Development Co-operation Directorate (DCD-DAC)

The Challenge of Capacity Development: Working towards Good Practice





The world’s commitment to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 cannot succeed without adequate country capacity. Regardless of how much funding and how much external support is given, development efforts in many of the poorest countries will fail without enhanced country capacity both at the national and local levels.
Most donors now acknowledge that the process of building sustainable country capacity must come from within, a consensus clearly articulated in the 2005 Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness. In other words, partner countries should lead and donors should play a supporting role. But how is this best accomplished?


The Challenge of Capacity DevelopmentWORKING TOWARDS GOOD PRACTICE (pdf, 444.46 kB)

This report draws on four decades of documented experience provided by both bilateral and multilateral donors, as well as academic specialists, to help policy makers and practitioners think through effective approaches to capacity development and which challenges remain. The analysis is underpinned by a conceptual framework which guides practitioners to view capacity development at three interrelated levels: individual, organisational and enabling environment levels. It provides insights into what capacity development is, why it matters and, more importantly, what can be done to support it.


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