Strengthening Southern Leadership through a Capacity Development Alliance

Author: 
Talaat Abdel-Malek, Economic Advisor to the Minister of International Co-operation, Egypt
Publisher: 
WBI
Year of publication: 
2009

Strong leadership from developing countries is essential to ensure the success of capacity development (CD) initiatives. Billions of dollars have funded so-called CD projects during the past several decades, but the results have been mixed. A major reason for this lackluster outcome is that these initiatives have been largely designed, implemented, and driven by donors and have often lacked buy-in and support from Southern leaders. This brief outlines the importance of Southern leadership in capacity development and its impact on development outcomes. Evidence suggests that strong Southern leadership requires mobilizing political champions to integrate CD in national and sector development strategies and facilitating coordinated CD initiatives with Southern policy makers and practitioners. It also requires enhancing South- South and triangular cooperation and promoting wider outreach by sharing experience and good practice where CD is not yet a priority. The author envisions a Southern-led “Capacity Development Alliance” that could serve as a catalyst in reinforcing Southern leadership and representation during creation of national development strategies and that could also engage with the wider international development community.