Deals and Development in Fragile and Conflict-affected States

Policy innovation lab
On 24-25 February 2021, UNU-WIDER and the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) will hold a policy innovation lab titled Deals and Development in Fragile and Conflict-Affected States (FCAS).

The goal of the policy innovation lab is to bring together economic growth and governance experts alongside scholars to explore how the Deals and Development framework insights can be applied to FCAS situation and to create a blueprint to approaching economic growth and private sector development in countries experiencing conflict or fragility. Part scholarly presentation, part practitioner “community of practice,” and part design innovation, the lab will work towards making a policy workbook. Around 20 FCDO staff from the DRC, South Sudan and Somalia country offices as well as the headquarters will participate in the 2-day workshop.

The Deals and Development framework, developed by Lant Pritchett, Kunal Sen, and Eric Werker, models the episodic nature of economic growth in low and middle-income countries (LMCs). The framework shows that business interests are a result of the distribution and type of political power and the type of economic activity in country. Business interests in many LMCs create an investment climate where ‘deals’ rather than ‘rules’ determine how attractive business opportunities are. These deals drive current economic growth in LMCs while setting the stage for growth in the next episode.

The main output of the workshop will be a brief policy guidebook sharing the insights from the workshop and providing a useful guide to practitioners to deepen their understanding of how to incorporate political economy insights to understanding and intervening in FCAS economies.

Led by Kunal Sen and Eric Werker, the workshop is organised as part of our project How do effective states emerge?