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International support for capacity development in post-conflict states: Reflections from two case studies in West Africa

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This publication and its companion piece ‘State-Building: Key Concepts and Operational Implications in two Fragile States’ reports on an assessment of a number of programs in Sierra Leone and Liberia that a small team from the World Bank (Fragile and Conflict-Affected States Group) and UNDP (Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery) undertook to review their contribution to state-building and the development of national capacity.

The paper seeks to provide a fresh perspective on capacity building in post-conflict countries and reflects critically on whether current efforts by the international community are working. It challenges current approaches and seeks new ways to build the dynamic capacities of states recovering from conflict in order to enable its citizens to fulfil their development aspirations.