Bonn Workshop on CD and Aid Effectiveness

The workshop in Bonn, Germany (15-16 May 2008), on  “Capacity Development: Accra and Beyond” assembled participants from both the various regional preparatory events and from the nine Accra Round Tables. The strong Bonn Consensus which emerged from this workshop was approved unanimously by its participants and its co-chairs Talaat Abdel-Malek and Richard Manning. The conclusions of the Bonn workshop are reflected in a short, recapitulative report on capacity development with distilled messages for Accra, to be submitted to HLF3 organisers in June, 2008. The proceedings are available from the DAC.

The OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) and the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) co-sponsored this workshop as a forum for representatives from both South and North to vet their opinions openly on the mportance of capacity development as a priority theme for the Accra High Level Forum. 

The workshop was organised in Bonn, Germany and used the facilities of the BMZ. It was co-chaired by Dr. Talaat Abdel-Malek (core member of the Accra "Contact Group") and Mr. Richard Manning (former chair of the DAC and co-chair of the Accra Round Table 9 on "aid architecture"). It took place over two days (15-16 May 2008). To assist in workshop meeting management, a "steering group" was created, composed of a small number of activists in the CD field who played an active role in conceiving and managing the event with substantive facilitation by LenCD. 

The workshop brought together both a strong Southern voice and a wide spectrum of interested capacity development specialists. It succeeded in assembling 68 participants and an additional 25 part-time or special observers. They included experts and practitioners of capacity development from developing countries, the donor community, specialised institutions and networks. The total number of participants was equally divided between South and North.Workshop presenters, chairs, facilitators and rapporteurs focussed on two sets of questions: (i) Which concrete and actionable propositions (What, Why and How) should inform the Round Table processes and shape the AAA? (ii) What are the strategic priorities and steps to be taken during the triennium following Accra? 

Round Table organizers and interested participants used the individual Round Table break-out groups to derive specific messages in capacity development for their own Round Table processes leading to Accra. The Steering Group distilled these messages on the evening of the first day into a more succinct and prioritized list of messages for the AAA.  That result was debated, adopted unanimously by the participants and dubbed the ―Bonn Workshop Consensus by the co-chairs.  

The Consensus first makes clear the resolve of both South and North to pursue common efforts towards enhanced capacity in the developing countries as a significant integrating force for the development cooperation agenda. Participants highlighted the importance of capacity development as the "other side of the coin" of partner country ownership.

The proceedings are available from the DAC.


We recognize that capacity development is critical for sustainable development and national ownership. It is primarily a developing country responsibility.

Capacity development is a fundamental change process requiring that:

a) Developing countries commit to the capacity development of their human resources, systems and institutions at all levels, and

b) External partners commit to strengthen their own capacity and adapt their approaches to deliver responsive support for capacity development.

Six areas of action:

  • Developing countries agree to integrate capacity development as a core element of national, sector and thematic development efforts.
  • Developing countries will take the lead in addressing key systemic issues that undermine capacity development, with support from external partners as required.
  • To enable developing countries to exercise ownership of capacity development through technical cooperation, external partners agree to a) the joint selection and management of technical cooperation to support local priorities and b) expand the choice of technical cooperation providers to ensure access to sources of local and South-South expertise.
  • Developing countries and external partners also jointly commit to enable the capacity development of civil society and the private sector to play their development roles more fully.
  • In situations of fragility, notably in post conflict, external partners will provide tailored and coordinated capacity development support for core state functions earlier and for a longer period. Interim measures should be appropriately sequenced and lead to sustainable capacities and local institutions.
  • Beyond Accra, developing countries and external partners jointly agree to a strengthened and consolidated international effort to expand capacity development knowledge and apply resulting good practice.
Event details
Thursday, 15 May, 2008 - Friday, 16 May, 2008
Event type: 
LenCD network event

Upcoming events

There are no upcoming LenCD events.
Syndicate content