Governance Interventions in Fragile and Conflict-Affected Countries

The paper reviews an emerging body of literature on the design and evaluation of current or recent governance interventions in countries with ongoing violent conflict, recovering from conflict or at serious risk of conflict. The review focuses on three broad intervention areas. The first includes interventions that support local governance and the improvement of local capacity for collective action. The second area comprises interventions that strengthen the accountability, legitimacy and reach of state institutions, including improvements to information and the provision of public goods and services. The third centres on interventions aimed at changing social rules and norms that shape systems of governance. A number of ways forward are proposed for future research and policy interventions on governance in conflict-affected countries. These include: the need to better understand the political dynamics of conflict-affected countries; the importance of internally driven governance reforms; the need to take better account of the distributional consequences of governance interventions; and the role of multi-level approaches to governance in countries at risk of conflict.