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Capacity development in fragile environments Insights from parliaments in Africa

Capacity development in fragile environments Insights from parliaments in Africa Capacity development in fragile environments in Africa has often proven to be a complex undertaking. This has largely been because of existing knowledge gaps on what exactly causes fragility of states, the economy and society. The liberal peace development model that generally informs postconflict reconstruction and capacity development has a limited conception of fragility by narrowly focusing on the national dimensions of the problem, promoting donordriven solutions, emphasizing minimal participation of beneficiary actors in the identification and prioritization of capacity development needs, and by subcontracting the design and management of projects and programs. The resulting capacity development impact has generally been disappointing. In the absence of homegrown strategic plans, stakeholder participation and ownership, international development partners have all too often addressed capacity gaps by financing training, supply of equipment and professional exchanges of parliamentarians and parliamentary staffers. These efforts usually achieved their presumed number targets but tended to ignore addressing the larger issues of political economy within which capacity development take place. However, the recent reconceptualization of parliamentary capacity development as a development of nationally owned, coordinated, harmonized, and aligned development activities seems to be gaining growing attention in Africa. As the experience of Rwanda eloquently demonstrates, capacity development is essentially about politics, economics and power, institutions and incentives, habits and attitudes factors that are only partly susceptible to technical fixes and quantitative specifications. These structural factors have to be negotiated carefully and tactfully. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png World Journal of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development Emerald Publishing

Capacity development in fragile environments Insights from parliaments in Africa

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
2042-5961
DOI
10.1108/20425961201000034
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Capacity development in fragile environments in Africa has often proven to be a complex undertaking. This has largely been because of existing knowledge gaps on what exactly causes fragility of states, the economy and society. The liberal peace development model that generally informs postconflict reconstruction and capacity development has a limited conception of fragility by narrowly focusing on the national dimensions of the problem, promoting donordriven solutions, emphasizing minimal participation of beneficiary actors in the identification and prioritization of capacity development needs, and by subcontracting the design and management of projects and programs. The resulting capacity development impact has generally been disappointing. In the absence of homegrown strategic plans, stakeholder participation and ownership, international development partners have all too often addressed capacity gaps by financing training, supply of equipment and professional exchanges of parliamentarians and parliamentary staffers. These efforts usually achieved their presumed number targets but tended to ignore addressing the larger issues of political economy within which capacity development take place. However, the recent reconceptualization of parliamentary capacity development as a development of nationally owned, coordinated, harmonized, and aligned development activities seems to be gaining growing attention in Africa. As the experience of Rwanda eloquently demonstrates, capacity development is essentially about politics, economics and power, institutions and incentives, habits and attitudes factors that are only partly susceptible to technical fixes and quantitative specifications. These structural factors have to be negotiated carefully and tactfully.

Journal

World Journal of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable DevelopmentEmerald Publishing

Published: Oct 1, 2011

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