IDRC in the Public Policy Process

November 2010
This study aims to clarify and document what the Centre (IDRC) means by ‘policy influence’; to examine more systematically the extent to which and the ways in which the research it supports influences policy; and to examine the factors which affect the extent of policy influence resulting from its projects. More

Developing capacities for policy influence

October 2010
The Center for the Implementation of Public Policies Promoting Equity and Growth (CIPPEC) links research and policy to improve the livelihoods of people in Latin America and the Caribbean. More

Policy Matters

November 2010
Global Development Network initiatives to shape global policy debates and bridge research and policy consultations. More

Policy: The woes of rural wage labour

March 2012
The limitations of inclusiveness Smallholder agriculture is back on the global policy agenda. This is because of the growing demand for food and because the livelihoods of billions of people depend on small farms. However, farm wage labour remains largely ignored. More

Practitioner toolkit for strengthening internet public policy dialogue

September 2012
Published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) in September 2012, this toolkit provides guidance on how to develop new policy dialogue forums or processes, jump-start stagnant ones, or define baseline data for further research that will help to develop dynamic and nuanced policy spaces. The authors draw on a case study of Togo to illustrate how multi-stakeholder dialogue can identify priorities and challenges for the development and deployment of the Internet in support of a country’s economic, social and environmental needs. More

New web portal to promote African policy research

November 2010
The Africa Portal is an online knowledge resource for policy-related issues on Africa. An undertaking by the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) Canada, Makerere University, Uganda, and the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA), the Africa Portal offers open access to a suite of features including an online library collection; a resource for opinion and analysis; an experts directory; an international events calendar; and a mobile technology component—all aimed to equip users with research and information on Africa’s current policy issues. More

Accountability and policy dialogue

November 2010
The Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness underlines the accountability of parliaments and other domestic stakeholders, which can only be achieved through effective structures for dialogue. More

Knowledge to policy: Making the most of development research

November 2010
Does research influence public policy and decision-making and, if so, how? Published in 2009, this book analyses the outcomes of 23 research projects funded by Canada’s International Development Research Centre in Asia, Africa and Latin America to understand the effects of research in the field of international development. Written in a reader-friendly, journalistic style, the analysis gives the reader a deeper grasp and understanding of approaches, contexts, relationships, and events. test More

VACANCY: Policy Advisor, Capacity Development

August 2011
The UNDP Capacity Development Group (CDG) in New York is looking for a policy advisor to work on the national implementation capacities portfolio. CDG is UNDP’s source of in-house expertise for optimizing the impact of development interventions through capacity development. The incumbent will be responsible for the following functions: policy development and advisory services; project team management and results management; practice advocacy; and knowledge management. NB: The application deadline has been extended to 24 October More

Knowledge brokering in health systems: A policy brief for EU countries

November 2013
Despite their relatively advanced health systems, many European countries still have a way to go in leveraging available knowledge for policymaking. This policy brief mobilizes both global and European research evidence about the lack of attention given to ‘what to do next’ to advance knowledge brokering in many European countries’ health systems (the problem), three options for addressing the problem, and key implementation considerations. More

Introduction

November 2010
In this Capacity.Org feature article, John Young explains why it is difficult to feed research-based evidence into policy and practice and which capacities need to be strengthened. He presents a six-step approach developed by a team at the Overseas Development Institute that can help research organisations to maximise their impact on policy and practice. More

Policy: The price of empowerment

March 2012
Fair trade competes with other certification brands Over the last couple of years, certification brands of coffee have steadily increased their volume of sales in Northern consumer markets, with an ever broader portfolio of products. On the face of it, this appears to be good news for groups of small producers who sell their coffee through these certification schemes. However, the growth figures are significantly lower for the brand that is most committed to working with farmers organisations, the Fair Trade Labelling Organizations (FLO), also known as Fairtrade International, which brings together 25 fair trade initiatives from around the world. More

Evidence-based policies

October 2010
It is common to think that academic researchers and aid practitioners cannot communicate because they live in different worlds. The former are said to be concerned with formulating theories regardless of the complexities and contradictions of the evidence, while the latter are mandated to implement internationally sanctioned practical policies that are intended to improve lives. Each asks why the other doesn’t understand how difficult their job is. More

New APPP Policy Brief: Support to local problem-solving - Lessons from peri-urban Malawi

February 2012
Malawi currently faces severe economic and political constraints, placing additional pressure on town and city governments which, even in normal times, are incapable of providing public goods such as health and public security well or consistently. To obtain them at all, people rely on a variety of non-state actors, including ‘town chiefs’ (informal leaders), NGOs, churches and political parties as well as, to some extent, themselves. This policy brief from the UK-based Africa Power and Politics Programme, published in February 2012, explores the major bottlenecks that undermine the provision of public goods to people living in Malawi’s townships. More

Innovative policy for dynamic markets

November 2010
A number of short studies by the Regoverning Markets programme addressing specific policy innovations in the public or private sector that improves the conditions for small-scale producers to access dynamic markets at national, regional and global level. More

NGOs provoke trade policy change

October 2010
Since the mid-1990s, when trade policy was understood by only a few experts, NGO campaigns have done a lot to increase the public exposure and awareness of trade issues. More

Policy engagement in East and Southern Africa

November 2010
In promoting evidence-based policy in developing countries, the links between civil society organisations and legislators in the research-policy-practice interface have been insufficiently studied. More

ECDPM – European Centre for Development Policy Management

November 2010
ECDPM deals with the international policies that govern development between the ACP countries and EU member states. More

Impact of research on policy and practice

October 2010
It is difficult to feed research-based evidence into policy and practice. This article discusses which capacities need to be strengthened to increase the impact of research on policy. More

Knowledge to policy: Making the most of development research

November 2010
New IDRC publication explores how research influences public policy and decision-making More

Policy dialogue under the new aid approach

November 2010
Drawing on theoretical reflections as well as views from the field, this paper published by the Institute of Development Poliyc and Management, University of Antwerp, explores the role that medium-sized donors can play in policy dialogue. More

Political Science? Strengthening science-policy dialogue in developing countries

November 2010
Public-interest issues such as climate change have strengthened international debate about sustainable development and poverty reduction, creating an opportunity for evidence-informed policy dialogue to improve development policy and practice. More

New book tackles M&E for evidence-based policymaking

February 2009
This book brings together the vision, lessons learned and good practices from twenty-one stakeholders on how country-led monitoring and evaluation systems can enhance evidence-based policy making. It builds on a previous publication "Bridging the gap. The role of M&E in evidence-based policy making" published in 2008. The book analyses diverse country-led monitoring and evaluation processes by exploring the following questions: • Why is M&E not playing its role to its full potential? • What are the factors, in addition to the quality and adequacy of the evidence, influencing the decision-making processes in organizations and societies? • How can the uptake of evidence in decision-making be increased? The publication is a partnership of UNICEF, the World Bank, UN Economic Commission for Europe, IDEAS (International Development Evaluation Association), IOCE (International organization for Cooperation in Evaluation), DevInfo and MICS. A presentation with key findings is also available. More

Evidence & Policy

November 2010
Evidence & Policy is a peer reviewed journal that focuses on the relationship between research evidence and the concerns of policymakers and practitioners, as well as researchers. International in scope and interdisciplinary in focus, it addresses the needs of those who provide public services, and those who provide the research base for evaluation and development across a wide range of social and public policy issues – from social care to education, from public health to criminal justice. More

Helping policy research organizations become more accountable

October 2010
A significant proportion of funds aimed at development is allocated to research. This investment is done on the basis that rational policy processes rely on good evidence. Research organizations generating this evidence can have great impact on the citizens of a country. As such, it is important that they remain accountable. More

Learning from NGO campaigns to influence trade policy

November 2010
Since the mid-1990s, when trade policy was understood by only a few experts, NGO campaigns have done a lot to increase the public exposure and awareness of trade issues. More

First Joint Governance Assessment in Rwanda

February 2009
Policy Practice Brief 5 - Carrying out a Joint Governance Assessment - Lessons from Rwanda More

Supermarkets, Modern Supply Chains, and the Changing Food Policy Agenda

November 2010
This Centre for Global Development (CGD) working paper places the supermarket debate in the broader evolution of food policy analysis, which is a framework for integrating household, market, macro, and trade issues as they affect hunger and poverty. More

Guest column: The forgotten link

May 2011
Abdul Ghaffar, Executive director of the World Health Organization Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research, Geneva Why health systems are failing Both 1978 and 2000 were watershed years for world health. The conference of health leaders in Alma Ata in 1978 and the United Nations Assembly in 2000, where the Millennium Declaration was adopted, stand out as the two international gatherings that threw global health into the spotlight and put it on the development agenda. More

Towards universal health coverage in Cambodia

August 2012
Ensuring equity and affordable access to health care for all without incurring catastrophic financial consequences—universal health care coverage— has been identified as a key health policy goal (WHO 2010). By strengthening financial protection through addressing the three main health financing functions— revenue collection, pooling of resources and purchasing of services—all countries can move towards universal coverage. A new Working Paper from the Nossal Institute for Global Health at the University of Melbourne identifies institutional and health financing design barriers to establishing a national agency, as well as policy solutions. More

Nurturing local capacity builders

October 2010
The future of local capacity building in Africa lies in higher education. After years of neglect, the need to strengthen universities is at last moving up the policy agenda. More

Making policy research more accountable

December 2010
Making policy research more accountable The One World Trust, with support from the IDRC, has created an interactive, online database of tools to help organizations conducting policy relevant research become more accountable. More

Practice, evidence and policy

November 2010
The Learning Network on Capacity Development (LenCD) is an informal network of analysts and practitioners aimed at creating a global community of practice around capacity development. The network was established in 2004 and has grown steadily since. At a strategy meeting in Washington DC in December 2008 a steering group was put in place and a three-year strategy was determined. The strategy consists of two main initiatives. The first is to support the aid effectiveness agenda, and the implementation of the Accra Agenda for Action (AAA), which will remain a major anchor for network activity. Second, LenCD will maintain a more conducive platform for CD learning. The CD Learning Initiative is focused on ‘closing the learning loops’, which means to ‘bring back’ lessons from diverse practices on the ground, to distil, broaden and disseminate evidence, and to inform policy in concrete terms. In the months ahead, LenCD will put in place the instruments and operational underpinnings to make it happen. Regional and thematic working groups will convene around common agendas. By its very nature LenCD is a partnership effort, and your ideas and engagement are welcome. More

Towards universal health coverage in Cambodia

August 2012
There is widespread support in Cambodia for greater integration of demand-side health financing schemes for the poor and the informal sector to improve access to health care and reduce the burden of health expenditure. Operation of these schemes by government, donor bodies and various international and local non-government organisations has resulted in a fragmented system with high overhead costs, high monitoring and evaluation costs and complex reporting requirements. Institutional and operational barriers to strengthening universal coverage in Cambodia: options for policy development, a Working Paper published by the Nossal Institute for Global Health at the University of Melbourne, identifies institutional and health financing design barriers to establishing a national agency, as well as policy solutions. More

The benefit of hindsight: Lessons on improving development effectiveness

April 2011
Impact and Aid Effectiveness: Mapping the Issues and Their Consequences, is a free-to-download compilation of analytical work spanning three decades. One of the interesting insights that can be gained from such a historical perspective is a better understanding of how some ongoing preoccupations have been shaped by their proximity to other debates or policy concerns. More

Tools, principles or policies?

October 2010
One of the most notable changes in the field of agricultural development has been the growing popularity of thinking in terms of innovation systems rather than just focusing on research. More

Taking responsibility for complexity

June 2011
Implementers of development policies and programmes must deal with interdependent problems, navigating nonlinear and often unpredictable change processes, involving a diverse range of stakeholders. The point of departure of this ODI discussion paper published in June 2011 is that the main problem is not (necessarily) intractable problems, or poor application of the right tools, but rather use of the wrong tools for the job. Rather than specify what problems should be considered ‘complex’, the paper aims to give readers the tools to decide for themselves whether an issue faced is complex, and to provide guidance on what to do if it is. More

World Development Report 2012: Gender equality and development

October 2011
Policymakers and practitioners still face gaps in knowledge both in how gender equality matters for development and how best to incorporate these links in policy design. The World Development Report 2012 aims to bridge these gaps by building upon the growing body of multidisciplinary theory, evidence, and data on these links while highlighting the knowledge gaps that remain across the world in the context of the development process. The Report argues that closing gender gaps is not only a core development objective in its own right, it is also smart economics. More

Evidence-Based Policy in Development Network (EBPDN)

November 2010
The Evidence-Based Policy in Development Network website, established in the framework of ODI’s Civil Society Partnership Programme, has been designed as a community website that provides: knowledge on bridging research and policy, details of members of the network, a directory of training and advisory expertise, discussion forums, and a partnership brokering area. More

Research and Policy in Development (RAPID)

November 2010
RAPID is a programme of the UK-based Overseas Development Institute (ODI) that aims to improve the use of research and evidence in development policy and practice through research, advice and debate. The RAPID programme has been researching the interface between research and policy for several years, and running workshops, seminars and coursesfor a diverse range of stakeholders. More

Toolkits on linking research and policy

November 2010
The website of the Danish Research Network for International Health provides useful information on linking research to policy as well as a number of links to overviews, publication and guidelines on research communication and promotion of research in development activities and policies. The materials contain useful references and/or links to further reading. More

Facilitating resourcefulness: Synthesis evaluation report of Dutch support for capacity development published

August 2011
A long-awaited evaluation report of Dutch support for capacity development carried out by the Policy and Operations Evaluation Department (IOB) of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been published. The report synthesizes the findings of seven separate evaluations carried out since 2008, and covering 26 individual case studies. The evaluation is the result of collaboration between IOB and six Dutch NGOs (Agriterra, Netherlands Commission for Environmental Assessment, Netherlands Institute for Multiparty Democracy, Partos, PSO, SNV) and the Ghana Ministry of Health. More

Strategies for Impact and Policy Relevance

November 2010
Over the last five years ODI’s Research and Policy in Development (RAPID) programme has been involved in research and advisory and capacity development work with a wide range of organisations throughout the developing world keen to improve the impact of their research on policy and practice, and has produced a wide range of practical guidelines and toolkits. This publication documents the lessons learned, summarised in six simple lessons. More

New guide on linking research and policy

November 2010
UK's National Environmental Research Council has published a new guide for researchers to help them engage more effectively with policymaking processes. More

GDN Global Research Project Bridging Research and Policy

November 2010
The Global Development Network (GDN) is working in collaboration with 11 regional partners on the Global Research Project Bridging Research and Policy. The aim is to improve understanding of the links between research and policy, and to bridge the gap between researchers, policy makers and intermediary organisations such as media and professional associations in order to promote evidence-based policy making in low- and middle-income countries. More

Request for tender: Aid advisory services standing offer

February 2012
Capacity Development is a critical factor in both aid effectiveness and sustainable development. In order to ensure that AusAID remains a leader in both theory and practice of Capacity Development, AusAID is establishing the Aid Advisory Services Standing Offer, comprising multiple service categories, to support the effective delivery of the Australian aid program. AusAID is seeking suitably qualified specialists to submit applications to the Standing Offer panel, who are specialists with knowledge and experience in capacity development theory and/or practice in international development, knowledge of international best practice, and with experience in one or more of the following areas: organisational development and behaviour change, human resource development, public policy and program management. More

Africa Capacity Indicators 2013 report published

April 2013
The 2013 edition of the Africa Capacity Indicators Report (ACIR) on the theme Capacity Development for Natural Resources Management was launched in March 2013. The report focuses on what African countries need to do individually and collectively to effectively manage the continent's nautral resource wealth. Like the previous two editions, the Africa Capacity Index ranks the performance of 44 African countries according to four key clusters of capacity: the policy environment; processes for implementation; development results at the country level; and capacity development outcomes. More

Moving beyond strategy to implementation: Africa Capacity Indicators Report (ACIR) 2012

April 2012
The African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) launched the second of its flagship annual reviews on the state of capacity development in Africa on 3rd April. This year's report is devoted to the theme of capacity development in agricultural transformation and food security. One of the highlights is Ghana's upgrading to the 'High' category of the ACI composite index. The composite index measures the policy environment, processes for implementation, development results at country level and capacity development outcomes. In 2011 there were no countries classified under the 'High' category. More

Case Study: Participatory Video in the Policy Making Process

November 2010
This case study explores the role of participatory video for policy making and its implications for evidence based learning in the context of an information and communication technology ICT program evaluation in a group of Canada’s remote aboriginal communities. More

Gender and security sector reform toolkit

November 2010
Security sector reform opens a window of opportunity to transform security policies, institutions and programmes by integrating gender issues More

The low-carbon development pathway

June 2012
INTERVIEW: Prospects after the Durban Climate Change Summit Angela Churie Kallhauge, senior policy advisor at the Swedish Energy Agency, represents Sweden at high-level climate change negotiations and has her roots in a pastoralist community in Kenya. Capacity.org talked to her about adaptation, mitigation and development. More

Linking research and public policies in Latin America

November 2010
Regional conference discusses linkages between knowledge-based policymaking, democracy and development More

Initiative to strengthen evaluation capacities of civil society organisations

March 2012
The contribution of civil society and the private sector actors in promoting greater accountability for public actions through evaluation has grown over the years. From around 15 National and regional Voluntary Organizations of Professional Evaluators (VOPEs) in the 1990s, there are more than 135 such associations today. In collaboration with UNICEF, the International Organization for Cooperation in Evaluation (IOCE) has announced the launch of the EvalPartners Initiative - an innovative partnership to enhance the capacities of civil society organizations (CSO) to engage in a strategic and meaningful manner in national evaluation processes, contributing to improved country-led evaluation systems and policies that are equity-focused and gender-sensitive. (Download project description - pdf) More

