Latest blogs

Prizes for local government in Latin America

25 June 2015

Last week I was in Panama City to deliver the inaugural address at the 2nd Latin American seminar on good practices in municipal management. My topic was the challenges of sub-national governance in the region, after thirty years during which local political democracy has gradually become the norm, accompanied by a growing share of fiscal revenue devolved to local government...

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Andrew Nickson's picture
Andrew Nickson

Book Review: Managing Africa's Natural Resources Capacities for Development

04 February 2015

Managing Africa's Natural Resources - Capacities for development. Edited by Kobena T. Hanson, Cristina D' Alessandro and Francis Owusu

Managing Africa's Natural Resources Capacities for Development is an interesting collection of chapters, including empirical content as well as case studies, aimed at a broad audience of stakeholders related to natural resources governance in Africa. The contributors have extensive individual and collective experiences and...

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Atif Khan's picture
Atif Khan

Book Review: Media and Development by Martin Scott

27 January 2015

We work in an era when technical specialties dig ever deeper into their own rabbit holes of complexity and nuance, while simultaneously calls resound for a next generation of global health and development based on integration, “silo-busting,” and cross-cutting approaches, including capacity development.

In his book Media and Development, Martin Scott, of the University of East Anglia, confronts this dichotomy head on by sketching out three separate media related...

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Ann Hendrix-Jenkins

Learn4Dev 2014 Annual Meeting

11 July 2014

From June 16 to 18, more than 40 people from 20 donor agencies and multilateral organisations which are member of learn4dev came together in Ljubljana, Slovenia for the 11th Annual Meeting of the network organized by the Center of Excellence in Finance (CEF) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).  I attended the meeting as leader of the Expert Group on Capacity Development of the network and as representative of...

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Bart Horemans

Public service motivation: Love or money?

14 March 2014

Ask what motivates workers, and the common response is a list of carrots and sticks. But offer a worker one of these carrots and they may just be insulted. When the Boston Fire Department replaced its policy of unlimited sick days with a 15-day sick day limit, ten times more firefighters called in sick on the following Christmas and New Years’ Day than the year before. When the Fire Department decided to cancel the firefighters' holiday bonuses in retaliation, the firemen went on...

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Sumedh Rao

Capacity building for social change in complex environments

09 August 2013

I have just completed my PhD on capacity building (CB) in complex environments at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Sussex. My research question was: "How can systemic methodology help strengthen organizational capacities for grappling with social change in complex environments?" In other words, if social change is complex and contested, and not straightforward and controllable, what should be different about organizational capacity...

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Alfredo Ortiz's picture
Alfredo Ortiz

Book Review: Creative Capacity Development

09 November 2012

Ms. Pearson’s latest book, Creative Capacity Development, represents a good illustration of the work produced by what Donald Schön would call “a reflective practitioner.”1 She is sharing her analysis and comments about implementation and development of a Cambodia-based NGO, VBNK, where she served as a director for...

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Daniel Campeau's picture
Daniel Campeau

Reading the Mixed Signals on Capacity Development from Busan

30 November 2011

Judging by the public statements here at the 4th High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan, capacity development has come a long way in the past decade. Nearly all the big speeches and declarations—from the Korean President to the Queen of Jordan—have emphasized capacity development as the critical element to making development assistance more effective and development itself more sustainable.

Yet when we get the final outcome document that will be delivered here on...

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Mark Nelson's picture
Mark Nelson