Capacity Development

Capacity Development (CD) is ‘the process whereby people, organisations and societies as a whole unleash, strengthen, create, adapt and maintain capacity over time’ (OECD). This process is crucial to achieve sustainable development results and can be supported through a wide range of activities including technical cooperation, human resources development and knowledge sharing. “Strengthening the capacities of the partner” features in most development projects and programmes and reaching this objective or failing to do so will decide ultimately over the success and the sustainability of the interventions.

Capacity Development is about change and transformation through designing and facilitating culturally appropriate local solutions to development issues at a large enough scale to make a real difference for human development. The Capacity Development process is an endogenous one, led by national actors, which may (or may not) be supported by development partners. It is therefore up to the national actors to set their own Capacity Development objectives within their political and governance systems.

Capacity Development is also a complex process and inherently political as it deals with change, which leads to gains for some and losses for others that need to be managed. Ownership is therefore a prerequisite for sustainable Capacity Development, as is having a clear view on whose capacities are to be developed and for what purpose.

The learn4dev Expert Group on Capacity Development want to be a platform for sharing, discussing and developing learning activities, contents and methodologies related to Capacity Development with the objective to strengthen harmonization between all those active in this domain.

The CD Expert Group organises thereto on a regular basis face-to-face and online learning opportunities, in-country multi-stakeholder meetings and develops as well as disseminates high quality material on Capacity Development.

In 2014-5 the CD Expert Group organised the following activities:

  • National workshop on “Decentralisation and Local Governance” in collaboration with the DELOG network (Kinshasa, RDC, 2014)
  • Inter-agency workshop on “Improving engagement in fragile situations” in collaboration with the Expert Group on Fragility and Conflict Management (Kinshasa, 2-4 June 2015)
  • Tutored e-learning course, based on the Learning Network on Capacity Development (LenCD) Learning Package on Capacity Development
  • Webinars series: The objective of the initiative is to foster a knowledge exchange across communities of practice on the contribution of capacity development to improved sector performance.
  • Conference & Book Launch “Beyond Aid: Emerging Trends in Capacity Development”
  • Cases studies and e-library, 690 “Capacity Development” stories are available and organised by sector and countries.

Upcoming Events in 2015-6:

  • Training course on Capacity Development in Brussels (Brussels, Dec 2015)
  • Third run of CD online course (spring 2016)
  • Inter-agency workshop on capacity development in education (Palestine, spring 2016)

Development of learning material/courses:

  • Peer support for continuous adaptation of CD learning material