Capacity development strategies
Without capacity, there is no development.
Sustainable development cannot be outsourced – it cannot be imposed from outside, it demands internal capacity and leadership.
Capacity development is now a priority for many agencies and governments. UNESCO is one of them: capacity development is one of its five core missions. This is even more true for IIEP, a capacity development institute.
This approach is not without its critics. There is consensus on the importance of capacity development but the choice of strategies is still being debated. Some point out that this consensus on capacity development hides much debate, if not disagreement, about the role of training as a strategy or the most promising interventions to change institutional cultures. Others express a more fundamental concern: while the many programmes and projects have strengthened the capacities of individual officers, few have led to a significant change in the effectiveness of the organizations responsible for national development (ministries and public agencies).
IIEP has coordinated an extensive programme to examine the successes and failures of capacity development and to identify successful strategies. In collaboration with UNESCO partners, national teams and individual experts, we have undertaken a wide range of studies: country diagnoses, literature reviews, opinion papers and a synthesis document. This analytical work has led to the identification of a few key principles for successful capacity development and it has enlightened current key issues on this theme. The Institute has also created two databases focused on capacity development in educational planning and management: a clearinghouse, with 300+ documents, each containing a brief summary and a link to the full paper; and a database on partners in capacity development, which includes links to websites of the main organizations, institutes and information centres which work on this theme.