Governance and development

Capacity development: Key to development results

 

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Capacity development: Key to development results

Capacity is indispensible for country ownership and leadership of its policies and programmes. It is central to sustainable national develpment. Work on this topic is most commonly referred to as capacity development, capacity building, or statebuilding.

 

According to 2006 DAC guidelines:

  • Capacity refers to the ability of people, organisations, and society as a whole to manage their affairs successfully.
  • Capacity development is the process by which people, organisations and society as a whole create, strengthen and maintain their capacity over time.    

 

The 2005 Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness highlights the importance of capacity development for Southern ownership and leadership of development strategies and processes. Since then, capacity development has been at the centre of international aid debate.

 

Capacity development: A DAC priority

For many years, the DAC has considered capacity development a key priority. Since issuing the 2006 Guidance, Working towards Good Practice, the DAC has sought to help the donor community identify and practically apply capacity development good practice that is consistent with this guidance. 

 

In 2008, the DAC helped raise the visibility of capacity development in the Accra High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (September 2008). In May 2008, it worked with donors and partner countries alike to generate the Bonn Consensus list of six capacity development operational priorities - later to become part of the Accra Agenda for Action (AAA).


In October 2008, the DAC approved the initiative on capacity development to focus on the implementation of AAA capacity development priorities, on the road to the Next High Level Forum in Busan, Korea (2011). Since then, the DAC has been working with partners from the South and North to consolidate and disseminate learning on existing approaches and good practices for each capacity development priority. By doing so, the DAC and its partners also seek to set the stage for and advance discussions on new ideas and priorities for joint work on capacity development.

 

In 2010-2011, our efforts focused on consolidating what has been learned since Accra. In late 2010, a primary achievement has been the generation of professional “Perspectives Notes” which bring together available evidence and joint conclusions for each key capacity priority of the AAA. These note were used to form much of the evidence for the Synthesis Report “Capacity Development:  Lessons Learned and Actions for Busan and Beyond”that framed the 2011 Cairo Workshop on Capacity Development.

 

Links and documents:

» Consult a list of our key publications

» Learn more about the history of DAC Engagement on Capacity Development over the years 

Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness

Accra High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness

Accra Agenda for Action

 

Related Documents

 

Capacity development

 

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