Capacity Development Strategies
Incentives and capacity development
Links between incentives, civil service reforms and capacity development – a new focus for governments and development partners.
By linking incentives and personal motivation to specific organizational objectives, public organizations can move from a vicious circle of capacity erosion to a virtuous cycle of economic growth and bureaucratic efficiency. Incentives have been identified as “the missing link” (Ul Haque, 2006), or as the “the missing sector in sectoral studies” (McLeod, 2005). In fact, making “incentives and motivation converge in order to create capacity development” is one of UNDP’s fundamental principles (Lopes, and Theisohn, 2004). Focusing on incentives implies expanding the notion of typical capacity development modalities beyond that of training. As one author puts it, “the problem lies not in the lack of skills, but the lack of strong incentives to use these skills optimally” (Kamoche, 1997, p. 4). Incentives should therefore correspond to the objective of fostering a high-performance public service that attracts, retains and motivates competent staff (World Bank, 2008a, p. 6).