Fragility and MDG Progress: How useful is the Fragility Concept?
While it is widely presumed that development progress in so-called fragile states is lagging behind, only very limited empirical analysis exists that investigates to what extent the levels and trends in the MDGs differ significantly between fragile and other developing countries, and between different de-finitions of fragile states. The purpose of this paper is to analyze levels and progress of the MDGs between 1990 and 2008 of fragile and non-fragile developing countries. It shows that fragile countries are, indeed, performing worse in terms of MDG levels. In terms of MDG progress, progress is, on average, not slower in fragile states using most definitions of fragility. Lastly, the heterogeneity of MDG performance among fragile states is so large that it is not very useful to treat them as a group; the problems they face, as well as the solutions required, differ greatly and have to be developed and treated sui generis.
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