One of the major challenges facing the international development community is creating a capacity development (CD) architecture built on solid evidence. Here, the authors argue that, although a significant body of evidence on CD is being produced, the knowledge is poorly captured and managed. As a result, CD practice and policies fail to take full advantage of lessons and experiences that could lead to better results.
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While working for DFID (Department for International Development) in Bolivia, the author arranged for the UK Government to finance two parallel initiatives for people in marginalized communities to secure identity cards--and thus the right to vote. One initiative financed a consortium of grass-roots organizations; the other financed the State’s electoral commission. Although both initiatives aimed to get identity cards into the hands of more people, they way they went about it based on very different diagnoses of the causes of the problem. Both initiatives were relatively successful.
Facilitator's guide for using Root Change's Organizational Capacity Assessment (OCA) methodology. Perhaps the most interesting and relevant aspect of this guide is not the methodology itself, but the idea of using the tool to help establish 'learning networks' or cohorts of NGOs that form to exchange experience and innovative approaches.
Routes of Funding, Roots of Trust? Northern NGOs, Southern NGOs, Donors, and the Rise of Direct Funding
This paper, based on a review of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency's (SIDA) funding of NGOs in Bangladesh, explores the changing relationships between bilateral donors, Northern NGOs (NNGOs), and Southern NGOs (SNGOs).
The thousand-flowers-blooming approaches to rural innovation and learning as adopted over the past decade have led to an endless list of "good practices." But these, with a few notable exceptions, did not add up to deliver impact at scale. Improving on institutional efficiency and enhancing development impact are therefore two daunting challenges currently facing governments and like-minded partners amidst growing concerns about the sustainability of mixed progress towards Millennium Development Goal 1 targets.
The major development agencies have ex cathedra 'Official Views' (with varying degrees of explicitness ) on the complex and controversial questions of development. At the same time, knowledge is now more than ever recognised as key to development—in the idea of a 'knowledge bank' or knowledge-based development assistance. The author argues that these two practices are in direct conflict. When an agency attaches its 'brand name' to certain Official Views, then it becomes very difficult for the agency also to be a learning organisation or to foster genuine learning in its clients.
Strengthening Inclusive Ownership through Capacity Development: Operational Lessons through Case Studies
This study sought to understand how capacity development initiatives contribute to strengthening inclusive ownership by conducting a literature review and desk study of nine selected cases where that impact could be seen. The authors drew on the World Bank Institute’s (WBI) Capacity Development and Results Framework (CDRF) to identify five operational dimensions that could contribute to inclusive ownership and serve as the basis for examining ownership in each case.
This report is the synthesis of a five-stage research and development (R&D) process that examined the Local Capacity Development Fund (LCDF) initiative.The Overseas Development Institute (ODI) provided feedback on and input into SNV Netherlands Development Organization's major assumptions about the LCDF delivery channel, as well as specific analysis of case studies of approaches to supporting capacity development.