Edited by Klaus Liebscher, Josef Christl, Peter Mooslechner and Doris Ritzberger-Grünwald
Chapter 7: Meeting the challenges of enhancing capacity for development
Frannie A. Léautier1 1. A NEW CONSENSUS ON CAPACITY FOR DEVELOPMENT Despite substantial attention and ﬁnancial support from the development community over a long period of time, capacity remains a binding constraint to development, especially in Africa. Among the reasons for lack of progress in capacity are (a) shifting deﬁnitions of the term ‘capacity’ and hence shifting attention on its components, leading to a lack of coherence in results over time (see Appendix 1 on the multiple deﬁnitions of capacity enhancement); and (b) poor coordination and lack of harmonization of policies and practices among development partners in the provision of support for capacity development (see Appendix 2 for a summary of donor perspectives on pooling technical assistance). For the purposes of this chapter, we use an operational deﬁnition of capacity that allows us to focus on the key issues that will lead to substantial results going forward. What is capacity for development? It is the ability of individuals, institutions and whole societies to solve problems, make informed choices, order their priorities and plan their futures – as well as to implement programmes and projects, and sustain them. With respect to individuals, this deﬁnition captures their educational attainment levels, their access to information, and their inclusion in decisionmaking. For institutions, this includes the incentives structure within the planning and decision-making systems; eﬀectiveness of public decisionmaking, including transparency and accountability; institutional features that oﬀer information to citizens, connecting them and communicating with them; and the way...
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