Asia and Africa are enjoying unprecedented economic growth and, in many countries, greater political stability. But in many countries, growth has largely been without development. Income inequality has risen, under-employment is high and progress towards the MDGs uneven. Current population and urbanisation trends, if ignored, could lead to fragmentation and social exclusion.



    We help design stabilisation and growth strategies in fragile states and societies, political transitions and other sensitive contexts.

    • Our programme design is based on SWOTs, logical frameworks and theory-of-change approaches, political economy analysis and (where applicable) conflict analysis.
    • Our evaluations look at both correlations and possible contributions, and are fit for socially-divided and data-poor contexts.
    • Research, policy, programming, evaluation, facilitation and training: we offer our clients the full package.


    Established in 2013, we have earned the trust of recurrent clients such as the UK Department for International Development, the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the European Union, the African Development Bank, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the UN. Here are some recent projects.

    Monitoring and evaluation for effective peacebuilding

    against the background of the 2017 UN

    Human Rights Council Resolution on reconciliation, accountability, and human rights

    Training and facilitation


    Sri Lanka, September 2017

    Evaluation of EU regional cooperation with West Africa (2008-2015)


    Brussels, Abuja (ongoing)

    With ADE.

    Evaluation of EU regional cooperation with Eastern & Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean (2008-2015)


    Brussels, Addis, Arusha, Dar-Es-Salam, Djibouti (ongoing)

    With ADE.

    Annual Review of the UK's Sahel Conflict Reduction Programme

    Programme review

    London, Bamako, 2017


    Danish support to social cohesion in Mali

    Programme Design

    Mali, 2016

    Support to the Embassy to develop a proposed programme for Danish support to social cohesion in Mali, after the 2015 Accord d'Alger. With PEMConsult.

    Thinkpiece on conflict and fragility for the President Advisory Panel of the Islamic Development Bank

    Research and Recommendations


    Thinkpiece to help the President Advisory Panel discuss how the IDB can help its 56 member countries move from fragility to resilience: (i) main elements of fragility, and trends affecting IDB countries; (ii) ppportunities to seize, particularly those brought by digital technologies in terms of jobs, access to services, Government accountability, and social cohesion; (iii) Adaptation of the IDB business model to ensure its more fragile countries are not left behind and do not pose a threat to peace and prosperity

    Evaluation of EU joint programming with Member States


    Brussels, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Mali, 2016

    Evaluation of the relevance and effectiveness of joint programming between the EU and Member States, based on 14 country cases and headquarter visits. With ADE.

    Evaluation of EU support to demobilisation and reinsertion of ex-combattants in Côte d'Ivoire, 2013-2016


    Côte d'Ivoire, 2016

    Evaluability Assessment of the UN Peacebuilding Fund Portfolio in Côte d'Ivoire

    Evaluability Assessment

    Côte d'Ivoire, 2016


    Danish support to security in Burkina Faso

    Programme Design

    Burkina Faso, 2015

    Quality assurance of a proposed programme for Danish support to the security system in Burkina Faso, with interviews and focus-group discussions in Ouagadougou, Ouahigouya and Bobo-Dioulasso. Revisions to take into account the risks and opportunities of the ongoing transition (after the October 2014 regime change). With PEMConsult.


    Evaluation of EU cooperation with Pakistan 2007-2014


    Pakistan, 2015-2016 (ongoing)

    With responsibility for governance and human rights, evaluation of EU support to Pakistan between 2007-2014. With ADE.


    African Development Bank support to countries in fragile situations: Burundi, DR Congo, Togo (2004-2013) and Côte d'Ivoire (2006-2016)


    Burundi, DR Congo, Togo, 2015-17

    Analysis of each country's trajectory (2004-2013) in terms of state capacity and legitimacy and societal resilience; and of AfDB's contribution to this trajectory. Recommendations for future support to countries in fragile situations. With ADE.


    Conférence internationale pour la relance économique et le développement du Mali


    Paris, 2015

    Support to conference bringing together the Government of Mali, signatories to the Alger peace accord, civil society and delegations from 64 countries and organisations: conference documents, messages for media and final communiqué.

    UK and EU electoral support to Zambia

    Programme Design

    Zambia, 2015

    Co-drafted the contours of UK and EU joint electoral support (channeled through UNDP) for 2015-2018: context analysis, theory of change, programme components, programme management, budget.


    Development Effectiveness in Uzbekistan

    Research and Operational Recommendations

    Uzbekistan, 2015

    Based on interviews with government officials and development partners, produced an analysis of the development finance landscape and aid effectiveness in Uzbekistan, and presented recommendations to improve the development impact of aid at an inter-ministerial meeting.


