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THE CHALLENGE OF CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT: WORKING TOWARDS GOOD PRACTICE

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Title: THE CHALLENGE OF CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT: WORKING TOWARDS GOOD PRACTICE


1
THE CHALLENGE OF CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT WORKING
TOWARDS GOOD PRACTICE
  • Based on DAC Network on Governance
    DCD/DAC/GOVNET(2005)5/REV1,
  • Feb.1, 2006

2
CONTENTS
  • Why focus on capacity?
  • What has been learned?
  • From emerging consensus to better practice on the
    ground
  • Capacity development in fragile states
  • Moving Forward Unfinished business
  • Annex 1 Vicious and virtuous cycle of
    empowerment
  • Annex 2 UNDPs default principles for capacity
    development

3
I. WHY FOCUS ON CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT?
4
Growing consensus on aid effectiveness and
capacity
The 2005 Paris Declaration on Aid
Effectiveness Calls for capacity development to
be an explicit objective of national development
poverty reduction strategies
The UN Millennium Project and the Commission for
Africa Challenges the world to treat capacity
development with greater urgency
The New Partnership for Africas Development
(NEPAD) Identified capacity constraints as a
major obstacle to sustainable development
Capacity Development One of the most
important elements of aid effectiveness
Without sufficient capacity, development efforts
will not succeed
5
Challenge
  • In recent years more than US15 billion (1/4th of
    donor aid) went to Technical Cooperation, most
    of which dealt with capacity development
  • Despite these investments, development of
    sustainable capacity development remains one of
    the most difficult areas of international
    development practice
  • Capacity Development one of the least responsive
    targets of donor assistance
  • 2004 Global Monitoring Report for MDGs reveals
    that public sector capacity lagged behind all
    other MDG benchmarks

6
contrast between
Difficulty of achieving Capacity Development
Increasingly recognized importance of
Capacity Development
  • The Aim of the Paper

7
Aims of the Paper
8
Lesson Learned
  • No quick fixes or easy formulas that work well in
    all circumstances
  • There is a set of core issues which improve the
    results achieved in many particular settings

9
Basic Understandings
  • Capacity the ability of people, organizations
    and society as a whole to manage their affairs
    successfully
  • Generic capacities the ability to plan manage
    organizational changes service improvements
  • Specific capacities for e.g., public financial
    management or trade negotiations

10
Relationship between capacity performance
  • Analogous to a motor car
  • We maintain the cars engine, chassis, brakes,
    tires, etc its capacity because we value safe
    reliable transportation the performance it
    provides
  • In development, we are interested in factors that
    make possible strong performance in relation to
    development goals MDGs, which requires a clear
    understanding of the determinants

11
Capacity Development
  • The process whereby people, organizations
    society as a whole unleash, strengthens, creates,
    adapts maintain capacity over time
  • Not the same as capacity building which
    suggests a process starting with a plain surface
    and involving the step-by-step erection of a new
    structure, based on preconceived designed

12
Promotion of Capacity Development
  • What outside partners domestic or foreign can
    do to support, facilitate or catalyze capacity
    development change processes
  • Not equivalent to Technical Assistance or
    Technical Cooperation

13
Relationship between Technical Assistance
Capacity Development
Facilitating access to knowledge
Brokering multi-stake-holder agreements
Capacity Development
Technical Assistance
Participating in policy dialogue advocacy
Providing incremental resources
Creating space for learning by doing
14
Importance of Capacity Development
Two connected observations
Country Ownership is the cornerstone of aid
development effectiveness
Country capacity is the key to
Development Performance
15
Level of Analysis
Capacity challenge is a Governance challenge
Individual level (experience, knowledge
technical skills)
Organizational level (systems, procedures rules)
Systemic factors, i.e., relationships between the
enabling environment, organizations and
individuals
Influences by means of incentives it creates
Enabling environment (institutional framework,
power structure influence)
Successful capacity development requires not only
skills organizational procedures, but also
incentives good governance
16
Scope limits of Capacity Development
Building an effective state
Promotion of good governance
Institutional Development
Capacity Development
17
II. WHAT HAS BEEN LEARNED?
18
History
  • Capacity and capacity development issues on the
    development agenda for ages, starting in the
    early 1950s
  • Seen primarily as a technical process, involving
    transfer of knowledge from the North to the South
  • Overestimated the ability of development
    cooperation to build capacity in the absence of
    national commitment
  • LESSON LEARNED To be effective capacity
    development must be part of an endogenous process
    of change, with national ownership and leadership
    as the critical factors