Tackling vulnerability through more effective resilience programmes

August 2013
International and humanitarian development actors are increasingly adopting resilience as an organizing concept for food security policy and program development. This reflects growing recognition that while large-scale emergency responses have saved millions of lives, they have not increased the capacity of vulnerable populations to withstand shocks and stresses. Nor have they been the most cost-effective response to the underlying causes of vulnerability. More

Women Leading Change: Experiences promoting women's empowerment, leadership, and gender justice

April 2012
Published in March 2012, this publication features, four case studies describing experiences from Cambodia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Indonesia in promoting women's political and economic empowerment and leadership. The case studies describe the context in which women live, what leadership means and how to achieve it. Attention is given to working within existing institutions and cultural norms, and also to creating new institutions. The final section summarizes common lessons and considerations for future policy and practice aiming to promote women's empowerment and leadership. More

Women's leadership and participation

June 2011
Hoare, Joanna and Gell, Fiona, Practical Action Publishing, 2009 Women are often denied the right to participate in decision-making, whether as active citizens, or as leaders. In particular, women living in poverty often have little opportunity to influence decisions and policies that will have a direct impact on the welfare of themselves, their communities, and their livelihoods. This book brings together lessons and experience in building up womens involvement from Oxfam GB and its partners. More

A matter of political will

November 2010
As the level of government closest to citizens, local authorities can play a vital role in addressing gender inequality and in building the capacities of women by involving them in local decision making, planning and management. The importance of that role was recognised by the International Union of Local Authorities and in the 1998 Worldwide Declaration on Women in Local Government. Earlier, increasing the participation of women in politics and decision making was a central theme of the Beijing Platform for Action (1995). This was reaffirmed in 2000 in the third Millennium Development Goal, to ‘promote gender equality and empower women’. More

Enhancing the development effectiveness of health systems funding

August 2011
Established in 2009, the Health Systems Funding Platform is one of the latest initiatives to improve coordination amongst the numerous external funding organizations working to support health care institutions in developing countries. It has advanced farthest in two countries, Ethiopia and Nepal, and is currently expanding to several others. A new Working Paper from the Center for Global Development analyses the role of the Platform as a case study of how to resolve tensions between the aid and development effectiveness agendas. More

Greening Development: Enhancing Capacity for Environmental Management and Governance

February 2012
This new publication from OECD (February 2012) outlines a number of steps to be considered when building capacity for greening national development planning, national budgetary processes and key economic sector strategies. The report identifies the key actors to be engaged in the decision-making processes, outlines possible capacity needs and suggests how these can be addressed. More

Upcoming ICT learning events

February 2011
The sixth international conference on ICT for development, education and training, eLearning Africa 2011, will take place in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania from 25-27 May. The conference will focus on youth, skills and employability, exploring among other questions: How are people and organizations, both globally and in Africa, coping with skills deficits and the employability crisis? Why are these deficits not being addressed effectively by our education systems? What skills development and lifelong learning programmes are under way to help address these shortages? More

Developing economic stabilization

October 2010
The reconstruction of fiscal institutions can contribute to macroeconomic stabilization and create a conducive environment for further institution building. More

How research brokers and intermediaries support evidence-based pro-poor policy and practice

November 2010
The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), South Africa, and the Institute for Development Studies (IDS), UK, have co-published a conference report analysing discussions and presentations at the 'Locating the Power of In-between conference' in Pretoria, South Africa in July 2008. More

Preserve status quo or promote gender equality?

November 2010
Preserve status quo or promote gender equality? Women’s rights activists and gender and development practitioners have high hopes for local government as an arena for promoting gender equality and respecting women’s human rights. However, gender equality can only be achieved through radical structural change. More

Linking technical capacity building to women’s empowerment: The Feminist Tech Exchange

November 2010
The Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID) Forum is the largest recurring event of its kind in the women’s movement, bringing together women’s rights leaders and activists from around the world every three years to strategize and learn. More

Capacity development for education for all (CapEFA): Translating theory into practice

November 2011
UNESCO's Education for All Global Monitoring Report (2011) suggests that national barriers to Education for All (EFA) have been largely under-estimated and that, over the past decade, insufficient attention has been paid to strategies for overcoming them. The recently launched publication “Capacity Development for Education for All: Translating Theory into Practice” offers an opportunity for UNESCO to reflect upon its capacity development approach while bringing together some of the crucial achievements and lessons learned through the CapEFA programme. More

Capacity for effective participation

November 2010
Capacity for effective participation Affirmative action measures aimed at enhancing women’s participation as political representatives in decentralised government bodies is a growing field of research and development practice. Several issues need to be addressed first, however, to realise these goals. More

Independent monitoring

October 2010
Country-based monitoring instruments can promote mutual accountability between government and development partners. In Tanzania, independent monitoring has contributed to a ‘levelling of the playing field’, resulting in improved national leadership, greater trust and increased aid effectiveness. More

Revealing Health Spending Research in India and Kenya

November 2010
This is one of several civil society initiatives highlighted in the 48th issue (May-June 2009) of the International Budget Partnership e-newsletter. More

Rethinking capacity building

October 2009
Capacity building projects are often seen as a means of providing NGOs with the tools they need to effectively deliver programmes or services, and of ensuring the ability of recipients to demonstrate accountability for the financial aid received. However, insights from over fifty years of experience suggest that conventional types of capacity building have often failed to bring about improvements in organisational effectiveness, performance, and accountability. More

Interview: Giving substance to pretty words

May 2011
NGO's role in bolstering public health systems Promoting ‘country ownership’ in aid-dependent countries is central to the debate on aid effectiveness – but global health initiatives have often encouraged the opposite. In 2008 a code of conduct was drafted to address this trend. Capacity.org talked with Wendy Johnson, director of new initiatives with Health Alliance International (HAI), who was one of the architects of the code of conduct. More

Transforming financial services

October 2010
The microfinance sector in Uganda reached a critical point in the late 1990s. A transformation was needed to ensure its sustainability. Since no donor could go it alone, the transformation became a collaborative effort. More

Guest Column: Avoid the failure trap

September 2011
Peter Malinga, Coordinator of technical services at the Government of Rwanda Public Sector Capacity Building Secretariat (PSCBS) Not all technical assistance is capacity-development support Every year, members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) contribute some $25 billion to developing countries, much of which is aimed at delivering what is increasingly being referred to as ‘capacity development’. However, many of these interventions do not demonstrate any clear evidence that they are having the desired impact. More

Case study: Applying the Paris Declaration to Zambia's health sector

May 2011
Earmarked and vertical funds are often at odds with commitments to strengthen health systems. Can such funding be tweaked to prevent a negative impact on health systems? More

New book on ownership and political steering in developing countries

April 2011
New book on ownership and political steering in developing countries Donors increasingly recognize the political dimension of development cooperation and that they themselves are political actors. But how can this 'political' role be aligned with the interests and ideas of partner countries, and with the principle of ownership? How are partnerships and mutual trust created and maintained through the ups and downs of daily cooperation? How does policy making take place in partner countries, and how can donor and supply driven cooperation be avoided? This collection of essays, published by GIZ, offers important practical insights for policy-makers and practitioners alike. More

Tailoring international development support for low-income countries under stress

November 2010
In rethinking its role in supporting country development in low-income states, the World Bank set up a special taskforce on Low-Income Countries Under Stress (LICUS) jn 2002 to extend its thinking to countries whose policies and institutions offer limited scope for poverty reduction through donor-supported programmes and projects. More

The knowledge translation toolkit: Bridging the Know-Do Gap

May 2010
Published in May 2011 by Sage India and IDRC, this resource provides a thorough overview of what knowledge translation (KT) is and how to use it most effectively to bridge the “know–do” gap between research, policy, practice, and people. It presents the theories, tools, and strategies required to encourage and enable evidence-informed decision-making. More

Review of USAID support to local capacity development completed

March 2013
A working group set up to review the reform of USAID's policies in the area of domestic accountability, has released its findings and recommendations. The Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid (ACVFA) focused its review on two overall goals in the reform process that are most relevant for changing the way the Agency engages in implementation and procurement work in support of building sustainability and local partnerships. More

Building institutional capacity in South Sudan through triangular cooperation

May 2013
This policy brief from the Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre highlights experiences from a regional capacity development initiative in Eastern Africa coordinated by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). The project brings civil servant support officers (CSSOs) from neighbouring countries and twins them with counterparts in various government ministries in South Sudan, with the aim of rapidly develop core government capacity in a coaching and mentoring scheme. More

From clients to citizens

November 2010
What are the common factors that help communities mobilize? Do outside organizations have a role to play when communities take charge of their own development? More

Assessing leadership capacity needs for building a knowledge society in Africa

September 2011
GESCI, Founded by the UN ICT Task Force, in partnership with the African Union have released four country reports and a synthesis document that assess the environmental, institutional and individual leadership capacity needs for the transition towards a knowledge society in Africa. The study was carried out in Zambia, Tanzania, Mauritius and South Africa as part of the Africa Leadership in ICT (ALICT) programme. More

From fragility to resilience: concepts and dilemmas of state-building in fragile situations

November 2010
This OECD/DAC Discussion Paper aims to promote greater consensus and clarity in the international community on what state building means in a situation of fragility. More

Information and knowledge service markets for promoting rural innovation

November 2010
The Knowledge Markets approach aims to build the capacity of rural communities to demand and draw on locally relevant knowledge services that are themselves networked with other national and international knowledge services. More

Interview: Caring into the future

September 2011
Paul Banda, Director of the Environment Council of Zambia Enforcing compliance with Zambia’s environment laws Over the years, the Environmental Council of Zambia (ECZ) has developed its capacity to enforce environmental laws and advise the government on how to manage the country’s environment and natural resources. More

Dilemmas and directions

October 2010
How can donors and their partners support sustainable capacity development in fragile states? This article addresses key issues and dilemmas that members of the international community confront in answering this question. More

Gender and social inclusion: New UN programme to focus on rural women's economic integration

September 2012
UN Women has announced the launch of a new programe focused on economic integration and food security of rural women, known as " Accelerating Progress toward the Economic Empowerment of Rural Women". The initiative was officially unveiled on 27th September 2012 during the UN General Assembly meeting in New York. The 5-year programme will be run by a consortium of UN agencies including UN Women, the World Food Program, FAO and IFAD. The programme will be piloted in Ethiopia, Guatemala, Liberia, Nepal, Nigeria, Rwanda and Kyrgyzstan. More

Legitimacy enhances capacity

November 2010
Legitimacy enhances capacity Do affirmative action and training of women politicians lead to effective voice and change on issues that are relevant for women? More

Democratic processes in governance and peacebuilding

November 2010
IDRC Canada is supporting case studies in eight countries examining the links between poverty reduction, risk mitigation and democratization. More

The Network for Policy Review, Research and Advice on Education and training (NORRAG) publishes Special Issue and convenes meeting on “The Politics of Partnership: Peril and Promise.”

November 2010
NORRAG News (NN 41, December 2008), published by The Network for Policy Review, Research and Advice on Education and training (NORRAG), sets out to unpack the topic of North-South research partnerships. Noting that many agencies supporting ‘development research’ routinely expect Northern researchers – even graduate students – to have ‘partners,’ NN41 argues that “…These new research ‘ marriages’ have not been exposed to critical analysis, though a great deal of Northern research money is now conditional on partnership.” The Issue explores the history and philosophy of research partnership with the South, raising among other questions: the assumptions of the many Northern agencies that support research partnerships; views of Southern researchers think about their involvement in this conditionality; and how partnership affects the practice and quality of research. The next NORRAG meeting on 12 December in Geneva will focus on this topic. For more information on the programme, the background and objectives of the meeting, please visit the NORRAG website. More

Ethics and integrity in developmental leadership

April 2011
Many developmental problems are attributed to the failure of leadership, and in particular to the absence of either ' ethical leadership' or 'integrity. But what is ‘ethical leadership’? What is ‘developmental integrity’? How is it achieved? And what are the conditions for sustaining it? This is the focus of a new study by the Development Leadership Programme, published in March 2011. More

3ie launches online database on systematic reviews

November 2011
The International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) has launched an online database of systematic reviews. This database provides policymakers and practitioners with easy access to systematic reviews that examine evidence on the effects of social and economic development interventions in low- and middle-income countries. It currently has over 100 reviews for many sectors, including agriculture, education, nutrition and health. More

Transformative adaptation

June 2012
Communities responding to climate change Most adaptation strategies focus on coping with climate change effects. But adaptation involves much more than simply putting a plaster over a scratch – it requires transformative thinking and change. More

Feature: Making markets work for smallholders?

March 2012
Capacity and agency The polarised debate on how markets can work for or against the interests of small-scale farmers, presents major challenges for practitioners. This article aims to rebalance our thinking about smallholders and markets. More

How can donors best support the strengthening of domestic accountability in developing countries?

March 2011
Rather than encouraging the adoption of particular models of governance, donors should seek to nurture the environment of transparency and accountability out of which appropriate solutions to the challenges of development might emerge, led and owned by local stakeholders. This is one of the key messages from a panel discussion on domestic accountability during the European Development Days in Brussels, on 6th December 2010. It is also the focus of a new ECDPM discussion paper that explores how emerging capacity development perspectives can help foster democratic ownership. More

Evaluation for equitable development results

April 2012
This wide-ranging publication aims to contribute to the international debate on how to achieve equitable development results by conceptualizing, designing, implementing and using evaluations focused on human rights and equity. It does so by offering a number of strong contributions from 27 world-level experts and senior officers in institutions and governments dealing with development and evaluation. The authors also presented their contribution in a series of webinars that are available for download on the My M&E web portal. The book complements an earlier manual “ How to design and implement equity-focused evaluations,” published in 2011. More

Adaptation programmes flawed

June 2012
GUEST COLUMN For national adaptation programmes to succeed, partners of the communities – including non-governmental organizations, governmental rural agencies, and local and central administrations – need to gear their planning methods and approaches to effectively support the community’s adaptation efforts. Therefore, IUCN has developed a toolkit outlining participatory approaches and methods covering the entire adaptation cycle including planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation. The toolkit also provides recommendations for linking up the community planning cycle to higher levels of adaptation planning and programming. More

Involving communities

October 2010
Agencies and national governments are increasingly involving local communities when developing water and sanitation systems. Despite this, the functionality of systems in East and Southern Africa remain weak. More

Lessons Learned from 25 Years of Food Security Research, Capacity-Building and Outreach

March 2012
This document from Michigan State University contains an overview of the past 25 years of research, capacity-building, and outreach by the university's Food Security Group (FSG). The paper describes key elements of the FSG approach and examines the insights gained from research and outreach, primarily in Africa, and their value to the U.S. Feed the Future Initiative in addressing the major current challenges facing food and agricultural systems. More

Improving the evidence base for health policy

November 2010
Delhi Impact Evaluation Seminar discusses strategies to enhance impact evaluation of women’s reproductive health interventions in India. More

Interview: Riding the green wave

September 2011
Elizabeth Dipuo Peters, Minister of Energy, Republic of South Africa South Africa’s path to universal energy access South Africa is on track to achieve near-universal access to energy by 2015, a remarkable achievement given that 15 years ago, only 30% of the population had access to electricity. Minister Elizabeth Dipuo Peters, explains how they did it. More

Inter-organisational learning and local governance

January 2013
Devolving power for the poor Devolution of power to local government changed the rules of the game in decision making and created new opportunities. The Society for Participatory Research in Asia facilitated a nationwide inter-organisational learning process in order to make the new system work for the marginalised. More

The challenge of political empowerment

March 2012
Economic empowerment must be complemented by political empowerment In the struggle over ideas in the development arena, terms that are associated with more radical perspectives are often picked up by mainstream actors and organisations. And this has been the case with ‘empowerment’. But such mainstreaming can cause original meanings to be modified or become obscure. From the perspective of strategies that aim to improve the well-being of small-scale farmers, there are various risks inherent in the way the term ‘empowerment’ has been taken up by international and bilateral development agencies. More

Public-private partnerships for inclusive rural water supply

August 2013
Lessons from the volcanic region of Rwanda Existing community managed systems in Rwanda suffered from a lack of accountability as well as low technical and administrative skills. This contributed to poor cost recovery and hampered the rehabilitation of water supply infrastructures, leading to many dysfunctional water points. SNV Netherlands Development Organisation facilitated the establishment of public–private partnerships between two public water utilities, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) and Aquavirunga, a private company that manages three water schemes. A crucial element of SNV's support was contributing to the capacity development of the local actors involved to enable them participate effectively in the partnerships. More

Receding rains in Rayalaseema

June 2012
Small farmers overstretched Over the last three decades, the people of the Rayalaseema region have witnessed a changing climate that has stretched their ability to adapt beyond limits. More

Dilemmas of inter-organisational learning

January 2013
Editorial Organisations can learn from each other, and they can learn together. There is a wide spectrum of ways in which inter-organisational learning (IOL) occurs, ranging from picking up a good idea from a competitor to engaging in strategic alliances. Inter-organisational learning is not only practiced in the private sector but also widely practised in the development sector. However, unlike the private sector IOL in the development sector is hardly studied or evaluated. There seems to be an uncritical assumption that organisations working and learning together is unproblematic and usually beneficial for all parties. More

What future for Vietnamese bamboo?

