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This booklet reflects the experience of the Within and Without the State (WWS) programme so far, and offers key learning for those working in the area of governance programming in fragile contexts.

The booklet outlines a variety of approaches to governance programming in the WWS focus countries of Afghanistan, Occupied Palestinian Territories and Israel, South Sudan, and Yemen. It shows that effective governance work IS possible in fragile contexts ‘ and that it can achieve change. It demonstrates that working with civil society is an appropriate entry point but, beyond this, that empowering civil society actors to engage with duty-bearers is essential to achieving good governance and accountability.

The booklet also explores:

  • using the social contract model to enable constructive engagement between citizens and the state;
  • the importance of considering gender inequality;
  • the importance of understanding informal power-holders and how to influence them; and
  • adapting civil society capacity building techniques from long-term development work.

This summary of key learning from WWS will be of interest to all programme staff and managers concerned with developing governance programming in fragile contexts.


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