Evidence shows beyond doubt that conflict is closely associated with slow growth, extreme poverty and deprivation. Unfortunately, how to stimulate poverty-alleviating growth in Fragile and Conflict Affected States (FCAS) is less clear. This paper addresses that knowledge gap by applying new analytical techniques to existing data, helping to assess the impact of different types of pro-poor interventions in FCAS. We hope that this new evidence will help policymakers refine their tools for addressing the plight of the poorest.
The specific research questions of this challenge paper are as follows:
• What are the implications of conflict and changes in conflict over time for growth, poverty and wellbeing?
• What can the analysis of panel data tell us about poverty and wellbeing dynamics in conflict-affected situations at the national and/or subnational level, and the causes of these dynamics?
• Is there evidence that some pro-poor policies benefit the poorest even in subnational situations of conflict, while others do not or do less so?
• Having identified the relationships between conflict, poverty dynamics and pro-poorest growth, what policy challenges emerge and what implications may be drawn?
The paper answers these questions by first examining poverty trends in FCAS compared to other developing countries and reviewing the literature expounding the links between conflict, poverty, and growth. It then presents methods used in the analysis before proceeding to explore conflict at the subnational level and its effects on poverty outcomes and trajectories.
The focus on conflict at the subnational level in this paper emerges from the understanding today that national-level analysis may not reflect the concentration of violence in particular regions or localities, leading in some cases to a paradox of countries making overall progress while sustaining conflict in particular regions.
Author: Andrew Shepherd, Vidya Diwakar, Georgina Sturge