Central Data Catalog

Citation Information

Type Working Paper
Title Whose capacity is it anyway? Understanding the challenges of capacity development planning in education
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2012
URL http://efc.idnet.net/news/Whose capacity is it anyway_full paper.pdf
Capacity development lies at the heart of global development and aid effectiveness frameworks, and
is central to the realisation of EFA goals. The realities of planning for and beginning the process of
capacity development, however, continue to provide significant and often unacknowledged
challenges. This paper draws on lessons from Education for Change’s experience of developing an
Education Sector Capacity Development Strategy for Sierra Leone (on behalf of the Ministry of
Education, Science and Technology and UNICEF) to highlight these challenges and the critical factors
The importance of capacity is emphasised in its relation to performance in education service
delivery, sustainable sector outcomes and ownership of development mechanisms and processes.
Yet the planning and implementation of capacity development itself requires a level of capacity
within the system for effective engagement and ownership. In Sierra Leone, this was limited by poor
organisational governance and a fragmented organisational structure, lack of data, and few
individuals with relevant expertise. These underpinned a widespread and persistent
misunderstanding of the concepts of capacity and capacity development that hindered stakeholder
buy-in, ownership and understanding of the strategy development process and the Strategy itself.
Factors critical to overcoming these challenges include sufficient lead-in time to the capacity
development planning process, a proactive steering committee for Strategy development, the
composition of the strategy development team, and a realistic timescale and flexible approach to
complete the research, consultation and validation of the Strategy.

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