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  • The Mozambique case offers an examination of a variety of TA personnel practices in an environment which is willing to change, poor on capacity to lead the development process and overwhelmed by a large number of development partners. According to the OECD-DAC, Mozambique is the world’s eighth most aid-dependent country. More than half of total public spending and about two-thirds of public investment depend on aid. The public service displays major deficiencies in numbers of skilled staff and in terms of human resources management. Moreover, an overarching “capacity development...
  • In general, the main capacity building gaps in post-conflict reconstruction Mozambique identified by this study broadly relate to the lack of a common framework for capacity building, institutional weaknesses, low human resource development, problems of coordination and management, lack of comprehensiveness, and challenges of knowledge generation and information management and weaknesses of ownership and donor coordination. Lessons drawn from experience underscore the centrality of coordination, comprehensiveness, institutional development approach and integration of the capacity building in...
  • When the Moroccan government began deregulating its telecommunications industry, it first split post and telecommunications services and then set up a National Agency of Telecommunications Regulations. A cell phone license was issued that attracted international interest and earned the country $1.1 billion. The state-owned Maroc Telecom went private after extensive modernization, and phone access skyrocketed over a period of seven years, from 4.5 to 20 lines per 100 inhabitants. Morocco’s successful transformation of its telecommunications industry can be attributed to strong national...
  • Experiences from Mongolia and Morocco demonstrate the importance of backing breakthrough institutions in microfinance that can become industry leaders and engage in healthy competition in the market, while maintaining a focus on the overarching goal: reaching out to poor clients. Past lessons indicate that while funders can invest and structure their assistance wisely, they do not create successful microfinance; managers with the vision to establish sustainable institutions do. Moreover, organizations with strong management are exactly the ones who are most likely to benefit from technical...
  • One of Malaysia’s strengths is its ethnically diverse society, consisting of the majority Malays and indigenous groups (Bumiputera), as well as Chinese, Indians and others. Capacity development interventions have arisen from the need to advance Malaysia’s standing as a new state, but also to address ethnic imbalances inherited from colonial rule. Two priorities have been clear. The first involved increasing wealth among the Bumiputera so they could be entrepreneurs in their own right. The second sought to raise the number of Bumiputera in higher education so they could have a...
  • HIV/AIDS imposes unique challenges for development. Among other things, the erosion of capacity through lives lost to the disease has been debilitating for the public services in countries like Malawi. Development agents are faced with multiple challenges in dealing with the depletion, including even assessing the value of this loss. Towards this end, support was offered to the Malawi government to conduct an HIV/AIDS impact assessment study within the public service, covering four ministries and one department. Employees in these institutions account for over 70 per cent of civil servants....
  • Project implementation often suffers from poor collaboration between the main actors – the recipient organization, project staff and the donor. A team-based approach to project management, where different stakeholders collectively share responsibility, may heighten the chance for success by creating a forum for ongoing capacity development, collective monitoring and a matching of expectations, in accordance with locally perceived priorities. Such an approach was tried in Laos as part of the Governance and Public Administration Reform Programme. It proved particularly useful in...
  • Capacity development is characterized by three main activities: skills upgrading (both general and job-specific), organizational strengthening and procedural improvements. The skills enhancement component includes general education, on-the-job training and professional improvements in crosscutting skills such as accounting, policy analysis and information technology. Organizational strengthening covers what some have defined as institutional development – reinforcing the capacity of an organization to use available funds and staff more effectively. The procedural improvement refers to...
  • In 2000, Jordan produced a National Agenda 21, as well as the country’s first environmental impact assessment guidelines. It also became the first country in the Arab region to prepare a National Environmental Information Strategy and a National Awareness, Education and Communication Strategy, using the Agenda 21 methodology. Jordan harnessed the powers of ICT and used participatory planning techniques to mobilize local capacities, build new development concepts, and bring together groups that had never worked together to formulate bold national policies. External support facilitated...
  • Through a gradual and organic process of capacity development, a Jordanian environmental NGO evolved from humble beginnings into an effective and respected institution with the capacity for research, advocacy, policy advice and community mobilization. The Jordanian Royal Ecological Diving Society (JREDS) has built partnerships with various public agencies, and with other NGOs and community organizations, both nationally and regionally. Starting as a beneficiary of the Global Environmental Facility’s (GEF) Small Grants Programme, it has broadened its funding base to assure financial...
