Index > Policy areas > Fragile states

Policy areas

Many chronically poor people live in Chronically Deprived Countries (CDCs), many of which are in conflict, emerging from conflict, or have a high chance of falling into conflict, which makes them ‘fragile states’. Conflict and violence contribute to the insecurity trap which keeps people poor, and in fragile states, maintaining security and ‘kick-starting’ the economy is vital. CPRC work on fragile states has focused on the recovery policies that take into account the needs of the poorest in these areas.

Research and policy

The CPRC has undertaken research to improve our understanding of the causes of chronic poverty and contribute to the larger debate on fragile states. A study for AusAID in particular, looked at selected Asia-Pacific countries and recommended to enhance strategies that generally ignore the chronically poor.

A focus on fragile states spans across CPRC themes and countries. CPRC has concluded that social protection can help reduce high levels of vulnerability in fragile states, and stimulate post-conflict growth. Assets, especially education which is ‘portable’, are critical to resisting impoverishment and escaping poverty in such areas.

A viable social compact, including protective measures, will need to be context-specific: policies must be based on an understanding of the often difficult political economy, and of who is involved and how, in each context.

Key resources

Conflict and chronic poverty



Publication highlights

Chronic Poverty Report 2008-09 cover

The Chronic poverty report 2008-09: Escaping poverty traps (Chapter 6)

Chronic Poverty Report