Learning from success

Joe Bolger

In 2004, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Board of Directors adopted capacity development (CD) as a thematic priority. ADB staff since developed a medium-term framework and action plan for strengthening assistance for CD in ADB’s developing member countries (DMCs). The action plan calls for ADB-sponsored CD efforts to be more efficient, effective, and demand-driven. More effective CD interventions should contribute to better and more sustainable results by DMC organizations and groups, and ultimately to improved quality and coverage of public services, as well as reduced poverty in the region.

To advance this agenda and better understand CD in the Pacific region, ADB’s Pacific department commissioned a regional study in the latter part of 2006. The study is based on 20 case studies from 11 countries across the region, prepared by Pacific island consultants. This report includes findings and recommendations that have benefited from inputs from an August 2007 capacity development retreat at ADB headquarters. ADB intends to use the findings and recommendations of the study to guide future capacity-building efforts in the Pacific.

The cases chosen for the study represent a cross section of experiences in the region by sector, thematic area, and source of funding. They cover programming experiences from economic planning, to infrastructure development, health and legal sector reform, civil society enhancement, fisheries, and one regional initiative. The study also explored approaches to CD relying on different modalities. While the research was intended to reflect a wide range of experiences, relatively greater weight was given to initiatives considered by stakeholders to be ”successful.” Initiatives that were contemporary, including some that would help to deepen understanding of emerging practices in the region, were also emphasized.

Year of publication: 
ADB Capacity Development in the Pacific
Case story length: 
164 pages

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