Global Fragility Act - Report
Political Forecasting, Good Governance

New OEF/Alliance for Peacebuilding Report Provides Recommendations for implementing the Global Fragility Act

Author(s): Conor Seyle, Elizabeth Hume, Jessica Baumgardner-Zuzik, Eric Keels, Dianna E. Almanza
Date: June 1, 2020
Publication Type: Research Report
Research Topics: Political Forecasting, Good Governance


In late 2019, the US government passed the Global Fragility Act as part of the consolidated budget appropriations act.  The Global Fragility Act is a major attempt to redesign how the United States approaches fragility and stabilization work, with an emphasis on improving the coordination between the US State Department, USAID, and the Department of Defense.

The GFA explicitly calls for consultation and engagement with civil society, as well as careful attention to empirical research, in implementing the Global Fragility Act.  This report, conducted in partnership with Alliance for Peacebuilding, is an attempt to develop specific recommendations for how to best implement the GFA consistent with these recommendations.

Key Findings:

The content was developed through consultations with stakeholders both within and outside of government, as well as with reference to the existing research.  Key recommendations include:

  • Recommendation 1: Consultations with civil society must be inclusive, transparent, credible, early, innovative, and frequent. 
  • Recommendation 2: Senior-level ownership and interagency cooperation are needed. Agencies must know who owns it. 
  • Recommendation 3: The US government must approach implementation holistically, intentionally, and professionally to ensure timelines are met and authorization matches timelines and appropriations. 
  • Recommendation 4: Use data-driven methods for the selection of priority countries and regions. 
  • Recommendation 5: Use evidence-based and adaptive strategies for design, monitoring and evaluation of programs. 
  • Recommendation 6: Realize that local ownership and youth and women are critical in developing, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating the Global Fragility Strategy (GFS) and country and regional ten-year implementation plans. 
  • Recommendation 7: To achieve a multisectoral approach, development and security assistance programs must also prevent conflict and be conflict-sensitive and integrated holistically into the strategy. 
  • Recommendation 8: Diplomatic and programmatic efforts must be linked. 
  • Recommendation 9: Use the whole iceberg: Partner and coordinate with other governments, international organizations, and the private sector in the specific country or region. 
  • Recommendation 10: Develop the human element: Staffing will determine success. 
  • Recommendation 11: Procurement reform needs to be more streamlined and less prescriptive, and result in procurement mechanisms that are faster, more diversified, and more adaptive, and which allow for longer duration of programs. 
  • Recommendation 12: Ensure that programs countering and preventing violent extremism are evidence-based and that there is a legislative fix for the material support laws. 
  • Recommendation 13: Use USAID’s existing conflict assessment methodology to target and develop prevention strategies and programming based on context-specific analysis.
  • Recommendation 14: Balance the development of prevention strategies and programming with reference to existing research on best practices, context-specific analysis, and promising new approaches. 

Related Publications

L. Heger in Journal of Peace Research

Votes and violence: Pursuing terrorism while navigating politics

Written by Lindsay Heger on December 5, 2014

Many of the world’s most infamous terrorist organizations demonstrate clear political aptitude, maintaining highly successful political parties while simultaneously carrying out terrorist attacks.

Read more
A Gap Exists in Research and Implementation

A Gap Exists! (But it is Smaller and More Specific Than You Think)

Written by Chris Cyr, Lindsay Heger on November 7, 2014

In recent decades, many who are involved in international relations and foreign policy have bemoaned the increasing divide between what practitioners do and the issues scholars research.

Read more

Why Govern? The Strategic, Functional, and Normative Logics of Global Governance

Written by Amitav Acharya, Blake Berger, Goueun Lee, Kate Tennis on September 28, 2014

Global governance is one of the most critical subjects in international relations scholarship and policymaking today.

Read more
Global Governance Philadelphia

Global Governance: “A Philadelphia Moment”?

Written by Thomas G. Weiss on May 7, 2014

An obvious puzzle for friends and foes of international cooperation is how to explain why order, stability, and predictability exist despite the lack of a central authority to address the planet’s problems.

Read more
Common Framework NGOs Report

A Common Framework for Understanding Non-state Organizations

Written by Danielle Jung, Sarah Stroup, Wendy Wong, Lindsay Heger on May 1, 2014

This paper serves as an introduction to conceptualizations of non-state organizations (NSOs) and, in particular, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), multinational corporations
Read more
Understanding Governance

Understanding Governance, State of the World 2014 report

Written by Matthew Wilburn King on April 29, 2014

"Understanding Governance" is Chapter 2 in the State of the World 2014: Governing for Sustainability by The Worldwatch Institute.

Read more
New Power Politics

The New Power Politics: Networks and Transnational Security Governance

Written by Deborah Avant, Lindsay Heger on February 12, 2014

The workshop series “The New Power Politics: Networks, Governance, and Global Security” examined how various networks of state and non-state actors work to address the governance of security.

Read more
Global Society

Democratising Transitional Justice: Transitional Trade-offs and Constituting the Demos

Written by Eamon Aloyo on October 2, 2013

Aloyo argues that transitional justice should be democratized so that victims and potential victims constitute the transitional justice demos. To realize this goal he proposes a method by which people can be enfranchised to make such choices.

Read more