20 Jul 2015

Jim Adams, former World Bank vice-presidentJim Adams, a former World Bank Vice President for East Asia and the Pacific, writes in a new blog series of the need for rethinking how to approach capacity building.  He argues that capacity building efforts by the donor community have not been very successful, but that the endeavour is too important to give up on and offers ten suggestions for improving capacity building, including longer timeframes for institution-building, clearer strategies and funding, reducing donor fragmentation, and more.  

13 Jul 2015

The limited operationalization of capacity support helps account for why the Ebola virus was so hard to control in Sierra Leone. Photo by: Rich Mallett / SLRCCapacity building is about using foreign aid to strengthen the ability of recipient governments to do stuff better. That might be service delivery, law enforcement, security provision or private sector development, to name a few. At its most basic, capacity building is — or at least should be — about development agencies doing themselves out of a job. The problem is, that doesn’t look like it’s going to happen any time soon.  This blog post by Rich Mallett discusses how capacity building could "smarten up".

08 Jul 2015

Developmental Regimes in AfricaOver the past 20 years, many African countries have experienced sustained economic growth. Few, however, have embarked on the kind of structural change, driven by rising productivity in key sectors, that has been responsible for transforming mass living standards in parts of Asia. The Developmental Regimes in Africa (DRA) project has been investigating the causes and implications of this worrying scenario, building on the findings of previous research by the Tracking Development project (TD) and the Africa Power and Politics Programme (APPP). Exploiting further the systematic comparative methods used by TD and APPP, DRA research has shed new light on how developmental regimes might emerge and be sustained in Africa in the 21st century.

01 Jul 2015

Over 150 AfCoP members convened in Abidjan from June 8-10, 2015 for the 2015 AfCoP Meetings on the theme "Regional Integration for Africa's Transformation". The meetings were attended by experts, country and regional CoP representatives and concluded with a renewed commitment to advancing results-oriented regional integration and policy coherence in Africa. The meeting highlights and all meeting documents are now available online.  See also the ongoing discussion on how to evaluate capacity building.

29 Jun 2015

Capacity Development Beyond AidAfter 15 years, Capacity.org signs off with a retrospective publication, Capacity Development Beyond Aid.  The partner organizations behind Capacity.org outline an agenda for future research and practice based on the substantive body of capacity development theory and praxis accumulated over the past few decades. The publication commemorates the 15th year anniversary of Capacity.org during which 47 issues of the journal have been produced, as part of a broader knowledge platform for capacity development practitioners. The simple dichotomies that once defined the aid relationship – rich and poor countries, donors and recipients, the global North and South, foreign expertise and local knowledge, to name a few – have been rendered obsolete. The global flow of knowledge and expertise is changing. New players have appeared on the stage of development cooperation, including non-DAC countries, impact investors, philanthropic organisations and private sector companies.

23 Jun 2015

This research report from the Governance and Social Development Resource Centre reviews the literature engaging with a key issue, the reform of the Ministry of Interior (MoI) in fragile and post-conflict countries. While MoI reform is crucial to the success of Security Sector Reform (SSR), it has often been neglected by international actors and by the SSR literature. Case studies from Afghanistan, Iraq, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and Central and Eastern European Countries (CEECs) highlight a range of challenges and problems in the international actors' action such as organisational and political resistance, a lack of adaptation to local circumstances and a lack of coordination. The literature consistently recommends that international donors and agency should work more politically and comprehensively to deal with the social and political embeddedness of the MoI.

16 Jun 2015

Agenda 2063 is an African Union initiative to encourage discussion among all stakeholders about how the continent should effectively learn from the lessons of the past, build on the progress now underway and strategically exploit all possible opportunities available in the short, medium and long term, so as to ensure positive socioeconomic transformation within the next 50 years.  Agenda 2063 is a new roadmap aiming to rekindle Pan-Africanism and a sense of unity, self-reliance, integration and solidarity.  

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Research and policy library: most viewed today

  • 2011 Claire Mcloughlin / GSDRC, University of Birmingham
    Lack of an enabling legal framework, poor quality of secondary-school education, an absence of research leaders and role models, and the relatively low priority attached to research are all...
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    [Download PDF 2.1 MB] Results from investments in capacity development matter. They matter to those who are at the receiving end of public services provided by state institutions in developing...
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    NEPAD recognizes the centrality of capacity development, with a view to empowering Africans to embark on the set development agenda, and for them to fulfill their creative potential. Much of Africa...