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
- 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,
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
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
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
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.