Our ambitions to stabilize and reshape fragile states are of very recent origin. Pretty much everything that we’re attempting was unheard of a decade ago, and almost none of it pre-dates the end of the Cold War.
As one commentator on Afghanistan has put it, that makes aid in fragile states akin to pre-modern medicine, “when the human body was poorly understood and doctors prescribed bloodletting, or drilled into skulls to treat madness.”
Of late, the patients have been doing rather badly. We’ve seen a succession of failures and unexpected blow-backs in Iraq, South Sudan, Mali, Afghanistan, Libya, the Congo, and a dozen other places.
How do we re-examine what “success” looks like in these contexts? How do we re-calibrate our expectations based on experience … without getting stuck in the usual political talking points, national interests, and organisational agendas?
Join us to kick off a collaborative Wiki project to develop some fresh thinking. We’ll take a straw poll to identify interesting ideas, and build a mini-agenda.
We’ll then transfer all this to the Rethink Fragility Wiki, and explain how the platform works for you to painlessly add your own ideas (big or small).
Online launch: Youtube / Facebook, 10 January, 1200 GMT.
About our round tables
We use the minimum possible amount of structure to have an interesting conversation, along the lines of the ‘lean coffee’ approach. There are just two ground rules:
- No hats: No-one speaks for an institution, or attributes anything.
- No monologues: Open conversation, not expert-and-audience.
Capacity is 8-10 people. To get a feel for what we’re about, feel free to browse through previous events.
[Update] Here’s the video intro from 10 January, hosted on our Youtube channel. In three minutes I explain why we think a new way of approaching policy is needed, how a crowd-sourced approach can work, and our initial focus areas.