A results based approach to capacity development
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A Results-based Approach to Capacity Development. Workshop Washington 3-4 March 2008. Session 1 . Introductions and Learning Objectives. Learning Objectives . Recognise key elements of the CD challenge Be able to assist partners adopting a results-based operational approach to CD

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A results based approach to capacity development

A Results-based Approach to Capacity Development



3-4 March 2008

Session 1

Session 1

Introductions and

Learning Objectives

Learning objectives

Learning Objectives

  • Recognise key elements of the CD challenge

  • Be able to assist partners adopting a results-based operational approach to CD

  • Know options for and limits to own role in support to CD

  • Develop options for possible future joint learning events and processes

Session 2

Session 2

The Capacity Development Challenge - Overview

The point of departure

The point of departure

“The new consensus, articulated strongly in the 2005 Paris Declaration, sees capacity development as a necessarily endogenous process, strongly led from within a country, with donors playing a supporting role”

DAC Good Practice Paper

The point of departure 2

The point of departure - 2

Further elements of this consensus are:

  • a systematic approach to a flexible, best-fit way that considers individuals and organisations

  • importance of an enabling environment;

  • the importance of a good understanding of the broader international and country contexts;

  • identifying and supporting sources and factors of country-owned change;

  • making the development of capacity more sustainable by delivering co-ordinated, demand-driven support

  • working through national systems; and a focus on learning from experience

The definitions

The definitions ...


The ability of people, organisations and society

as a whole to manage their affairs successfully.

Capacity development:

The process by which people and organisations

create and strengthen their capacity....

Support to capacity development:

Inputs to capacity development processes

delivered by external actors....

Four key elements of the approach

Four key elements of the approach

  • Focus on change

  • Holistic approach

  • Results focus

  • Serious about ownership and about donors playing second fiddle – jointly…

1 the change function

1. The Change Function?



Process of



Cost of




Incomplete functions

Incomplete functions

  • D x P x V =Change!

  • D x P =Fast road to confusion

  • D x V =Anxiety and frustration

  • P x V =Bottom of inbox

Tools for change

Tools for Change


1. Setting the stage: Delimiting the sector

2. Political economy and institutional analysis

3. Organisational assessment

4. Sector governance assessment

5. Stakeholder analysis

Vision and design

9. Sequencing/ scoping

10. Logical design

Change process

6. Self-assessment of change capacity

7. Change management

8. Donor roles

Session 3

Session 3

Assessing capacity: Holistic, outputs, power issues – what to look for?

Analytical framework 1

Organisations as open systems

Capacity of


Analyticalframework - 1

Contextual factors beyond influence






Contextual factors within influence

What assessments often find

What assessments often find...

  • Lack of resources

  • Lack of planning

  • Poor management

  • Poor motivation

  • No monitoring

  • No focus on results

  • No….

Understanding nothing


Measuring the difference…?





..or understanding reality…?

Capacity diagnosis step by step

Capacity diagnosis, step by step..


  • Why assess, who, what is the vantage point?

  • Watch the context

  • Focus on results

  • Inputs

  • Go inside the box: other boxes...and

  • What lies beneath?

1 the vantage point or basic question

1. The vantage point or basic question

Which organisations to assess?

Where to consider support to capacity development?

Start from wider programme objectives

Work backwards: identify the organisations which produce outputs which are significant for achieving outcomes and objectives



  • You are discussing how to improve access to and quality of primary health care

  • Organisations to consider could include:

    • Front line service provider units – public and non-public

    • Secondary health care level

    • Units delivering vertical programmes

    • Health training/education institutions

    • Ministry of Health

    • Health professional societies/unions

3 outputs first outcomes next

3. Outputs first – outcomes next!

  • Outputs are all aspects of products and services

  • Past output levels point to likely future

  • Outputs are good proxies for capacity

  • Capacity changes causes outputs to change

  • Dialogue about outputs diverts attention from inputs, vague plans, TA, training…

  • But: It is not that simple!

