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Creative’s FRAMe is a diagnostic tool used to assess community fragility and build resilience. FRAMe uses a qualitative questionnaire based on a Likert scale to analyze a community’s governance system. It  focuses on eight key functional dimensions: 1) Leadership, 2) Administrative Management, 3) Fiscal Management, 4) Service Delivery, 5) Civic Participation, 6) Security Environment, 7) Justice & Rule of Law and 8) Economic Foundations. The tool considers each dimension across seven stability factors: 1) Inclusion, 2) Decentralization & Local Discretion, 3) Social Cohesion, 4) Performance, 5) Civic Infrastructure, 6) Confidence & Trust and 7) System Legitimacy.

The core principle behind FRAMe is that through a deeper and more nuanced understanding of a community’s unique governance system – the players that comprise it and their influence on the factors that drive its stability – community leaders and development practitioners can better tailor programmatic solutions, allocate resources and organize constituencies, mitigating the potential for conflict and reinforcing community resilience-building mechanisms. FRAMe enables Creative to collect data on citizen perceptions of local governance, support targeted and effective program interventions and monitor the change in the relationship between citizens and governing actors.

While there are several good methodologies for assessing both community-level conflict dynamics and the efficacy of community-level governing institutions, FRAMe seeks to bridge these two practices and bring insight into how local governance both drives and can help mitigate descent into instability.

FRAMe results are disaggregated by group – data is collected from single-identity focus groups, so that practitioners can see where there are significant gaps in perceptions and where internal schisms may lie. This can expose areas of inequality or marginalization that might fuel conflict and influence the kinds of solutions that are undertaken, either by project staff or local government officials