Korea Trust Fund for Economic & Peace-Building Transitions


The Korea Trust Fund for Economic and Peace-Building Transitions (KTF) has supported the fragility, conflict and violence (FCV) agenda for a decade. 2019 marked the ten-year anniversary of the partnership between the World Bank Group (WBG) and the Government of Korea to address the development challenges of FCV. Established in 2009—through an agreement between the Ministry of Economy and Finance of Korea (MOEF) and the World Bank—the KTF supports the WBG's peacebuilding initiatives and interventions to facilitate recovery and economic transitions in FCV.

Through the KTF, Korea supports the World Bank’s efforts to better address FCV challenges by supporting projects that pilot innovative approaches, generate knowledge, improve the monitoring of crisis risk for better prevention, and adopt FCV-sensitive strategies and operations. Over the years, the KTF has also served as a platform for collaboration with Korean institutions and experts, maximizing development impact in FCV-affected countries. 

Over the last ten years, the Republic of Korea has contributed almost $34 million to the KTF. ​


Last Updated: Feb 16, 2020

KTF has financed country-specific and regional interventions in 46 countries across six regions. On a country level, grants have supported ​peaceful political transformation and the Country Partnership Framework in Myanmar, for example, and improving capacity for community monitoring and citizen engagement in Mali and Niger. KTF-funded interventions also provide support across regions, advancing climate-smart agricultural technologies for FCV-affected populations in Africa and strengthening financial institutions to build resilience in the western Balkans. The KTF has provided support for most of the countries which qualified for the World Bank Group’s Harmonized List of Fragile and Conflict States in 2019. 



The KTF also funds global-level work focused on developing and piloting approaches and instruments addressing the challenges of working in FCV settings. In addition to supporting the development of the WBG’s first FCV Strategy, the KTF is also supporting essential analytical work on FCV in middle-income countries (MICs), which will generate insights on the diverse drivers of fragility and conflict in MICs and inform new development approaches for Bank operations. The Bank’s Geospatial Operations Support Team (GOST) is harnessing KTF support to increase transparency and accountability in FCV operations through spatial analysis and machine learning tools. The Geo-Enabling Initiative for Monitoring and Supervision (GEMS) has been implemented across FCV contexts globally with KTF support, exemplifying the scale and scope that global-level interventions can have. ​​​​


Last Updated: Feb 17, 2020

In 2017—building on the successes and lessons learned from the implementation of the first phase—the Republic of Korea and the WBG entered Phase Two, a three-year partnership with a $15 million commitment.   The objective of Phase Two is to promote a risk-based development approach to address the challenges of fragility, conflict and violence, especially in Asia and the Pacific through three mutually-supporting focus areas of engagement:

  • Operational support for FCV-sensitive strategies and operations;
  • Innovative engagements for development in FCV; and
  • Management of Crisis Risk. ​

Operational Support for Conflict Sensitive Strategies and Operations: Supporting WBG country and/or sector teams for mainstreaming FCV-sensitivity in WBG strategies and operations, including: 

  • Ensuring that country strategies and operations are informed by in-depth risks and resilience assessments, and that WBG interventions follow the principle of "do-no-harm", but also "do good";
  • Innovations and pilot operations to addressing FCV risks; and
  • Just-in-time support at time of complex emergencies.

The KTF will have a primary focus facilitating investment lending through project preparation and implementation support in key development sectors through catalytic grant projects implemented through WBG sector units.

Innovative Engagements for Development in FCV: Strengthening knowledge and innovative engagements for development in FCV, and facilitating the knowledge exchanges for WBG, FCV, clients, and Korean institutions to address multi-dimensional risks including:

  • ​Cutting edge analytics;
  • New methodologies of data collection and analysis;
  • Capacity building and training for FCV clients;
  • Knowledge exchange events; and
  • Pilot partnerships with non-traditional actors, e.g. tech companies.

Information and communication technology (ICT)-based innovative solutions to strengthen and facilitate WBG's operations in FCV contexts, partnerships and knowledge exchange will be an integral part of this area. ​

Management of Crisis Risk: Addressing multi-dimensional crisis risk through stronger collaboration and complementarity across humanitarian, development, and peacebuilding actors that encompass political, security, human rights, economic and social dimensions. Building on the humanitarian/development/ peace nexus, this area supports:

  • Aligning strategic crisis risk programming at the global, regional, and country levels;
  • Enhancing crisis management financial solutions;
  • Improving operational effectiveness by promoting greater crisis management flexibility and delivery mechanisms; and
  • Providing catalytic country level support to strengthen humanitarian, development, peacebuilding collaboration for greater development impact.

​ICT will be an important component in operationalizing the different program areas. Given regional dynamics and characteristics, this area also focuses on strengthening comprehensive knowledge on multi-dimensional risks due to subnational and/or regional conflicts, especially for middle- income countries. ​



Last Updated: Feb 16, 2020

Social and Economic Empowerment of Youth in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

A project in Pakistan highlights the competitive advantage in the areas of technology and innovation that the KTF brings to development in fragile and conflict-affected regions and demonstrates how such interventions may reduce the risks of further conflict. Located in the northwest of the country along the Afghanistan border, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) is Pakistan’s third-largest province by population and accounts for around 10.5 percent of the country’s GDP. Almost 85 percent of the province’s population lives in rural areas, where access to public services and income generation opportunities are lower than in cities. A large youth population of around 15 million people under the age of 30 is subject to significant unemployment.

