Fragility Stages (Baseline Taxonomy)

The Baseline Taxonomy provides those developing and implementing policy with a comprehensive view of their own situations—based on their Self-Assessment of the current situation.  The framework enables the user to Index for each element (ranging from 1 to 5, with 1 indicating a crisis situation and 5 indicating a resilient situation).  The results of the Self-Assessment applies equal weights for each of the five components comprising each of the six elements—Economic Environment, Political Environment, Social Cohesion, Laws and Governance, Institutions for Security and Justice, and Infrastructure Performance.  Thus, the results of the Self-Assessment provide a set of indicators (average scores) for the five fragility elements and infrastructure performance.  The indicators capture the “fragility stage” for each element. The baseline taxonomy and descriptive material draw heavily upon the g7+ Fragility Spectrum (November 2013), as well as other sources.

A more detailed taxonomy can be used to further assess specific components comprising the six elements. (Click on each element on the left-most column of the taxonomy below.)  The more detailed components are particularly useful for practitioners in situations where unequal weights would more closely characterize the weaknesses (or strengths) of their current situation.  Because practitioners are more aware of their binding constraints and key concerns, the ability to review a more detailed assessment can help users better understand their own situations, while showing how improvements in any given area may enable the country to move on to the next stage, for example from Rebuild & Reform (stage 2) to Transition (stage 3).  The baseline taxonomy is presented below:

1. Crises 2. Rebuild & Reform 3. Transition 4. Transformation 5. Resilience
Economic Environment (Click here for more detail) Most formal employment opportunities provided through NGOs; Inability to pay for basic infrastructure services; Difficulty collecting revenues/taxes. High unemployment rate, development actors remain the largest employer; Small percent of population can pay for basic services; Collection of revenues is improving, but institutions have limited capacity. More private sectors jobs have been created, with government continuing as the largest employer; ¼ of population can afford basic services; Tax collection and compliance is increasing. Increased job opportunities across the country; About half of the population can afford basic services; Taxes are well-structured and coordinated. Private sector represents a large share of the labor market; Widespread infrastructure coverage; Government generates enough revenue to provide essential services to citizens.
Political Environment (Click here for more detail) Lack of political dialogue amongst different groups; Political agreements are quickly broken; Community is unaware of how political processes affect access to infrastructure; Lack of checks and balances within government. Evidence of initiatives toward political dialogue to resolve political differences; system lacks proper frameworks for consultations between groups; Elected officials are weakly accountable. Formal dialogue between political parties exists; People are starting to feel confident about participation in political process; Basic political systems are established. Instruments of government facilitating inclusion and dialogue exist throughout the country; Greater citizen confidence in the political system; Free and fair elections are held regularly; Key institutions are in place and functioning. There exists a culture of democracy and good governance and an institutionalized framework for political dialogue; Citizens understand the political process and can express their views; Effective oversight institutions.
Social Cohesion (Click here for more detail) Governance neither inclusive nor participatory; Absence of basic law and order; Lack of strong civil society organizations and low public confidence in institutions. Weak and inadequate institutions deliver infrastructure services sporadically; Extreme power struggles between parties reflecting geography or group affiliation; Lack of credible leaders in civil society, conflicts of interest not questioned. Regulatory structures and independent oversight bodies are in place but limited in effectiveness; Government able to limit counterproductive activities like rent-seeking; Public beginning to have confidence in institutions. Good governance principles are adhered to, but there is a lack of transparency; Civil society has begun to play a role in debates/reforms and is respected; The legitimacy of infrastructure institutions and public confidence has increased. Well-capacitated institutions are in place; Respect for due process and stakeholder participation; Decisions are generally evidence-based and well-documented; Respect among social groups; Full confidence in infrastructure institutions.
Laws & Governance (Click here for more detail)  The state is not present throughout the country; Traditional systems of governance have broken down; Progress dependent on allegiances rather than merit. Service delivery by the government has begun to expand beyond the capital; Accountability mechanisms are still weak; Ethno-regional / political imbalances; Civil service poorly remunerated and politicized; Corruption and nepotism present. Institutions support dialogue,  but there is a lack of constructive cooperation required for long term decision making; Division of competencies is defined in the constitution but implementation is weak; Political power used to favor groups. Instruments of government exist throughout the regions of the country, enabling some infrastructure investments; Officials elected though a credible political process; Priority on performance of infrastructure sectors, with less rhetoric; Use of internet to promote transparency. Political consensus regarding infrastructure sectors as pre-requisites for economic and social development; Clear separation of powers within government; Responsive government fighting corruption and building strong merit-based institutions; Public institutions function well.
Institutions for Security & Justice (Click here for more detail) Continuous conflict and non-governed spaces have damaged infrastructure networks; Justice institutions only at national level and politically-driven; Weak public finance management; Systematic erosion of state institutions and systems of regulation through rent-seeking activities to ensure regime survival.


The intensity of conflict and political violence is manageable compared with earlier periods; Justice institutions are present but relatively ineffective; Agencies have problems following budgets; Relevant policies being developed and significant progress in the delivery of basic services, although still largely donor funded. State has begun to control the security situation facilitating long term planning; Justice institutions in some areas function effectively; Administrative sanctions are applied to non-performing civil servants; Regulatory framework is greatly enhanced but limited in its ability to promote efficiency.


The security situation has remained peaceful and stable for around 5 years; Courts are present and are relatively effective; Improvement in performance of civil servants and regulatory agency, rulings beginning to be data-driven. Peace and security have prevailed for long time; Efficient and effective courts with access to judicial assistance to all public communities; Public financial management systems and control mechanisms are functioning well; Strong policy frameworks, facilitating better use of statistics to improve performance.
Infrastructure Performance (Click here for more detail) Roads and power supplies either do not exist or are severely damaged; Widespread lack of access to necessary basic services; Service availability is highly irregular; Information systems are non-existent. Basic infrastructure networks are beginning to be put in place; Significant inequalities and regional imbalances in service delivery; Service availability is intermittent; Data are collected but information silos limit the relevance of such information. Access to basic infrastructure is available, but mainly in urban areas; the State has begun to provide some basic services; Data are beginning to be used by managers and regulators to improve operations. An enabling environment has been created for business development; Some decentralization to increase access to basic services throughout the whole country; Service quality has continued to improve; Reporting of key performance indicators has increased public awareness. The road and telecommunications networks connect major population centers in the country.  Water & energy systems are reliable; The State is a major provider of public services with private participation in some sectors; Service quality is high; Key performance indicators are used to identify performance trends and establish incentives.