PSD in fragile and conflict-affected environments

“Conflict, violence and peace both shape and are shaped by the economy. (…)The need and desire for access to and control over resources has always been a cause of conflict”; conversely, societies are more likely to prosper and be peaceful if people have fair access to livelihood opportunities and services.  (International Alert, 2015).

At a glance: Synthesis Note on PSD in fragile and conflict-affected environments

Synthesis Note: PSD in FCAEs, DCED, 2018. This Note summarises current findings, issues and debates. Key take-aways include:

  • Even in adverse situations, the private sector still provides the most important route out of poverty for the majority of poor people.
  • Well-designed private sector development (PSD) programmes can be a viable way of reducing poverty in fragile and conflict-affected environments (FCAEs), but the extent to which PSD helps peace-building is less clear.
  • Making PSD programmes in FCAEs a success requires that donors mobilise sufficient resources and the right staff capacities to fully understand the situation on the ground. PSD programming should be an integral part of the conflict management process.

Introductory and overview papers


Background: conflict, peace and the economy

Seminal research on economic conflict factors

The impact of conflict on the private sector

The role of the private sector for economic recovery and peace-building


Practitioner guidance and case studies

General Principles of Effective Donor Support

Basic guiding principles

Conflict assessment

Business Environment Reform


Assessment, design and implementation

Market Development Approaches

Overviews and case studies

Challenge Funds

Promoting Responsible Investment

Results Measurement

Country case studies

Cross-Cutting Issues: Employment and Vulnerable Groups

Photo credits

Photo credit: Ed Hedley