March 2012
Government intervention – essential for an enabling environment In eastern China, thousands of smallholders generate substantial incomes from bamboo. But across the border in Vietnam where conditions are, if anything, more favourable, smallholders are moving out of bamboo. An opportunity will go to waste here unless local authorities take the initiative. More

Risk-compensating grants in Afghanistan

August 2013
Resolving the grant giver's dilemma The Afghanistan Business Innovation Fund (ABIF) is a US$6.9 million challenge fund that is financed and supported by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and AusAid, and implemented by Landell Mills. The Fund operates in a high-risk environment where other finance providers are reluctant to venture. It has therefore developed an innovative methodology for determining the right size of a grant that will incentivise private sector investment. More

Aligning with the political process

October 2010
Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS) conducts research that helps shape policy in India. More

Civil society organisations and legislators

October 2010
In promoting evidence-based policy in developing countries, the links between civil society organisations and legislators in the research-policy-practice interface have been insufficiently studied. More

Enhanced HarvestChoice website to enhance smallholder productivity

November 2010
HarvestChoice is jointly led by the International Food Policy Research Institute and the University of Minnesota’s International Science and Technology Practice and Policy programme. More

Tracking progress in advocacy

October 2010
This INTRAC paper, published in December 2009, introduces the scope of, and rational for, engaging in advocacy work as part of development interventions More

Tapping the power of women's collective action in agricultural markets

June 2013
Development actors are increasingly prioritising ‘investing in women’ to ensure food security and sustainability—as well as equity—in agricultural development. In this context, collective action is a critical but poorly understood way for women small-scale farmers to strengthen their engagement in agricultural markets. More

Putting Policy into Practice: Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation in Ethiopia

November 2010
Published in 2004 by INTRAC, this book focuses on eight UK-based international NGOs (INGOs) engaged in rural development interventions in Ethiopia. More

Building local capacity for ecosystem-based adaptation

May 2013
Many Strong Voices (MSV) is an initiative to reduce the vulnerability of coastal communities to climate change. Based on case studies in Belize and Seychelles the project is working to formalize a methodology that combines evidence-based, scientific data with community knowledge and experiences. More

An equal carbon footprint as a concept to tap new financial resources for international development

August 2013
The case of the Fair Climate Program and the Fair Climate Fund Through the Fair Climate Fund, two Dutch international organisations, ICCO and Kerk in Actie, are working on behalf of poor communities engaged in projects to reduce carbon emissions. These may involve the introduction of renewable energy (biogas, solar or hydropower) or improved cookstoves, or activities that increase Earth’s carbon absorption capacity, such as low-carbon farming, agroforestry or reforestation projects. ICCO and Kerk in Actie sell the carbon credits generated by these projects on the carbon market where they can be bought by companies and rich households as emission rights. More

Parliamentary outreach and advocacy in India

November 2010
CUTS is a civil society organization that strives to influence national policies in the areas of international trade, competition, consumer protection and economic regulation. More

Accountability principles and practices for research organisations

November 2010
This study provides a set of principles and practical guidelines to help policy research organisations to reflect on their accountability to potential beneficiaries. More

Financing innovation at the smallholder level

August 2013
Voucher grant schemes to promote innovation Grants are widely used to encourage smallholder farmers to innovate in order to strengthen their position in value chains. Based on a systematic review of the effectiveness of a number of grant modalities, this article focuses on voucher grant schemes. More

Innovative financing for inclusive agricultural development

August 2013
Catalysing private sector investments Traditional aid budgets are becoming tighter, forcing development agencies to look for alternative sources of finance. At the same time, an increasing number of companies are taking their corporate social responsibility approaches to the next level. New financing modalities and cross-sector partnerships are emerging that differ from the traditional model based on subsidising development interventions with public money. This article explores the inclusiveness of smallholder farmers of these financing modalities. More

Responding to change: Learning to adapt in development cooperation

November 2010
This Policy Management Brief summarises and complements electronically shared materials and seeks to foster debate on aspects of evidence-based communications and learning. More

Easypol: Resources for policymakers

September 2012
Easypol is the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO's) multilingual repository of freely downloadable policymaking resources in agriculture, rural development and food security. The resources focus on policy findings, methodological tools and capacity development and can be downloaded for free. More

Communicating health research

November 2010
Stronger links between researchers, policy makers and practitioners and increased Southern research capacity are the keys to relevant evidence being taken up… More

Small-scale producers in modern agrifood chains

November 2010
The October 2008 issue of Development Outreach magazine revisits the 2008 World Development Report to explore a range of policy responses to the global food crisis. More

Does 'best practice' equal 'best outcome'? Mozambique study illustrates challenges of donor harmonization

November 2010
In terms of donor coordination, Mozambique is widely considered a success story. In particular, it is cited as a prime example of good practice in terms of harmonizing, aligning, and managing aid in accordance with the Paris Declaration. More

Enhancing public control of national finances

October 2010
Budget watching in Croatia The Institute of Public Finance (IPF) believes that budgets are too important to be left to elected representatives. As taxpayers, citizens should also have a say in the distribution and management of public funds. More

Monitoring flexible funding: navigating the challenges

September 2009
This INTRAC paper examines the debate that has emerged around the problems encountered in funding flexibly whilst trying to meet the demands for more results-based grant management (often from governments). More

Research reports on demand-driven technical assistance

October 2010
Technical assistance and capacity building programmes for local governments have commonly been supply-driven – by central government and donors. This approach has been criticized for various reasons, including a lack of ownership by local authorities and a failure to address their genuine needs. This has resulted in a recent trend toward a more demand-driven approach. More

Applying the Paris Declaration in fragile and conflict-affected situations

November 2010
This report synthesizes existing evidence on aid-effectiveness and state-building challenges faced in fragile and conflict-affected situations. More

Challenging common assumptions on corruption and democratization

November 2010
How can donors successfully support processes of democratization? This question is particularly valid for rebuilding the governance infrastructure in fragile state contexts. More

Engaging with fragile states

November 2010
This review from the Independent Evaluations Group assesses the effectiveness of World Bank support to “ low-income countries under stress.” More

From conflict to peacebuilding: the role of natural resources

November 2010
Conflicts associated with natural resources are twice as likely to relapse into conflict in the first five years. This UN report calls for environment and natural resource issues to be integrated into peacebuilding More

Guidelines for the evaluation of post-disaster programmes

November 2010
A guide for meeting the challenges of post-disaster reconstruction. More

Parallel service delivery in a fragile state

October 2010
During Haiti’s 200 years of independence it has remained an extremely weak state, characterised by the absence of functional institutions. Recent political developments raise the issue of the impact of parallel service delivery on the emerging state structure. More

Signposts to more effective states

November 2010
The search for effective, accountable institutions requires an understanding of local political processes of engagement between the state and organized interest groups More

Practical guide to capacity development in a sector context

November 2010
This guide, published in May 2008, was specifically designed for practitioners working with capacity development (CD) processes. The target group is staff and managers in public organizations who are or want to be change agents or change managers, consultants, as well as staff from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) or other development partners who wish to support CD processes. More

Leadership capacity for decentralized governance in Africa

November 2010
African ministers met in May 2008 in Yaounde, Cameroon, to discuss leadership capacity development for decentralized Governance and Poverty Reduction on the continent. More

Research reports on demand-driven technical assistance

November 2010
Technical assistance and capacity building programmes for local governments have traditionally been supply-driven – by central government and donors. This approach has been criticised for various reasons, including a lack of ownership by local authorities and a failure to address their genuine needs. This has led to a greater emphasis on demand-driven approaches in recent years. More

Preparations for Busan aid effectiveness summit intensify

April 2011
The official website for the Fourth High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness to be held in Busan, Korea, from 29 November to 1 December 2011, has been launched. To facilitate knowledge-sharing and priority-setting ahead of the meeting, the OECD/DAC, in cooperation with the Learning Network on Capacity Development (LenCD) and the Southern initiative CD Alliance, are coordinating broad consultations on capacity-development related issues in the aid effectiveness agenda.  More

The road to Busan

May 2011
Capacity development and aid effectiveness debates The Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness will take place in Busan, South Korea later this year. How will the question of capacity development be addressed in the forthcoming debates? More

Micro methods in evaluating governance interventions

June 2011
Although billions of dollars have been invested on improving governance in developing countries in the past decade, few of the programmes that have received funding have been subjected to strong and rigorous impact evaluation. The aim of this discussion paper from the German Development Institute (DIE) is to answer three key questions: what are the features of governance interventions that make rigorous impact evaluation difficult and challenging? Second, what aspects of governance have been evaluated by rigorous quantitative methods? And third, what evaluation lessons can we learn from previous experience and what practical implications does it have? More

Implementing the Paris Declaration: No end in sight

October 2011
The results of the 2011 Survey on Monitoring the Paris Declaration make for sobering reading, according to the OECD. At the global level, only 1 out of the 13 targets established for 2010 has been met, which makes for a tough agenda as countries prepare to meet in Busan, Korea, for the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness. More

High level retreat for African mediators

November 2011
Dates: 23-25 November 2011 Type of event: Informal consultations (invitation only) Location: Zanzibar, Tanzania Organization: Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue This ‘Africa Mediators’ Retreat’, co-hosted with the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Mwalimu Nyerere Foundation, will bring together around 40 mediators, peace process actors, government representatives and key experts active in mediation as well as in conflict prevention and resolution in Africa. Participants will share their experiences, identify challenges and critically reflect on their practice in an informal setting (Chatham House rules). More

Knowledge and innovation for agricultural development

November 2010
This brief from IFPRI, an international food policy research organization, outlines how formal and informal knowledge and innovation can be linked to accelerate sustainable agricultural development. More

After the Paris Declaration: taking on the issue of power

November 2010
A recent article in Development Policy Review argues that the changing context of international development cooperation necessitates a new look at the political science concept of power. More

Social Equity and Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM)

August 2011
This paper from the Global Water Partnership explores what it calls the least understood of the 3 E’s (equity, economic efficiency and environmental sustainability) in the concept of integrated water resources management. The paper sets out an overarching framework to guide decision makers in designing policies, interventions, and programmes aimed at the equitable distribution of benefits from water resources. More

UNDP Governance and Conflict Prevention Community of Practice

November 2010
Established in 2006, the UNDP Governance and Conflict Prevention Community of Practice brings together practitioners from around the world working on projects, programmes and policies at the nexus of governance and conflict prevention. More

Evaluating capacity development support

October 2010
The Policy and Operations Evaluation Department (IOB) of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs recently launched a major evaluation of Dutch support for capacity development in 17 countries. More

Essays on effective development cooperation

November 2010
The Effectiveness and Quality Department (DEK) of the Dutch Ministry for Development Cooperation has published a series of essays under the title, "A Rich Menu for the Poor: Food for Thought on Effective Aid Policies". More

Responding to the tsunami

October 2010
The Asian tsunami of December 2004 provided an opportunity to explore innovative approaches to improve service delivery. Arun Kashyap describes how a public–private partnership has assisted communities across the region to build better water and sanitation systems. More

Transitional justice and development: making connections

November 2010
Published in 2009 by the International Center for Transitional Justice, this book examines the relationship between the fields of transitional justice and development. More

First "State of the Humanitarian System" report published

January 2011
The aim of this report, commissioned under ALNAP’s Humanitarian Performance Project, was to provide a system-level mapping and assessment of international humanitarian assistance. The research team synthesized the findings of roughly 500 global survey responses, 100 recent evaluations, 89 interviews, staffing and budget information of over 200 aid organizations and a financial analysis of global humanitarian aid flows. The resulting report represents a pilot effort to broadly assess the ‘state of the system’ with the intent, if it is found useful, to repeat the exercise once every two years. In one of its key findings, the study depicts "a system steadily and incrementally improving its own internal mechanics and technical performance, while remaining deficient in some 'big picture' requirements for effectiveness". More

Rebuilding local governance structures in Afghanistan – a long walk

April 2011
This case study on efforts to build sub-national governance institutions in Afghanistan illustrates the challenges of implementing decentralization programmes in a post-conflict setting. The focus of the UNDP-supported National Area-Based Development Programme (NABDP) is to transform informal local Shuras (committees) into Community Development Councils and higher-level District Development Assemblies (DDAs). The reality, however, is that the newly elected local representatives face an uphill battle to achieve widespread acceptance as legitimate interlocutors of local development. More

Interview: Changing the sanitation mindset

September 2011
Abadh Kishore Mishra, Regional director, Regional Monitoring and Supervision Office of the Department of Water Supply and Sewerage in Surkhet, Nepal Water and sanitation in Nepal’s Midwestern Region In the past, efforts to improve access to sanitation in Nepal’s Midwestern Development Region were hampered by fragmentation and by the rigid mindset of some development agencies. This changed when the country’s Regional Monitoring and Supervision Office at the Department of Water Supply and Sewerage stepped in. More

Evaluation in Africa – can and should it be more influential? (E-discussion)

October 2012
This is the final topic in a series of moderated e-discussions on " Thought Leaders in Development and Evaluation." Co-facilitated by the African Evaluation Association (AfrEA) and the CLEAR initiative, South Africa, the purpose of the forum is to give impetus to efforts to develop original and influential African contributions that can strengthen evaluation theory and practice on the continent and worldwide. It will also help position the AfrEA "Made in Africa Approach to Evaluation" initiative by focusing on how evaluation can be shaped by Africa-rooted and driven approaches. The e-discussions will feed into a strategic meeting on the future of development and evaluation in Africa to hosted by the Rockefeller Foundation's Bellagio Center in Italy in November. More

Global fund announces new cooperation model to strengthen domestic accountability

January 2013
The Global Fund has launched a transition phase towards a new funding model that is set to become fully operational in 2014. According to the Fund ".... The new model will increase country focus and provide implementers with more flexible timing, better alignment with national strategies, greater predictability on the process and the level of funding available, early feedback on grant applications, and an ability to elicit full expressions of demand." More

Collaborating for impact

January 2013
In the UK, changes to government commissioning are also driving the collaboration agenda: in order to compete for public service delivery, charities need to be "collaboration-ready". However, collaborations can be tricky to navigate. This report by two UK organizations, New Philanthropy Capital (NPC) and Impetus Trust, addresses some of the less talked-about issues that connect collaboration with social impact More

Report of national stakeholder consultations on water in the post-2015 development agenda

May 2013
This report published by the Global Water Partnership (GWP) summarizes findings from 22 national consultations that it organized between February and May 2013. The consultations aimed to: identify country needs; obtain a deeper qualitative understanding of national priorities; and compliment the online global thematic consultation on water. The broad topics covered included water resources and wastewater management, as well as quality and water supply, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). More

Connecting communities of practice

October 2010
Capacity development is high on the policy agenda. To enrich learning processes and improve practice, the capacity development community must interact more effectively with other communities of practice. More

Organizational learning in Mexican agriculture

April 2011
To be an effective poverty alleviation instrument, agricultural policies (including research, extension, and innovation) must be based on an evolutionary approach that emphasizes experimentation, learning, and active interactions among diverse partners. However, most agricultural research and extension policies and institutions in developing countries lack the necessary flexibility to implement such an approach. Instead, they apply uniform recipes and struggle with organizational rigidities and other problems. Notable exceptions to this trend have been the Mexican Produce Foundations (PFs). More

Strengthening accountability: can civil society have an impact?

October 2010
Public spending: Holding governments accountable Ten years ago a small number of civil society organizations began experimenting with methods to monitor and influence government budget policies and expenditures. Have these initiatives had an impact? More

UNIFEM Resources on Women, Peace and Security

November 2010
UNIFEM Resources on Women, Peace and Security This collection of UNIFEM (part of UN Women) papers published in 2010 brings together a considerable body of analytical and advocacy work undertaken over the last five years, grounded in programming that has helped advance the women, peace and security agenda in policy and practice. More

Enhancing the impact of humanitarian assistance

November 2010
The focus of humanitarian evaluations is shifting towards analysis of the impact of humanitarian assistance - to understand, in an evidence-based way, how aid ultimately affects the lives and livelihoods of aid recipients. More

Local governance and ICTs in Africa: Case Studies and guidelines for implementation and evaluation

August 2011
E-governance has the potential to enable local governments to engage citizens in greater participation, leading to socioeconomic developments at local and national levels. But this potential remains largely unexploited. This book offers studies from nine African countries that explore how ICTs can transform service delivery, tax, financial management, land management, education, local economic development, citizen registration, and political inclusion. More

Perverse governance: State incapacity by design in Bihar, India

August 2011
Poor governance is often attributed to historical and structural factors that are difficult to change: “it is there because it is there, or because of a legacy of pathologies like colonial rule and an unnatural degree of socio-linguistic diversity." IDS Working Paper 366 (May 2011) by Santhosh Mathew and Mick Moore explores the role of individual agency and the incentives and opportunities that powerful political insiders may face to weaken state capacity in their own interests. It focuses on governance practices during the tenure of Chief Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav, from 1990 to 2005. More

Case study: Mainstreaming gender in local governance processes in Afghanistan

September 2011
To minimize gap between the Community Development Councils and Provincial Government Organizations, Afghanistan’s National Area-Based Development Programme (NABDA) started to establish District Development Assemblies (DDAs) in 2006. This case study describes the process used to mainstream gender in these local governance processes and some of the concrete results achieved so far. More

Guest Column: Contract farming can work

March 2012
Improving the bargaining power of small farmers Recent years have seen an upsurge in large-scale land purchases by foreign investors, which can lead to peasant evictions and social upheaval. But less attention has been paid to the parallel rise in contract farming arrangements, which can also endanger the rights of smallholders and contribute to the disempowerment of farmers within the food system. However, contract farming is a market-based approach that can work – provided that it is underpinned by respect for human rights, a focus on the right to food and strong institutional supervision. More

SNV Practice Brief: Sustainable Water Services and the Poor in Small Towns

June 2012
One of the arguments commonly advanced against commercialisation of basic services is that this will take place at the expense of the poor. While this risk is acknowledged, the experiences discussed in the latest Practice Brief from SNV Netherlands Development Organisation confirm that poorer groups in small towns and peri-urban areas - who are disproportionately affected by inadequate services - can benefit from socially responsible commercialisation. More