    Survey on donor support to security and justice


    Paris, 2015

    Synthesis report on an OECD survey gathering DAC members' views on their support to security and justice: aid and non-aid allocations, thematic priorities and geographic priorities (current and future), existing policy guidance and future needs.


    Governance in Africa


    2014 + 2015

    Chapter of the 2014 and 2015 African Economic Outlook (a joint African Development Bank-OECD-UNDP publication) on Political and Economic Governance in Africa.


    DFID's scale up of aid to fragile states



    Member of Advisory Panel for the UK Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) review of the UK's scaling-up of aid to fragile states. With KPMG.


    Security in Timor-Leste


    Timor-Leste, 2014

    Research on the extent to which personal security improved since Timor-Leste's restoration of independence, and correlation with sources of domestic and international finance. With ODI. Part of Development Progress, a four-year research project supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.


    EU support to the COMESA region 2014-2020

    Facilitation and Programme Design

    Zambia, 2014

    Facilitation and consultation-based design of EU support to the COMESA region 2014-2020, focused on:

    - Reduced cost of cross-border trade through removal of internal barriers

    - Increased SME participation in global value chains

    - COMESA common investment area signed and implemented

    -Enhanced COMESA Secretariat capacity to ensure compliance of COMESA commitments

    EU Staff Handbook for Operating in Situations of Fragility

    Research and Operational Guidance

    Brussels, 2013-14

    Consultations at Delegations and Headquarters, and development of an EU Handbook for Staff Operating in Situations of Fragility and Conflict. With ADE.


    Access to Security and Justice in Sierra Leone


    Sierra Leone, 2013

    Mid-term review of the DFID Access to Security and Justice Programme in Sierra Leone, a holistic Programme engaging with formal and customary institutions, civil society and community-based structures. With DAI.

    Evaluation of EU and EU Member States support to Burundi 2005-2011


    Burundi, 2013

    With responsiblity for governance and security issues, conducted Joint Evaluation of European Union, Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, Sweden and UK engagement in Burundi between 2005-2011.


    EU support to Zambia 2014-2020

    Facilitation and Programme Design

    Zambia, 2013

    In 2014, led drafting of the National Indicative Programme for the period 2014- 2020, based on facilitation of dialogue among Government of Zambia ministries and the EU Delegation to Zambia, and on available sector analyses (Governance, Agriculture and Energy).

    UNDP Regional Programme for Africa 2014-2017

    Programme Design

    New York, Addis-Abbaba, Pretoria, Libreville, Gaborone, Lusaka, 2013

    Based on consultation with African leaders (Governments, civil society, African Union, NEPAD and Regional Economic Communities), and with responsibility for Governance issues, developed a concept note and the UNDP Regional Programme for for Africa.


    Deborah Alimi


    Deborah Alimi is a researcher in international relations, focused on governance, international development, and international strategies and policies regarding transnational organized crime and illicit practices.


    A member of the European Center for Sociology and Political Science, she is pursuing a PhD in Political Science at Sorbonne. She analyses the evolutions and strategic reformulations of international drug policy and agenda.


    Prior to her PhD, Deborah served as Policy Analyst in the OECD’s Network on Governance (GOVNET), focusing on anti-corruption and accountability. Before that, she was a research assistant on democratic governance and human rights issues for organisations such as UNPD and the Washington–based Centre for Development and Population Activities.


    A French native, Deborah holds an MA in Democracy and Governance from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., as well as a Maîtrise in Political Science from Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne in Paris. She speaks English and Spanish, and has some knowledge of Russian. Deborah is based in Paris.

    Edward B. Rackley

    Senior Advisor

    Ed Rackley is a security and governance adviser to leading multilateral and bilateral institutions (World Bank, UN, DFID, USAID...), as well as INGOs (MSF), with over 20 years living and working in conflict-related emergencies and fragile states, notably in the Horn, Great Lakes, Sahel and West Africa. He also has programming and research experience in LAC, Balkans and SE Asian transitional contexts. In 2008 he co-founded Prism Partnerships in Nairobi to support community-led reconstruction initiatives in conflict-affected areas of East and Central Africa. He speaks English, French, Kikongo and Lingala.


    He holds doctoral and master’s degrees in political philosophy from the New School for Social Research, New York. His doctoral dissertation addressed the moral logic of humanitarian intervention, a critique of the humanitarian presumption that inaction before human atrocity amounts to complicity. He is a contributing author and co-editor of Catastrophe: Law, Politics and the Humanitarian Impulse (2009) and R.D. Congo: Silence, On Meurt (2002), and has published in Disasters, Multitudes, The Christian Science Monitor, Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal, Sustainable Security, and 3QuarksDaily. Ed is based in Washington, DC.





