No Time to Waste to Implement the Global Fragility Act

  1. Select priority countries based on rigorous research and analysis. Leveraging data and evidence will help determine the contexts most at risk of violence and conflict and where the U.S. government may be able to make a significant difference. The Global Fragility Act provides a list of criteria to guide country selection and requires the U.S. government to choose countries from at least three regions to learn which types of preventive activities are most effective in different contexts. While our coalition has not advocated for any one country, we developed a data-driven approach for identifying stabilization countries and regions. We urge the U.S. government to abide by the criteria codified in law in selecting the countries and regions and quickly identify them, a critical and necessary step for completing the ten-year country plans due to Congress on December 20.
  2. Ensure a multisectoral approach that includes diplomatic engagement. A key component of the Global Fragility Strategy is the use of innovative foreign assistance programs across a variety of fields, including good governance, community dialogue and conflict resolution, and justice and security sector reform among others. The Global Fragility Strategy must articulate a theory of change for linking and aligning multiple programmatic initiatives, and the strategy must also explain how U.S. government agencies will buttress assistance activities with diplomatic engagement.
  3. Outline the coordination and leadership structures within the U.S. government. To achieve the transformative multisectoral programmatic and diplomatic approach Congress called for in the law, sustained senior leadership will be required to break through bureaucratic inertia and parochial interests within the interagency. The Global Fragility Strategy must develop a clear leadership and bureaucratic organization plan that articulates the decision-making process, including for foreign assistance. Earlier this month, the President delegated his authorities under the Global Fragility Act to the Secretary of State. While the summary report names some of the officials who will lead the law’s implementation, not all meet the law’s requirement that they hold the rank of assistant secretary, and it does not name officials at all relevant U.S. government agencies.
  4. Elevate local ownership and accountability to affected populations. Congress made clear its intent that the GFA “address the long-term underlying causes of fragility and violence through participatory, locally led programs…” The Strategy should articulate how U.S. government agencies plan to identify, partner, and seek input and evaluation from the communities where the strategy activities are taking place. The strategy must include not only a plan for sustained consultation and engagement over the entire life of the decade-long initiative but also smaller and more flexible procurement mechanisms that are tolerant of risk.
  5. Prioritize research and learning. One of the long-term benefits of the Global Fragility Act is it offers an opportunity to study the value of preventive action and refine our foreign assistance and diplomatic models to become most effective. Across the five or more priority countries, the U.S. government Strategy must go beyond traditional aid program monitoring and evaluation and support larger-scale research studies to document and study how the diplomatic, development, and defense efforts work in tandem in differing contexts to understand solutions to violence.

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Alliance for Peacebuilding

Alliance for Peacebuilding

Alliance for Peacebuilding is the leading global network working to end conflict and build sustainable peace worldwide. Our 170+ members work in 181 countries.