Scaling up inclusive business models

June 2012
From islands of success to seas of change Several successful approaches to inclusive business have been developed in recent decades. What will it take to scale them up? This was the core question discussed at an international workshop held in The Hague in April 2012 as part of the Seas of Change Initiative. More

Integrating local and external projects in adaptation programmes: A case study of the Caribbean region

September 2012
This paper authored by J. Mercer and published by Many Strong Voices (2012) critically reviews the use of ecosystem-based approaches (EbA) to climate change adaptation in the Caribbean, with particular attention upon methodologies used to integrate local and external knowledge to address climate change impacts. More

Dilemmas of partnerships

January 2013
GUEST COLUMN "If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together." Nowadays, policymakers and leaders of businesses and NGOs habitually quote this old African proverb in support of their partnering strategy. Partnering is the most institutionalised form of inter-organisational learning. But the partnering process is anything but straightforward. Indeed, it is replete with (learning) dilemmas. More

Experiences with networks in Ghana

October 2010
Throughout Africa civil society networks are successfully engaging with the state and attempting to influence public policy in order to accelerate poverty reduction and national development. Drawing on the experiences of civil society networks in the PRSP process in Ghana, this article discusses whether engagement has actually led to their empowerment. More

Call for Expression of Interest: Mid-Term evaluation of Saferworld/DFID Programme Partnership Agreement

June 2012
Contracting organization: Saferworld Location: UK, with some possible travel to the Caucasus or Central Asia Application deadline: 28 June 2012 Type/duration of assignment: See ToRs More information: http://www.saferworld.org.uk/about/jobs Saferworld is an independent non-governmental organisation that works to prevent and reduce violent conflict and promote cooperative approaches to security. We work with civil society, governments and international organisations to encourage and support effective policies and practices through advocacy, research and policy development, and through supporting the development of local capacities and structures. Saferworld is seeking evaluators to conduct a mid-term Independent Progress Review of work and results enabled through its Programme Partnership Agreement with DFID's Conflict, Humanitarian and Security Department. More

Strengthening pastoralist voices in Tanzania

February 2012
This booklet, and its accompanying DVD, reports on the ‘Strengthening Voices’ project, underway in two districts in northern Tanzania. The project aims to strengthen the capacity of pastoralist communities and local governments to shape strategies for adaptive environmental management and poverty reduction in Tanzania’s drylands. At the core of the project is a training course that explains the economic and ecological processes at the heart of pastoral systems - clarifying the rationale that underpins pastoral livelihood strategies.The course is based on a similar initiative that has been field-tested and run in the Sahel region of West Africa since 2000. More

Interactive seminar series: Learning from mega disasters

March 2012
Dates: 18 April - 11 May 2012 (NB: Registration deadline is 11 April 2012) Type of event: Video conference series (6 sessions) with live webcasts Location: Various (region-based) + Online Organization: Global Development Learning Network(GDLN) More information on themes and target countries: http://www.jointokyo.org/en/programs/catalogue/mega_disasters/ This video conference series is organized as part of a Government of Japan/World Bank programme “ Learning from Mega Disasters: Program of Knowledge Sharing and Knowledge Exchange,” launched in October 2011. The project has developed 33 Knowledge Notes so far, which will be grouped into 6 clusters for the GDLN knowledge-exchange sessions. The objectives of the KS sessions are to: (i) share initial findings and lessons from the Great East Japan Earthquake with practitioners throughout the world, and (ii) exchange views among experts on how these lessons could be transferred and adapted to developing countries. More

Launch event: Online Guide on effective partnerships for humanitarian research and practice

March 2012
Dates: 17 April 2012 Type of event: Panel Discussion (with live webcast) Location: London, UK: 15:00-17:00 BST (GMT + 01) Organization: Overseas Development Organisation (ODA) More information: http://www.odi.org.uk/events/details.asp?id=2911&title=humanitarian-partnerships-research-academic In 2011, the Humanitarian Emergency Response Review (HERR) called for humanitarian action to be underpinned by evidence and highlighted the need for more systematic and rigorous applied research. However, in order to build this body of evidence and ensure that practitioners can access and apply it, humanitarians and academics need to work in partnership. But what are the key ingredients to an effective partnership between humanitarians and academics? What are the pitfalls and at what stage does it make sense to introduce certain activities or actors? This event, hosted by the Humanitarian Practice Network at ODI, will launch a ELRHA-commissioned study report that sought to answer this question. In addition to identifying the obstacles to partnership and how these can be overcome, the report highlights a number of examples where effective partnerships between academics and practitioners have yielded results which have had a direct positive impact on vulnerable communities. The report has also been translated into an Online Guide to Effective Partnerships with an Android Application for use in poor coverage areas.The event will include a panel discussion around the value of partnerships, a presentation from one of the case studies and a demonstration of how to use the Online Guide. More

Food aid decision-making tool to strengthen context-specific humanitarian responses

May 2012
The Market Information and Food Insecurity Response Analysis (MIFIRA) decision-making tool developed by Cornell University researchers aims to help international relief organizations cater their food aid response to specific local and regional economic and social contexts. The tool builds on lessons learnt during the Indian Ocean tsunami as relief agencies sought more efficient local alternatives to international food aid. More

An analytical framework for assessing decentralized local governance and the local public sector

January 2011
In recent years, a consensus among development practitioners and decentralization experts has emerged that decentralization is about more than merely shifting power and resources away from the central level or strengthening the administrative capacity of local governments. Instead, decentralization is increasingly defined as the empowerment of people through the empowerment of their local governments. This definition recognizes that decentralization is a means rather than an end in itself: decentralization should be pursued in order to empower people over the public sector so as to achieve improvements in the delivery of public services. This new perspective has important implications for how we measure and assess progress on decentralization reforms and on the status of decentralized governance systems. More

State of the Humanitarian System, 2012

July 2012
The Active Learning Network for Accountability and Performance (ALNAP) recently launched the 2012 edition of its landmark State of the Humanitarian System Report. The 2012 report presents a system-level mapping and analysis of the performance of international humanitarian assistance. It draws on interviews with hundreds of aid workers, donors and aid recipients to create an authentic snapshot of the vast, shifting mass of agencies, donors, governments and affected populations that are part of the humanitarian community. A unique element is the interviews carried out with aid recipients in four countries to find out how they perceive the international humanitarian community. The full report as well as a short animated video outlining its key messages can be downloaded at: http://www.alnap.org/ourwork/current/sohs.aspx. More

Toolkit on biocultural protocols for community facilitators

September 2012
Indigenous peoples and local communities are increasingly engaging with external actors such as government agencies, researchers, companies, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). However, external actors often do not understand customary protocols and governance systems because they are codified in ways specific to each community, culture, and location. Failing to respect community protocols, whether intentional or not, can lead to conflict, deterioration of otherwise constructive relations, and negative impacts on the environment. Biocultural Community Protocols: A Toolkit for Community Facilitators is published by Natural Justice, a NGO that assists communities to engage with legal frameworks to secure environmental and social justice. More

Integrated peacebuilding

January 2013
Peacebuilding and the related sectors of international development, humanitarian relief, and diplomacy are areas that require an increasingly nuanced understanding of theory, process, and impact. In Integrated Peacebuilding: Innovative Approaches to Transforming Conflict, leading academics and practitioners present original essays discussing the theories, practices, and ethical challenges of integrating peacebuilding into diverse sectors such as development, business, gender, media, and health. More

Capacity building for resilience in Afghanistan

April 2013
This UNESCO publication investigates the challenges that war-torn Afghanistan faces in rebuilding its education sector. Case studies of capacity development partnerships between Afghanistan’s Ministry of Education and two UN agencies, an NGO consortium, and an education donor, explore efforts to strengthen the country’s education system. More

Strengthening local accountabilities in fragile contexts: Lessons from Nepal, Bangladesh and Mozambique

June 2013
IDS Working Paper 422 (April 2013) explores societal dynamics in fragile contexts and the role that external partners can play in strengthening domestic accountability through giving local project participants opportunities to "practise democracy." More

Catalysing private sector financial support for moving small- and medium-scale farmers into commercial agriculture

August 2013
Lessons from Uganda and South Sudan The multitude and complexity of the risks in the agricultural sector make it unattractive for commercial lenders and private sector investors. Steve Hodges suggests three ways to mitigate these risks: conducting comprehensive risk assessments, encouraging banks to engage with multi-stakeholder committees and promoting model farmers. More

Agrilife platform

August 2013
A phone and web-based financial information service in Kenya Agrilife is a mobile phone and web-based platform in Kenya where financial institutions and suppliers can obtain near-real-time information on farmers’ ability to pay for services. Agrilife serves farmers who are members of producer organisations and who have business relationships with millers or other processors. Once a farmer has delivered his produce to a processor (also key participants in the setup) the information is shared with suppliers and financial and other service providers, and the farmer has immediate access to these services. Service providers use point-of sale devices for cashless transactions between farmers and merchants and real-time reporting. More

Case studies in financing smallholder agriculture

August 2013
The following five case studies offering diverse perspectives on inclusive financing were submitted for Issue 47 of Capacity.org and have been published in the online version of the journal. With thanks to the case writers for their contribution. More

Innovative development financing through public-private partnerships

August 2013
The case of Hivos and PT Nestlé Indonesia This case study highlights an example of a public-private partnership which invests in agricultural infrastructure or services that benefit small-scale farmers. In the Indonesia Domestic Biogas Program (IDBP), Hivos collaborates with Nestlé to support small dairy farmers to invest in biogas digesters as an affordable and sustainable source of cooking fuel using local resources. This multi-actor project has led to the construction of almost 9,000 biodigesters, of which more than 5,500 for Nestlé milk suppliers. More

Reducing impact investment risks

August 2013
Guest Column The impact investment community has been highlighting the lack of investible opportunities in developing countries for some time. There are more late-stage impact funds seeking investment-ready companies with demonstrated social and financial promise, but most opportunities are very early stage and considered too risky from a financial risk/return perspective. A study by the Monitor Group found that of the 84 funds investing in Africa only six were providing early-stage capital. More

Capacity development of central state institutions in fragile environments

November 2013
The report published by the Danish Institute for Development Studies (DIIS) discusses five cases with "relatively successful" outcomes in Afghanistan, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Liberia and South Sudan. According to the authors, the cases show that "...interventions tend to succeed if they fit well the given situation and context [but] ....This does not imply conforming to the context." More

Impact of local governance on education services in Indonesia

November 2013
Since the introduction of decentralization in the early 2000s, local governments have become responsible for the provision of basic services. This has put them at the heart of efforts to raise education quality. The World Bank report "Local Governance and Education Performance: A Survey of the Quality of Local Education Governance in 50 Indonesian Districts" outlines the varying governance of local education systems and explores the effects of a large donor supported program that aimed to strengthen the capacity of local governments. More

LenCD seeks network coordinator

April 2012
Contracting organization: UNDP Location: Home-based Application Deadline: 20 April 2012 Type/duration of assignment: 6 months (initial contract) More information: http://jobs.undp.org/cj_view_job.cfm?cur_job_id=29462 Established in 2004 to raise the contour of capacity development on the international policy agenda, the Learning Network on Capacity Development (LenCD) is an informal network aimed at supporting the emerging global community of practice around capacity development, by promoting exchange of knowledge, experience and approaches among practitioners. Under the guidance of the LenCD steering group, and with the administrative support of the LenCD project manager, the LenCD coordinator will be responsible for moving the LenCD agenda forward and to facilitate the implementation of the work streams agreed by the steering group, as reflected in the LenCD work plan. More

Learning to evaluate capacity development: The making of 'Facilitating resourcefulness'

November 2011
This article is a supplement to Issue 43 of Capacity.org. It takes a look behind the scenes of an extensive evaluation of 26 case studies covering the support to capacity development of seven Dutch Development Partners under the coordination and partial responsibility of the Policy and Operations Evaluation Department (IOB) of the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign affairs. The evaluation aimed to draw lessons on how to improve the effectiveness of future capacity development interventions. More

Water in the sand

October 2010
In 2005, more than 100 donors, partner countries, international organisations and civil society organisations signed the ground-breaking Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness. The declaration recognises that aid is more effective when partner countries exercise effective leadership over their own development policies and strategies and coordinate their actions. It also underlines the fact that donors must align their overall support according to the strategies, institutions and procedures of their national partners. More

New ambitions, new style

October 2010
Welcome to Capacity.org. This is not the first issue of Capacity.org - it was launched some six years ago by the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM) - but it marks a new phase in the life of this publication. The 25 issues published since 1999 have made a major contribution to the understanding of capacity development. This summer, ECDPM was joined by two new partners: SNV Netherlands Development Organisation and UNDP. Together, we wish to enhance the range, depth and scope of Capacity.org so that it appeals to a wider audience, and offers access to a broad range of information - in English, French and Spanish - for everyone concerned with capacity development. More

Review of Impact and Effectiveness of Transparency and Accountability Initiatives, Institute of Development Studies (2010)

January 2011
As traditional forms of state-led accountability have been increasingly found to be inadequate, thousands of multi-stakeholder and citizen-led approaches have come to the fore, to supplement or supplant them. Despite their rapid growth, and the growing donor support they receive, little attention has been paid to the impact and effectiveness of these new transparency and accountability initiatives. Responding to this gap, this report, based on a review of literature and experience across the field with special focus on five sectors of transparency and accountability work, aims to improve understanding among policy-makers and practitioners of the available evidence and identify gaps in knowledge to inform a longer-term research agenda. More

Empowering women pays

March 2012
The importance of women in Ghanaian cocoa As support for agriculture climbs up the policy agenda, the spotlight is increasingly focused on smallholder farmers. But one dimension of this is still being regularly overlooked – the role of women on smallholder farms. Markets for agricultural commodities are increasingly linked to the value chains of large food manufacturers and retailers. More

Applications invited for new round of South-South learning alliances

November 2012
Practical Action has launched the second round of south-south learning alliances, starting January 2013. The four-month online learning programme fosters networking between policymakers and practitioners in Latin American, African and South Asia as part of the Evidence and Lessons from Latin America (ELLA) knowledge platform. The programme will include a visit to Latin America for selected active members from Africa and South Asia. The learning programme will focus on the following topics: Small-scale farming: prmoting small-scale sustainable farming and rural development (application deadline: 7 December 2012) Human rights: promoting, protecting, defending and guaranteeing human rights (application deadline: 30 November 2012) Climate resilient cities: making cities more resilient to climate change (application deadline: 7 December 2012) Participation is free of charge and members are expected to devote about one to two hours per week to the learning programme. For more information please visit: ella.practicalaction.org More

Sustainable intensification: A new paradigm for food security and community resilience in Africa

May 2013
While the concept of "sustainable intensification" is viewed by some as a cynical attempt to promote industrial-scale agriculture, there is a growing international counter-movement that aims to demonstrate that intensification can also be driven by small-scale and sustainable farming systems. Falling squarely in the second camp is the Montpellier Panel, an international group of experts whose latest report aims to offer "a practical pathway towards the goal of producing more food with less impact on the environment." More

Smart subsidies and value chain development

August 2013
Kickstarting seed markets in Tanzania Farmers in the Handeni district of Tanzania were dependent on the local government and an NGO for free or heavily subsidised sunflower seeds. A smart subsidy scheme has enabled the farmers and dealers to establish local supplies of high-quality seeds. More

Capacity.org issue 47 on inclusive financing published

August 2013
As traditional official development assistance decreases attention is turning to innovative ways of catalysing private funding for development. However, private companies need to generate returns on their investments. To what extent does this limit private financing from reaching the poor and marginalised, referred to by Paul Collier as the ‘bottom billion’? In other words, can financing solutions involving private sector actors be inclusive? More

Capacity building for social change: A methodology

October 2013
This is the topic covered by Alfredo Ortiz's PhD thesis, which sought to generate some insights into how capacity-building methodology can help surface—via communicative interaction—the complexity of social change that organizations face. The research explores five relevant aspects of methodology, which Ortiz further illuminates in a series of articles on the Organizational capacity, complexity & social change blog. More

Case study on humanitarian feedback mechanisms in Darfur

October 2013
This is the first of three case studies co-published by ALNAP and CDA and examining the question of ‘What makes humanitarian feedback mechanisms effective?’ Conducted in partnership with World Vision International, the case study discusses what agency staff and affected people think about feedback mechanisms and how they experience and engage with them. More

Strengthening local capacity for climate change adaptation: The AdaptCap project in India

October 2013
Water filtration systems, coastal bunds and other technologies that are tailored to the conditions and needs of local communities can help reduce vulnerability to climate change impacts like increased saltwater intrusion caused by sea level rise or storm surges, or more frequent and severe drought. A key challenge, however, is ensuring such technologies are properly operated and maintained. The partners of the AdaptCap project, a European Commission-financed initiative implemented with coastal communities in the South Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh, have developed a multi-pronged approach for enabling communities to operate and maintain their technical adaptation projects. More

Upcoming INTRAC blended learning courses 2013

April 2013
Dates: June and July 2013 Type of event: Distance traininig course (please note that these are paid courses, with early bird discount before 7 June 2013) Location: Online/worldwide Organization: INTRAC More information: http://www.intrac.org/pages/en/blended-learning.html In addition to its regular residential training courses in Oxford, UK, INTRAC is offering two new "blended learning courses" through distance learning in 2013. The courses will be on the topics: Learning, Advocacy and Policy Influencing, and Monitoring and Evaluation and will take place in June and July. The blended learning courses are delivered remotely through webinar (web conferencing) technology, skype and INTRAC's learning platform (moodle). The course combines trainer-led presentations, discussions and exercises; peer learning with other participants based worldwide; self-directed work; and one-to-one coaching with the trainer. These courses focus heavily on applying learning to the workplace throughout the course. The courses are delivered over an eight week period. More

Scaling up climate information services for smallholder farmers in Africa and Asia

