A panel exploring whether and how the delivery of basic services can contribute to statebuilding efforts in fragile and conflict-affected countries, and the implications for government and donor programming.
Service delivery programmes in fragile and conflict-affected situations are heavily influenced by a widely shared received wisdom: that there's a simple transactional relationship between people's receipt of basic services and their acceptance of the legitimacy of the state. From this received wisdom follow a number of programming implications, most notably that NGOs, donors and other non-state providers of services are crowding out the state and undermining efforts towards statebuilding. This panel, convened by the Secure Livelihoods Research Consortium (SLRC), will explore the relationship between service delivery and statebuilding and help improve our understanding of what services (for example health, education, security or water) are most likely to lead to state legitimacy in different contexts, whether who delivers services makes a difference to statebuilding, why service delivery for statebuilding is such a popular approach for both national governments and international agencies, and whether how services are delivered can make a difference to statebuilding outcomes. Papers are invited that draw on empirical and / or theoretical work, and that provide either specific sectoral or geographical case studies or comparative analysis between countries or sectors.