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AfDB hosts “Africa Workshop” to refine the OECD “States of Fragility” model

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The African Development Bank’s (AfDB) Transition Support Department co-hosted a workshop with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on October 19, 2015. The event was part of a series of consultative workshops by the OECD, to refine the concept and dimensions of a new model of fragility, in preparation for the “States of Fragility Report 2016”.

The “Africa Workshop” was held at the Bank’s premises in Abidjan. It follows the first of these workshops which was hosted by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), in Berlin on October 15. A third one will be held in Washington, DC on November 23, 2015, hosted by the Inter-American Development Bank. 

Representatives of development agencies, civil society, research institutions from across the continent, the Government of Côte d’Ivoire, and staff from several AfDB departments, including field offices, participated in the workshop. Discussions centered on how to make the model practical, especially in the African context. Translating the revised model into action both by donors and partner governments in low and middle income African countries experiencing fragility, was identified as a priority.

The workshop follows the launch of this year’s report States of Fragility 2015: Meeting Post-2015 Ambitions, hosted by the Bank in April 2015. Up until 2015, the OECD produced a “Fragile States” report annually. Like the AfDB, which has shifted its emphasis from “fragile states” to “fragile situations” since the adoption of its 2014-2019 strategy for “Addressing Fragility and Building Resilience in Africa”, the OECD has also moved away from the stigmatizing “fragile states” label. This confirms the leadership role played by the Bank in getting partner institutions to adopt a more dynamic concept for building resilience in the countries.

The 2015 report introduces the “states of fragility” concept, and a multidimensional model of fragility based on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Specifically, the approach includes five dimensions to measure and monitor fragility: violence, justice, institutions, economic foundations, and resilience. Moreover, the OECD aims to phase out its “fragile states list” completely by 2017.

However, concerns have been raised that this may cause problems for donor agencies that have set certain targets of aid to countries experiencing fragility, making monitoring more complex. Through the consultative workshops, the OECD endeavours to address these challenges, as well as fine-tune the overall concept with expert advice ahead of the 2016 edition of the report.

The “States of Fragility 2016” report is scheduled to be released in the first half of 2016.

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