Archived Webinar

How Citizen Engagement Can Help Mitigate the Risks of Fragility and Reinforce State Legitimacy

"The session discusses concrete examples of citizen engagement approaches and mechanisms implemented in FCV contexts and how the iterative interaction between citizens and authorities or service providers has a transformational impact on development results."

There is growing evidence that, under the right conditions, citizen engagement (CE) can help governments achieve improved and sustainable development results. Citizen engagement approaches can contribute to empowering citizens, reducing corruption, and improving service delivery. The Bank is increasingly focusing on addressing the drivers of FCV. Community-driven programs underpinned by citizen engagement mechanisms are an effective way of addressing some of these drivers. They can enable the delivery of basic services in an inclusive and accountable manner, thus helping to build community resilience and cohesion as well as state legitimacy.

The iterative interaction between citizens and authorities or service delivery providers through CE mechanisms helps to build trust between citizens and the state actors and thereby, reinforce state legitimacy. Resource allocation and access to basic services are often one the main conflict triggers and integrating CE to enhance citizens' voice, participation and transparency is key to building trust, therefore, addressing one of the issues at the core of conflict and fragility. However, more evidence and lessons from experience are needed to inform the design of effective programs and engagement mechanisms, particularly in FCV contexts. Several Bank-financed operations in FCV contexts have employed citizen engagement approaches at the local level, while partnering with civil society organizations (CSOs), to improve service delivery; stimulate local economic development; strengthen citizens mobilization and participation at the community.

At the same time, integrating CE mechanisms into operations has allowed for building local governments capacity to interact constructively with communities, improve access and quality of basic services based on communities feedback and strengthen communities' resilience and state legitimacy. Also, social intermediary institutions are key players for voice and service delivery in FCV environments as they are essential in building trust between underserved communities and fragile formal institutions. Civil Society Organizations can play an important role to facilitate this dialogue and ensure feedback loops are effective.

The session strengthens the knowledge and understanding of development practitioners about the impact and effectiveness of CE approaches in risk mitigation efforts as well as on sustainable development results. It also provides an opportunity for development experts and practitioners to ask questions and engage in a debate about how the concrete mechanisms and the lessons learned in these cases and how they can be adapted and employed in other FCV contexts and across development interventions more broadly.

This session is part of the Fragility Forum 2020 Virtual Series.

About the Presenters

Nicolas Perrin, Moderator

Lead Social Development Specialist, Africa, World Bank

Nicolas Perrin works as Lead Social Development Specialist in Africa at the World Bank in Washington. He has joined the Bank in 2003 and worked across the globe on a large number of operations. His work focuses on citizen engagement, community-driven development, and local governance. He is currently leading several operations in FCV settings in the Lake Chad Region, Sahel, Guinea, Casamance. He is also the coordinator of the Citizen Engagement secretariat which coordinates globally the mainstreaming of Citizen Engagement mechanisms across the WB portfolio. Prior to joining the World Bank, Nicolas has worked for the United Nations Development Program, the United Nations Capital Development Fund, and several international NGOs in South Asia, East Asia, Africa (including the Sahel) and Europe on microfinance, local governance, and rural development.

Najat Yamouri

Senior Social Development Specialist, Africa, World Bank

Najat Yamouri is a Senior Social Development Specialist in the Africa Region with over 25 years of cumulative cross-sectoral experience spanning 15 countries of which several FCVs. She currently serves as Citizen Engagement Regional Focal Point for the Africa Region where she is leading the operational mainstreaming of CE throughout various sectors such as decentralization, transport, agriculture, education, and across a diverse range of fragile countries such as Mali, Niger, and Guinea Bissau. She is also leading grievance redress mechanisms (GRM) assessments across several country portfolios, providing technical support and capacity building to Project Implementation Units (PIUs) and task teams to strengthen GRMs in a number of projects in Mali, Niger, Guinea Bissau, Burkina Faso, Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire, Cabo Verde, Sao Tome, Tanzania, Mauritania, and DRC.

Kaori Oshima

Senior Social Development Specialist, World Bank

Kaori joined the World Bank in 2010 and currently works in the Social Development Global Practice Africa Region team. She is leading and contributing to operations and analytical works with a focus on Community-Driven Development, Citizen Engagement, and Social inclusion and cohesion, including in areas affected by risks of fragility and conflicts.

Target Audience

Practitioners and general public

Questions Submitted


- Jan 4, 2022
Good initiative.

Mahaman Mourtala

- Sep 21, 2021
Interesting webinar!

jose luis

- Jul 21, 2021
que bien


- Jun 4, 2021


- Jan 13, 2021

Jared Troy

- Oct 29, 2020
Great topic.

Joy Mildred Adhiambo

- Aug 12, 2020
How Citizen Engagement Can Help Mitigate the Risks of Fragility and Reinforce State Legitimacy
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