In development, stabilization, and peace building, donors increasingly recognize the importance of being sensitive to the local contexts of their efforts. Yet the use of "blueprints" remains widespread. Even when standard approaches are modified for particular aid partners, there often remains a poor fit between donor efforts and local conditions. When recipients cannot absorb the aid and attention they are offered, the common response is "capacity building."
Robert D. Lamb is a senior fellow and director of the Program on Crisis, Conflict, and Cooperation. Kathryn Mixon is program coordinator and research assistant with the Program on Crisis, Conflict, and Cooperation at CSIS. Andrew Halterman is a research intern with the Program on Crisis, Conflict, and Cooperation at CSIS.