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Fragility Forum 2022

March 7-15, 2022



  • The Fragility Forum is a biennial event that brings together policymakers and practitioners from humanitarian, development, peace and security communities; public and private sector; academia; and civil society. The objective is to exchange innovative ideas and knowledge to improve development approaches in fragile, conflict and violence-affected (FCV) settings to foster peace and stability.

     A Changing Global Landscape

    The global response to fragility, conflict and violence is constantly evolving to adapt to the ongoing changes in the international context. In recent years, new and intensifying crises have posed new challenges:

    These trends are threatening to reverse decades of development gains in many countries: by 2022, GDP in countries affected by FCV is expected to be 8.3% below pre-pandemic projections.

    Reflecting on the Evolution of Response to FCV

    Ten years ago, the seminal 2011 World Development Report (WDR) on Conflict, Security and Development furthered our understanding of key factors of peace and stability. The central message of the report was that strengthening capable, accountable, and legitimate institutions and governance to provide citizen security, justice, and jobs was crucial to breaking cycles of violence. The WDR 2011 also advocated for country leadership and an international system fit to address 21st-century risks: a system that is inclusive, responsive and that promotes active collaboration across humanitarian, development, peace and security actors. These concepts were  also picked up later by the joint UN-WBG Pathways for Peace report and the WBG Fragility, Conflict, and Violence Strategy.

    Fragility Forum 2022 Focus

    As complexity and uncertainty become the new normal, the Fragility Forum 2022 will explore how the international community can best support countries affected by fragility, conflict and violence in a dramatically changing global landscape. It will revisit some of the key findings of the WDR 2011, look into the evolution of the global response to FCV since then, and consider how to adapt it to new, dynamic contexts.

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  • Background

    Building on the lessons learned by the international community over the past decade in its efforts to promote peace and stability around the world, the Fragility Forum 2022: Development and Peace in Uncertain Times will revisit some of the key findings of the WDR 2011, how the global response to FCV has evolved since, and what is now top of the agenda considering what we have learned as well as the dramatically changed global landscape we now live in. Are the conclusions of the WDR 2011 still relevant today? How are emerging sources of insecurity (e.g., public health, climate, food, and their compounding effects) demanding a reinterpretation and broadening of our understanding of what security is? Are rising global inequality and demands for social justice calling for a reexamination of justice and inclusion? Are the lessons we have learned over the past decade demanding we re-examine our response models?


    The Forum’s sessions will be curated around four themes:

    1. Addressing compound risks and increasing resilience in FCV context: Fragile countries are especially vulnerable to shocks, such as climate change, food crisis, natural disasters, pandemics, economic crises, forced displacement, and their spillover effects.  COVID-19 is a stark reminder of how complex crises and interconnected risks amplify challenges in FCV contexts. In those settings, the impact of shocks tends to be greater given more pronounced vulnerabilities, and fragility, conflict and violence often obstruct resilience building. Faced with several shocks happening at same time, FCV countries struggle to respond to these and their vulnerability to future shocks will increase. Strengthening crisis preparedness and resilience in FCV context enables development support to start the rebuilding and transition to long-term political, economic, and social investments that will consolidate and protect future development gains. The Forum will feature sessions focused on compound risks in fragile and conflict affected contexts at a time when a more multi-dimensional, comprehensive understanding of the interactions of those risks is necessary. Sessions will focus on prevention, building resilience, and preparing for compound risks that increase and prolong fragility and make peacebuilding and conflict resolution efforts more challenging.

    2. Changing the economic trajectory in FCV settings: Jobs and economic transformation are as critical and urgent as ever, in particular in countries affected by FCV. The WDR 2011 and the FCV Strategy 2020-25 both highlighted that vibrant and inclusive private sector can ignite economic growth, provide jobs and services, and help stabilize societies. In the aftermaths of the pandemic, urgent action is needed to spur economic recovery, incentivize the expansion of private investment, and generate jobs and livelihood, including a sound macro-financial stability and governance, a conducive business enabling environment, open access to quality infrastructure and financial services, investments in agriculture and food security, greater access to and use of new technologies, all essential to help most fragile and difficult settings build back better. A business-as-usual approach will not be enough to address these challenges. The Forum will feature sessions that highlight new tools and approaches required to contribute to economic transformation and opportunities, jobs, financial sector resilience, inclusive connectivity and technology/digital development. Sessions will also explore the link between jobs, economic transformation, prevention and resilience.

    3. Rethinking the link between development and security: The FCV Strategy has identified security and justice as two of the six high-priority issues of engagement for the World Bank in fragile settings. The understanding of security itself has broadened considerably since the United Nations’ 1994 Human Development Report and its coverage of human security. The WDR 2011 also recognized the centrality of security issues in contributing to conflict, as well as the critical role security plays in setting foundations for development.  But if as stated in the Preamble of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development “There can be no sustainable development without peace and no peace without sustainable development”, what can development and peace actors do to support countries affected by fragility, conflict and violence, to promote a human-centric approach to security, to prevent violence and conflict, and to mutually reinforce one another’s efforts to create peace and prosperity? The Forum will highlight concrete experiences of coordination and integration of efforts across development and peace objectives, as well as focus on lessons learned, operational successes and failures of collaboration in the areas of conflict and violence prevention, maintaining engagement during open conflict, transition and re-engagement after crisis, to pave the way for longer-term development and poverty reduction.

    4. Challenges and realities of governance and institution building in FCV settings: As demonstrated in the 2017 WDR on Governance and the Law, institutions matter for sustaining peace and stability, building trust and strengthening the social contract. Governance institutions that balance, divide, and share power play a crucial role in addressing grievances and reducing incentives to engage in violence. As multiple crises hit countries already facing challenges of fragility, conflict, and violence; effective, responsive and accountable institutions capable of delivering inclusive public services to those furthest behind are at the heart of the recovery, as a means of conflict and violence prevention and resilience. The Forum will highlight discussions that invite a deep and honest look at realities and challenges of state and institution building, particularly given the lessons learned and experiences from the past year in Myanmar, Afghanistan, and others. Going beyond technocratic discussions, sessions will also explore more thorny issues of the political economy, drivers of fragility, weak social contracts and fragile underlying political settlements, that can undermine state and institution building in FCV contexts.
  • The Fragility Forum 2022 will take place virtually. For questions, contact

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