Fragile States

DAI’s fragile states work, led by the Center for Secure and Stable States, builds on our global reputation for innovative post-crisis assistance to support political transition, ensure short-term stability operations, prevent and counter violent extremism (P/CVE), and lay the foundation for long-term development in fragile, crisis-stricken states.

Security and Justice

Our approach to enhancing security and justice focuses on the effectiveness, accountability, and responsiveness of security and justice institutions such as the police and the judiciary. We develop links among institutions, citizens, and communities.

According equal importance to national and local issues, we work simultaneously on institutional reform and improved service delivery. We help citizens identify gaps in security and justice provision. We mobilize their participation in reform efforts and strengthen channels to advance their demands for improved services. We help national governments and donors improve systems to measure results.

Transparency enhances accountability and enables evidence-based decision making. Our programs seek to strengthen ties between the formal and informal sectors, improve respect for human rights, and promote full access to justice, with special recognition of the needs of women and girls.

We recognize there are trade-offs between immediate needs and long-term reform. We seek to balance this tension through programs with shorter- and longer-term horizons. We also understand the tension between stabilization and development activities, yet recognize that both are important to produce resilient societies and governments that will reduce poverty and foster economic growth.

Our Experts


Jeremy Kanthor oversees DAI’s technical sectors and business development for our work with the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the State Department, and other U.S. Government clients.

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Sarah Maguire is the Global Director of Safeguarding at DAI. Sarah practiced at the Bar of England and Wales in criminal defence, immigration, asylum, and family law before joining the former U.K. Department for International Development as Senior Human Rights Adviser.

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Our Projects


Mexico—Improving Effectiveness of State-Level Justice Institutions (IESJI) Activity

The Improving Effectiveness of State-Level Justice Institutions in Mexico (IESJI) Activity consolidates and sustains recent justice system reforms by supporting state-level attorneys general offices and justice courts, with an emphasis on promoting collaboration and durable partnerships between these entities and other justice sector and local actors.

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Honduras—Asegurando la Educación (Securing Education)

Asegurando la Educación works to improve schools’ ability to prevent violence, strengthening local networks that increase school safety, and building the capacity of the Ministry of Education and social service agencies to respond to school-based violence.

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Nigeria—Accountable, Responsive, and Capable Government (ARC)

The programme helps local governments in Nigeria develop and implement policy by assisting them in tracking and accounting for how policies, plans, and budgets are used in delivering public goods and services to promote growth and reduce poverty.

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Honduras—Unidos por la Justicia (United for Justice)

The Unidos por la Justicia (United for Justice) program works with local partners to improve citizen engagement with the security and justice sectors; enhance the efficiency of the judicial system; and increase the effectiveness of community police.

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Liberia—Accountability and Voice Initiative (LAVI)

The Liberia Accountability and Voice Initiative is improving the citizen-state relationship in Liberia by supporting coalitions and advocacy campaigns that promote public sector accountability.

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Afghanistan—Promote: Musharikat

Musharikat supports USAID Afghanistan’s investments in women’s rights groups and activists.

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