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CAIRO BOOKS's Description
Research in recent years on aid effectiveness shows that significant obstacles
in fragile states--insecurity, poor governance and weak implementation
capacity--usually prevent aid from achieving the desired results in these
environments. This study investigates the attributes and effectiveness of
donor-supported programmes and projects that worked well under difficult
conditions in fragile states. Presented in this study are nine development
initiatives in six less developed countries—Afghanistan, Cambodia, Mozambique,
Sierra Leone, Timor Leste and Uganda. The cases show that development
initiatives, which engage local communities and local level governments, are
often able to have significant impact. However, for more substantial
improvements to take places, localized gains need to be scaled up either
horizontally (other localities) or vertically (to higher levels). Given the
advantages of working at the local level and the difficulty of working through
mainstream bureaucratic agencies at higher levels in these countries, donors
often prefer to create 'parallel-agencies' to reach out to larger numbers of
beneficiaries. However, this may in the long run weaken the legitimacy of
mainstream government institutions, and donor agencies may therefore choose to
work as closely as possible with government officials from the beginning to
build trust and demonstrating that new initiatives are non-threatening and help
prepare the eventual mainstreaming of 'parallel agencies'.