April 2013
This white paper summarizes the lessons learnt from across cases, projects and research experiments in effectively developing and providing climate information and advisory services for smallholder farmers. The case studies were presented at an international workshop in Senegal in December 2012, co-organized by CGIAR's Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS) and its partners. The workshop discussions focused on two projects that are attempting to reaching farmers at scale: Integrated Agrometeorological Advisory Services (IAAS) in India (which recently announced in 2012 plans to scale up to 10-12 million farmers) and Mali’s Projet d’A ssistance Agrometeorologique au Monde Rural (which has provided innovative services to farmers since 1982). More

Vacancies, Management Sciences for Health, Ethiopia

April 2012
Contracting organization: Management Sciences for Health (MSH) Location: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Application Deadline: 11 April 2012 Type/duration of assignment: Project staff More information: www.msh.org/careers A five-year (2011-2016) Cooperative Agreement awarded by USAID to Management Sciences for Health (MSH), the Leadership, Management and Governance Project (LMG) supports health systems strengthening around the world by addressing the needs in leadership, management and governance capacity of policy makers, health care providers and program managers to implement quality health services at all levels of the health system. In Ethiopia, LMG’s goal is to improve human capacity and leadership within the health sector through improving leadership and management competencies of the Federal and Regional health workforce and ultimately the performance of the health workforce. MSH has openings for several positions in the Ethiopia office, including a Project Director, Senior Capacity Building Advisor and M&E Advisor. More

CIPPEC, Argentina

November 2010
The Center for the Implementation of Public Policies Promoting Equity and Growth (CIPPEC) links research and policy to improve the livelihoods of people in Latin America and the Caribbean. CIPPEC advocates for greater use of research by civil society organisations (CSOs) and think tanks that are trying to influence decision-making processes in Argentina and Latin America. In 2005 CIPPEC consulted with the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) in the UK to coordinate the Civil Society Partnerships Programme (CSPP) in the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region. Since then, the organisation has developed methods of strengthening capacities for using research evidence when promoting pro-poor policies. More

Thinking strategically in the face of complexity

November 2010
What development interventions make sense when much is unpredictable and uncertain? What is possible when the biggest impacts come from the unforeseen or serendipitous events? Are there alternatives to linear ways of planning, strategizing and making policy? More

Conference: Perspectives on impact evaluation

November 2010
This conference, which took place in Cairo, Egypt from 29 March-2 April 2009, addressed how evaluations could best be conducted and used to inform policies, strategies and interventions that benefit the poor. Participants included policy makers, practitioners and other stakeholders in evaluation and in development from all over the world. The conference was co-hosted by the African Evaluation Association (AfrEA), the Networks of Networks on Impact Evaluation (NONIE) and the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3IE). More

International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie)

November 2010
The International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) works to improve the lives of people in the developing world by supporting the production and use of evidence on what works, when, why and for how much. 3ie is a new initiative that responds to demands for better evidence, and will enhance development effectiveness by promoting better informed policies. 3ie finances high-quality impact evaluations and campaign to inform better programme and policy design in developing countries. More

Capacity, complexity and consulting: lessons from managing capacity development projects

March 2012
In recent years, the Research and Policy in Development (RAPID) programme of the UK-based Overseas Development Institute (ODI) has increasingly focused on managing large, multiyear processes, aimed at building the capacity of local institutions in developing countries to change the way they engage with policy. This paper draws on the observations of RAPID staff involved in various projects as well as on primary documentation such as trip reports, after action reviews and project reports. It also includes a ‘ light-touch’ review of some of the grey and academic literature available on capacity development, complexity, managing social change and aid agency behaviour. More

Capacity.org Issue 44 on Markets, smallholders and empowerment published

March 2012
With the global population expected to rise to 9 billion by 2050, there has been growing attention at the highest policy circles to the contribution of small-scale agriculture to food security and poverty eradication. However, the creation of an enabling framework towards this end has been hampered by contradictory approaches and policy ''pendulum swings" over the past few decades that have seen national and international efforts focus alternately on 'rights-based' and 'market-based' support strategies. Issue 44 of Capacity.org aims to refocus attention on the critical but largely neglected issue of producer agency: that is, the capacity of producers to make informed choices, and to act on those choices. More

Consultant: Review of the Learning Network on Capacity Development (LenCD)

December 2012
Contracting organization: UNDP Location: Home based Application deadline: 11 January 2013 Type/duration of assignment: 15-day consultancy More information: http://jobs.undp.org/cj_view_job.cfm?cur_job_id=34692 LenCD is an informal network established in 2004 to raise the contour of capacity development on the international policy agenda. This review will explore the extent to which LenCD has been able to facilitate learning on capacity development (CD), promote change in CD practice on the ground, broaden evidence on CD, and promote the integration of CD into mainstream development policy. More

Global Transparency Initiative

November 2010
The GTI is a network of civil society organizations promoting openness of international financial institutions (IFIs), such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the European Investment Bank and regional development banks. They support civil society’s right to information and to participate in the development policies and projects that affect their lives. More

Capacity development in fragile environments

May 2010
The concept of the ‘fragile state’ entered the development discourse when, in the early 1990s, governance in Somalia disintegrated. Thousands of people fell victim to violence and millions faced starvation. Fragile states, however, were not given much attention in development policies. Donor countries concentrated their aid on fewer countries, particularly on those with good governance. More

GSDRC: Strengthening capacity in the area of governance, conflict and social development

November 2010
Funded by the UK Department for International Development, the Governance and Social Development Resource Centre (GSDRC) aims to help reduce poverty by informing policymaking and enhancing professional knowledge in relation to governance, conflict and social development. Services provided by the Resource Centre include an extensive publications database with helpful policy-oriented summaries of each document highlighting the major findings. More

International Alert

November 2010
International Alert is an independent peacebuilding organization that works to lay the foundations for lasting peace and security in communities affected by violent conflict. International Alert works in over 20 countries and territories around the world, both directly with people affected by violent conflict as well as at government, EU and UN levels to shape both policy and practice in building sustainable peace. More

Eldis: topic-based knowledge resources

November 2010
Based at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, Eldis aims to enhance access to the latest resources on development research, policy and practice. Eldis maintains a large collection of selected online documents, all available free of charge. It also provides a range of topic-based resource guides with quick access to key documents, organizations, research themes and discussions. More

The partnership brokering project

November 2010
Established in 2000, the Partnership Brokering Project builds capacity for cross-sector partnerships across a broad range of development sectors. The project aims to change the partnering landscape for the better by promoting good practice and influencing leaders, planners, donors, policy makers and practitioners. More

Evaluation community concludes unique gathering on measuring development effectiveness

November 2010
The Cairo Conference on "Perspectives on Impact Evaluation: Approaches to Assessing Development Effectiveness," drew 700 leading researchers, development practitioners and policy makers from around the globe to share experiences on what works in development, what does not, why, and under what circumstances. More

Aid Harmonization & Alignment

November 2010
This site is the World Bank's contribution to aid harmonisation efforts of the OECD DAC. It provides practical information for practitioners interested in the harmonisation of operational policies, procedures, and practices, with links to all reports and papers related to aid harmonisation to date. More

International conference on capacity development

January 2011
Dates: 15 December 2011 Type of event: International conference Location: The Hague, The Netherlands Organization: Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairst Following the publication Policy and Operations Evaluation Department (IOB) evaluation report of the effectiveness of Dutch support for capacity building in developing countries, this follow up conference will implementation of the report's recommendations. More

The governance of scaling up: Identifying key elements in successful sustainability practices

March 2013
This report by the Global Network of National Councils for Sustainable Development (NCSDs) explores some factors that affect the transferability of successful sustainable development practices. The authors note the need for 'mindful governance' - taking into account what works where and why (or why not) - when designing national sustainable development policies. More

"Tourist guide" to Rural Innovation Studies published

November 2010
The debates about science, technology and innovation (ST&I) in rural development have seen something of a renaissance in recent years, with a number of new and existing organisations in the field of agriculture looking at the adoption of innovation as an organising principle for both policy and action. However, due to the ever-changing nature of the field, the process of navigating through the various emergent and existing schools of thought that produce its vast and complex literature can be a bit of a challenge. The Learning INNovation Knowledge (LINK) Network, a joint initiative of United Nations University (UNU-MERIT), The Netherlands, and UN FAO, has just released the first in a series of policy resources on rural innovation to guide researchers, policymakers and practitioners through this maze. The "Tourist Guide" charts the emerging landscape of systems studies on rural innovation and is available for download on the LINK website. Readers' feedback is invited, through email messages or by posting a comment. More

Innovations in capacity development: the role of networks

November 2010
SNV Netherlands Development Organisation hosted a seminar titled Next Steps in Capacity Development: Dealing with Multi Stakeholder Systems, in the Hague on 22 February. This first event in SNV’s ‘Innovations in Capacity Development’ series explored the "Capacity, Change and Performance"study conducted by the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM). Following presentations on the study findings, representatives of Dutch-based development agencies debated how to deal with the challenges of working with multi-actor systems in practice. Read more More

"Locating the power of in-between"

November 2010
This report by the Human Sciences Research Council, South Africa, and the Institute of Development Studies, UK, presents the outcome of a conference held in 2008 to explore the role of research brokers, and knowledge and information intermediaries in supporting and enabling evidence-based, pro-poor policy and practice. A group of organizations actively involved in intermediary work are taking forward ideas and action from the conference through the I-K-Mediary Network. More

Rapid Evidence Assessment (REA) Toolkit

November 2010
The increasing prominence of evidence-based principles has ledto a need for government departments and agencies to have ways of accessing, harnessing and using the best available research evidence for effective policy making – and the first step in this is to review what is already known. While existing evidence is clearly not the only source of information available topolicy makers, it is an obvious and vitally important strategy to determine what is already known about the issue in question. More

Research on Poverty Alleviation (REPOA)

November 2010
REPOA is a Tanzanian NGO that recognises that research is central to economic growth and the eradication of poverty, and a basis for making decisions and designing interventions. REPOA seeks to build the capacity of, and mobilise stakeholders to understand the importance of research, and to facilitate the use of information for policy dialogue and development. REPOA specialises in economic and social research and has a core staff of 13 researchers. More

Empowerment: A journey not a destination

January 2012
The DFID-funded Pathways of Women’s Empowerment Programme launched a synthesis report based on the findings and recommendations from five years of research in London on 13th January. The report, entitled 'Empowerment: A Journey not a Destination' draws on the collective works of 60 academic-activists in 12 countries on four continents. With six companion policy papers and case studies, the publication shares the latest learning and analysis on what works to enhance women’s empowerment in different parts of the world. More

Pre-Announcement: Training course on local governance and rural decentralization

April 2012
Dates: 11 - 22 February 2013 ( NB: Applications for NUFFIC scholarships must be submitted before 27 April 2012) Type of event: Training course Location: Wageningen, The Netherlands Organization: Wageningen UR - Centre for Development Innovation and Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) More information: Download brochure (pdf) The course is designed for people who are involved with governance processes in a context of rural decentralisation, including government officials, project and programme managers, policy makers, consultants, NGO staff, federations of community organizations or private sector organizations. More

3ie call for replication evaluations

June 2012
3ie has released a Request for Applications for replication research along with an initial Candidate Studies List. The submission deadline is 11.59 pm GMT, July 31, 2012. 5-10 grants of up to $ 15,000 each will be awarded. The aim of the Replication Programme is to improve the quality of impact evaluation evidence used for policy making by funding and publicizing replication studies of "influential, innovative, and controversial impact evaluations of development programmes." More

Learning from knowledge networks (AfricaAdapt)

September 2012
AfricaAdapt describes its aim as ‘facilitating the flow of climate change adaptation knowledge for sustainable livelihoods between researchers, policy makers, civil society organisations and communities who are vulnerable to climate variability and change across the [African] continent’. From from the perspective of the former lead partner, IDS Working Paper (No. 142) takes a ‘behind the scenes’ look at the AfricaAdapt Network and the partnerships on which it is based. More

Climate change governance: Adaptation and mitigation as institutional change processes

January 2012
Dates: 30 January - 12 February, 2012 Type of event: Training workshop Location: Wageningen, the Netherlands Organization: Wageningen UR Centre for Development Innovation The impact on food production, food security and natural resources in developing countries by climate change is likely to be severe. This course offers conceptual frameworks to understand climate change, vulnerability and adaptation and mitigation options that bring together different stakeholders such as policymakers, scientists, communities, citizens, farmers, extension workers, media and businesses. NB: The application deadline for this course is 15th January (Apply online) More

International network on conflict and fragility (INCAF)

November 2010
Established in 2009 as a subsidiary body of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC), INCAF is a unique decision-making forum that brings together governments and international organizations to support peacebuilding as well as effective and legitimate state institutions. More

International Budget Project

November 2010
Established in 1997, the IBP works with organizations that focus on the impact of government budgets on poor and low-income people in developing countries or new democracies. The aim is to make public budget policies and processes more transparent and accountable to the public. IBP publishes a bimonthly newsletter, released in English, French, Russian, and Spanish. Each newsletter includes news from current civil society budget work around the world, updates on IBP activities, and links to new papers or other materials relevant to budget analysis. More

Capacity development knowledge fair: case studies now online

November 2010
All 175 case stories, 50 videos and 90 images submitted for the 'Capacity is Development' Knowledge Fair in 2010 are available online. The top 30 Finalists in the case story category and 10 Top Finalists from the video category were determined by a panel of 18 judges in a process coordinated by the UNDP Capacity Development Group, the Learning Network on Capacity Development (LenCD) and Impact Alliance. The cases showcase policies, investments and programmes that have proven successful in driving human and institutional capacity development in diverse settings around the world. Out of the Finalists, five outstanding entries were selected for personal representation at the upcoming Global Event in Marrakech. Visit website More

How do our readers see us?

December 2010
Coming up to the end of 2010, we decided to ask our readers what they thought of Capacity.org. So far, there has been a tremendous response, in English, French and Spanish. As we go to print, we have had a high level of response from staff and affiliates of SNV and ICCO and we are still receiving responses from ECDPM policy makers and other personnel. We would like to thank everyone for taking the time to respond and pass on their opinions and ideas. More

Agriculture can’t wait

October 2010
Farmers face a wide range of risks, including depleted soil, irregular rainfall, unexpected drought, rising input prices, decreasing output prices, diseases and sudden changes in demand, to name but a few. Many of these issues could be dealt with very effectively if farmers could get organised and if external stakeholders could provide a helping hand. The role of government is to put in place consistent agricultural policies that encourage increased production, as well as legal institutions that ensure equity and transparency in providing land titles and access to water for farmers. Stakeholders in a value chain can collaborate in initiating relevant research and establishing systems for sharing knowledge and information. More

Context matters

October 2010
GUEST COLUMN A spectre is haunting donors – the spectre of insignificance. Once the world seemed to be on a rather straight path towards universal well-being: donors could provide investments to boost the economy (1960 and1970s), or pay attention to basic needs (1980s) or press for market and fiscal policy reforms (1990s). Today, donors herald the virtues of target-driven comprehensive planning with a focus on social sectors, embodied in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs). These efforts throughout the decades have been accompanied by mountains of training and technical assistance aimed at developing capacity. More

Learning and knowledge management officer, Ethiopia

January 2013
Contracting organization: Mercy Corps/USAID Location: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Application deadline: Not specified Type/duration of assignment: Staff position More information: http://bit.ly/10x8zVZ The Learning and Knowledge Management Officer will be a key position in the $48 million, 5-year USAID-funded Pastoralists Areas Resilience Improvement and market Expansion (PRIME) program. He/she will lead enhanced innovation learning and knowledge management activities. In addition he/she will work closely with USAID/FTF’s Knowledge Learning, Documentation and Policy (KLDP) project and the Capacity to Improve Agriculture and Food Security (CIAFS) program. More

Capacity.org joins Capacity Alliance

October 2013
Capacity.org has joined hands with a network of international organizations active in capacity development policy and practice to co-publish a weekly news update, Capacity Alliance Feeds . The newspaper is currently co-published with the African Platform for Development Effectiveness (APDev), the EU knowledge sharing platform on development (capacity4dev.eu), the Learning Network on Capacity Development (LenCD), SNV Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV) and UNDP-KIC. We welcome like-minded organizations to support this initiative by sharing knowledge resources through the twitter hashtag #capacityalliance. We are also on Twitter: @cap_alliance More

Enterprise development through value chains and business service markets

February 2014
Dates: Starts March 2014 Type of event: Training course Location: Web-based/Distance learning Organization: International Training Centre of the International Labour Organisation (ITCILO) More information: http://www.itcilo.org/marketdev The majority of the world's poor earn their living in small-scale enterprises and farms. By helping these businesses increase profits, sales and assets, we can reach the poor and help them lift themselves out of poverty. This on-the-job distance learning course with an optional presential course is designed for project implementers and policy makers to help them ramp-up your enterprise development program using practical tools for developing value chains and business service markets. More

Rethinking governance and development in Africa

April 2011
Below the apex of the national political systems and behind the headlines, in most parts of sub-Saharan Africa most of the time, governance is failing to work for development. The better-off solve their livelihood problems privately, while for the majority life remains harsh, troubled and short. It is against this backdrop that a new research venture, the Africa Power and Politics Programme, is exploring more effective forms of delivering public goods, under the guiding hypothesis that "institutions function better when they 'work with the grain' of the society which hosts them." More

Innovative Practice Series

November 2010
The Innovative Practice Series of the Regoverning Markets programme consists of 30 case studies providing examples of specific innovation in connecting small-scale producers with dynamic markets at local or regional level More

Islands of integrity: Identifying positive outliers

March 2012
Why have some public organizations or sectors seen a reduction in corruption (or a greater reduction than might be expected) while others have not? What explains the differences across or within countries and sectors? What are the political processes that drive corruption reduction and what policy lessons can be learned from studying cases where it has happened? This paper, the first in a series on this topic, is part of a project that seeks to try to answer those questions, and is being undertaken by the Developmental Leadership Program (DLP) in conjunction with Transparency International (TI). The paper outlines the way in which a ‘long list’ of cases has been identified by a careful statistical analysis of TI’s Global Corruption Barometer (GCB) More

Impact Evaluation Conference 2011: Follow live conference updates

June 2011
Dates: 15-17 June 2011 Type of event: Conference Location: Cuernavaca, Mexico Organization: 3iE The 2011 impact evaluation conference 'Mind the gap: From evidence to policy impact' will bring together over 400 policymakers, practitioners and researchers from Latin America, Africa and Asia, to take stock of what we have learned from evaluations and the way forward for adopting new approaches.The conference will highlight cases from across the world where impact evaluations have provided evidence to scale up or modify existing development programmes. The conference offers a unique learning space to share ideas and be part of current debates on impact evaluations. All are welcome to participate by following live updates and commenting on the live blogs. More

Eldis governance assessments CDROM now available: Request your free copy!