Tensions in results orientation

Managing by Results

Meet the targets

“Hard” Outputs

“Objective” assessment or verification

Outwards accountability

Rigorous methods and high quality data

Sanctions and rewards

Encourages conservative behaviour

Managing for Results

Continuous improvement

Also “soft” outputs, outcomes and impacts

Self-assessment and participation

In- and outwards accountability

Rapid, low cost methods

Motivation, learning

Encourages risk-taking, experimenting

Tensions in results-orientation

5 capacity the six box model


Are goals and strategies clear? Do they fit inputs and contexts?


How is work divided?

Internal Relationships

Between boss-staff, peers, and units? Constructive conflict resolution approaches?


Do someone keep the boxes in balance; adapt to the context?

Rewards (motivation)

Are there incentives for doing key functions?

Helpful mechanisms (systems & processes)

Are coordinating and control instruments adequate (planning, budgeting, auditing, monitoring)

Context (actors and factors)

(what constraints and demands does it impose?)

5. Capacity: The six-box model

The 6 boxes unpacked

The 6 boxes unpacked

  • Strategy:Are goals and strategies clear? Do the inputs and contexts fit?

  • Structures: How is work divided?

  • Leadership: Does someone keep the boxes in balance; adapt to the context?

The 6 box unpacked 2

The 6 box unpacked (2)

  • Internal Relationships:

    Between boss-staff, peers, and units? Constructive conflict resolution approaches?

  • Helpful mechanisms (systems & processes):

    Are coordinating and control instruments adequate (planning, budgeting, auditing, monitoring)

  • Rewards (motivation):

    Are there incentives for doing key functions?

6 what lies beneath

6. What lies beneath?

  • Look for both the “functional” and the “political” dimensions of organisations

  • Look for both formal and informal aspects

  • All organisations have informal aspects and a political dimension

  • Functional, political, formal, informal - all can strengthen or weaken capacity and change prospects

    Question: Who needs to know what, and when, about these aspects?

Functional and political dimension of capacity

“Functional” and “political” dimension of capacity

Tool diagnosis of formal informal fit

Tool: Diagnosis of formal/informal fit

Session 4

Session 4

The nettle of Stakeholder Analysis

Embedded in the context

Embedded in the context

= Agents/actors inside and outside organisations

Institutional factors

Structural factors

Stakeholders and actors

Stakeholders and actors..

  • Individuals and collectives pursuing particular interests...

  • Political & economic elite, civil servants, the military, civil society, donors...

  • Always strategizing, always dynamic...

  • ..and embedded in structural and institutional drivers of and constraints to change

  • How can actors help to deal with factor constraints and exploit drivers?

Actors stakeholders

Actors & Stakeholders




Citizens, voters,

consumers, economic

agents, elites


Checks and



Core public


Public and

private frontline



Governance, demand

Accountability, supply

Tool 1 stakeholder and actor analysis

Tool 1: Stakeholder and actor analysis

  • Read the tool

  • Select a case of one of you: identify interests, power and salience related to 3-4 key stakeholders

  • Discuss implications, compare other experiences in the group

  • Time for the task: 45 minutes

Summary diagnostic dimensions

Summary: Diagnostic dimensions

Session 5

Session 5

Change Management and Ownership – how to make it operational?

Four options for interventions

Four options for interventions

Change interventions a la carte

Change interventions a la carte

Characteristics of change processes

Characteristics of change processes

  • Rarely linear

  • Normally contested and resisted

  • Most often incremental

  • Goals and plans have ritual functions as much as managerial

  • Losses materialise quicker than wins

  • Change creates angst

Key factors for successful cd process

Key factors for successful CD - process

  • External pressure for change

  • Leadership, creating sense of urgency, purpose and feasibility

  • Credible coalition for change, with enough power to deal with resistance

  • Carefully crafted change strategy and cunning change management

  • Flexible change process

Elements of change processes

Elements of change processes

Agenda setting ->

Formulation/Design ->

Approval ->

Implementation ->

Pausing/phasing out ->

Tool 2 change management design

Tool 2: Change Management Design

  • Read the tool

  • Discuss applicability and relevance

  • Time for the task: 45 minutes

Session 6

Session 6

Donor support to CD – roles, means – and joint approaches

A challenge from paris

A Challenge from Paris

“Capacity development is the responsibility of partner countries with donors playing a support role”

Paris Declaration 2006

- What does that mean???

