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Capacity Development in Project Design. Review of 2006 Investment Project Portfolio Mark Nelson World Bank Institute Capacity Development Unit. Background and Methodology. A period of intense review of capacity development in the World Bank and beyond

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capacity development in project design

Capacity Development in Project Design

Review of 2006 Investment Project Portfolio

Mark Nelson

World Bank Institute

Capacity Development Unit

background and methodology
Background and Methodology
  • A period of intense review of capacity development in the World Bank and beyond
  • World Bank and other reviews showed many shortcomings
  • First stage of study looks 217 WB investment projects approved in FY06
  • One questionnaire per PAD based on definitions and instructions
  • Imperfect exercise: How much can be said at the design stage—does more happen downstream?
  • A work in progress: Further insights over time
cd in world bank projects
CD in World Bank projects
  • Highly diverse approaches to, and definitions of, capacity development
  • Some projects include a single, discrete capacity development component (often focused on project implementation)—“The Capacity Component”
  • Others contain multiple CD components focused on broader capacities, Paris-inspired approaches
  • Will we see a difference between these two approaches downstream?

What will spur results?

  • Explicit measurement and monitoring of capacity development activities, with a focus on outcomes and results
  • Greater focus on the demand side – involvement of civil society, the private sector and media to create pressure for results
  • Doing business differently to spur use of local capacity, learning by doing, facilitating South-South collaboration
  • Strong partnerships to take into account comparative advantages and ensure strategic complementarities
  • Strengthening the Bank’s knowledge base and staff incentives – make it count
lending instruments in fy06
Lending instruments in FY06
  • Investment Loans (244 projects)
    • Specific Investment Loans (163 projects)
    • Adaptable Program Loans (33 projects)
    • Technical Assistance Loans (15 projects)
    • Sector Investment and Maintenance Loans (11 projects)
    • Emergency Recovery Loans (19 projects)
    • Financial Intermediary Loans (3 projects)
  • Development Policy Operations (53 projects)
    • Development Policy Loans (31 projects),
    • Poverty Reduction Strategy Credits (16 projects)
    • Programmatic Adjustment Loan (6 projects)

For this presentation, we are dealing only with 217 investment loans for which Project Assessment Documents are available.

questions covered
Questions covered
  • Was CD mentioned in the “Development Objective”?
  • Did the project have self-labeled capacity development components?
  • Types of CD inputs (training, technical assistance, knowledge sharing, study tours)
  • Levels of CD addressed (enabling environment, institutions and policies, organizational and individual)
  • Implementation arrangements (PIUs)
  • Cost of CD inputs
  • Basic information about region, networks, and types of loans, and lending instruments
  • Did the project involve coordination among donors?
is capacity development included in the development objective1
Is capacity development included in the “Development Objective”?

N=190 N=101 N=89 N=19 N=8

cd inputs definitions
CD Inputs - Definitions
  • Training: Structured learning activities in an expert-learning mode through which knowledge and skills are transmitted and acquired
  • Consultant Assistance/TA: Foreign or local consultants hired to provide assistance and expertise
  • Knowledge Sharing: Discrete events with emphasis on peer learning, knowledge exchange and awareness raising
  • Study Tours: A group of stakeholders visits selected countries or organizations with specific goals in acquiring knowledge not readily available at home
  • Twinning: Cooperation between two institutions where knowledge and skills are transferred
project implementation unit used
Project Implementation Unit used?

Percentage of 217 investment projects

pius by region
PIUs by region







highlights from the project portfolio

Highlights from the Project Portfolio

Examples of good practice?

institutional reform and capacity building in kenya

Institutional and policy level

Resolution of policy differences and process issues.

Enabling environment

Coordinating government-wide reform

Organizational level

Change management, audits and reviews

Fertile Conditions for Capacity Growth

Individual level

Intensive training and technical assistance

for civil service staff

Institutional Reform and Capacity Building in Kenya
institutional strengthening and health sector support project in niger
Institutional Strengthening and Health Sector Support Project in Niger
  • Sector-Wide Approach (SWAp) focused on institutions, organizations and individuals
  • Detailed diagnosis of capacity constraints
  • Coordination among all stakeholders
  • Management capacity developed within government – no PIU

Human Capital



& Governance

Health Sector


second multisectoral sti hiv aids prevention project in madagascar
Second Multisectoral STI/HIV/AIDS Prevention Project in Madagascar
  • Harmonization & donor coordination
  • Use of informal networks (video-clubs, community gathering places)
  • Well defined indicators
  • Comprehensive multi-sectoral approach to preventing the disease
judicial modernization project in azerbaijan
Judicial Modernization Project in Azerbaijan

Clear capacity objective with actions focused on constraints

  • Weak management impedes policy implementation
  • Weak human capital deters professionalism
  • Lack of court facilities impedes modernization
  • Lack of information limits accessibility and accountability
features of project design
Features of project design

Benchmarks, specific targets, engaged partners, accountability

  • Focus on systems, organizational functioning
  • Training of 1000 officials by CoE, GTZ, USAID
  • Strong emphasis on information flow, accountability
  • Implementation by the Ministry of Justice which is accountable for results and sustainability
education excellence and equity project in albania
Education Excellence and Equity Project in Albania
  • SWAp focused on improving quality of learning conditions, increased enrollment in general secondary education
  • Identifies short-term, intermediate and long-term goals
  • Focus on capacity of Ministry of Education and Science – no external PIU


Higher education


Improving and

rationalizing education


Improving conditions for

teaching and learning

Strengthening leadership,

management and governance of

education system

local government capacity development in uganda an ongoing project
Local government capacity development in Uganda: An ongoing project
  • Long-term process: Started in early 1990s
  • Significant resources allocated competitively through grants to local districts
  • Strong country leadership
  • Culture of participation
  • Demand from public and from local leaders
  • Huge effort at monitoring and evaluating outcomes
  • “Every morning when I get out of bed, I feel the demands of the people coming through every window,” George Ntulume, Wakiso District Administrator
uganda s district governments
Uganda’s District Governments

Wakiso District

Population 1 million

(includes Entebbe)

disincentives to harmonization and alignment
Disincentives to harmonization and alignment
  • Time and efficiency constraints
  • Career incentives linked to quantity of “deliverables,” not “good behavior”
  • Focus on corruption creates impression that country systems are less reliable
  • Budget: Coordination costs more
yet growing evidence of attention to long term capacity development
Yet, growing evidence of attention to long-term capacity development
  • A number of projects which stand out of the crowd, but the proof will be in the results downstream
  • Greater attention to capacity in recent Quality Assurance Group assessments, after QAE7 showed “institutional development/capacity building” as the most frequently cited development objective (cited in 60% of the sample). In QAE6, analysis had focused almost exclusively on capacity for implementation.
  • Criticisms of the “capacity is for implementation” line of thinking from Independent Evaluation Group in its 2005 evaluation of capacity development in Africa, the Task Force on CD in Africa and by OECD/DAC report
areas for further work
Areas for further work
  • Are there special capacity approaches that traditional investment projects can bring?
  • When capacity is not planned carefully in design, can it appear in implementation? Task managers say weak countries benefit from the strong attention that comes from traditional projects.
  • Do PIUs reduce corruption and strengthen capacityin the weakest countries?
  • Does the stronger performance of DPLs, particularly under programmatic approaches, extend to capacity development? (DPLs were 100% “Mostly Satisfactory” or higher compared to 91% for investment loans in QEA7)