Capacity Development in Practice
Routledge – 2010 – 360 pages
The international development community invests billions of dollars to improve organisational capacity. But real-life practice is poorly understood and undervalued as a distinct professional domain. Written by practitioners, this innovative publication is designed to make capacity development more professional and increasingly effective in achieving development goals. Practical illustrations draw on experiences from the civic, government and private sectors. A central theme is to understand capacity as more than something internal to organisations. This book shows how capacity also stems from connections between different types of actor and the levels in society at which they operate. The content is crafted for a broad audience of practitioners in capacity development: consultants, managers, front-line workers, trainers, facilitators, leaders, advisors, programme staff, activists, and funding agencies. Published with SNV
"To improve results, business would often take an 'organisational development' perspective. But this approach is less well established for development challenges usually involving multiple actors. This volume will go a long way to closing this gap by helping development professionals craft practical strategies for long-term improvement." Peter Senge, Director of the Center for Organizational Learning at the MIT Sloan School of Management, author of The Fifth Discipline
"Here is a wealth of practical experience, amplified by a style and format that makes everything clear and accessible. It is a carefully crafted piece of work that will be recognized as a benchmark resource for this critical area of development challenges." Kumi Naidoo, Executive Director of Greenpeace International, former CEO of Civicus
"Through reflection on individual stories this book illustrates what works, why and how. It is a source of inspiration for those who want to increase the return on the billions invested yearly in this area." Koos Richelle, Director General EuropeAid Cooperation Office, European Commission
"In linking the local and international, this book is an essential resource for every capacity development practitioner." Chiku Malunga, Malawian capacity development practitioner, author on African organisational development
"Provides essential approaches for empowering local actors to create their own solutions, while dealing with their wider relationships. A vital contribution to achieving effectiveness and scale in a time when the paradigm of top-down policy solutions has simply not delivered." Herman Wijffels, co-chair of World Connectors, former Netherlands representative at the World Bank
"Capacity development is one of the defining ideas within contemporary international development and stems from the conviction and experience that addressing social, economic and environmental issues calls for greater capabilities in society, in individual human capital, in communities, groups, organisations, sectors and institutions…The practitioners through their own experience and understanding of capacity present a profile of methods, concepts, competencies and common challenges." Organiser Weekly
"The diversity of experience offered in this volume is one of its major strengths and as such the book is a very useful source of inspiration for CD practitioners looking for cases paralleling their current efforts." Lars Udsholt, Capacity in Development
Introduction Part I: Perspectives on Capacity Multiple Dimensions Multiple Actors Multiple Levels Part II: Establishing Your Practice Advisers' Roles Thematic and Change Expertise Ownership, Authority and Conflict Whose Values Count? Organizational Development as a Source 'Reading' Situations Dialogue Part III: Working with Connections Institutions, Power and Politics Public Accountability Micro-Macro Gap Working with Value Chains Engaging with Community Based Organizations Leadership Development Knowledge Networking Part IV: Improving on Results Measuring Capacity Development Time Matters Self-Reflection Accountability and Learning Part V: Looking Ahead Taking Stock Capacity Development Market? What Next?
Jan Ubels is a Senior Strategy Adviser with the SNV Netherlands Development Organization and chair of the editorial committee of Capacity.org. Naa-Aku Acquaye-Baddoo is a Senior Strategy Adviser and until recently, was responsible for professional development and organisational learning at SNV Netherlands Development Organisation. Alan Fowler is an independent development adviser based in South Africa and author of numerous publications on development issues.