  • This case study looks at the experience of the Environmental Action (ENACT) programme, a collaboration between the government of Jamaica and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). ENACT's mandate was to work with Jamaican organisations in the public, private and non-profit sectors to improve their capabilities to identify and solve national environmental problems. The design of the ENACT programme began in 1990 but activities in the field only got under way with the assignment of a Canadian adviser in 1994. It took until 1999 to put in place all the pieces needed to make...
  • Indonesia is implementing a capacity development programme for local governments, with assistance from a group of external partners, as part of a wider decentralization effort. To help design an effective strategy, one that also promotes government-donor coordination, a capacity needs assessment tool was developed. It focused mainly on cross-sectoral issues and took stock at three levels. Field assessments, which brought together different local stakeholders, stimulated debate on key issues of local governance under decentralization. Overall, the experience has helped forge better...
  • This case study examines how one district in the Indonesian province of South Sulawesi - Takalar district – took up the challenge of tackling rural poverty through the use of participatory development and community empowerment methodologies. The study looks at the capacity that was required of various local stakeholders, traces the processes through which the district in partnership with the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) undertook to develop the necessary capacity, and discusses the challenges encountered in sustaining interest in and the capacity for participatory...
  • A small NGO, Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS), led an initiative to challenge local government functionaries on disbursements of drought relief funds, and ended up carrying out one of the most energetic civil society campaigns in recent Indian history. It began with researchers sifting for information on projected disbursements as they appeared in government records. These were then corroborated by asking labourers and villagers how much they had actually received, or whether construction and other public works had actually taken place. The results were presented in public hearings, with...
  • The Democracy Trust was conceived as a policy advocacy tool to encourage commitment to the PRSP process among political parties. By ensuring that political parties publicly back policies of development and poverty eradication, the trust has granted the Honduran population a mechanism to hold elected officials to their obligations, and to demand their right to improved and sustainable services. As well, commitments to development thus become state policies and no longer belong solely to the government of the day. Without capacity development, long-term strategies for poverty reduction are...
  • In Guinea Bissau, a group of motivated academics established a national research institute that became a model of sustainability. It introduced management arrangements that balanced fundamental research on the one hand, and consultancy and practical interventions on the other, with the latter funding much of the research. Contributions from external partners were systematically channelled to one-off operations such as training, infrastructure, equipment or time-bound events. Institutional priorities were considered above individual interests. The institute became an anchor for professionals...
  • An experience in Guatemala bears lessons for engagement in post-conflict reconstruction. In this case, an assembly of civil society organizations played a key role in starting to rebuild a country devastated by civil war. They were assisted by donors, which devised a coordinated strategy, with one agency acting as facilitator. The careful construction of a process of dialogue, capacity mapping and eventually the commissioning of pilot development projects helped foster an atmosphere of trust that led to civic regeneration. Source: Lopes and Theisohn (2003) Ownership Leadership and...
  • The South-East Europe Education Cooperation Network (SEE-ECN) is a broadbased, low-cost regional project. It supports the exchange of information, ideas, and know-how for the reform and improvement of education in 11 countries. The network began with a sense of urgency over the need to enhance education standards, and took off through strategic kick-starting from external finance. As a virtual meeting place, it has brought people together and mobilized capacities across the region, stimulating a kind of East-East cooperation, while providing a framework for donor support. Source: Lopes and...
  • Inadequate capacities for policy analysis in transition countries continue to hinder progress. The innovative International Policy Fellowships (IPF) initiative provides policy leaders with the chance to work with mentors on policy projects while remaining in their home countries. Since 1998, more than 150 fellows and alumni have turned to the programme to investigate alternative ways of ushering in much needed reforms. Many have gone on to influence specific policies, promote participatory policymaking, or establish regional or local institutes. Source: Lopes and Theisohn (2003) Ownership...
  • This report compares the findings of the case studies of capacity building for decentralised education service delivery in Ethiopia and Pakistan (published as ECDPM Discussion Papers 57H and 57G, respectively), in accordance with the Terms of Reference. The report summarises the main features of the two cases in terms of the national contexts, and features of the capacity building experiences in the two countries; compares the main features of the contexts and capacity building experiences with a view to drawing conclusions about the apparent significance of various aspects of these...