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World Development Report 2011

Today's More than 1.5 billion people live in countries affected by violent conflict. The World Development Report 2011: Conflict, Security and Development examines the changing nature of violence in the 21st century, and underlines the negative impact of repeated cycles of violence on a country or region’s development prospects. The risk of major violence is greatest when high levels of stress, political, security or economic, combine with weak and illegitimate institutions. Preventing violence and building peaceful states that respond to the aspirations of their citizens requires strong leadership and concerted national and international efforts. The Report is based on new research, case studies and extensive consultations with leaders and development practitioners throughout the world.

Objective and Approach

The World Bank has seen violent conflict as a profound development challenge from the outset. The establishment of the Bretton Woods agencies in the aftermath of the Second World War reflected a belief that reconstructing countries devastated by warfare was an international responsibility. Much of the world has made rapid progress in building stability and reducing poverty in the past sixty years, but areas characterized by persistent violence and by fragile institutions are being left far behind, their economic growth compromised and their human indicators stagnant. Violent conflict thus remains a central development concern and an issue for the World Bank’s clients across all regions and income levels. The goal of the 2011 World Development Report (WDR) is to showcase new thinking and contribute concrete, practical suggestions to the debate on how to address violent conflict and fragility.

Given the wide range of stakeholders involved in the debate on conflict, the WDR team is reaching out to ensure that the report benefits from the widest possible range of voices over the 18-month WDR cycle:

Country and Regional Engagements: The WDR has undertaken case studies and consultations on fragile and conflict-affected countries and regions, featuring field visits and in-country roundtables.

Expert Consultations: A series of expert brainstorming sessions have been held to gather prominent academics, policymakers and civil society representatives to share their knowledge and experience.

WDR Advisory Council: The WDR Advisory Council brings together senior and seasoned representatives from emerging economic powers, regional organizations and conflict-affected countries.

Regional Consultations: The WDR team has met with policymakers, experts, and civil society, to discuss the regional implications.

Bilateral and Multilateral Outreach: Particular attention has been given to close consultation with the United Nations system and reaching out to political, security and development communities.
Civil Society and the Private Sector: The experience and views of nongovernmental organizations and the private sector, from both North and South, is prioritized in WDR outreach.

With the Report itself as the centerpiece, the 2011 WDR has tried to stimulate a wide-ranging debate, and to capitalize on the current surge in attention to conflict and fragility. To enrich the WDR’s empirical base and to communicate important insights to diverse audiences, the WDR team is using the web, social media, video, and film to portray the realities of conflict and the development challenge it poses.

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