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FOR DISASTER RISK REDUCTION Geraldine Becchi and Michael Meier

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1 FOR DISASTER RISK REDUCTION Geraldine Becchi and Michael Meier
CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT FOR DISASTER RISK REDUCTION Niloy Banerjee Capacity Development Group/UNDP Geraldine Becchi and Michael Meier Capacity for Disaster Reduction Initiative (UNDP/UNOCHA/UNISDR)

Narrower scope –capacity development as a means to an end Focuses more on the initial stages of building or creating capacities Often concerned with what outsiders will do to help build capacity and the contribution they can make Linked more to technical cooperation and to skills development, training, technology transfer One off or shorter –term interventions Broader scope –capacity is both the means and the intended outcome in itself Includes both creating and building (or enhancement) as well as the (subsequent) use, management, retention and sustainability of capabilities Seeks to capitalize on existing national capacities as a starting point Understands that capacity development is nationally owned and led, with outside actors providing support to country led processes Includes a mix of approaches and measures, technical and less tangible, formal and informal Longer-term perspective

3 What Does the Evidence Show (1/4)
Capacity development is underpinned by the fundamental characteristic of national ownership A comprehensive capacity development response must link to and draw from relevant national reforms to be sustained, e.g., civil service, wage, language, education, pubic administration reforms Taking a capacity development response to scale requires linking it to national and local plans, processes, budgets and systems Capacity development is an endogenous change process. Any meaningful capacity development support needs to start from existing capacities and work with the assets that any country brings to the table. While alignment in UN programming with national priorities is strong, alignment with national systems has been found to be weak and the extensive use of PIU continues to be a practice rather than exception. If national systems are not strong enough they should be reformed and strengthened rather than bypassed. The UN should apply a “do-no-harm” principle. It is better to create no capacity than to create the wrong capacity. 3

4 What Does the Evidence Show (2/4)
Tendency often to look only inside of an organization and downplay larger institutional context in which that organization resides A capacity development response should be based on the findings of a capacity assessment, and is a deliberate set of sequenced actions that will influence a given set of skills, systems and power relations A capacity development response can and often must show both short- and long-term gains, to ensure continued political commitment and resource support No matter what the entry point for capacity development is, it is about change. Change is always politically charged and is about vested interests, power relations and political economy. Need to look more at organizations’ external space and relations. The UN system and the specialized UN agencies in particular feel more comfortable dealing with technical capacities than functional capacities. However, the two cannot be separated from one another. In doing so a response better addresses the end game of what productive asset was gained by enhanced capacity (job creation, higher incomes, better immunization…) 4

5 What Does the Evidence Show (3/4)
Capacity development is not about a technical fix. It is about transformations and must address how best to manage change “Capacity traps” more often pertinent to the “soft side”, such as power relations, vested interests, access, ethics and attitudes Technical assistance and capacity development are not the same thing! Capacity development is more than training. Training is necessary, but what learning strategies work best for what purpose…. Capacity development is not about a technical fix! It is about political change and mindsets. There is a tendency to assume away the “soft side”, because we are not comfortable with the question of ethics and values. This is not an easy issue to address, since RBM systems are not well adapted to capturing intangibles, however it is an integral part of ensuring that the right kind of capacity grows and stays. Technical assistance and training interventions appear to have little sustainability and limited impact when obstacles to change are not tackled by other interventions. Training is necessary but need to know what types of learning strategies work best for what purpose. And the technical expert is not necessarily the best “trainer’ or coach. The World Bank published an illuminating report in On average over the last decade the Bank has invested over 720 million USD per year in training. In a recent evaluation, they found that this training had a sustainable impact upon the organization and its functions only 50% of the time. We don’t invest sufficiently in what happens before and after training, securing support of managers, addressing institutional constraints to follow up, etc. Technical cooperation is only one of the many ways development partners can use to support capacity development. It may be helpful to distinguish capacity development as a process and technical cooperation as one of several possible ways to support it. Technical assistance and training are the types of capacity development activities which were the most frequently used. 5

