strongmen to flows of small arms and light weapons (SALWs) and lootable natural resources. The analytical framework that links patron–client networks and lootable natural resources is applied to the cases of Sierra Leone and Côte d’Ivoire. In recent years, strategies by African leaders to co-opt subregional strongmen as part of patronage networks have failed. The essay finds that an ossified state presence and the erosion of a leader's influence enables subregional strongmen to gain control over valuable natural resources, such as diamonds. The essay then assesses the impact of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) on state-building, concluding that although international regimes like the KPCS can increase state capacity and thereby counter the deleterious effects of state failure, they are not sufficient state-building tools. Hence, the KPCS must be supplemented through a combination of more explicit state-building initiatives under the auspices of bilateral government donors, aid agencies, diasporas and transnational and local NGOs.

Details

Troubled Regions and Failing States: The Clustering and Contagion of Armed Conflicts
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-102-3

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Article
Publication date: 10 October 2016

Oasis Kodila-Tedika and Asongu Simplice

The purpose of this paper is to assess the determinants of state fragility in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) using hitherto unexplored variables in the literature.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess the determinants of state fragility in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) using hitherto unexplored variables in the literature.

Design/methodology/approach

The previously missing dimension of nation building is integrated and the hypothesis of state fragility being a function of rent seeking and/or lobbying by de facto power holders is tested.

Findings

The resulting interesting finding is that political interference, rent seeking and lobbying increase the probability of state fragility by mitigating the effectiveness of governance capacity. This relationship (after controlling for a range of economic, institutional and demographic factors) is consistent with a plethora of models and specifications. The validity of the hypothesis is confirmed in a scenario of extreme state fragility. Moreover, the interaction between political interferences and revolutions mitigates the probability of state fragility while the interaction between natural resources and political interferences breeds the probability of extreme state fragility.

Practical implications

There are two main policy implications. First, political interference, rent seeking and lobbying are likely to increase the fragility of SSA nations. Second, there is a “Sub-Saharan African specificity” in “nation building” and prevention of conflicts. Blanket fragility-oriented policies will be misplaced unless they are contingent on the degree of fragility, since “fragile” and “extreme fragile” countries respond differently to economic, institutional and demographic characteristics of state fragility.

Originality/value

The study is timely given the political strife, violence and conflicts issues currently affecting African development.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 43 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Article
Publication date: 24 November 2020

Belay Seyoum

The purpose of this paper is to examine the effect of state fragility on select indicators of human development and identify aspects of state fragility that have the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the effect of state fragility on select indicators of human development and identify aspects of state fragility that have the greatest impact on poverty reduction and sustainable development. The paper also explores the impact of social cohesion on human development as well as the mediating role of state legitimacy in mediating the relationship between social cohesion and human development.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is based on data from 180 countries and uses ordinary least squares regression and mediation analysis to explore the effects of social cohesion on human development.

Findings

The findings show a significant relationship between state fragility and human development. It suggests that policies and efforts aimed at enhancing social cohesion would have the most significant impact on human development. The findings also show that social cohesion not only has a direct effect on human development but it also has an indirect effect on human development through state legitimacy (mediator).

Practical implications

Even though state fragility has been largely associated with low income countries, different facets of fragility are manifested in various countries regardless of levels of economic development.

Originality/value

The study is timely in view of the evidence of increasing state fragility in many countries. Furthermore, this is the first scholarly work linking lack of social cohesion, state fragility and human development.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 48 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Article
Publication date: 18 January 2013

Omar Dhaher

This paper aims to determine the most possible telecommunications regulatory system for the Palestinian Authority by investigating its institutional foundations. The paper

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to determine the most possible telecommunications regulatory system for the Palestinian Authority by investigating its institutional foundations. The paper highlights the problem of setting sophisticated institutions in fragile states that do not fully control their resources and investigates possible solution in terms of foreign investments.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper follows a qualitative research approach in two parts. The first part examines the institutional endowment framework set by Levy and Spiller and Levy and Spiller but considers critique of the framework. It also investigates institutional problems in fragile states in order to identify similar patters identified in Levy and Spiller framework. The second part focuses on the Palestinian Authority institutional foundations. Data are collected through interviews with key stakeholders of the Palestinian telecommunications sector.

Findings

The case of the Palestinian Authority shows a mix of political investment cycles and a genuine attempt of regulatory reforms. Endogenous fragility of the government magnified the effect of corruption and the maintenance of business‐politicians ties. Also, the Palestinian telecommunications sector suffers from exogenous fragility in terms of Israeli control of radio spectrum, international gateway, and importing of equipment. Inability of the Palestinian Authority to invoke GATS BTA conflict resolution mechanism and the crucial role foreign investors played to secure release of spectrum for the second mobile operator indicates the need for the Palestinian Authority to attempt attracting foreign investment. However, foreign investments require regulatory effectiveness that the Palestinian Authority lacks; thus eliminating endogenous fragility becomes a prerequisite to exogenous fragility.

Originality/value

This paper sheds light on problems regarding setting up an institution‐based regulatory system in unstable states. It contributes to the argument that “one size fit all” might not be the answer for some countries, especially fragile ones.

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Article
Publication date: 5 September 2016

Nabamita Dutta and Sanjukta Roy

The purpose of this paper is to test the relationship between state fragility and transparency. A state is deemed fragile when it falters in its ability to manage conflict…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to test the relationship between state fragility and transparency. A state is deemed fragile when it falters in its ability to manage conflict and in its capacity to deliver basic functions and implement public policy. Although minimizing fragility of the state is undoubtedly an integral component of economic development, there is a huge variation across countries in terms of where they stand with regard to fragility. Further, it also explores how educational attainment affects the relationship between state fragility and transparency.

