More than 1 billion people live in countries affected by armed conflict or by the fragility of their societies. Fragile states are often vulnerable to conflict because their populations tend to see their governments as ineffective, illegitimate, or both. As a group, they are the ones that lag furthest behind in achieving the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals. On Friday, March 27 USIP hosted a discussion regarding a new report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, “States of Fragility 2015: Meeting Post-2015 Ambitions.”

Fragile Nations
From left: Alexandre Marc, Melissa Brown, Jolanda Profos, Sarah Hearn, Andrew Blum

This panel discussion, sponsored by the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and the World Bank,took place at USIP from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The report presents a new understanding of fragility that moves beyond the conventional notion of fragile states. It puts forward a working model based on five dimensions: violence, justice, institutions, economic foundations, and capacity to respond to shocks and disasters. It measures all countries worldwide to identify the 50 most vulnerable states in each dimension, and discusses the implications of a universal approach for policies, practices, aid and monitoring. The report also assesses how the international development community allocates its resources.


Nancy Lindborg, Opening Remarks
President, U.S. Institute of Peace

Melissa Brown
Director, Office of Conflict Management and Mitigation, USAID

Alexandre Marc
Chief Technical Specialist, Fragility, Conflict and Violence-Cross Cutting Solutions Area, World Bank Group

Brenda Killen
Deputy Director, Development Co-operation Directorate, OECD

Jolanda Profos
Peace and Conflict Adviser, Development Co-operation Directorate, OECD

Sarah Hearn
Associate Director and Senior Fellow, Center on International Cooperation

Andrew Blum, Moderator
Vice President of Program Management and Evaluation, U.S. Institute of Peace

A copy of the report may be downloaded at beginning on March 26, 2015.


Related Publications

Afghanistan: Can Central Asia Help Spur Peace with the Taliban?

Afghanistan: Can Central Asia Help Spur Peace with the Taliban?

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

By: Adam Gallagher

Afghanistan’s peace process could be taking a major step forward in August with the potential commencement of intra-Afghan talks, said the U.S. chief negotiator on Friday. “This is an important moment for Afghanistan and for the region—perhaps a defining moment,” said Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad. Peace in Afghanistan would redound to the benefit of the entire region. As the peace process stumbles forward, one critical but often overlooked element is the role of Afghanistan’s Central Asian neighbors.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Peace Processes

Legislature and Legislative Elections in Afghanistan: An Analysis

Legislature and Legislative Elections in Afghanistan: An Analysis

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

By: A. Farid Tookhy

Afghanistan’s newest Wolesi Jirga—the lower house of the National Assembly—boasts a younger and more educated membership than those elected in either 2005 or 2010. Its representativeness, however, is uneven and problematic. This report offers a comparative profile of the Wolesi Jirgas elected in 2005, 2010, and 2018, highlighting issues salient to the reforms Afghanistan needs to undertake if it is to hold credible national elections that yield truly representative elected institutions.

Type: Special Report

Democracy & Governance

U.S., Russian interests overlap in Afghanistan. So, why offer bounties to the Taliban?

U.S., Russian interests overlap in Afghanistan. So, why offer bounties to the Taliban?

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

By: Andrew Wilder

Recent intelligence reports indicating that Russian bounties paid to the Taliban to kill U.S. troops have bolstered American and Afghan officials long-held allegations that Moscow has been engaged in clandestine operations to undermine the U.S. mission in Afghanistan. Russia’s support for the Taliban, however, has largely been tactical in nature. Both Washington and Moscow ultimately have a converging strategic interest in a relatively stable Afghanistan without a long-term U.S. presence that will not be a haven for transnational terrorists. USIP’s Andrew Wilder looks at what this means for the decades-long Afghan conflict.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Conflict Analysis & Prevention; Global Policy

View All Publications