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Module 4 -21 Capacity Development

21.1 Why is capacity development important to municipal managers?
21.2 What is capacity?
21.3 What is capacity development?
21.4 Factors in developing capacity
21.5 Approaching capacity development needs
21.6 Municipal staff capacity
21.7 Instruments for capacity development
Further Guidance

Key Questions:

Why is capacity development important to managers?
What is capacity?
What is capacity development?
How should capacity development be planned for, implemented and managed?

Related Tools:

2 Strategic Planning
3 Planning and Organising
11 Selecting Options
17 Negotiating and Contracting
18 Managing PPPs
20 Managing Conflict

Implementation – Capacity Development

21.7 Instruments for capacity development

Getting capacity development right is not easy. It is likely that managers will delegate the responsibility for capacity development activities to others, perhaps a training officer or an NGO contracted to undertake this part of the programme. Before doing so, it is worthwhile for the manager to consider the following points when making decisions about overall strategy and approach.


Capacity development strategy frameworks and sector trends

Sustainable national capacities are developed not only within the public sector, but also within other segments of society, particularly amongst civil society actors and the private sector. It is important that managers be aware of what is happening beyond their own immediate environment. Both civil society and the private sector have their own approaches to human resource development that the public sector can benefit from.

Some countries have developed strategies for capacity development either at a general level or more specifically to support PPPs. Such strategies are often linked to sector policy and poverty reduction initiatives. Where a strategy exists, it is important to work within its framework.

In the absence of a national strategy, it is helpful to agree a framework that is acceptable to the different stakeholders that contribute to the success of the municipality and its PPP partners.

  • Headings for a framework would include: objectives; key result areas; strategies; examples of activities; and evaluation method.
  • Factors that influence locally agreed frameworks include: mandates; institutional structures; managerial approaches; organisational capacity; local fiscal capacity; project activity and priorities; and degrees of community participation.

Considering who to involve in the development of local frameworks should include consideration of the role of vocational and higher education institutions.

Making the most of limited municipal resources

Much of the capacity required in implementing PPP arrangements at a local level is similar to that needed by other sectors (for example, as in health and education). Before planning capacity development interventions, it is worthwhile municipal managers finding out what other departments and supporting agencies are doing. There may be an opportunity to identify a set (or series) of “core competencies” required of all municipal or local government staff. The development and delivery of these core competencies can then be facilitated through collaboration and the pooling of resources to maximise time, effort and resources. Examples of core competency might include: gender awareness; community contracting; community participation techniques; proposal and report writing; and monitoring and evaluation.

Personnel or human resource management?
Considering people as a vital resource has led institutions to move from addressing solely administrative “personnel issues” (conditions of employment) in a separate organisational function to overall “human resource management” (HRM). HRM focuses on:
◊ the importance of adopting a strategic approach;
◊ line managers playing a predominant role;
◊ activities supporting central organisational values and objectives;
◊ achieving success through the efforts of people; and
◊ a good relationship between employees and managers.

Adapted from Foot M., Hook C. (2002)
‘Introducing Human Resource Management’ Prentice Hall, London.

Education and training suppliers

An area where capacity development faces many unchallenged issues is how it is delivered. Across developing countries, a significant gap exists between what training (especially technical colleges and academic) institutions deliver and what the sector needs. Although well intended, courses can tend to be based on outdated curriculum, research material and traditional teaching methods. Generally, future sector trends are not taken in to account, resulting in poor human resource planning and utilisation. There are ways to overcome this situation if it does exist locally. For example:

  • invite training institutions to a round table meeting to discuss the municipality’s objectives, the context in which it operates and the constraints it faces;
  • establish which training institutions have delivered capacity development in partnership with other stakeholders, for example NGOs and donor agencies, and their criteria for success;
  • ask training institutions to share their own perspectives on working with the municipality or local government and work out solutions for the difficulties that are encountered;
  • jointly conduct training needs analysis and develop capacity development modules by inviting the training institution to the municipality to work along side municipal staff;
  • always review curriculum and course or workshop specifications before agreeing a contract or work plan. Make sure that follow up and evaluation is included in any plan for capacity development. Indicators should be able to be verified by the person trained and their immediate line manager or peer group; and
  • cast the net wide! NGOs, civil society groups and the private sector all provide training and capacity development services. Aim to get the right people for the job and encourage consortiums where appropriate.