March 2012
Since 2008 the Eldis project at IDS Knowledge Services has hosted an online resource library, The Eldis Governance Assessments dossier as part of a long-term partnership with the UNDP Global Programme on Democratic Governance Assessments. To mark the end of this collaboration Eldis collated a selection of documents from the library on to a CDROM. The disc contains over 200 resources from a range of different experts, institutions and organisations that work in the field of governance assessments. It is designed to provide detailed, practical information drawing upon evidence about what works, and identifying innovations in approaches, policy and practice. Eldis is trying to identify potential users for the CDROMs by means of a short survey (click here to download) below. Please fill in the form and send it by email to j.collodi@ids.ac.uk More

Eldis governance assessments CDROM now available: Request your free copy!

March 2012
Since 2008 the Eldis project at IDS Knowledge Services has hosted an online resource library, The Eldis Governance Assessments dossier as part of a long-term partnership with the UNDP Global Programme on Democratic Governance Assessments. To mark the end of this collaboration Eldis collated a selection of documents from the library on to a CDROM. The disc contains over 200 resources from a range of different experts, institutions and organisations that work in the field of governance assessments. It is designed to provide detailed, practical information drawing upon evidence about what works, and identifying innovations in approaches, policy and practice. Eldis is trying to identify potential users for the CDROMs by means of a short survey (click here to download). If you would like to receive a copy, or to nominate possible beneficiaries, please fill in the questionnaire and send it by email to Jason Collodi, Eldis Governance Editor (j.collodi@ids.ac.uk). More

Capacity building officer: Cash learning initiative

January 2013
Contracting organization: Oxfam GB Location: Oxford, UK or Home Based Application deadline: 11 January 2013 Type/duration of assignment: Staff position More information: http://reliefweb.int/job/546008/cash-learning-partnership-capacity-building-officer The Cash Learning Partnership (CaLP) is an interagency partnership founded in 2006 with a steering committee of five member agencies: Save the Children, Action against Hunger, Norwegian Refugee Council, The British Red Cross and Oxfam GB. The Partnership promotes the appropriate use of cash transfers in emergencies through capacity building, evidence based research and advocating for and engaging in developing policy around cash based programming. The Capacity Building Officer will be responsible for technical quality and roll out of the CaLP trainings and training modules under the CaLP strategy 2012 - 2015 and will be hosted by the Humanitarian Department in Oxfam GB. More

Finance and capacity building officer, Sierra Leone

January 2013
Contracting organization: One Village Partners Location: Sierra Leone Application deadline: 1 March 2013 Type/duration of assignment: Full time staff position More information: http://www.idealist.org/view/job/TZ7JN88tpGW4/ OneVillage Partners (OVP) is an entrepreneurial, start-up nonprofit organization that improves quality of life for rural villagers living in extreme poverty in Sierra Leone, West Africa. With a small support staff in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the organization is currently building its team in Sierra Leone and seeks a full-time Finance and Capacity Building Officer. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to build the position, develop financial policies, and work on the ground with local communities to support expansion efforts. As OneVillage Partners grows, this person will oversee and manage all finance and accounting activities in Sierra Leone and also assist interested villagers and villager groups in developing the necessary skills for empowerment and self-determination. An expatriate is required for this position. More

Bridging the “know-do” gap from research to action

November 2010
The IDRC 'Research Matters Knowledge translation toolkit' explores the interface between two fundamentally different processes: those of research and those of action. More

Event: Shaping the future of capacity-building programmes

May 2012
Dates: 2-3 July 2012 Type of event: International conference Location: The Hague, The Netherlands Organization: Netherlands Organisation for International Cooperation in Higher Education (NUFFIC) More information: www.nuffic.nl/shapingthefuture The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs has asked Nuffic to organise an international conference aimed at generating specific ideas for the design of new capacity building programmes. The two-day conference, entitled "Shaping the future: new perspectives on Dutch cooperation in post-secondary education and training for sustainable development," will bring together experts, practitioners and stakeholders from the Netherlands and partner countries, as well as representatives of international agencies. More

Capacity development specialists, Uganda

January 2013
Contracting organization: Chemonics Location: Uganda Application deadline: 30 January 2013 Type/duration of assignment: Staff positions More information: http://img.static.reliefweb.int/job/547649/agricultural-climate-trade-and-capacity-building-specialists Chemonics seeks technical specialists for the anticipated three- to five-year USAID-funded Enabling Environment for Agriculture Program in Uganda. This feed the future program will partner with Ugandan private and public institutions to improve the enabling environment for agricultural development, trade, and adaptation to climate change. More

A Networked Research Approach - A guide to conducting research in a network setting

November 2010
This guide to the Networked Research Approach was developed by the International Forum for Rural Transportation and Development (IFRTD) More

Integrated Water Resources Management in practice

August 2011
Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) is widely recognized as a prerequisite for achieving equitable and sustainable development. However, this approach is poorly understood, even within the water sector. Using case studies, this book published in March 2009 explores how IWRM has contributed, at different scales, from very local, village-level experiences to reforms at national level and beyond to cases involving trans-boundary river basins. More

Training course in health systems research

August 2011
Dates: 16th January to 1st February 2012 Type of event: Training course Location: KIT Training Centre, Amsterdam Organization: Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) Health care programme managers need to be able to use a range of research approaches and methods to solve the problems they face while working in the health system. This course looks at the strengths and weaknesses of different research approaches and methods and discusses which research methods should be used to answer certain health system research questions. The course specifically focuses on qualitative and participatory research methods. More

Lessons in "pro-poor" leadership strategies

February 2013
This review by the Development Leadership Programme draws insights from three case studies of 'pro-poor' political leaders: Yoweri Museveni in Uganda, Digvijay Singh in India’s Madhya Pradesh state and Fernando Henrique Cardoso in Brazil.The studies are analysed in the book "Against the Odds: Politicians, institutions and the struggle against poverty" (2012) by Marcus Andre Melo, Njuguna Ng'ethe & James Manor. More

“On Being a Scientist”: Third Edition

November 2009
This book describes the ethical foundations of scientific practices and some of the personal and professional issues that researchers encounter in their work. It applies to all forms of research--whether in academic, industrial, or governmental settings-and to all scientific disciplines. More

Protecting small producers in agricultural markets

November 2010
Implementing Physical and Virtual Food Reserves to Protect the Poor and Prevent Market Failure More

Supporting capacity development for environmental sustainability

April 2011
Supporting capacity development for environmental sustainability The purpose of this publication is to provide practical guidance to UNDP staff, partner countries and other development partners on the nature of environmental capacity and how to support capacity development for environmental sustainability (CDES). The guide presents the undp approach to CDES, including guiding principles, an analytical framework and a five-step process that can be adapted to various settings. The guide builds on UNDPs Practice Note on Capacity Development and Practice Note on Capacity Assessment and incorporates best practices from CDES experience. More

1st Summer Institute on global poverty and inclusive development

March 2012
Date: 24-25 April 2012 Type of event: Specialized training programme Location: Amsterdam, the Netherlands Organization: University of Amsterdam More information: www.gsss.uva.nl/sip There is an increasing urgency to understand the conditions of poverty, the dynamics of poverty, and the complexities involved in embarking upon more inclusive development trajectories. The Summer Institute on Global Poverty & Inclusive Development contributes to the growing worldwide interest among academics and professionals in the causes of poverty and its alleviation. Classes are taught by Dr. Deepa Narayan, an internationally known expert on poverty and author of Voices of the Poor and Moving out of Poverty in close cooperation with Dr. Nicky Pouw, co- author of Local Governance and Poverty in Developing Nations (with Isa Baud). More

Senior capacity development adviser (Plan International)

January 2013
Contracting organization: Plan International USA Location: Washington DC Application deadline: 9 February 2013 Type/duration of assignment: Staff position More information: http://www.idealist.org/view/job/C8CB3mczH78d/ The Senior Capacity Development Advisor will contribute to developing and implementing family planning/reproductive health and HIV project strategies through a USAID-funded project with emphasis on individual and institutional capacity development and advocacy. More

Coordinating capacity development partnerships in the higher education sector

February 2013
‘Synergy in action’ is a new book from Nuffic (the Netherlands organisation for international cooperation in higher education). The book focuses on programmes which aim to strengthen higher education and research capacity in developing countries. Nuffic administers two such programmes: the Netherlands Fellowship Programmes (NFP) and the Netherlands Initiative for Capacity development in Higher Education (NICHE). More

Foundation - Kellog International Leadership Programme in Africa

November 2010
In 1989, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation launched its Kellog International Leadership Programme, to connect leaders in Latin America and the Caribbean, the United States and Southern Africa. More

Evaluation Guidelines on the Three-Cs website

November 2010
A list of evaluation guidelines and procedures of different Member States of the European Union. More

Systematic reviews in international development: Dhaka Colloquium materials now available

January 2013
In December 2012, BRAC University in Bangladesh hosted the Dhaka Colloquium, which brought together 130 leading researchers and policymakers from 31 countries to discuss the latest methodologies and evidence from systematic reviews of development programmes. Materials from the event, including videos of some of the presentations, are now available. More

Mainstreaming climate change into community development processes

April 2013
Drawing on a district-level planning process in Thailand that aimed to mainstream climate change into local development plans, the authors of this paper argue that the current process of ‘ predict-then-act’ climate change adaptation is inherently flawed. The uncertain nature of climate change predictions can lead to dilemmas in selecting proper measures, whilst the long timeframes involved hinders investment and distances stakeholders’ priorities. Furthermore, this sequential process often overlooks the role of socioeconomic dynamics in changing countries' risk profiles over time. More

Speaking Out: How the voices of poor people are shaping the future

November 2010
This set of papers bring together experiences, lessons, and good practice from Oxfam GB and its partners’ global programme work on the theme of ‘the right to be heard’. More

e-Learning courses on food security

November 2010
Capacity building for enhancing local food security information systems and networks. More

Enhancing learning through evaluation: Approaches, dilemmas and some possible ways forward

November 2010
This paper sketches three progressively more inclusive ways to look at mainstreaming learning for development. More

Ideals in Practice. Enquiring into participation in Sida.

November 2010
The paper adresses the complexities of putting ideals of participation into practice development cooperation. More

Successful Communication: A Toolkit for Researchers and Civil Society

November 2010
This handbook Presents tools for development actors to facilitate communication. More

Performance Monitoring Indicators: A Handbook for Task Managers

November 2010
This handbook provides a background on the logical framework, as well as a typology of indicators that can be used for the monitoring of performance. More

Systemwide Program on Collective Action and Property Rights (CAPRi)

November 2010
CAPRi was created to foster research and promote collaboration between CGIAR research centers, national agricultural research institutions, and other sources. More

Strengthening stakeholder ownership for capacity development results: A conceptual framework

May 2011
This 48-page paper published by the World Bank Institute (WBI) in May 2011 seeks to deepen understanding of the importance of stakeholder ownership in achieving development goals. It describes the conceptual framework and processes that underpin WBI's approach - the Capacity Development Results Framework - which aims to bring about development outcomes by supporting institutional change. More

Embedding ICT in development

October 2010
How can Information and Communication Technology (ICT) support development efforts? ICT cuts across sectors and affects all layers of society; it is used by both micro-projects and large institutions. This issue of Capacity.org explores some of the practical approaches taken by a range of support organizations working to build ICT capacities. More

CAPACITY → RESULTS

November 2011
This new publication from the Learning Network on Capacity Development (LenCD) features case stories on capacity development and development results. The collection showcases how endogenous investments in capacity development have led, over time, to produce short, medium and long-term sustainable results. More

Mastering wicked problems: Alan Fowler Master Seminar Series hosted by INTRAC

August 2011
Dates: 20-21 October, 2011 Type of event: Training course Location: National Council of Voluntary Organisations, London UK Organization: International NGO Training and Research Centre (INTRAC) Successful NGOs overcome ‘wicked’ problems. These are critical issues and dilemmas for the whole organisation that have multiple, interdependent causes. Potential solutions are many, but they are seldom obvious or amenable to assured implementation. Yet, effective leadership and management find ways to surmount such problems and motivationally communicate a way forward. This capability is vital for maintaining social value and durability. More

Assessing decentralization and local governance in West Africa

January 2012
This document examines a number of initiatives to build the capacity of local stakeholders to monitor and evaluate decentralisation and local governance processes in a participatory way. It includes case studies from Benin, Cameroon, Ghana, Mali and Niger. More

Post-2015 consultations: Call for input from southern researchers and practitioners

March 2013
The Global Development Network (GDN) seeks input from Southern researchers for an international seminar in New Delhi in late March that will connect members of the UN High Level Panel with the academic community of economists and other social scientists from developing countries. Input can be provided through an online survey - closing on 11 March - that covers five of the most pressing questions facing the panellists: More

Selected Readings - How Is Your Leadership Changing

November 2010
In this online article, Margaret Wheatley asserts that leadership has taken " a great leap backwards to the familiar territory of command and control", which is causing "worker disengagement, few organizations are succeeding at solving problems, and leaders are being scapegoated and fired". More

The importance of building trust

October 2010
The European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries are currently negotiating new Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs). AU Ambassador Mahamet Saleh Annadif believes that researchers can provide effective support for ACP negotiators in this complex process. More

Towards common standards in development evaluation

March 2012
Few development organizations have the capacity to effectively evaluate their programmes. While there is broad agreement on the need to strengthen evaluation capacity, there has been little consensus so far on how to go about this. With this in mind, the Evaluation Capacity Development Group (ECDG) and the Joint Committee on Standards for Educational Evaluation (JCSEE) developed a proposal to create an International Workshop Agreement (IWA) on evaluation capacity development that has been approved by the International Standardization Organization (ISO). During a workshop in Geneva, Switzerland on 17-21 October 2011, ECDG brought together M&E practitioners and standards experts to create a voluntary, consensus-driven agreement towards this end. A report of the workshop, which was supported by IDRC, GIZ and the OECD/DAC Evaluation Network, is now available. More

Developing capacity from Rio to Reality -Who is taking the lead?

September 2012
In the face of rising challenges for, and mixed experiences with, water sector capacity development, the 5th Delft Symposium taking place in May 2013 will address the theme: Who is taking the lead in knowle dge and capacity development across sectors, disciplines and other boundaries so it can be leveraged to become more effective and efficient ? The symposium will look at the innovative capacity development approaches required to respond to the new challenges countries face as each strives for green growth and 'blue sustainability'. Proposals for organising sessions as well as paper abstracts are invited. The deadlines for submissions are: 30 September 2012 (session proposals) and 15 December 2012 (abstracts). More

Follow the money: supporting communities to speak out

October 2010
Public expenditure tracking in Tanzania How does a population renowned for its tolerance and acceptance of authority learn to demand acco untability from its leaders? Can autocratic leaders redefine themselves as public servants? An interesting social experiment is underway in Tanzania. More

Poverty Action Network Ethiopia

October 2010
The Poverty Action Network Ethiopia has enabled civil society to engage in the PRSP process. This article explains how the network has grown, in spite of the lack of experience of its members, and the difficult political environment. More

HIV/AIDS: organisational impacts and painful realities

October 2010
HIV/AIDS is having an immense impact on the internal capacities of many civil society organisations in sub-Saharan Africa. INTRAC’s Praxis programme is supporting the documentation of emerging experiences and discussion of appropriate responses. More

Approaches to learning at organisational and societal level

October 2010
Monitoring and evaluation and research are important tools for learning from past performance. To achieve learning at institutional and societal levels, however, effective communication channels are needed to share evidence and insights and enable collective learning for development. More

Initiative for Peacebuilding

November 2010
The Initiative for Peacebuilding (IfP) brings together the complementary geographic and thematic expertise of 10 civil society organizations (and their networks) with offices across the EU and in conflict-affected countries. IfP partners work to develop and promote international knowledge and expertise in the field of conflict prevention of peacebuilding. More

Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID)

November 2010
The Assocation of Women's Rights in Development is an international membership organization connecting, informing and mobilizing people and organizations committed to achieving gender equality, sustainable development and women's human rights. More

Research4Development (R4D), UK

November 2010
R4D is the portal to the UK Department for International Development (DFID) centrally funded research. It provides up-to-date information on DFID's current research portfolio. More

Perspectives on partnership

November 2010
Empirical studies of partnerships are few and far between. This Working Paper by the International Potato Center in Lima, Peru, reports on a wide-ranging review of the literature on partnerships and other closely related forms of collaboration. More

Beyond training

October 2010
‘Capacity development’ means different things to different people. However, it is generally considered essential to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) relating to water and sanitation. The slow spread of safe water and sanitation is commonly attributed to a shortage of skilled people. Hence capacity development is predominantly associated with training staff in constructing physical assets such as toilets and water systems, particularly but not only in rural areas. More

