Adopted at Kigali, Rwanda, 11 February 2011

LenCD is an open Learning Network on Capacity Development 
that supports an evolving community of practice at the global, regional and local levels

I. Background

Capacity Development (CD) has moved high on the international agenda. As many development partners, policy makers and practitioners implement CD programs, they continue to face the challenge of how to approach and support the sustainable development of country capacities to plan, implement and manage their own development strategies. This implies a widespread demand for learning from experience, successful practices, tools and methodologies, and for informing policy choices based on evidence.

II. LenCD Objectives

The overall objective of LenCD is to promote and facilitate sharing of lessons and learning on capacity development and promote changes for better practice at the global, regional and local levels. This is embodied in four strategic objectives to:

(1) Strengthen evidence and facilitate dissemination of good practice: Rationalize CD knowledge architecture, strengthen CD work through specific knowledge services intended to draw lessons, codify experiences, develop CD learning modules and other tools to support practitioners.  

(2) Facilitate collective initiatives and processes needed to close “learning loops” and promote change: Promote analytic reflection, facilitate the dissemination of evidence and support efforts to inform advocacy and policy formulation with lessons from experience.  

(3) Promote integration of CD into mainstream development policy: Tailor products to support policy decisions and guidance including to inform the aid effectiveness agenda, helping the CD debate to move into the mainstream of other developmental agendas and sector policies, organize fora focused on CD issues in conjunction with and relevant to other mainstream events. 

(4) Support regional and local initiatives to help change in CD practice on the ground: Promote regional platforms facilitating joint learning processes through peer-to-peer learning and knowledge exchange. 

LenCD reaches beyond the CD community to engage with other communities of practice that focus on closely related themes (such as change management) or specific sectors (such as public sector reform, climate change or health).

LenCD initiatives depend on energy among network members and partners, their shared interests and resources. Its initiatives make a wide range of forms. They include thematic and regional working groups, development of specific products, vetting of research and policy development, and sharing of knowledge through “resource corners”, knowledge fares and other knowledge management mechanisms.

III. Principles

LenCD is guided by the following principles:

  • Complementarity: Build on and reinforce existing work of partners without duplication
  • Synergies: Facilitate collective action beyond institutional boundaries
  • Diversity and non-partisan: Welcome diverging perspectives as essential for learning
  • Decentralization: A window for accessing CD knowledge residing on multiple platforms;
  • Open source: Make all knowledge resources freely available
  • Flexibility : Move quickly and respond to interests and initiatives of network members
  • Lean set up: Operate efficiently with a minimum amount of resources for core functions

IV. Constituency

LenCD is an informal network open to all interested persons, practitioners and representatives of organizations working on capacity development. Its constituency includes a wide range of stakeholders and users of knowledge resources for CD practice. LenCD members promote the objectives of the network and engage in its initiatives. Members do not pay a membership fee, but are welcomed to open up their initiatives for other members to collaborate, and establish links among their websites and the LenCD portal. Registration with LenCD gives members access to the mailing list and to LenCD debates and knowledge resources. Members are invited to meetings and to collaborate in specific thematic areas or activities.

V. LenCD Governance and Management

The Steering Group is composed of a balanced group of LenCD members representing the different constituencies (state and non-state actors) from “South and North”, who are willing to dedicate a substantial amount of their time and energy to promoting LenCD objectives. The Steering Group is constituted and renewed on an annual basis or as appropriate through a process of consultation among active members with a collective decision taken at a LenCD assembly meeting.

The Steering Group determines and is presided over by two co-chairs one from the “South” and one from the “North”. The Steering Group decides on rotational rules as appropriate. The co-chairs are responsible for as primary contact for the coordination team. Supported by the coordination team the co-chairs organise the work of the Steering Group and moderate its meetings.

The Steering Group is responsible for the overall governance of LenCD. Its responsibilities are to:

  • consider long term strategies for LenCD and approve its annual work programme;
  • ensure oversight and quality assurance;
  • approve the annual financial plan and decide on activities to be financed by LenCD;
  • appoint and review the performance of the LenCD coordination team and its outcomes;
  • help secure and raise additional resources.

The Steering Group convenes virtually on a quarterly basis, or as required. In the meantime it organizes its own work as pertinent, for instance, through establishing task teams. Decisions of the Steering Group are taken by consensus. Through a consultative process the Steering Group agrees on a strategic framework that articulates strategic objectives, priorities and targets. It serves as the common reference for planning network initiatives and network management. This framework is translated into a more operational annual work plan with activities, expected results, benchmarks and responsibilities. The work plan may be adjusted over the year in consultation with the steering group and based on interests and suggestions articulated by LenCD members.

The Coordination and Management Team promotes the LenCD mandate and manages all day-to-day operations. The team combines coordination, project management and knowledge management functions. The terms of reference for and composition of the coordination team are determined by the Steering Group in line with evolving needs and priorities in the network and availability of resources. The functions may be vested in one or more persons, and the team can work virtually or in various designated locations as pertinent. The Coordination and Management Team will undertake regular member surveys and other instruments to solicit member feedback and will conduct an independent evaluation on a tri-annual basis to provide a consolidated reflection on LenCD’s added value and performance.

VI. Funding and reporting arrangements

Contributions to the LenCD are in the form of funds or in kind (e.g. dedicated time and energy, secondments, provision of in-house consultancies). The Coordination and Management Team in accordance with the work plan will manage all funding allocations to LenCD. Reporting mechanisms include an annual report on all LenCD activities and summary financial statements, no later than three months following the end of the calendar year, periodic official email correspondence by the coordination team related to the work programme and funding requests, as well as sharing and storing of documents such as minutes, work plans and budget on the LenCD member webpage.