Accountability in Fragile States

Accountability in Fragile States

How can effective accountability mechanisms be developed in fragile state environments?


Improving service delivery in fragile states is an urgent priority; it helps meet basic humanitarian needs and ameliorates the root causes of conflict and instability while also enhancing government legitimacy and citizen-state trust. Drawing from cases in Uganda and Nepal, this paper seeks to identify the determining features and prerequisites for the establishment of citizen- government accountability structures within fragile and conflicted environments.

Particular emphasis has been placed on understanding the sequencing and relative importance of key stages of development and support that can be provided in the establishment of the mechanisms. It is aimed at helping interested parties target their support and build a greater understanding of the timeframe for the development and utilisation of this type of citizen-government interaction.

The paper is based on research carried covering both primary key informant interviews from donor agencies and civil society organisations, as well as secondary information sources. The differing levels and types of fragility in these countries make direct comparison of the effectiveness of mechanisms difficult, but still allow for the extraction of general lessons with a more universal applicability.

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