Aid effectiveness after Accra: building on lessons learned

November 2010
This ODI briefing paper describes the Paris/Accra process as a learning opportunity in which documented lessons of experience play a part. More

Capacity development and challenges for donors beyond 2005

October 2010
The year 2005 is seen by many as a make or break year for accelerating progress towards the Millennium Development Goals. We have the prospect of significant increases in aid – possibly by an additional US$50 billion per year by 2010. At the same time, the Commission for Africa, the Millennium Review and the G8 Gleneagles meeting reached a clear conclusion: capacity development is one of the most critical issues for both donors and partner countries. With both the resources and the pressure for results, this is possibly the best opportunity donors have ever had to help developing countries address the long-term challenges of capacity development. More

Strengthening the role of civil society in conflict and post-conflict settings

May 2011
Against the backdrop of popular protests across the Middle East and North Africa region, the May 2011 issue of ONTRAC, a newsletter of the International NGO Training and Research Centre (INTRAC), explores the role that civil society can play in promoting social development and bridging divides. Drawing on lessons from diverse contexts, including Kyrgyzstan, Cyprus and Somaliland, the articles analyse how civil society can contribute to building trust and reconciliation, maintaining peace and security, and rebuilding indigenous institutions for sustainable development and more democratic governance. More

Call for applications: Masters Program in Capacity Development and Extension (University of Guelph)

February 2011
Applications are invited for the September 2011 intake of the MSC Program in Capacity Development & Extension at the University of Guelph, Canada. The deadline is 31 March, 2011. More

Upcoming IFDC training courses on sustainable agriculture and value chains

January 2012
(NB: course fee applies) 9-13 April 2012 Comment relier les agriculteurs aux marchés en Afrique/Linking farmers to markets in Africa (French) Location: Bamako, Mali 2-13 July 2012 Decision-support tools for agricultural production, fertilizer recommendations and climatic variability Location: Arusha, Tanzania 2-13 July 2012 Increasing agricultural input and output trade through innovative market information systems in Africa Location: Nairobi, Kenya 3-7 December 2012 Developing and managing profitable agro-input business through sustainable value chains Location: Accra, Ghana More

Nuffic publishes report on gender mainstreaming

May 2012
24 March 2012: Nuffic (the Netherlands Organisation for International Cooperation in Higher Education) has published a report on gender mainstreaming in the development cooperation higher education capacity building programmes of the Netherlands. In this book the Nuffic looks back on the lessons it has learnt with regard to mainstreaming gender in 3 key programmes of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs (NFP [scholarships], NPT [projects] and NICHE [projects]). The report discusses: what the gender equality objectives and requirements are for the three programmes; how Nuffic has interpreted these and translated them in the programmes; the challenges that Nuffic has experienced in mainstreaming gender in the three programmes; how Nuffic has dealt with these challenges; and where there is room for improvement. More

Capacity Building/Organisational Development Expert

June 2012
Contracting organization: Crown Agents Location: South Africa Application deadline: 2 July 2012 Type/duration of assignment: Unspecified More information: http://www.crownagents.com/capacity-building/organisational-development-expert.aspx Crown Agents is an international development company delivering capacity building and institutional development services in procurement, public financial management, revenue enhancement and expenditure management. As part of its continuing technical assistance, Crown Agents is seeking to identify suitably qualified Capacity Building/Organisational Development Expert who would be interested in potential short and long term consultancy assignments in South Africa. More

Capacity development toolkit for procurement practitioners

January 2013
This online toolkit provides guidance for procurement practitioners, policymakers and advisers on how to manage a procurement reform and/or capacity development process, whether at the national, sector or entity level. The guide was developed by the United Nations Procurement Development Centre (UNPCDC) and is based on the OECD/DAC publication A Practical Guide to Transforming Procurement Systems. More

Stakeholder views on aid effectiveness

February 2013
Time to Listen captures experiences and ideas on how to make international aid more effective and shift the paradigm from the current externally driven aid delivery system to a collaborative one that truly supports local people as drivers of their own development. The publication is based on a research initiative, the Listening Project, which sought the views of more than 6,000 people in 20 aid receiving countries who have received international assistance, observed the effects of aid efforts, or been involved in providing aid. More

Market and capacity development specialist kenya

April 2013
Contracting organization: International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) Location: Kenya Application deadline: 30 April 2013 Type/duration of assignment: Not specified More information: http://ilrijobs.wordpress.com/2013/04/03/ilri-vacancy-market-and-capacity-development-specialist-closing-date-30-april-2013/ ILRI seeks to recruit a Market and Capacity Development Specialist to build and execute a market and capacity development strategy to support efforts to bring to scale its Index-Based Livestock Insurance (IBLI) agenda. The assignment involves working with the suite of IBLI partners that range from research leaders, our research-for-development partners, commercial entities, NGOs, government agencies, and target communities to manage the transition from pilot to scale-up. More

1st Glocal Advocacy Leadership in Asia Academy (Call for Applications)

June 2013
The Glocal Advocacy Leadership in Asia Academy (GALA Academy) is a new training programme to strengthen the advocacy capacity of mid-level staff in CSOs. The programme aims to facilitate second-tier leadership for strategic “glo-cal (global and local)” actions on key human rights and development issues as well as related regional and international processes. The convenors: Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-ASIA) and Asian Development Alliance (ADA) invite applications for the 1st GALA Academy, which takes place in Bogor, Indonesia on 25-31 August 2013. Please note that the deadline for submissions is Friday 5 July 2013. More

Roster of capacity development consultants: Global Land Tool Network

June 2013
Contracting organization: UN-Habitat Location: Home based/Global Application deadline: 1 July 2013 Type/duration of assignment: Diverse assignments during the period 15 July 2013 to 15 July 2015 More information: http://www.unhabitat.org/content.asp?cid=12270&catid=435&typeid=12 The Global Land Tool Network (GLTN) Secretariat, based at UN-Habitat, is recruiting a pool of consultants on a retainer consultancy basis for all or several of the following deliverables: Specialist training, learning and/or capacity development support provided to UN-Habitat and GLTN partners undertaking in-country land tool development; GLTN training and learning events planned, designed and facilitated within the framework of the GLTN capacity development strategy; Specialist knowledge-management support (including establishing base-line information, documenting processes, reporting on learning events, beneficiary feedback, event follow-up, design of recording and reporting and evaluation mechanisms) provided to promote learning and improvement of practice in the work of GLTN; Guidelines developed for the implementation of capacity development initiatives and good practice training by GLTN; Existing GLTN learning materials reviewed and updated, and/or new learning materials for specific GLTN land tools produced. More

The TICBolivia network

October 2010
In just five years, the ICT projects launched by the TICBolivia network have benefited many marginalised communities throughout the country. This article explains how the network has effectively fed those experiences into the process of preparing a national ICT strategy. More

Partnerships and Mutual Accountability for Development Results (E-discussion)

October 2012
Dates: 4 October to 1 November 2012 Type of event: E-discussion Location: Online/Global Organization: UNDP and partners More information: https://undp.unteamworks.org/login?destination=node%2F91436 Launched on 4 October, this four-week long e-discussion aims to gather diverse viewpoints about the results and quality of development cooperation in different countries, regions and globally. The e-discussion is co-hosted by the UNDP Knowledge, Innovation and Capacity Group, Office for ECOSOC Support and Coordination, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) and African Forum and Network on Debt and Development (AFRODAD). The discussion will take place in two parts: the first part (4-18 Oct. 2012) will focus on taking stock of improving mutual accountability at country level, the second part (19 Oct. – 1 Nov. 2012) examines the relationship between the country, regional and global processes and frameworks. More

Engaged or divorced?

October 2010
In many countries non-state providers play a vital role in the delivery of basic services. Based on research in six countries, Richard Batley assesses how governments could work in partnership with non-state providers and promote better services for poor communities. More

How to survive and thrive in the knowledge pond

January 2011
"Knowledge sharing and communication professionals now inhabit a much more crowded workspace than 15 years ago. There is more noise, more competition and more strategic thinking needed to make your knowledge stand out and be heard. However, this community is far better networked than ever before. There are opportunities to build knowledge-brokering relationships across the globe." These are among the highlights of discussions at a recent workshop on ‘Improving the impact of development research through better communication and uptake’, as reported in a blog post by Andrew Clappison from the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN). The workshop was co‐hosted by AusAID, DFID and UKCDS on November 29th and 30th in London and involved 80 participants from around the world. More

Capacity development wiki page

November 2010
This is a collaborative space which allows those interested in capacity development at theoretical and practical level to contribute to the knowledge base. More

Strengthening systems for results-based M&E

October 2010
The World Bank’s BRAVA programme is assisting the government of Brazil in the development of systems for results-based M&E. Strengthening these systems from both the top down and the bottom up can have considerable demonstration effects. More

South African municipality scores for learning-based approach on water and sanitation

March 2011
The eThekwini Municipality in Durban, South Africa, is one of the two global recipients of the 2011 UN "Water for Life" Best Practices Award. The local authority was commended for its innovative approach to communication and awareness raising and its outstanding contribution to addressing key challenges related to water and sanitation in an urban area. More

The role of ICTs in empowering rural Indian women

April 2011
This paper reviews a range of initiatives to bridge the digital gap in India, exploring in particular the role of ICTs in empowering Indian rural women. The paper concludes that, while most of the ICT initiatives are disseminating useful new information and knowledge, many women are not able to make use of it due to lack of access to complementary sources of support and services. More

People-centred M&E: Aligning Incentives So Agriculture Does More to Reduce Hunger (Special Issue, November 2010)

December 2010
After more than two decades of hiatus agriculture is back on the agenda of donors and governments. Issues of harmonisation, results orientation, mutual accountability and payments for performance have become mantras in development assistance. Placing intended beneficiaries at the centre stage is the new motto. But the articles in this seminal IDS Bulletin provide systematic evidence to lay open the widely shared secret among development practitioners that the cupboard of agricultural monitoring and evaluation (M&E) is bare. Agricultural M&E has been weak at best. Where it exists it has concentrated on tools and methods, a narrow focus on project performance ratings and 'rates of return' with accountability upwards to donors rather than downwards to the intended beneficiaries of programmes. More

Inaugural Africa Capacity Indicators Report published

April 2011
The 2011 Africa Capacity Indicators Report (ACIR) is the new flagship publication of the African Capacity Building Foundation. It aims to track the evolution of African capacity across space and time. The report builds upon and augments the existing body of knowledge to help optimize the use of capacity development strategies, with particular attention to Africa's post-conflict states. More

Theory of Change: A thinking and action approach to navigate in the complexity of social change processes

May 2011
Jointly published by Hivos and UNDP, this guide synthesizes the core of the methodological contents and steps that are developed in a Theory of Change design workshop. It is aimed at the rich constellation of actors linked to processes of social development and change: bilateral donors, community leaders, political and social leaders, NGO’s representatives, community-base organizations, social movements, public decision makers, and other actors related to social change processes. More

Resisting "vertical programming": The case of Lacor hospital in Northern Uganda

June 2011
In Northern Uganda, a region that has been scarred by decades of conflict, there is only one doctor for every 25,000 persons. Before 2003, Lacor Mission Hospital in Gulu was among a handful of health care institutions serving an extremely vast area. The devastating conflict had also forced thousands of local residents - along with hospital staff - to seek shelter within the hospital compound. Dominique Corti, describes how the management struggled to offer a full range of health services at a time when almost all external support was earmarked to combating AIDS. More

Board Members – Kenya Local Capacity Development Facility

May 2012
Contracting organization: Kenya Local Capacity Development Facility (K-LCDF) Location: Nairobi, Kenya Application deadline: 31 May 2012 Type/duration of assignment: Voluntary position/Open-ended More information: http://www.jobseastafrica247.com/2012/05/21/ustadi-board-members-jobs-kenya-local-capacity-development-facility-k-lcdf/ USTADI is the brand name for the Kenya Local Capacity Development Facility – K-LCDF, which is a joint initiative of SNV Netherlands Development Organisation and a Consortium of 20 other capacity development (CD) organizations in Kenya that seeks to improve the capacity development service environment though a market-embedded approach as a means of supporting the localization agenda and enhancing sustainability of capacity development services (CDS). USTADI intends to strengthen its governance structure by recruiting additional board members to its board. More

Evidence and knowledge in humanitarian action

January 2013
Dates: 5-7 March 2013 Type of event: Conference Location: Washington D.C. Organization: ALNAP More information: http://www.alnap.org/events/28th.aspx Accurate information is a vital tool for humanitarians. It can provide evidence of current or anticipated needs; demonstrate those elements of a response that are working, and those which urgently need to be changed; and support the development and improvement of life-saving practices. But there are many challenges to the collection of information and the use of evidence in humanitarian response, arising from the context of operations and from the culture of the humanitarian system. This upcoming ALNAP Meeting will look at these challenges and – building on the experience of Network members and invited experts - try to find ways to address them. More

Strengthening local governance: Towards context-specific theories of change for citizen engagement and state accountability

January 2013
This project briefing paper from the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), UK, uses a critical analysis of citizen voice and accountability (CV&A) cases to examine how CV&A happens in different governance contexts. According to the author, CV&A project interventions produce and reproduce diverse outcomes that are not amenable to linear models of theories of change (ToC), which are "starting to be viewed as...a key part of what constitutes 'rigour' in impact evaluations. The paper draws on the experiences of ODI's Mwananchi Programme, a 5-year programme initiative to strengthen ordinary citizens' voices and improve state accountability and responsiveness in six African countries. More

Organizational Development Delegate, Haiti

February 2013
Contracting organization: International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies Location: Port-au-Prince, Haiti Application deadline: 19 February 2013 Type/duration of assignment: Short term staff position More information: https://jobnet.ifrc.org/public/hrd-cl-vac-view.asp?jobinfo_uid_c=2827&vaclng=en Reporting to the Head of National Society Support (NSS) and Knowledge Development (KD), the Organisational Development Delegate will work with National Society Development practitioners, in support of Haitian Red Cross counterparts, to ensure growth towards a national service delivery system based on future operational and financial sustainability. The main purpose is to help extend the scale, quality, and impact of the work of the movement through knowledge and capacity building, and standards and systems improvement of the Haitian Red Cross Society. More

A Magic Bullet For Gender Equality?

November 2010
A Magic Bullet For Gender Equality? Successful decentralisation should make government more accessible, accountable and responsive to women. But does it? Have decentralisation processes increased women’s decision-making power at the local level? More

Partnerships for health in Mali

October 2010
In Mali the devolution of health service management to local governments led to friction at all levels, and the inefficient use of resources. An action research programme has helped the emergence of effective partnerships for local healthcare delivery. More

The way forward

October 2010
In the 1970s and early 1980s, many developing countries invested substantial amounts in education and research. Some academic centres reached promising levels of scientific excellence. The University of Khartoum in Sudan, for example, was one of the best universities in the developing world. More

Capacity needs for water and sanitation

October 2010
Trachoma is an eye disease caused by poor sanitation and hygiene. Flies spread the disease in areas where people openly defecate. Trachoma can develop into trichiasis, which, without surgery, can cause blindness. In some regions of Ethiopia over 50% of the rural population is infected with trachoma, and over 5% suffers from trichiasis. More

Making contract farming work with cooperatives

October 2010
The World Development Report 2008 is optimistic that contract farming can help reduce poverty. For it to succeed, producer organisations must play a big role. More

New ECDG Guide to Evaluation Capacity Development

May 2012
This new conceptual framework, with a preface by Michael Q. Patton, is built upon the philosophical foundation of the International Workshop Agreement (!WA) principles for evaluation capacity development (ECD). Building on the general framework introduced in the IWA, the purpose of this monograph is to operationalize some of the steps and to offer tools that would help readers to carry out the ECD process. Training materials available for download on the ECDG website include a letter, concept paper, PowerPoint presentation and workbook of materials for conducting a workshop on the Guide. More

Monitoring and evaluation advisor, health (Liberia)

April 2013
Contracting organization: International Rescue Committee (IRC) Location: Liberia Application deadline: 31 May 2013 Type/duration of assignment: Permanent staff position (NB: Position is contingent upon funding availability) More information: http://ch.tbe.taleo.net/CH02/ats/careers/requisition.jsp?org=IRC&cws=1&rid=9166 The IRC has been present in Liberia since 1996 and supports hospitals and primary health care facilities across three counties. The M&E Advisor will contribute to a forecasted project focusing on providing support to integrated community-level health services and activities. More

Senior local capacity development adviser

August 2013
Contracting organization: RTI International Location: United States Application deadline: 8 September 2 Type/duration of assignment: Fixed term contract More information: https://www.devex.com/en/jobs/342553 The Senior Local Capacity Development (LCD) Advisor will provide guidance and advice to RTI's International Development Group's technical and project management personnel on identifying opportunities and developing the local capacity of selected local entities which include NGOs, commercial businesses and host government organizations. More

Applying systems thinking to capacity development

October 2010
Systems thinking challenges many assumptions about the need for planning, objectives and control, and the ability of external agents to influence local change processes. More

Learning for effective advocacy

October 2010
Advocacy campaigning requires continuous organisational learning. In particular, allies need to learn about each other’s interests, expectations and commitments. Laura Roper explains how to facilitate such a learning process. More

Weaving the oilseed food web

October 2010
The Ugandan government has chosen oilseed as one of several strategic commodities to spearhead the transformation of its agricultural sector from subsistence to commercial farming. More

Editorial: Adapting to climate change

June 2012
Humankind will have to learn to live with climate change. Experts argue that even the most effective mitigation measures will no longer be sufficient to avert climate change resulting from past carbon emissions. More

