Capacity development remains the most significant and central issue among the development priorities of developing countries. Unfortunately, it also remains the most elusive.
According to the World Bank, annual investment in capacity development in the developing world exceeds $2 billion. By any measure, this is a substantial investment. The tangible returns on this investment however remain far from satisfactory. The evaluation reports of the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank testify that results for the billions spent on capacity development each year continue to disappoint.
Despite all the aid and capacity development provided, many African and Pacific countries continue to fall behind on basic development indicators such as the Millennium Development Goals. The Pacific for instance, has been the beneficiary of over $17 billion in development assistance over the last 25 years. Yet, the majority of Pacific countries still lag behind most of the developing world on their MDG indicators.
The central issue is – where are we going wrong with regard to capacity development? There is obviously something fundamentally amiss with the models and approaches used if expected results are not being achieved.