Focus on the sector organisations

Focus on the sector/organisations

  • Don’t ask what donors can do for the organisation/sector…

  • ..ask what the sector/organisation might want to do to strengthen its capacity –

  • - and whether donors might be helpful or not to that process –

  • Question: What could that entail?

Tool 3 development partners roles

Tool 3: Development partners’ roles

  • Read the tool

  • Select a recent case: identify the roles actually played

  • Add experiences from other countries

  • Discuss if there is a trend between what was done and what maybe should have been done

  • Time for the task: 45 minutes

Discussion donor roles in cd support

Discussion – donor roles in CD support?

  • Capacity development is a domestic affair

  • So, how proactive should donors be?

  • If it depends on the context, which context factors are then important?

Donor roles in developing support

Donor roles in developing support

  • Support development of broad directions for change and of change strategy

  • Focus on feasible CD targets in terms of changes in organisational outputs

  • Understand drivers and constraints to become a trusted partner

  • Play a catalytic role, do not design or implement

  • Ensure that CD inputs can adapt to the process rather than vice versa

Joint cd support in sector programmes

Joint CD support in sector programmes

  • The SWAp is all about strengthened sector capacity, capacity often the difficult missing link

  • CD is a core part of the sector programme, not an add on – get it on the agenda

  • Same principles apply for CD as for other SP areas:

    • Alignment to framework and joint plans before joint funding modalities

    • Share diagnostics, reviews, dialogue

    • Exploit comparative advantages – and disadvantages…

How donors can support cd processes

Own efforts


Get a grip on the context for CD

Deepen dialogue

Stop topping-up, poaching of staff etc.

Don’t go alone

Seek and share knowledge


Peer mechanisms

Piloting new ways

Staff exchanges

Knowledge acquisition



How donors can support CD processes

Ta triangular affairs uneasy balances

TA - Triangular Affairs- Uneasy Balances?





















Session 7

Session 7

Bringing the ingredients of the CD cocktail together

Repetition the change function

Repetition: The Change Function?



Process of



Cost of




Key factors for successful cd content

Key factors for successful CD - content

  • Scope of change in relation to existing capacity

  • Realistic targets – defined as outputs

  • Combination of various options for CD

  • External pressure for change

  • Specificity of the products

  • Sequencing and timing of interventions

Basics first

Basics first?

  • Inputs and procedures before results?

  • External controls before trust in managers?

  • Don’t try to replace patrimonialism, work to modify it?

  • Work on reducing discretionality and opaqueness, rather than introducing the Perfect System?

  • Leave NPM on the shelf?



  • Platform approach: Basics first, consistent with power relations and change capacity

  • Reform units?

  • Ring-fencing strategic units?

  • Focusing on “uncontroversial” routine processes?

  • Risks in all approaches and no right answer

  • Sectors cannot do it alone

Cd planning matrix

CD planning matrix

Monitoring capacity development

Monitoring Capacity Development

  • Why?

    • Accountability

    • Promote and sustain change

  • Who?

    • Depends…

  • What?

    • The whole chain

A results based approach to capacity development


Customer surveys

Political system


External partners

Self assessment


1 2 3 4 5


Customer orientation





About helping others

About helping others...

“That if real success is to attend the effort to bring a man to a definite position, one must first of all take pains to find HIM where he is and begin there.

This is the secret of the art of helping others. Any one who has not mastered this is himself deluded when he proposes to help others. In order to help another effectively I must understand more than he- yet first of all surely I must understand what he understands. If I do not know that, my greater understanding will be of no help to him. If, however, I am disposed to plume myself of my greater understanding, it is because I am vain or proud, so that at bottom, instead of benefiting him, I want to be admired. But all true effort to help begins with self-humiliation: the helper must first humble himself under him he would help, and therewith must understand that to help does not mean to be sovereign but to be a servant, that to help does not mean to be ambitious but to be patient, that to help means to endure for the time being the imputation that one is in the wrong and does not understand what the other understands.”

Søren Kierkegaard: The Point of View for My Work as An Author (1859). Translation by Walter Lowrie, Harper & Brothers, New York, 1962.

Session 8

Session 8

Next steps and future options:

Open Forum

Proposed agenda

Proposed agenda

  • Reflection on learning objectives

  • Reflection on content/modalities

  • Basic options for joint learning

  • Organisation and funding options

  • Next steps

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