Trust is an essential ingredient

October 2010
Ousmane Oumarou Sidibé has been given no mean assignment. He is responsible for reforming the entire system of governance in Mali. His aim is, first and foremost, to make government more client-oriented. At all levels. Ousmane Sidibé argues that the key to achieving that goal is a major shift in attitude. Such a shift can’t be forced. Civil servants will have to be convinced, one at a time, that it is in their own interest. It can be done, he tells Evelijne Bruning, but it will take time, and a lot of money. More

Understanding capacity development from within

September 2011
The Capacity.org editorial board Our message to Busan This November, representatives from 91 countries will attend the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan. Here they will review global progress on improving the impact of development aid. Since the previous forums on aid effectiveness in Paris (2005) and Accra (2008), capacity development has featured prominently in efforts to achieve lasting results. Despite the progress that has undoubtedly been made, there is still a long way to go. More

Promoting mutual accountability

October 2010
Aid coordination in Cambodia Over the last five years, the government of Cambodia has strengthened its national aid coordination process. We interviewed His Excellency Chhieng Yanara on the first Aid Effectiveness Report which reviewed the process to date. More

Multi-actor systems as entry points to capacity development

December 2010
Reasons for a revision of intervention logic It is often assumed that capacity development starts from within individuals and organisations and then permeates into society. But capacity also comes about through interaction between actors. This suggests that a change in intervention logic and repertoire can boost effectiveness. More

From local empowerment to aid harmonisation

October 2010
Although there are many different interpretations of capacity and how it develops, recent trends point to an emerging consensus on the challenges that professionals need to address. This introductory article traces the evolution of the debate on capacity development, and outlines our ambitions for Capacity.org as a forum for discussion and a gateway to relevant information. More

Rise of local capacity developers

October 2010
Little is known about local capacity developers in the South. The SNV Netherlands Development Organisation, supported by the UK Overseas Development Institute (ODI), carried out an exploratory study in five countries. More

Pro-poor value chain development: Lessons from Ethiopia

November 2012
Pro-poor value chain development: Private-sector led innovative practices in Ethiopia (October 2012) documents the experiences of a recently concluded business support programme implemented by SNV-Netherlands Development Organisation. The main development objective of the Business Organisations and Their Access to Markets (BOAM) programme was to introduce innovative approaches aimed at improving business-to-business relations in selected value chains (oilseeds, honey, dairy and fruits) and to scale them up where possible. More

Inter-organisational learning in South African education

January 2013
The importance of defining outcomes The questions practitioners repeatedly face when facilitating inter-organisational learning processes are: what does collaboration precisely mean and what are its goals? How pragmatic is collaboration? And is it indeed the answer or merely a layer of additional complexity? This is particularly relevant in the South African context where the country’s successes – such as the transition from apartheid and the 2010 World Cup – are seen as examples of collaboration. In reality, however, these successes seem to be more the exception than the norm, and the complexity of collaboration and resulting inter-organisational learning is severely underestimated. More

The strength of partnerships

October 2010
African institutions for public accountability Africans are not recognized for the work they do to promote social accountability in their countries. A new pan-African platform allows them to share their experiences, learn new techniques and disseminate information, and encourages new initiatives. More

Coordinating support for refugees

October 2010
The refugee camps near Kasulu, Tanzania, offer sanctuary for many thousands of people fleeing conflicts in neighbouring countries. For the relief agencies and NGOs that provide shelter and basic services, good communications are essential. More

No formats, please

October 2010
We all agree that harmonisation is necessary. But it is often far from easy to achieve in practice. This article argues that it can be helpful to co-design flexible frameworks in order to ensure cooperation among partners with very different interests. More

Global Leadership Initiative of the World Bank Institute

November 2010
World Bank Institute (WBI) leads research project to examine donor and partners support to leaders. More

Linking learning to decision making

October 2010
In many aid agencies the rhetoric of learning is rarely matched in practice. Charles Owusu describes the efforts of ActionAid to make systems and structures part of the solution to becoming a learning organisation, rather than part of the problem. More

The case for local capacity developers

October 2010
Local expertise to support people and organisations in developing their capacities is arguably one of the most valuable resources a society can have to boost development. More

Fostering African M&E expertise

October 2010
Oumoul Ba Tal is chair of the African Evaluation Association (AfrEA). She believes that evaluations can contribute to development, provided they go beyond the level of projects and programmes. More

Sharing local governance M&E tools

October 2010
The members of REDL, a network of development actors working in the field of decentralisation and local government in West Africa, are documenting, analysing and sharing their methods and lessons learned. Now no one has to reinvent the wheel. More

Building cross-sector partnerships

October 2010
Can partnerships between public, business and civil society organisations be more effective than single-sector initiatives in addressing the challenges of sustainable development? For any organisation that decides to venture into cross-sector partnerships, The Partnering Toolbook is a good place to start. More

Capacity for conservation

October 2010
For IUCN – the World Conservation Union, building capacity for conservation is more important than simply building staff capacity for itself. Jeffrey McNeely traces the development of the regional programme IUCN in Asia. More

Improving district level leadership

October 2010
Uganda is a frontrunner in East Africa in water and sanitation reforms, but it is struggling to achieve its sanitation and hygiene-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). More district level leadership is needed. More

Water access and sanitation in Ethiopia

October 2010
The water and sanitation targets of Ethiopia’s Universal Access Plan are to be reached by 2012. Heinz Greijn talks with Mr Abebe Ayenew of Ethiopia’s Ministry of Water Resources about strategies for achieving this goal. More

Thematic learning programmes

January 2013
Building bridges through learning PSO, a Dutch umbrella organisation with 57 member affiliates, has funded 13 inter-organisational learning processes since 2010. Referred to by PSO as thematic learning programmes, or TLPs, they were evaluated in late 2012. More

Learning alliances for poverty reduction

October 2010
Agriculture is back on the international agenda. The most recent World Development Report looks at learning for farmers but largely ignores the need for learning in institutions, including agricultural research centres. More

Case studies: Multi-actor systems as entry points to capacity development

December 2010
The following case studies from Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya provide some real-life experiences of how multi-actor capacity development takes place. More

The power of understanding power

October 2010
Analysing power relations is important for understanding the contexts in which decisions about capacity development are made. There is a lot more to power than the simple struggle between those who have it and those who don’t . A more comprehensive view of power can ensure that it is used in a more strategic way More

To Know is to be empowered

October 2010
To Know is to be empowered If you want to effectively tackle gender inequality, you need to be able to measure it and identify its underlying causes. Putting local governments in the know is half the battle. More

Cultivating a new generation of leaders

October 2010
Like other democracies in transition, Moldova needs leaders who can give a new impetus to the process of achieving a democratic and just society. Serghei Ostaf explains how CReDO’s civic leadership programme is responding to that need. More

Using accountability relationships to support capacity

October 2010
This article argues that improving accountability relationships is an effective strategy for developing capacity. Effective accountability mechanisms induce public sector organisations to remain relevant and responsive to the needs and demands of the groups they serve. More

Organisational learning for aid, and learning aid organisations

October 2010
Although many aid agencies claim to be learning organisations, a recent review found that they still need to address some major challenges, especially at field level. Ben Ramalingam asks why this is the case, and what aid agencies can do to learn more effectively. More

Why truth and power don't mix

October 2010
The recent National Intelligence Estimate of the US intelligence agencies concluded that Iran had abandoned its nuclear weapons programme in 2003. More

Embracing innovative practice

October 2010
Many years of experience in the field had led David Watson to question the value of monitoring and evaluation. Recently, a range of innovative to M&E approaches has given him new hope. Here he explains why. More

Participatory video for monitoring and evaluation

October 2010
Participatory video lends itself well to project monitoring and evaluation. Chris Lunch, director of Insight, describes how communities are using video to capture and interpret stories of significant change. More

Facilitating WASH forums

December 2010
Multi-stakeholder partnerships on water, sanitation and hygiene in Africa Clean water and basic sanitation are among the most powerful drivers for human development. The crisis in water and sanitation is a crisis mainly for the poor, with some two-thirds of those lacking access to clean water living on less than US$2 a day. More

Networks and partnerships

October 2010
Networks and partnerships may offer a perspective that may help us in understanding organisations, both large and small, and in shaping our efforts to improve their performance. More

Resource constraints can be useful

October 2010
Building the capacity required to manage change demands significant resources in terms of finance, experience and time. As a number of countries continue to struggle to develop their capacity for change, they invariably find themselves facing serious resource constraints. More

Supporting improved livelihoods for pastoralists

January 2012
Pastoralism is often depicted as an anachronistic system that cannot cope with the demands of modern development. However, practical experience reveals that pastoralism is not only capable of changing with the times, it is often the only viable livelihood option, particularly for communities living in remote, dryland environments. This collection of case studies from SNV Netherlands Development Organisation demonstrates that external support can help to strengthen pastoralists' voice in policymaking, enhance their engagement with markets and improve service provision and natural resource management in some of the most challenging environments in Africa today. More

Capacity development toolkit for health systems strengthening

November 2012
This UNDP-Global Fund Partnership toolkit provides practical advice, tools, templates and process guidance covering five key steps in the transition from UNDP management towards full national responsibility for implementing response programmes for HIV&AIDS, TB and Malaria. More

Producer organisations and value chains

October 2010
With the renewed attention to agriculture as a major driver of development, development agencies now recognise the importance of producer organisations. These organisations help farmers improve their position in value chains. More

Exploring a diagonal approach

May 2011
Integrating antiretroviral treatment into primary health care Programmes aimed at fighting single diseases have helped many, but they have also weakened public health systems. This does not have to be the case. Individual disease programmes can help to develop the capacity of primary health care systems. More

Inter-organisational learning: A new frontier

January 2013
Towards a knowledge agenda Inter-organisational activities have become common practice in the development sector. Some of these activities aim to categorically achieve learning. However, even when this is not the primary goal, inter-organisational learning is usually critical to the success of networks, coalitions, alliances, partnerships and other inter-organisational structures. It is therefore high time to set a knowledge agenda in support of practitioners who facilitate inter-organisational learning. More

Rebuilding Liberia

October 2010
The Liberian government faces the challenge of stabilising and rebuilding the nation after two civil wars. Capacity.org interviewed Dr Toga McIntosh, Liberia’s Minister of Planning and Economic Affairs. More

Building a shared vision for change

October 2010
In promoting a community-based approach to natural resources management, the ISDA project has learned that influential ‘champions’ are essential for building an agreed vision for change, and for getting the changes to stick. More

From token inclusion to transformative engagement

December 2010
Urban planning in India Although labelled ‘participatory’, many urban planning processes in India involve only select elite groups. This article explains what is required to achieve genuine participation involving all stakeholders, including the poor and the marginalised. More

Accountability builds legitimate government

October 2010
Strengthening the accountability of government officials to their constituents provides an important impetus to boosting their capacity to govern effectively. However, as examples from Iraq and Indonesia show, the legitimacy of the government is an important criterion for success. More

Letter to the Editorial Board

October 2010
Mailbox. More

Leadership and change

October 2010
Based on two pilot leadership development programmes in Mali and Niger, the authors believe that the combination of training workshops and on-the-job coaching can be effective in encouraging leaders to learn and to change. More

Nurturing leaders from within

October 2010
AsiaDHRRA is a regional network that offers an extensive leadership development programme for the leaders of its partners in ten countries. Lany Rebagay explains the formal training, informal approaches and the tools that have been developed as part of the programme. More

LENPA forum on capacity development

October 2010
Réal Lavergne reports on a meeting on the interface between capacity development and programme-based approaches. Support for capacity development is most highly developed in the areas of financial management and procurement, but remains incipient in many other areas, in particular service delivery. Further work is needed. More

The hard and soft sides of capacity

October 2010
A wide range of characteristics, both hard and soft, together make up effective capacity. Niels Keijzer describes a novel framework that organisations can use to assess their own capabilities, and if necessary refocus their efforts. More

The importance of public awareness

October 2010
The developed country model for building capacity in water supply, sanitation and hygiene is inadequate for Asia, Africa and Latin America. Developing countries require a different approach. More

Value chain analysis

October 2010
SNV Ethiopia is using value chain analysis to understand how farmers are interlinked with other actors, and to identify capacities of key actors that require strengthening. More

Mutual transparency: the antidote to many don’ts

October 2010
Mutual transparency: the antidote to many don’ts Values and ideas about appropriate behaviour have become part of the organisational culture at the Community Development Resource Association. But living up to these standards is a constant challenge. More

Editorial: Strengthening health systems

May 2011
Many developing countries have health systems that are ailing – and well-intentioned development aid is contributing to the problem. Between 2000 and 2010, annual development assistance for health surged from US$10.5 billion to US$27 billion. Most of this was channelled through donor-driven programmes targeted at specific diseases, most prominently HIV/AIDS. Such ‘vertical’ programming has undermined the development of strong national health systems and drawn resources away from countries’ other health priorities. More

Lacor hospital’s approach to the vertical funding dilemma

September 2011
Letter to the editor The topics ‘strengthening health systems’ and ‘vertical programming’ addressed in issue 42 of Capacity.org struck a chord with us at St Mary’s Hospital in Lacor, Northern Uganda. Lacor Hospital is a general referral hospital that focuses on diseases that are prevalent in the region it serves – mostly tropical and infectious diseases such as malaria, pneumonia, tuberculosis, intestinal parasites, etc. More

Interview: A well respected voice

September 2011
Betty Maina, Executive director, Kenya Association of Manufacturers Fostering a beneficial business environment in Kenya The Kenya Association of Manufacturers has tackled a very challenging political system to bring about a more favourable business environment. More

The early child development learning community in South Africa

January 2013
From learning together to working together Almost six years ago 18 South African NGOs all working on early childhood development were brought together in a learning alliance. Over the years they have established a collaborative learning and working platform, involving organised community-based women caregivers, to develop workable and sustainable solutions for the well-being of young children in South Africa. This is their story. More

Providing education for all

October 2010
There is now global consensus on the need to enhance education for girls, particularly through well coordinated partnerships. Nitya Rao and Ines Smyth assess the experiences of a number of partnerships in promoting girls’ education. More

Establishing lender-borrower relationships

August 2013
Guaranteed opportunities Banks and social investors are often reluctant to provide financial services to producer organisations, rural microfinance institutions or small businesses because they are perceived as too risky. ICCO’s guarantee fund challenges that view. More

Evaluating capacity development

September 2011
Why evaluations seldom satisfy – could we do better? As capacity development becomes mainstreamed in international development assistance programmes, demand for the systematic evaluation of capacity-development initiatives is growing. Doug Horton explains how the evaluation of capacity development can be improved. More

Africa needs visionaries

October 2010
South African Minister Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi believes that strong leadership is crucial at all levels. As she explains to Capacity.org, Africa needs leaders who are prepared to intervene in complex situations without holding back for fear of criticism. They must also be able to find commonalities among the differences, put people first, and learn from their mistakes. More

Who are local capacity developers?

October 2010
Local capacity developers: who are they, what drives them and what challenges do they face? Capacity.org interviewed three LCDs from Benin, Tanzania and Vietnam to find some answers. More

Enhancing learning in the M&E process

October 2010
The Ceja Andina project has shown that with Outcome Mapping it is possible to engage a wide range of stakeholders in monitoring and evaluation that can satisfy the need for accountability as well as learning about the process of change. More

‘More MDGs per drop’

October 2010
Top-down approach water programmes assume people use water for a single purpose. A ‘multiple-use water services’ approach can unleash massive productive capacity in households and communities. More

Maintaining effective micro-macro linkages

June 2010
Rajesh Tandon claims that donor harmonisation is making his work more difficult. For his organisation, Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA), it means fewer resources and less influence internationally. Tandon has therefore reassessed his priorities and has decided to take his ideas elsewhere. As he explains to Evelijne Bruning, he is now focusing on those people he can reach – and there are millions of them. More

Local economic development from a systems perspective

October 2010
Local economic development (LED) projects are being undertaken in many municipal areas of South Africa. These municipalities have been criticised by analysts for prioritising infrastructure and service backlogs above LED. Applying thinking in terms of system dynamics, Bodhanya shows that the municipalities are right, and that infrastructure and service delivery should be considered part of local economic development. More

Bringing climate models to Indian communities

June 2012
A first in the field Seva Mandir, a non-governmental voluntary organisation working in Rajasthan, India joined hands with ICCO and scientists from the Dutch institute Alterra to find out what climate change impacts lie in store for the region. More

Achieving MDGs

October 2010
Meeting capacity needs is essential to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). But these needs must be understood in the context of the wider environment in which practitioners work. More

Enhancing resilience through dialogue

June 2012
Bridging gaps between providers and users of science Vulnerable communities as well as supporting agencies often do not understand ‘the language’ of weather and climate scientists. As a result, scientific information often fails to trigger or inform community action. Innovative methods have been developed to overcome this communication gap. More

Organism or machine?

October 2010
Insufficient attention has been given to understanding how capacity develops in different organisational and societal contexts. For a number of years, the international community has emphasised the importance of capacity development for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and for sustainable development in general. However, a recent ECDPM report entitled Capacity, Change and Performance argues that the development community needs to reflect critically on the way it thinks about and approaches capacity development work. More

Case study: Diabetes, Cambodia's silent killer

May 2011
Accessible care for diabetes in Cambodia In Cambodia, diabetes is a devastating disease. Expensive clinical care is accessible only to the urban rich, while the poor remain untreated and die. The Cambodian organisation, MoPoTsyo, has an innovative solution that has already saved many lives. More

Thinking systemically

October 2010
Support for capacity development is often framed in projects based on a very narrow understanding of the factors that influence the ability to of people, organisations and institutions to perform. There is a need to look at organisations and networks of organisations systemically embedded in and connected to a much wider context the potential to help development workers better understand the factors that influence the abilities of people, organisations and institutions to perform and to achieve desired outcomes. More