16 Mar 2015


What’s the latest thinking on capacity development? What roles (if any) can social media and new digital tools play? Itad’s work on these issues has led them to propose a new conceptual framework: Capacity Development 2 or CD2.

This framework isn’t about replacing ‘traditional’ capacity development activities with digital tools and tweeting about it. Rather, it expands on traditional approaches and tools which can often focus too narrowly on building skills needed to produce a specific output. In CD2, capacity is understood to be an emergent property of the functioning of the different processes in a system.Capacity isn’t a single ‘outcome’ that can be influenced by a single intervention.

Join Robbie Gregorowski and Pete Cranston in this online workshop to find out more about this approach and how it can applied to development interventions

Click here to find out more

02 Mar 2015

3rd Pan-African Capacity Development ForumThe 3rd Pan African Capacity Development Forum organized by the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) will be held on 2-4 September 2015, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The theme of the Forum is “Developing Capacity for Africa’s Economic and Social Transformation”.The Forum will provide an excellent opportunity for the ACBF to partner with all the institutions working for Africa’s sustainable capacity development and offer to all an exclusive opportunity to showcase their work and to exhibit their programs for developing sustainable capacity inAfrica’s public sector, private sector and civil society for an effective transformation.

15 Feb 2015

Regional organizations in the Pacific play a central role in supporting the disaster risk management (DRM) activities of their nation state and territory members. There has been a plethora of regional strategies and initiatives to assist PICs over the span of more than three decades, but it is far from clear whether these activities have resulted in the existence of real disaster capabilities on the ground.  This new research paper from the Brookings Institution examines the relationships between regional organisations and Pacific island states and recommends improvements to disaster risk management practices in the region.

30 Jan 2015

This Capacity Development Strategy AfricaCapacity Development Strategy articulates how the Economic Commission for Africa, in acknowledged areas of competence, supports its member States, the African Union, regional economic communities and other pan-African institutions in order to strengthen their capacity to promote and achieve sustainable and inclusive economic growth, and to accelerate structural transformation in the context of African Union (AU) priorities and its New Economic Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) programme as well as the upcoming African Union Agenda 2063.

23 Jan 2015

Africa Capacity ReportThe African Capacity Report is an annual report that consolidates information on the capacity of African nations in a cross section of areas. This year’s report focuses on capacity requirements for regional integration. Capacity building is key as regional economic communities and regional development organizations are establishing strategic frameworks for integration across the continent. Many of the ABCF’s interventions help move the regional integration agenda forward by strengthening the RECs as platforms for harmonizing policy and enhancing trade among member countries. Recommendations include: increasing capacity building in wider efforts to achieve sustainable development; emphasising the retention and use of skills, not just their acquisition; and how it is key to monitor and evaluate all efforts when building capacity.

12 Jan 2015

Munawwar Alam

A video recording of the webinar is now available.  

Due to re-defining of the role of the state, and in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, there has been an increasing focus on local governance in the development arena. In the Commonwealth, decentralisation has affected grass-roots level traditional structures and mega-federations alike. Decentralised local governments face new challenges that are more complex and sometimes politically sensitive.  There are several lessons to be learnt from the Commonwealth experience of decentralisation, including involvement of critical actors of political economy and capacity development and their linkage with the outcome of local government reforms.

Dr Munawwar Alam is an international civil servant from Pakistan turned development practitioner. He has 22 years of experience in public service and international development at the Commonwealth Local Government Forum and the Commonwealth Secretariat. He is Honorary Senior Lecturer in the International Development Department, University of Birmingham.

29 Dec 2014

Capacity development at the national level in fragile and conflict-affected statesThis report examines current thinking on best practice in capacity development for national-level government institutions in fragile and conflict-affected states. There is a clear international consensus on desirable principles for capacity development in fragile states, but in practice, capacity development is a difficult problem even in stable situations, and is even more difficult in fragile situations. Power and politics in fragile states are less orderly, the shadow or informal state can take on a more pervasive and powerful role, capacity deficits can be large due to damage to physical infrastructure and the social fabric, and instability and crises can distract from the long-term perspective of capacity development.  Technical assistance and training remain common approaches, despite significant doubts that have been raised about their effectiveness. Innovative approaches that have been successfully deployed in fragile contexts feature increased emphasis on adaptive, flexible, and incremental approaches, and on South-South and triangular cooperation.

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