Resource centres and networks

Enabling stakeholders to include current thinking and best practice in their work requires them to be aware of the supply of existing research information and topic related material and to have easy access to it. Many countries now have resources centres and networks active in PPP-related learning and training. Municipal managers should find out where such centres are and how to access their resources. This can save time, provide training material and tutors. Some centres also engage in applied research and this may provide an opportunity for “action learning”, where stakeholders work with a researcher to find solutions to real problems.


Partnership has become a major theme in development. The community are regarded as partners rather than beneficiaries; public-private sector partnerships are the focus of this toolkit; NGO-community partnerships are well established; and international NGOs nurture partner NGOs in developing countries.

Partnerships can be developed at a formal or informal level; however, although they are advocated, they do not always result as intended. In the area of capacity development, more emphasis is now being placed on tri-sector partnerships – government, the private sector and civil society. Broadly speaking: government provides the institutional and political mandate; the private sector brings technical and managerial skills and (sometimes) investment finance; meanwhile, NGOs help to fill gaps in understanding about the poor, facilitate civil society involvement and provide skills that other partners lack.

The key to using this type of arrangement to support capacity development is the ability of the partners to agree a common agenda. Such partnerships also allow different professionals (engineers, sociologists, health workers, planners and so on) to input their different skills and encourage multi-disciplinary approaches.


Technical assistance and consultants

Technical assistance and the deployment of consultants, their operational modalities and delivery services should facilitate rather than lead capacity development efforts. Working with technical cooperation requires the same type of judgement as identifying and agreeing training providers.


Capacity development for the private sector

In some developing countries it is not the capacity of the municipalities that is a limiting factor, but the capacity of the private sector that is low. In the ideal scenario, the municipality can undertake planning and tendering and then select among a wide range of bids from the private sector. However, in some low-developed countries, it is often the case that the private entrepreneurs are not familiar with the partnerships process. In such cases, a specific emphasis should be made on capacity development in small- and medium-scale enterprises in accordance with the scope of PPPUE (Public Private Partnerships for the Urban Environment).

Private sector capacity development is not the goal of this Toolkit. A special programme should be developed in any country targeting private sector development. However, it should be kept in mind that the development of the private sector must always be seen in the context of the overall business environment; this is also determined by broader socio-economic and political issues that lie beyond the scope of decision-makers responsible for private sector development. Thus, conducive social and political institutions and practices, a favourable macroeconomic environment, and the presence of physical infrastructure should be seen as a prerequisite for, and not a part of, private sector development.


Capacity development for the community

The community, as one of the key parts of PPPs, should be included in capacity development plans. If the community does not understand the goals and processes of the PPPs, the most well thought out planning could fail during implementation. Moreover, as it has been pointed out earlier in this Tool, it is often suggestions that come from the community that offer the most optimal way of solving a particular problem, especially with regards to pro-poor solutions.



  S T A R T P A G E  
  Module 1 - Before PPPs  
  01-Starting Out  
  02-Strategic Planning  
  Module 2 - Preparation Stage  
  03-Planning & Organising  
  04-Collecting Information  
  Module 3 - PPP Development Stage  
  05-Identifying Constraints  
  06-Defining Objectives  
  07-Defing Parameters (Scope)  
  08-Establishing Principles  
  09-Identifying Partners  
  10-Establishing Partnership  
  11-Selecting Options  
  12-Financing (Investment)  
  13-Financing (Cost Recovery)  
  14-Preparing Business Plans  
  15-Regulating the PPP  
  Module 4 - Implementation  
  16-Tendering & Procurement  
  18-Managing PPPs  
  19-Monitoring & Evaluation  
  20-Managing Conflict  
  21-Capacity Development  
  Contact Information