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Evaluation of Sweden’s application of internationally agreed principles for engagement in fragile states

The Expert Group for Aid Studies (EBA) is a government committee mandated to evaluate and
analyse the direction, governance and implementation of Sweden’s official development assistance
with a specific focus on results and efficiency. The aim is to contribute to an efficient implementation
of well-designed aid. The EBA focuses primarily on overarching issues within Swedish development
assistance, not on individual projects. The EBA consists of an expert group of ten members, and a
secretariat placed in Stockholm.

The key development problem to solve is how to support socio-economic inclusive and sustainable
development in fragile countries. At the 4th High Level forum for Aid Effectiveness in Busan, South Korea 2011, ’the New Deal for
Engagement in Fragile States’ (the New Deal henceforth) was launched. A prime argument was that
1,5 billion of the poorest people in the world live in fragile situations and that ongoing efforts at
reaching the millennium goals largely bypassed these groups. Today, mention is seldom made of the
New Deal. However, its core principles still form the basis of more recent initiatives and the initiative
remains a reference point in some of Sweden’s steering documents for development cooperation. The New Deal comprises several principles that aim to change donor approaches to investing in
conflict prone and fragile situations, and simultaneously build a base for peace- and state building led
by national governments.