Capacity Development in Responsible Transitions

Issue Paper

January 1, 2020
Author: Grace Boone, CDA Collaborative Learning, Isabella Jean, Independent Consultant, and Kiely Barnard-Webster, Independent Consultant

As a consortium, we want to recognize that the topic of capacity development has been quite thoroughly discussed in the wider discourse and may, at this point, feel like a tired subject. However, we have seen capacity development come up as a theme throughout almost all of the cases and in all regional review meetings, demonstrating that it is an essential component to responsible transitions. We hope to bring a new angle to the discourse, particularly through the distinction of joint learning and mutual capacity strengthening.

Capacity development has taken many forms throughout the case studies documented by the SAS project. In some cases, it included skill development through professional development and training workshops. In others, it involved team building or personal development (confidence building, empowerment). Whatever shape it takes, change and growth of individual knowledge and skills for individuals, organizations, and communities are at the core of capacity development.

In order to make sense of how capacity development impacts responsible transitions, this Issue Paper will discuss language, analyze the case study evidence, discuss power dynamics, and conclude with considerations for INGOs supporting local and national partners’ and staff capacities during and after a transition.

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