Conflict and Fragility

Policy briefs

Infrastructure development in fragile settings

23 Dec 2021 - 11:33
Source: Contractors are seen walk past near the construction site of Karuma 600 megawatts hydroelectric power project under construction on River Nile. © Reuters
If you want to go far, go together

In fragile and conflict-affected settings (FCAS), infrastructure development is a sharp double-edged sword: it can foster sustainable and inclusive development, but it can also exacerbate fragility and conflict.

This brief argues that a substantial engagement of local communities has the potential to improve the conflict sensitivity of infrastructure efforts in FCAS. To ensure that these efforts have a positive impact on fragility dynamics, however, due attention should also be paid to the specific choices made in terms of project design and implementation. The brief offers a set of pragmatic considerations aimed at supporting practitioners navigating such choices.

In addition, to ensure a proper tailoring of project choices to the specific context, practitioners should also rely extensively on conflict sensitivity analyses, monitoring the interaction between the project and the context’s underlying drivers of fragility throughout the whole project cycle. While so far CDD projects have mostly focused on small-scale infrastructure, efforts should be devoted to explore whether and how CDD approaches can be applied to larger infrastructure projects.  

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