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Capacity Development Glossary

Page history last edited by Sharon Fisher 11 years, 9 months ago

Capacity development dominates international aid with more than $20 billion a year devoted to a range of activities, yet capacity development efforts have fallen short of expectations. One of the main challenges is the lack of clarity around the concept. What do we mean by capacity development and related terms?

 

Please contribute to the following definitions of concepts and terms in capacity development. See "How to Use this Wiki" for additional information.

 

Capacity Development Glossary

  

TERM/CONCEPT DEFINITION SOURCE DATE

Capacity

The availability of resources and the efficiency and effectiveness with which societies deploy these resources to identify and pursue their development goals on a sustainable basis.  

 

World Bank Institute                                November 2009

Capacity Development 

A locally driven process of learning by leaders, coalitions and other agents of change that brings about changes in sociopolitical, policy-related, and organizational factors to enhance local ownership for and the effectiveness and efficiency of efforts to achieve a development goal.

 

Some Related Resources

 

 

 

 

World Bank Institute   November 2009

Capacity Development Goal

 

High-level impact at the top of the results chain in terms of improved social or economic conditions. The goal is generally achieved through a set of development efforts, in which the intended capacity development program is one of the contributing activities. The goal determines general purpose and direction of capacity development programs, and should be marked by strong consensus among stakeholders. A local champion should set the goal and assume responsibility for its attainment.  In conjunction with stakeholders, the capacity development program team should review and validate (or embrace) the goal, agreeing on a specific definition and target. The goal should derive from a broader long-term development strategy (sector, country, or regional) that establishes the priority and compatibility of the goal with other development priorities (e.g. from national development strategies, five-year plans, country assistance strategies, and poverty reduction strategies).

 

Some Related Resources:

 

 

 

 

World Bank Institute November 2009

Capacity

Factors


 




 

Capacity factors determine the extent of local ownership of the effort to achieve the stated development goal(s), as well as the efficiency and effectiveness of that effort. Capacity factors are socipolitical, policy-related, and organizational. In a capacity development program capacity factor are a resource to: define the potential results areas in terms of changes in capacity; prepare capacity development objectives; identify capacity challenges, opportunities and specific indicators of the development situation and specific areas for change.

 

The capacity factors that affect the achievement of development goals are related to the:  

Conduciveness of the Sociopolitical Environment - Made up of the political and social forces that determine the priority given to the development goal by government, civil society and the private sector.

Efficiency of Policy Instruments - Or the formal mechanisms to be used to guide stakeholder actions toward achievement of the development goal. These formal mechanisms include administrative rules, laws, regulations, and standards.
Effectiveness of Organizational Arrangements - Systems, rules of action, processes, personnel and other resources that government and non-government stakeholders bring together to achieve the development goal.

 

Some Related Resources:

 

 

 

World Bank Institute 

 

 

 

November 2009

 

 


 

 


 

 
 

Capacity Constraints/

Challenges and Opportunities

 

Challenges or opportunities related to specific sociopolitical, policy related and organizational capacity factors that govern local ownership and the efficiency and effectiveness with which resources are used, toward the achievement of a development goal. In a capacity development program capacity constraints/ challenges and opportunities can be used to: define the potential results areas in terms of changes in capacity; prepare capacity development objectives; identify specific indicators of the development situation and areas for change.

World Bank Institute

November 2009

 

Capacity Development Objective

The capacity development objective(s) should be stated in terms of the specific capacity factors that are expected to be changed by the project. The objective(s) provide a logical base for connecting a program’s results in terms of capacity to its intermediate outcomes and activities. A well-specified capacity development objective is measurable, tightly connected to the program logic, and reasonably attainable through capacity development interventions. The definition should include the indicators to be used in measuring achievement. The capacity development objective(s) should be defined so that stakeholders and specifically agents of change agree that they can influence its achievement. For a country-focused program, the objective(s) should explicitly relate to at least one development goal specified in country’s strategy documents. For smaller programs, the objective(s) might be narrower in scope, but it should still be specific, measurable, and logically connected to a development goal.

 

World Bank Institute

November 2009

Agents of Change 

Individuals, groups, teams or organizations that can initiate and drive needed project outcomes toward the achievement of a development goal. Agents of change play a critical role in the goal-oriented capacity development. The program team and stakeholder(s) should identify the agents best placed and best qualified to initiate and manage the change process. In some contexts, strengthening agents of change themselves might be an important component of a capacity development strategy. Further, multiple agents of change could be necessary to address challenges in different capacity factors and build enough critical mass to make a change process sustainable.  

 

World Bank Institute

November 2009

 

Change Process 

Process by which capacity development activities bring about results towards a specific development goal.  

 

World Bank Institute

November 2009

 

Resource Inputs

 

Inputs into capacity building or the capacity development process. For example, human and financial capital, technological resources, natural resources, and other endowments may be resources inputs in processes or programs to invest in capacity or build capacity.

 

World Bank Institute

November 2009

 

Outputs

 

Outputs are the products, capital goods and services which result from a development intervention (e.g., construction of a school, a new policy or institutional arrangement).  Outputs are designed to generate outcomes.  The key distinction between an output (a specific good or service) and an outcome is that an output typically takes the form of an increase in supply, while an outcome typically reflects changes in the utilization of goods and services, that is, demand side change which can be plausibly linked to longer term and/or higher order impacts.

World Bank Institute

November 2009

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments (3)

Joy Behrens said

at 5:06 pm on Dec 1, 2009

Thank you for creating this.

maxwellclovice@yahoo.co.uk said

at 7:59 am on Jan 6, 2010

thank you this is nice

Frank Webb said

at 8:31 am on Jan 6, 2010

UNDP publishes "Capacity Development: a UNDP Primer" (2009), which includes an extensive glossary of terms as well as presenting UNDP's thoughtful approach to capacity development.

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