19
Agreement on DAC Principles for Effective Aid
(1992)
Shaping the 21st Century OECD DAC
paper outlining a new paradigm (1996)
Paris Declaration (2005)
The New Consensus Capacity development is the
prime responsibility of partner countries, with
donors playing a supporting role
Rome Declaration (2003)
Comprehensive Development Framework (CDF) (1998)
Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper
(PRSP) Initiative (1998)
20
One of the most important element of the new
consensus
  • Capacity Development is primarily the
    responsibility of partner countries with donors
    playing a supportive role

21
The role of partner countries and donors in
capacity development
  • Partner Countries
  • Lead the process
  • Set specific
  • objectives in
  • national
  • development
  • plans
  • Implementation
  • through country-led
  • strategies
  • Donor Countries
  • Mobilize financial
  • analytical support around
  • partner countrys objectives,
  • plans strategies
  • Make full use of
  • existing capacities
  • Harmonize support
  • for capacity development

22
New emphasis on local ownership
  • Recognition of the importance of political
    leadership and the governance system to create an
    enabling environment
  • Ownership is processes trends not the presence
    or absence of a particular quality
  • Ownership is not monolithic

23
Forces influencing capacity development
BLOCKING FACTORS - NEGATIVE FORCES
Systemic factors, i.e., relationships between the
enabling environment, organizations and
individuals
Capacity Development
FACTORS FAVOURING - POSITIVE FORCES
24
Conditions that make public sector capacity
difficult to develop
  • Lack of a broadly enabling environment
  • Lack of human security presence of armed
    conflict
  • Poor economic policies discouraging pro-poor
    growth
  • Weak scrutiny of the legislative branch on the
    executive branch
  • Lack of effective voice of the intended
    beneficiaries
  • Entrenched corruption
  • Entrenched widespread clientelism or
    partimonialism

25
Conditions that make public sector capacity
difficult to develop
  • Aspects of government ineffectiveness environment
  • Fragmented government with poor overall capacity
  • Absent, non-credible and/or rapidly changing
    policies
  • Unpredictable, unbalanced or inflexible funding
    staffing
  • Poor public service conditions
  • Segmented compartmentalized organizations
  • Only a formal commitment to performance-oriented
    culture

26
Conditions favouring capacity development in
organizations
  • Strong pressures from outside
  • Top management provides visible leadership for
    change, promotes a clear sense of mission,
    encourages participation, established explicit
    expectations about performance rewards
  • Change management is approached in an integrated
    manner
  • A critical mass of staff is involved
  • Organizational innovations are tried, tested
    adapted
  • Quick wins are celebrated
  • Change process is strategically proactively
    managed

27
Summary of lessons learned
  • Capacity development involves three levels -
    individuals, organizational and enabling
    environment which are interdependent
  • Capacity development goes well beyond Technical
    Cooperation and training approaches
  • Incentives generated by organizations the
    overall environment is critical for using skilled
    personnel
  • Capacity development is necessarily an endogenous
    process of change
  • Focusing on capacity building of organizations
    make success more likely

