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The report offers lessons learned and examples of how U.S. nonprofits have become stronger, more sustainable and better able to serve their communities. It reflects an explicit faith in planning and other standard business practices driven by senior management. In addition to the study, the report presents the well-known McKinsey organizational capacity assessment tool (OCAT) developed to help nonprofit leaders and staff assess their operational capacity and identify for themselves their strengths and areas for improvement.
According to the authors, "many reform initiatives in developing countries fail to achieve sustained improvements in performance because they are merely isomorphic mimicry—that is, governments and organizations pretend to reform by changing what policies or organizations look like rather than what they actually do. The flow of development resources and legitimacy without demonstrated improvements in performance, however, undermines the impetus for effective action to build state capability or improve performance.
In the developing world, provision of capacity development services is most often supply-driven rather than based on genuine user demand. This case study presents an alternative delivery mechanism to address this challenge--Local Capacity Development Facility (LCDF) --and describes how it was realized in Cameroon.
The concept of "good enough governance" provides a platform for questioning the long menu of institutional changes and capacity-building initiatives currently deemed important (or essential) for development. Nevertheless, it falls short of being a tool to explore what, specifically, needs to be done in any real world context. Thus, as argued by the author in 2004, given the limited resources of money, time, knowledge, and human and organizational capacities, practitioners are correct in searching for the best ways to move towards better governance in a particular country context.
"In most recent writings about governance reform and development, recipes are out. So are 'one size fits all' and idealized end states," says the author. "Instead, a new generation of thinking emphasizes the importance of knowing the context in which reformed policies, institutions and process are to be introduced and designs interventions that are appropriate to time, place, historical experience, and local capacity."
"Social scientists have long struggled to develop methods adequate to their theoretical understanding of meaning as collective and dynamic. While culture is widely understood as an emergent property of collectivities, the methods we use keep pulling us back towards interview-situated accounts and an image of culture as located in individual experience," according to the authors.
A USAID model for sustainable performance improvement.
This report endeavored to capture the wealth of knowledge that emerged through numerous initiatives taken up by the International Forum on Capacity Building (IFCB) from 2000-2003.
Kicking Away the Ladder: How the Economic and Intellectual Histories of Capitalism Have Been Re-Written to Justify Neo-Liberal Capitalism
The author states that "there is currently great pressure on developing countries to adopt a set of 'good policies' and 'good institutions'--such as liberalisation of trade and investment and strong patent law--to foster their economic development. When some developing countries show reluctance, the proponents of this recipe often find it difficult to understand these countries' stupidity in not accepting such a tried and tested recipe for development. After all, they argue, these are the policies and the institutions that the developed countries used in the past to become rich.
This preliminary framing paper does not seek to present evidence, but to frame the enquiry into how to improve the evidence base to support the development of aid-delivery options that credibly balance results with sustainability, and the political economy factors of both donor and recipient countries. There are two ways aid agencies give aid to local entities: as core support to the work of those entities, usually with some kind of conditions; or by channelling money through them to complete an agreed task according to a specific contract.