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  • 2012 John Gillies, Felix Alvarado
    This publication attempts to take a a more holistic and pragmatic approach to country systems strengthening. The central question of systems strengthening in international development has seldom been explicitly defined or operationalized, and is more subject to generic rhetorical assertions than to rigorous analysis based on a theory of change. This background paper explores USAID’s experience in human and organizational capacity in the context of systems strengthening, exploring the following issues: How has human and institutional capacity building contributed to country system...
  • 2012 Deepa Iyer
    When Awni Yarvas took over as head of Jordan’s Civil Status and Passports Department in 1996, he was in an enviable position in many ways.  His predecessor, Nasouh Muhieddin Marzouqa, had moved forcefully to deal with inconsistent and time-consuming service delivery that had angered citizens who depended on department documents important to their daily lives.  However, despite Marzouqa’s achievements on several fronts, the department was still inefficient in many ways. The department’s training system had to address low levels of computer use in processes, while...
  • 2012 Rushda Majeed
    In 2004, Permanent Secretary Joyce Nyamweya faced a daunting task when she took over Kenya's Public Service Reform and Development Secretariat. President Mwai Kibaki had charged Nyamweya with building both capacity and a results-oriented culture in ministries and other government institutions unaccustomed to providing quality public services or delivering on medium and long-term targets. With the help of Stanley Murange, special adviser to the president, Nyamweya focused on ministries that provided key public services and pushed them to apply Rapid Results, a management technique that...
  • 2012 Michael Scharff
    When Ernest Bai Koroma assumed the presidency of Sierra Leone in 2007, he promised to run his government as efficiently as a private business. A few years earlier, a brutal 11-year civil war had ended, leaving an estimated 50,000 dead and an additional two million displaced. The effects of the war gutted the government’s capacity to deliver basic services. Koroma launched an ambitious agenda that targeted key areas for improvement including energy, agriculture, infrastructure and health. In 2009, he scored a win with the completion of the Bumbuna hydroelectric dam that brought power to...
  • 2010 James Hradsky / OECD
    “Technical co-operation” (sometimes used interchangeably with the term “technical assistance”) is generally acknowledged by donors to include the traditional aid categories of technical assistance, training and educational grants. These potentially quite different support actions nevertheless have the common (and sometimes overlapping) objective of supporting the capacity development of the partner country. With the onset of modern approaches to aid in the 1960s, technical co-operation and financial support, packaged in the form of short term donor projects, seemed...
  • 2014 Elena Lesley
    When Prime Minister Najib Razak took office in April 2009, he aimed to set Malaysia on a new course. The nation’s economy was stagnating in the wake of the global financial crisis, and citizen discontent with government performance had led to the worst election results for the ruling coalition since independence from the United Kingdom in 1957. To turn the country in a new direction, Najib created a new post in the Cabinet—Minister for National Unity and Performance Management—and appointed Koh Tsu Koon, president of a party in the ruling coalition, to the position. Koh...
  • 2014 Michael O’Keefe, John T. Sidel, Heather Marquette, Chris Roche, David Hudson and Niheer Dasandi / Developmental Leadership Programme
    This Research Paper outlines preliminary findings about how action research can help build more politically informed development programs. It discusses action research being undertaken by the Pacific Leadership Program, the Coalitions for Change program in the Philippines, and DLP. This approach combines theory and practice to support development practitioners to think and work politically to bring about positive change. It involves recurring constructive engagement with practitioners and it rigorously documents, contextualises and explains the processes and outcomes of programs as they...
  • 2014 UNDP / UNDP
    Governments increasingly realise that few contemporary challenges can be confined to one policy area and that a single-issue focus is in many instances insufficient. Climate change, for example, crosscuts other issues of concern including access to water, agriculture, food security and urban planning. Information silos common in highly decentralised, bureaucratic organisations can hinder ‘whole-picture’ perspectives. This presents a further challenge for decision makers tasked with formulating strategies and policies that effectively address interconnected and interdependent...
  • 2014 Simon Tucker / UNDP
    Governments around the world are grappling with societal challenges that are acting as a brake on sustainable economic growth, leading to inequality and instability in society, and impinging upon the general well-being of their population. Social innovation is a response to these challenges that offers considerable promise for public managers. It offers new solutions, new methodologies and new conceptual frameworks. Success can be seen through case studies from around the world, including middle- and low-income countries in South-East Asia. While it remains an emergent field, still building a...
  • 2014 Max Everest-Phillips / UNDP
    This paper highlights some of the possible factors involved in applying ideas from complexity theory to reforming public service and tackling related development problems in small countries, and especially Small Island Developing States (SIDS). It explores whether such core attributes as the degree of smallness and/or the nature of ‘islandness’ create specific characteristics of the state that may simplify coordination across government, or make the problems that a public service faces no different, or different but no less complex than in other contexts. It concludes that better...