28
III. FROM EMERGING CONSENSUS TO BETTER PRACTICE
ON THE GROUND
29
A framework for capacity development
Not a single, once-only sequence
STEPS LEVELS LEVELS LEVELS
STEPS Individual Organizational Enabling environment
Understanding the international and country contexts
Identifying supporting sources of country-owned change
Delivering support
Learning from experiences and sharing lessons
A flexible, best fit search for supporting
capacity development
30
Individual level
STEPS STEPS
Understanding the international and country contexts How is the availability of skilled committed individuals shaped by global local push pull factors? Under what conditions could diasporas contribute more strongly to capacity development at home?
Identifying supporting sources of country-owned change Are individual professionals able to be mobilize? Are donor sufficiently responsive to restoring salary levels in key posts?
Delivering support Do training components take full advantage of the potential of ICT? Are the training components linked to increasing organizational effectiveness and putting new skills to use?
Learning from experiences and sharing lessons Does the follow u goes beyond knowledge livelihood benefits? Is it tracking the effects on organizational capacity performance?
31
Organizational level
STEPS STEPS
Understanding the international and country contexts How are capacities currently shaped by the informal political aspects of organizations? Are these features generalized or variable across organizations or organizational spheres? Are there private-sector pressures resources that can be mobilized?
Identifying supporting sources of country-owned change Is capacity development an explicit objective of a plan or policy benefiting from country ownership? Is there effective ownership initiatives within particular organizations or organizational spheres?
Delivering support Have the objectives been clearly defined in terms of desired capacity development outcomes? Have the inputs service providers selected with the view to cost effectiveness or the decisions been supply-driven?
Learning from experiences and sharing lessons Is the achievement of outcomes effectively monitored fed back into the process? Do the monitoring arrangements include proxy measures with appropriate involvement of clients or service users?
32
Enabling environment
STEPS STEPS
Understanding the international and country contexts What are the historical contemporary factors underlying weak political will? How are power structures formal informal institutions changing and with what effects on politicians incentives?
Identifying supporting sources of country-owned change Does the interaction between donors and country actors form a virtuous circle or a vicious circle? Are there ways donors can encourage effective demand within the country for capacity development?
Delivering support Are the donors promoting changes in the institutional environment for capacity development? Is support being delivered in ways that enhance, or undermine, the possibility of organizations learning y doing?
Learning from experiences and sharing lessons Is there monitoring of changes in institutional rules how it has come about? Is there independent, objective monitoring pf the mode of delivery?
33
Understanding the international country contexts
  • A good understanding of context is fundamental
  • Country political economy studies provide a
    valuable first step
  • Important to get beneath the surface of the
    organization, looking for both formal informal,
    hidden aspects
  • Identify the relevant stakeholders
  • Donors should consider whether their own
    governments policies are part o the problem
  • Consider the role of the diasporas

34
Identifying supporting sources of country-owned
change
  • Country ownership needs to be treated as a
    process
  • The interaction between donors domestic actors
    can generate either vicious or virtuous circles
    of change
  • Donors should encourage the effective demand
    for public sector capacity
  • Modalities of donor support should encourage and
    strengthen initiatives benefiting from country
    commitment
  • Capacity needs assessment a useful entry point
  • Choosing the right organizational cope is as
    important as selecting the right organization
  • Some organizations are more crucial than others

35
Delivering support
  • The enabling environment is still relevant when
    specific design issues are considered
  • Technical cooperation is effective when pooled
    and coordinated
  • Donor-instigated Project Implementation Units
    (PIUs) should be avoided whenever possible
  • Agreeing the desired outcomes of capacity
    development is crucial
  • South-South learning should be encouraged
  • Large new investments in training capacity may be
    justified

36
Lessons learned about capacity development
through long-term training
  • Better to aim at institutional changes in key
    organizations than focus on improving the
    capacity of individuals
  • The gains in long-term training includes work
    attitudes, critical thinking, self-confidence,
    etc.
  • Having a critical mass of staff in the same
    organization trained abroad in the same country
    make changes more possible
  • Costs and benefits of different training options
    must be determined
  • Follow up support in organizations essential
  • Long-term commitment by donors is critical
  • Source USAIDs African Graduate Fellowship
    (AFGRAD) and African Training for Leadership and
    Advanced Skills (ATLAS) Programme

37
Learning from experience and sharing lessons
  • Capacity development initiatives should maximize
    learning
  • Further lessons must be extracted about what
    works and what does not in terms of changing the
    enabling environment
  • Monitoring should also look into whether donor
    support is delivered in a way that assist country
    ownership
  • An independent form of monitoring, capable of
    generating objective judgments is required
  • Select and apply measures of achievement
  • Collect the views of intended clients or
    end-users
  • Individual assessment is not just about skill
    enhancement