6 What Does the Evidence Show (4/4)
Our approach to supporting capacity development need to be highly contextual, iterative and flexible for “good fit” The hardest part of a CD process for external partners is the “letting go”- the litmus test for capacity development is if we make ourselves irrelevant! Capacity development must be grounded in endogenous efforts if it is to be meaningful and sustainable. Embed capacity needs in context by addressing “capacity for whom?” and “capacity for what?” Where country capacity has met the required standards, clear exit strategies must enable the hand over to national systems 6

7 UNDG Capacity Development Approach
Engagement with Partners and Building Consensus Step 1: Assessing Capacity Assets and Needs Step 2: Step 3: Designing Capacity Development Strategies Step 4: Implementing Capacity Development Strategies Step 5: Evaluation of Capacity Development Efforts Capacity Development Process UNDG Position Statement on Capacity Development details a process for UNCTs as they begin to integrate capacity development into national development strategies, poverty reduction strategies and sectors plans – by embedding a collective vision and response into the UNDAF, Country Programmes and Projects.

8 A Systems Approach to Capacity Development

9 Capacity Assessment and Capacity Development… Key Design Questions
Capacity for Why? Capacity for Whom? Capacity for What?

10 Core Issues & Capacity Development Actions
Institutional Arrangements: e.g., support to functional reviews and the design of human resource management systems, monetary and non-monetary incentive mechanisms and results-based management. Leadership : e.g., support to visioning, systems thinking and strategic planning exercises; promotion of peer-to-peer mentoring; coalition building and negotiation skills development; design of career management systems. Knowledge: e.g., support to education reform strategies to incorporate human development needs into curriculum reform; facilitation of partnerships for investment in reforming post-secondary education; support to south-south learning solutions. Accountability : Design and support to monitoring and evaluation systems and independent partner review mechanisms; promotion of public information disclosure policies and legislation; support to civic education.

11 Measuring Capacity Development
An improvement in capacity accelerates achievements of development goals Change in System Performance, Stability and Adaptability Change in Capacity Change in Development Conditions 11

12 Capacity Assessment and Development Planning… Multiple Points of Entry
National Development Strategies Sectors Themes

13 UNDP Capacity Assessment Methodology – What’s New?
Brings rigor and a systematic process for assessing existing capacities and needs and formulating a capacity development response Provides a structure for discussion about the scale and scope of a capacity assessment and more generally about a capacity development agenda Provides resources and tools to support a capacity assessment including content for assessing the various cross-sections of point of entry, core issue and functional capacity

14 UNDP Capacity Assessment Methodology – What’s Different?
Focuses on capacity… not organizational design, not functional roles and responsibilities, not risk Emphasizes the link with capacity development responses… tries to move beyond “analysis paralysis” – people are happy to stay in the analysis phase… most have skills in this area, accountability for results is limited… it’s a safe area Establishes indicators… the indicators used to assess capacity become the benchmarks against which to measure progress

15 Capacity Development Website –

16 UNDP Capacity Development Resources
Theoretical and Case Study Publications Capacity for Development: New Solutions to Old Problems Developing Capacity through Technical Cooperation Ownership, Leadership, and Transformation: Can We Do Better for Capacity Development? Action Brief on Capacities for Integrated Local Development Action Brief on Brain Gain Action Brief on Ethics and Values in Civil Service Reforms Practice Notes Practice Note on Capacity Development Practice Note on Capacity Assessment Practice Note on Supporting Capacities for Integrated Local Development Practice Note on Capacity Development during Periods of Transition

17 UNDP Capacity Development Resources (Contd.)
Concept Notes on Capacity Development Responses Institutional Reform and Change Management: Managing Change in Public Sector Organizations Incentive Systems: Incentives, Motivation and Development Performance Leadership Development: Leading Transformations at the Local Level Knowledge Services and Learning Mutual Accountability Mechanisms: Accountability, Voice and Responsiveness Multi-Stakeholder Engagement Processes Concept Notes on Capacity Development Applications Capacity Development and Aid Management Procurement Capacities

18 UNDP Capacity Development Resources (Contd.)
Resource Guides and Tools (Selection) UNDP Capacity Assessment User’s Guide and Supporting Tool A Review of Selected Capacity Assessment Methodologies UNDP Procurement Capacity Assessment User’s Guide and Supporting Tool Resource Catalogue on Measuring Capacities: An Illustrative Guide to Benchmarks and Indicators Network Capacity Development Network and Community of Practice

19 Questions? Thank you

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