What are the most effective methods for donors to support institutional
strengthening/capacity building of stand alone parastatal organisations
or similar organisations?
Options for support include providing a full-time technical person for a
couple of years, twinning with another similar institution in another
country, or providing intermittent in-out support, mentoring of the
chief executive, etc. Do you know of any evaluations that have been done
looking at which approaches work best or what factors help with success?
Capacity building is mainly seen as a way for organisations to become
better equipped to support themselves and to increase their productivity
and, thereby, their competitiveness. Few rigorous evaluations that have
sought to compare different capacity development strategies, rather than
the outcomes of specific projects and the evaluative literature in this
field is weak. An important theme in the literature was the
importantance of conducting a needs assessment including the current
state of the organisation as the best way of capacity building will
Literature and experts suggest that of the strategies considered for
capacity development, developing longer term twinning arrangements would
be the preferred option and the reasons for this are presented in
section 2 along with some case studies and lessons learned from using
this approach. It is important not to focus only on developing
individual skills and also think carefully about broader organisational
factors that may support or inhibit success. This may be a problem with
providing technical assistance and this is presented in section 3.
Sections 4-6 consider other options and suggest a weakness with
providing intermittent support is that consistency is an important
Holley, C. Helpdesk Report: Institutional Strengthening of Parastatal Organisations. Human Development Resource Centre, UK (2012) 15 pp.
Helpdesk Report: Institutional Strengthening of Parastatal Organisations