Without capacity, there is no development

Author: 
Anton de Grauwe
Publisher: 
UNESCO
Year of publication: 
2009

Capacity development is a fundamental action, without which countries will not achieve their development goals.  Without capacity, there is no development.  However, capacity development activities have not always led to the expected impact on capacity: while they have regularly improved individuals' skills, they have seldom succeeded in transforming the organizations to which these individuals belong.  There is a need to examine the reasons for this relative failure and to propose innovative and relevant policies and strategies.

This document highlights some foundational principles:

  • national leaderhsip and ownership shoudl be the touchstone of any intervention
  • strategies must be context-relevant and context-specific
  • they should embrace an integrated set of complementay interventions, though implementation may need to proceed in steps
  • partners should commit to a long-term investment in capacity development while working towards some short-term achievements
  • outside intervention shoudl be conditional on an impact assessment of national capacities at various levels