Design/methodology/approach

Using several robust estimation methodologies and a relatively new database on transparency, the authors find that higher levels of transparency lower state fragility. They reply on fixed effect estimators, lagged one period and five periods and system GMM estimators as part of our identification strategy.

Findings

Using several robust estimation methodologies and a relatively new database on transparency, the authors find that a higher level of transparency lowers state fragility. Greater and free flow of information empowers the populace, restores trust in government, increases participation in the political arena and, thus, reduces state fragility. This paper additionally shows that higher educational attainment helps reap the benefits of transparency even more and, thus, catalyzes transparency to lower-state fragility more effectively.

Research limitations/implications

Our research shows that greater transparency leads to lower state fragility. Additionally, if the populace of the country has higher educational attainment, the benefits of transparency in reducing state fragility is enhanced. Although enhancing transparency amid high state fragility may be a challenging task, it can be achieved by providing the populace with better media access via internet and cell phones.

Originality/value

The authors use a relatively new database of transparency to show that transparency acts as an important determinant of state fragility. A state is deemed fragile when it falters in its ability to manage conflict and in its capacity to deliver basic functions and implement public policy. Given this definition, it is needless to say that what can affect state fragility and how can such fragility be lowered is an important research agenda. This paper aims to fill this gap. Additionally, it shows the importance of education while exploring such a relationship.

Details

International Journal of Development Issues, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1446-8956

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Book part
Publication date: 8 July 2010

Andrew Ladley and Jessie Williams

Purpose – This chapter uses the work of Oxford economist Paul Collier to explore the conditions under which financing systems can be created to support the governance and…

Abstract

Purpose – This chapter uses the work of Oxford economist Paul Collier to explore the conditions under which financing systems can be created to support the governance and economies of fragile states. This support is especially needed in the immediacy of a crisis or as a practical strategy to potentially change the dynamics of a particularly vulnerable state. The focus is on his 2008 proposal for Haiti, for a partnership of domestic and international financial institutions. Central to the proposal is the establishment of an Independent Service Authority (ISA) to fund and implement government policy, especially in delivery of basic services. Representatives from aid donors, Haitian expatriates or diaspora and members of the government would sit on the ISA board, sharing responsibility for effectively administering public funds. This model was proposed to the United Nations in late 2008 to stabilise and transform the government and economy of Haiti (Collier, 2008, 2009b).

Methodology – The chapter explores the issues raised in the model using a case study of the Regional Assistance Mission in the Solomon Islands (RAMSI).

Findings – “The work concludes that the RAMSI process worked well to stabilise financial systems and survived significant political challenge due to a framework of local agreements, regional or international resolutions, treaties, statutes and contracts. This suggests that such a framework will help to ‘buttress’ any mixed local–international financial institutions in the event of domestic political or legal contest in Haiti (or wherever else this model is considered).

Limitations – The chapter does not compare Haiti and the Solomon Islands as societies or economies, or go into the details of how the proposed financial institutions would operate and transition to other arrangements. Space also prevents consideration of the other international partnership models applied in Haiti from 2006–08 (e.g. the Haiti Economic Governance Reform Operation or EGRO; see the case study on Haiti by Bradford and Scott (forthcoming), 76–84). After the earthquake in January 2010, Collier re-visited Haiti and stressed the importance of longer-term economic transformation (a Haiti Marshall plan) as well as emergency relief.**Collier, P., & Warnholz, J.-L. (2010a). Haiti earthquake: Social and economic fabric must be rebuilt too. The Guardian, Sunday, 17 January. Available at http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jan/17/haitiearthquake-social-fabric-rebuilt; Collier, P., & Warnholz, J.-L. (2010b). We need a Marshall plan for Haiti. Globe and Mail, 13 January. Available at http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/we-need-amarshall-plan-for-haiti/article1430309/ A key element of the international community's assistance will be finding mechanisms to handle finances. However the details of the new proposals are yet to be made public, hence this chapter focuses solely on Collier's 2008 proposals.

Details

Economics of War and Peace: Economic, Legal, and Political Perspectives
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-004-0

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Article
Publication date: 23 May 2020

Gonçalo Paiva Dias

This study aims to investigate whether, discounting the effect of the relative wealth of countries, it is possible to observe the relevance of policies for e-government…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate whether, discounting the effect of the relative wealth of countries, it is possible to observe the relevance of policies for e-government development.

Design/methodology/approach

The deviations of countries' results from what could be expected, considering their relative wealth is calculated by using the residuals of a linear regression using the Gross Domestic Product per capita as the independent variable and the UN E-Government Development Index as the dependent variable. The countries that achieve better and worse results than expected are then identified and their cases are analyzed by resorting to secondary sources, namely, published research referring to their cases. Those research documents were identified by successively searching the Scopus database, the Google Scholar database and the Web of Science.

Findings

The existence of formal e-government strategies and plans and the capacity to implement them can make a difference, allowing countries to achieve better results than expected or, in their absence, to perform worse than expected.

Research limitations/implications

The proposed methodology can be useful to e-government researchers, particularly as a basis for deeper and more detailed studies.

Practical implications

Countries should invest in well-developed and focused strategies and continuity of public policies and their capacity to deliver results. For that purpose, political commitment and high-level coordination are key factors. For low-income countries, long-lasting cooperation with external experienced partners is crucial. For high-income countries, innovative thinking is a key enabler.

Originality/value

This study uses an innovative method to look beyond the effect of the relative wealth of countries and investigate the relevance of public policies for e-government development.

Details

Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy, vol. 14 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6166

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