38
Summing up on operationalising the new consensus
  • General formulas models do not produce
    sustainable benefits
  • Approaches that achieve a best fit with the
    particular circumstances of the country, sector
    or organization is needed

39
IV. CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT IN FRAGILE STATES
40
Fragile States
  • Most difficult aid environments that are being
    neglected by the international community
  • Countries recovering from conflict
  • Regimes that are chronically weak or in decline
  • Capacity development must prioritize on reducing
    fragility

41
General principles for working in fragile
development environments
  • Development partners need to be highly selective
    in the instruments they use for capacity
    development
  • Must understand the country context and focus on
    an approach suitable in the specific
    circumstances
  • Must be realistic about their expectations
  • Donors need to identify likely partners and work
    with them consistently over the short, medium and
    longer terms

42
Lessons learned from working on capacity
development in fragile states
  • Capacity development efforts must selectively
    focus on core state functions, so that they can
    effectively provide for their people
  • Planning tools developed for post-conflict
    environments may be useful
  • Respect the principle of endogenous change and
    foster country leadership
  • New capacity development initiatives must not
    erode or duplicate existing capacities in
    individual, organizational or enabling
    environment terms
  • Sectoral selectivity or partial alignment can
    deliver strategic pay-offs
  • Modest capacity development can be achieved even
    in states with acute governance challenges

43
V. MOVING FORWARD UNFINISHED BUSINESS
44
Experiences of the past 5 decades
  • Donors must align with and support country-driven
    approaches and systems for capacity development
  • Significant efforts are required
  • More creative thinking is needed
  • Moving from right answers to a best fit
    implies a better understanding of country
    contexts, identifying sources of country-owned
    change, designing appropriate forms of support
    and sharing lessons learned

45
Unfinished Business of Capacity Development
  • Consolidating consensus on capacity development
    as an endogenous process of unleashing,
    strengthening, creating and maintaining capacity
    over time
  • Identifying addressing the systemic factors
    that discourage country-owned efforts
  • Donors provide support which encourages,
    strengthens and do not replace initiatives by
    leaders and managers in partner countries
  • Integrating human capital formation and Technical
    Cooperation with institutional changes and
    organizational reforms
  • Developing policy-relevant disaggregated
    Technical Cooperation statistics

46
Annex 1 Vicious Circle Virtuous Circle
47
Vicious Cycle of Empowerment
see bad results as confirming weak capacity and
commitment
DONORS
fail to claim ownership refuse responsibility
entitlement attitude
perceive standards as unrealistic, irrelevant
fill leadership gap, set boundaries and logic
suspicious establish evaluation standards,
emphasize quantity
RECIPIENTS
the get-most-out-of-the-system attitude
lack of control perceive inequities, friction
mistrust
advocate and set priorities
control implementation, staff procurement
perceives disconnect with needs and preferences
inability to question or refuse logic
conceive, write and present plan
Source UNDP, Ownership, Leadership and
Transformation, New York (2003), p.42/43
48
Annex 1 Virtuous Circle
49
Virtuous Cycle of Empowerment
perceive growing assertiveness capacity
development
DONORS
claim ownership assume responsibility
perceive agreed standards as relevant draw
lessons
exercise respect, restraint listen
help improve evaluation standards
RECIPIENTS
develop evaluation standards growing
partnership trust
Reform system that works for development
support national efforts, priorities, systems
processes
take some risk provide support on demand
control implementation, staff procurement
conceive, write present plan
constructive critique and long-term commitment
based on agreed conditions
Source UNDP, Ownership, Leadership and
Transformation, New York (2003), p.42/43
50
Annex 1 Virtuous Circle
51
UNDPs default principlescapacity development
  1. A long-term process which cannot be rushed
  2. Require respect for value systems and must foster
    self-esteem
  3. A learning process without blueprints
  4. Not power neutral and challenges existing
    mindsets and power differentials
  5. Promote development and is sustainable

52
UNDPs default principlescapacity development
  1. Establish positive incentives
  2. Integrate external inputs into national
    priorities, processes and systems
  3. Build upon existing capacities rather than
    creating new ones
  4. Stay engaged under difficult circumstances
  5. Remain accountable to ultimate beneficiaries
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