    Colin Scott

    Senior Advisor

    Colin Scott is a Development Finance specialist, with over 30 of experience with development banks, UN agencies and international NGOs.


    Until 2015, he was Lead Specialist in the Operations Risk Management team of the World Bank’s policy and country services vice presidency, where he specialised in environmental and social safeguards and was task leader of the Bank’s corporate review of safeguard policies. Prior to that he spent seven years in the Bank’s Middle East and North Africa region specialising in conflict-affected and fragile states, and leading the team producing a regional study, “Reducing Conflict Risk”. Prior, starting in 1996, he worked on social risk, conflict and development at the World Bank including six years as administrator of the Bank’s Post Conflict Fund.


    Previously, he was a policy and communications consultant working on conflict and development issues for NGOs, UN agencies and independent institutions such as the Humanitarianism and War Project at Brown University. He served as senior press officer with Save the Children UK and managed its assistance programs in Mali, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Prior to that he worked in local government and the voluntary sector in the UK in social welfare policy, services and communications.


    He has an MSc. in International Relations, an LLB in law, and a professional qualification in social work. Colin is based in Washington, DC.

    Claudia Seymour

    Senior Advisor

    Claudia Seymour is an applied researcher with 15 years of experience, working primarily in conflict-affected environments in sub-Saharan Africa.


    Her research specialisations include youth, child protection, resilience to armed violence, humanitarian assistance, and security sector reform.


    She has served with a range of UN bodies, including the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, UNICEF and the UN Group of Experts on the DRC and has led in-depth assessments, studies and evaluations for a variety of international and non-governmental organisations, in countries including Burundi, Central African Republic, DRC, Kenya and Liberia.


    She is currently a Research Associate with the Centre on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, and the Department of Development Studies, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London.


    She holds a PhD in Development Studies from SOAS, and an MA in International Relations and Economics from the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Johns Hopkins University. Claudia is based in Geneva.


    List of publications


    EU Cooperation with Pakistan


    The report on the European Union's cooperation with Pakistan (2007-2014) is out. We found the EU, a medium-sized partner for Pakistan,  has seized opportunities presented by Pakistan’s return to democracy since 2008, contributed to respond to acute needs, and promoted gender equality, downwards accountability, democracy and good governance. Economic links have been strengthened with the adoption of the GSP+ trade regime. Sector budget support, although risky, was used to support provincial reform strategies in Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the fields of education and rural development. This proved relevant and timely given the decentralisation process.


    The EU’s soft approach allowed it to be appreciated as a “neutral” partner by national stakeholders, and its combination of financial and significant non-financial cooperation (notably through the high level political and strategic dialogue held in EU-Pakistan Joint Commission) to “punch above its weight”. 


    These achievements remain work in progress and need to be pursued. The EU could establish itself as a more central and effective partner by working with existing, endogenous development initiatives and local drivers of change (government and/or civil society), and working not only on actual projects but also upstream on security and rule of law policies and norms.


    Half of the world’s 50 most fragile countries are Member Countries of the Islamic Development Bank. This study underlines that no two fragile states are alike: some have weak capacity to deliver services; others have difficult state-society relations; whereas others combine both weak capacity and weak legitimacy. The study also considers transnational drivers of fragility, as they may be increasing in importance. The study identifies megatrends and game-changers, four possible scenarios and implications for the IDB.


    In addressing fragility, the digital revolution can increase access to information, education, health, finance, markets and jobs – not least for marginalised groups and youth. But it will need to be accompanied by deliberate efforts to generate inclusion and stability rather than exclusion and extremism.


    Africa saw some major advances in democracy in 2014, and the continent remains on its long-term trajectory of improved governance.

    Since the 2008 crisis, however, main governance gains have been in the area of political participation, and not in much else. In 2014, several countries experienced instability, terrorism or conflicts, threatening some hard-fought gains.


    In Burundi, things have taken a turn for the worst as early as 2010.

    Politically-motivated killings peaked at 60-70 cases in 2011.


    There is a bonfire waiting for a spark, with the convergence of 1) the swelling ranks of jobless, urbanised and knowledgeable youth; 2) a network of radicalised youth groups such as the ImboneraKure; and 3) general elections scheduled in 2015.


    In spite of the 80 experts we interviewed who supported that the risk of a return to mass violence was minor, we found that the elements for a perfect storm are gathering.