  • 2014 Rachel Jackson
    In the early 2000s, the municipality of Alta Floresta was part of Brazil’s Arc of Fire, a curving frontier of communities whose residents were clearing old-growth forests in the Amazon region so they could graze livestock, harvest timber, or cultivate crops. In 2008, the federal government cracked down on deforestation and pressured local governments to implement national environmental regulations. It created a blacklist of municipalities that were the worst violators of deforestation laws. Alta Floresta, as one of the 36 municipalities on the list, was thrust into an unfavorable...
  • 2014 Neil Fowler
    A complex paper-based city tax collection system made Rio de Janeiro a difficult environment for business and a source of lost revenue when Eduardo Paes became mayor in 2009. Elected on a promise to set the city’s fiscal house in order, Paes planned to implement an electronic invoicing system based on similar programs piloted in other Brazilian cities. A recent constitutional amendment required all levels of Brazil’s federal system of government to ease the burdens of the country’s tax system. Paes reasoned that the potential efficiency gain from a new system was among the...
  • 2014 Gabriel Kuris
    Lagos State began the twenty-first century as a boomtown crippled by crime, traffic, blight, and corruption. A regional economic hub and burgeoning state of 13.4 million people, the megalopolis had a global reputation for government dysfunction. Two successively elected governors, Bola Tinubu and Babatunde Fashola, worked in tandem to set the state on a new course. Beginning in 1999, their administrations overhauled city governance, raised new revenues, improved security and sanitation, reduced traffic, expanded infrastructure and transit, and attracted global investment. By following through...
  • 2014 Elena Lesley
    When Prime Minister Najib Razak took office in April 2009, he aimed to set Malaysia on a new course. The nation’s economy was stagnating in the wake of the global financial crisis, and citizen discontent with government performance had led to the worst election results for the ruling coalition since independence from the United Kingdom in 1957. To turn the country in a new direction, Najib created a new post in the Cabinet—Minister for National Unity and Performance Management—and appointed Koh Tsu Koon, president of a party in the ruling coalition, to the position. Koh...
  • 2014 Auxilia Piringondo
    Gender-based violence (GBV) means physical, sexual, emotional or psychological violence carried out against a person because of that person’s gender. Spousal violence is usually gender-based and is carried out by a spouse. While GBV is generally by a male on a female, it may also be female on male. A study by UNAIDS in 2011 highlighted that at least 60% of women in Africa have experienced physical and sexual violence from their most recent spouse or live-in partner. GBV has a number of negative implications in the community. It may have profound effects – direct and indirect...
  • 2014 David Takawira
    The  impact  of  violence,  torture  and  conflicts  on  communities  striving  to  make  a  living  remains  undocumented  in  many  parts  of  contemporary  Zimbabwe.  This  case  study  seeks  to  share  the  other  half  of  the  story  to  violence,  torture  and  conflicts:  the  story  of  what  it  takes  for  young  people  to  learn  to...
  • 2014 Rotimi Olawale
    Arguably,  youth  unemployment  remains  one  of  Nigeria’s  biggest  challenges  at  the  turn  of  the  millennium.  In  comparison  with  unemployment  figures  from  2007  to  2011,  unemployment  has  risen  from  12.7%  to  23.9%  in  just  4  years.  With  a  population  of  168.8  millionii,  Nigeria’s  unemployment  rate  of  23%  translates...
  • 2014 Rudolph Nkhata
    Africa faces high unemployment rate due to an unprecedented youth bulge, which is not commensurable with job opportunities. In this context, other alternative programs, apart from creating non-farm employment, become necessary. This study uses Bwanje Valley Irrigation Scheme in Malawi as a case study to highlight the importance of agricultural development in reducing unemployment among the youth in rural areas. The findings of the case study revealed that the youth who participated in the irrigation farming were food secure as they had enough food to eat throughout the year and realized also...
  • 2014 Mona Niina Idrissu
    School enrollment levels in many developing countries have improved in recent years however there has not been a similar rise in learning level. This case study analyzes a scheme piloted by the Government of Ghana through its educational arm, the Ghana Education Service, in partnership with the National Youth Employment Scheme. It mobilises unemployed high school graduates as teaching assistants to help improve teaching and learning in primary school especially in rural and deprived communities. The 2-year pilot project included four different components: (1) community assistants provide...
  • The purpose of this learning module is to provide FAO staff and consultants at all levels with a basic understanding and knowledge of capacity development, refelecting the international debate as well as FAO's perspective on CD.  It also provides some key concepts for adopting changes in responsibilities, behaviours, and attitudes that are consistent with FAO's new role in CD.  By the end of this module you will have gained a deeper understanding of: the evolving role of CD in general and in the context of FAO's work the challenges and success factors that are key for...