A grant funded by the KTF has been instrumental in addressing these issues, turning the challenge of unemployed youth into a benefit for the province. The grant built the foundations for a broader program on digital development with the creation of Pakistan’s first provincial Digital Strategy for the Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, since adopted as Government Policy. Under the program, models have been developed for skills training, entrepreneurship and business incubation initiatives that were financed by the Government with the goal of creating 75,000 new jobs by 2020. Read more in the 2018-2019 KTF Annual report (pages 18-19).


Focus Area: Operational Support for Conflict-Sensitive Strategies and Operations

Supporting Peaceful Transitions in Myanmar

Significant progress has been made in Myanmar’s transition from a planned to an open market economy; from military to civilian rule; and from conflict to peace. Challenges remain, however: the transition to a market economy is incomplete, and violence and human rights abuses continue, notably the 2017 clashes in Rakhine, which led to many deaths and an outflow of over 700,000 Rohingya refugees to Bangladesh. 

A five-year initial phase of KTF’s engagement supported the Bank’s scale-up in Myanmar, promoting aid effectiveness and filling knowledge gaps. A second phase, which started in early 2019, builds on this work in three areas: deepening contextual understanding, conducting analytical work, and ensuring the conflict sensitivity of the World Bank’s operations in this fragile and conflict-affected country.

Since 2017, the World Bank strategy for Myanmar has involved a greater focus on social inclusion and conflict-affected areas. The KTF has supported regular monthly briefings of members of the Bank management and country team (including IFC) by the Ava Group, a leading Myanmar think tank, on key political-economy dynamics in the country that would have direct or indirect impacts on the Bank’s work. It has enabled ad hoc briefings and short papers that target specific events and emerging issues, with six such papers and events since January 2018. Finally, weekly written updates on the situation in Rakhine and other conflict-affected areas were produced with KTF support; these have shifted to monthly updates on broader political-economy issues in the country, with more than 35 produced since January 2018. These briefings and notes help the World Bank country team better understand issues as they emerge, helping to shape the Bank’s work at both the strategic and project levels. Read more in the 2018-2019 KTF Annual report (pages 32-33).


Focus Area: Innovative Engagement 

Systematic Implementation of ICT-Based Support for FCV

Information gaps resulting from a lack of reliable insights into dynamics on the ground are a major constraint for World Bank operations in fragile and conflict-afflicted regions. Limited field access and lack of real-time information in areas facing insecurity or logistical constraints impede project implementation, supervision and risk management. A grant provided by the KTF and initiated in May 2018 aims to improve the ability of clients, partners and World Bank teams to gather accurate data using affordable and contextually-appropriate technology. This has been implemented through the systematic roll-out of the Geo-Enabling Initiative for Monitoring and Supervision (GEMS) across FCV contexts around the world. The GEMS initiative was launched to systematically enhance project monitoring and evaluation (M&E) and the management of environmental and social risks in FCV settings, while providing platforms for real-time data collection, remote supervision, and portfolio mapping for coordination across projects and partners.

Simplicity is key for ICT in FCV: GEMS provides local stakeholders with simple and easily scalable tools that help to gain real-time insights from areas that cannot always be accessed – ‘to get eyes on the ground where there cannot always be feet on the ground’. The added transparency and accountability that GEMS provides enhance the confidence of clients and WBG teams to operate in high-risk areas and, thus, increase the footprint of development in places that are most in need of support. Read more in the 2018-2019 KTF Annual report (pages 34-35).

Focus Area: Management of Crisis Risk 

Expanding Community Approaches in Conflict Situations

In FCV situations, community-driven development (CDD) can offer governments an alternative way to deliver services and provide local infrastructure at scale, even in remote, inaccessible or insecure areas. CDD gives communities a say in how development financing is used by promoting a community participatory planning process for decisions and investment resources, leading to more efficient delivery of basic services and measurable gains in access to vital services and poverty reduction. In conflict-affected southern Thailand, KTF support is building the evidence base on how CDD approaches can foster trust among stakeholders in order to promote development. With both KTF and SPF support, the WBG has bolstered peacebuilding efforts in the region for over 10 years. Read more in the 2018-2019 KTF Annual report (pages 36-37).



Last Updated: Feb 16, 2020

Healing Invisible Wounds and Rebuilding Livelihoods: Emerging Lessons for Combining Livelihood and Psychosocial Support in Fragile and Conflict-Affected Settings assesses evidence to generate a "hypothesis of change" that combining psychosocial with livelihood support can improve development outcomes in FCS.

Violent Incidents Monitoring Systems: A Methods Toolkit provides guidance to practitioners interested in establishing a violence monitoring system. 

Understanding Violence in Southeast Asia: The Contribution of Violent Incidents Monitoring Systems draws on data from Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines to demonstrate the analytical value of granular violence data collected by local systems. A recently published blog summarizes some of the key findings.


Last Updated: Feb 17, 2020


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