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Do fragile and conflict-affected countries prioritise core government functions? Stocktaking public expenditures on public sector institutions to deliver on 2030 Agenda

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Re-building Core Government Functions (CGFs) which are responsive and legitimate is a critical process in a country transitioning out of conflict. Although there is much evidence to support the need for effective government institutions to sustain transitions away from conflict, understanding what is required to successfully develop institutional capacity within core government apparatus in fragile and conflict affected situations (FCAS) is a largely neglected area. Indeed, evidence of the connection between public spending, institutional restoration/reform and resilience is sparse in FCAS. Addressing this gap in understanding is increasingly important in light of the continuing trend towards the concentration of poverty in FCAS.

This research explores the relationship between ‘core government functions’ (CGF) and transitions in fragile and conflict-affected situations (FCAS), using the context of five countries including Colombia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Sierra Leone and South Sudan as case studies. The report is part of a multi-country research project commissioned by UNDP that seeks to understand whether (and how) prioritising public spending on CGF can lead to more successful transitions towards peace in fragile and conflict-affected countries. It aims to do this by comparing the experience of different FCAS countries and assessing the extent to which these transitions have been facilitated (or not) by increased investment to rebuild CGF.

UNDP led the development of this research together with Oxford Policy Management and with the generous support of the Government of Switzerland. It was produced in consultation with members of the UN Interagency Platform on Core Government Functions in Countries Impacted by Fragility and Conflict (IPCGF). The Interagency Platform is co-chaired by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs (DPPA) and comprises of the UN Secretariat and UN agencies, funds, and programmes mandated to and involved in supporting the strengthening of CGFs in fragile and conflict-affected settings.