The most well-formulated capacity development intervention will flounder in the face of an unsupportive institutional environment. Witness the slow pace of reconstruction in areas hit by natural disasters and other humanitarian crises, even when abundant financial, logistical and technical resources may be on offer from the international community. To bring about sustainable change, capacity development practitioners need to navigate an array of external and internal factors that determine current capacity and influence the prospects for further improvements.
Governance comprises the "mechanisms, processes and institutions through which citizens and groups articulate their interests, exercise their legal rights, meet their obligations and mediate their differences." (UNDP 1996). In this context, good governance is the creation of an economic, political and social environment that is participatory, transparent and accountable, effective, equitable and that promotes the rule of law. Furthermore, good governance "ensures that political, social and economic priorities are based on broad consensus in society and that the voices of the poorest and the most vulnerable are heard in decision-making over the allocation of development resources.".
This section focuses on highlighting existing analytical frameworks and approaches to help practitioners in incorporating the governance dimension in their work.
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.
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23 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
13 May 2013
One of the main challenges countries face in effectively targeting social safety net programmes is correctly identifying the poorest households. This January 2013 Brief highlights a study by MIT's Poverty Action Lab that compared community-based methods of selecting who qualifies for a cash transfer programme with proxy means tests. The study found that while participatory methods were less accurate overall, they greatly improved local satisfaction and better matched the poor’s own concept of poverty.More
09 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
08 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
02 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.
06 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
Nils Boesen (2010), Institutions, Power and Politics: Looking for change beyond the boundaries, the formal and the functional, in Ubels, J., N. Acquaye-Baddoo and A. Fowler (eds) Capacity Development in Practice, Earthscan, pp. 145-156
Resource Corner on Enabling Environment - Incentive Systems, Drivers of Change, Political Context (LenCD)
Scaling up local and community driven development: A real world guide to its theory and practice (World Bank, 2009)
World Governance Indicators 1996-2009
November 28, 2011 - Rinus van Klinken (Portfolio Coordinator, SNV Tanzania)
February 4, 2011 - James Hradsky, Senior Co-ordinator for Capacity Development, OECD/DAC
On 29 November-1 December 2011 the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness will take place in Busan, Korea. It will be a political, multi-stakeholder event of up to 2000... read more »
Participatory Governance Exchange
PG Exchange is a global online platform for knowledge development, sharing and learning on participatory governance (PG). An initiative of CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation, the aim of the platform is to empower citizens to participate in processes of public decision-making that affect their lives. The platform brings together a global community of participatory governance practitioners and experts through a variety of online discussion groups. Among the resources available on the PG Exchange portal are a wide range of participatory governance practices and tools and an online calendar of participatory governance events around the globe. Click here to join the community of practice and/or learn more.