This paper provides an overview of the current discussion on fragile and failed states from the perspective of an NGO. We summarise some of the views of donors and governments and also try to locate the voice of civil society organisations in this debate. There appears to be some major gaps in understanding the, role and function of civil society organisations in fragile states.

Exceptions to these are work undertaken by INTRAC in recent months2 and feedback from NGOs and other practitioners working in countries such as Lebanon, Pakistan and Afghanistan which are described by the donor community as fragile and failed states.



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