Users' Guide on Measuring Fragility

TitelUsers' Guide on Measuring Fragility
Typ der PublikationBook
Untertitel / SerientitelPublication by DIE and UNDP
AutorInnenFaust, J, Nahem, J, Mata, JF, Ziaja, S
Anzahl Seiten152 pp.
VerlagGerman Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

The Users' Guide on Measuring Fragility, jointly produced by UNDP Oslo Governance Centre and the German Development Institute, provides a comparative analysis of cross-country fragility indices - their conceptual premises, methodologies and possible use.This Users' Guide on Measuring Fragility presents a comparative analysis of cross-country fragility indices. It assesses their conceptual premises, methodological approach and possible uses.
The interest in understanding and predicting situations of fragility has grown exponentially amongst research and policy communities in the last years, in parallel to debates around poor governance performance, development challenges and aid effectiveness. As a response to this interest, various fragility indices are periodically published, reflecting a diverse range of interests, purposes and aspirations. Despite the proliferation and ever-increasing use of and reference to these indices, to date no systematic, comprehensive study of such indices has been produced.
This Users' Guide provides readers with a rigorous, comprehensible and user-friendly examination of country-level indices measuring facets of fragility. Although there is no common, undisputed definition of fragility, a country could be said to be fragile when it suffers from a weakness or a failure in one or several central attributes of the state such as its effectiveness in providing services to citizens, its authority (including a legitimate monopoly on the use of violence) and legitimacy. Fragility often also relates to one or more specific sectors, i.e. security, economic, political or social/cultural, environmental. The 'fragility indices' in the Guide directly address many of these aspects. It is aimed at empowering the user with greater knowledge and critical understanding of the subject matter, addressing key questions such as:
- What fragility indices are there?
- What concepts do they intend to measure?
- How well do they measure these concepts?
- How should fragility indices be applied?
The intended audience of the Users' Guide is current or potential users of fragility indices, especially researchers and policy-makers working in the area of fragility, governance and conflict. Whereas the former may find the guide helpful when considering fragility indices to inform their studies, the latter may discover a tool of relevance for cross-national assessments and impact analysis. In addition, other audiences such as development practitioners or humanitarian NGO workers may find some of the debates and findings from the Users' Guide (e.g. on measurement types and data sources) useful in their professional practice.

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