Making policies work

Capacity, Change and Performance study

In 2009, ECDPM completed a five-year research programme entitled ‘Capacity, Change and Performance’.


About the study


The Capacity, Change and Performance study provides fresh perspectives on the topic of capacity and its development. It does so by highlighting endogenous perspectives – how capacity develops from within, rather than focusing on what outsiders do to induce it. The research also embraces ideas on capacity development drawn from literature outside the context of development cooperation.

Key questions addressed by the study are: What does capacity look like? How does capacity develop endogenously? What is the driving force behind successful capacity development? Does better capacity necessarily lead to better performance? And what can outsiders do to support capacity development?

Although the research draws implications for international development cooperation, it does not specifically examine donor agency experiences in capacity development, or related issues of aid management and effectiveness.

A total of 16 case studies were prepared that embrace a wide spectrum of capacity situations covering different sectors, objectives, geographic locations and organisational histories – from churches in Papua New Guinea to a tax office in Rwanda to nation-wide networks in Brazil. The case studies are complemented by seven thematic papers and five workshop reports.

The study was funded by ACBF (Zimbabwe), AusAID (Australia), CIDA (Canada), COEP (Brazil), DFID (United Kingdom), DGIS (the Netherlands), Fondazione Piero e Lucille Corti (Italy), JICA (Japan), OECD/DAC, Sida (Sweden), SNV (Netherlands), and UNDP.


Capacity-Change-Performance-Study-Report-150x213 Capacity, Change and Performance – Study report
Heather Baser and Peter Morgan, ECDPM Discussion Paper 59b, April 2008


This final report is written for people interested and involved in capacity development work. It offers insights as much for managers and staff of public sector and civil society organisations as it does for external agencies – either those providing capacity development services to local organisations or donors that finance capacity development work.


Capacity-Change-Performance-ECDPM-PMB-21-150x213 Capacity, Change and Performance – Key findings and conclusions
Tony Land and Volker Hauck, ECDPM Policy Management Brief 21, December 2008


This Policy Management Brief highlights the key findings and conclusions of the final report. It presents implications for external agencies engaged in capacity development in the context of international development cooperation.


Capacity-Development-Interventions-Processes-PMB-22-150x211 Capacity development: Between planned interventions and emergent processes 
Tony Land, Volker Hauck and Heather Baser, ECDPM Policy Management Brief 22, March 2009


This Policy Management Brief draws on the findings of the Capacity, Change and Performance study. It aims to contribute to a growing body of knowledge on capacity development. It does so by highlighting the study’s main findings on how capacity develops as well as by taking account of evolving insights on this discussion. However, it provides no more than an introduction to a complex topic.


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Synthesis – study report and interim reports


Capacity development: Between planned interventions and emergent processes
Tony Land, Volker Hauck and Heather Baser, ECDPM Policy Management Brief 22, March 2009

Capacity, Change and Performance – Insights and Implications for Development Cooperation (key findings and conclusions)
Tony Land and Volker Hacuk, ECDPM Policy Management Brief 21, December 2008

Capacity, Change and Performance – Study Report
Heather Baser and Peter Morgan, ECDPM Discussion Paper 59b, April 2008

Study on Capacity, Change and Performance – Interim report
Peter Morgan, Tony Land and Heather Baser, ECDPM Discussion Paper 59a, April 2005

Capacity development: the why’s and how’s (PDF)
Capacity.org, Issue 19, October 2003

Bibliography Capacity, Change and Performance study (PDF)
Peter Morgan, 2003.


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Analysis – case studies


Resilience and high performance amidst conflict, epidemics and extreme poverty – The Lacor Hospital, northern Uganda
Volker Hauck, ECDPM Discussion Paper 57a, 2004

Developing capacity for participatory development in the context of decentralisation – Takalar district, South Sulawesi province, Indonesia
Tony Land, ECDPM Discussion Paper 57b, 2004

COEP-Comitê de Entidades no Combate à Fome e pela Vida – Mobilising against hunger and for life: An analysis of capacity and change in a Brazilian network
John Saxby, ECDPM Discussion Paper 57c, October 2004

Developing capacity for tax administration – The Rwanda Revenue Authority
Tony Land, ECDPM Discussion Paper 57d, November 2004

Ringing the church bell – The role of churches in governance and public performance in Papua New Guinea
Volker Hauck, Angela Mandie-Filer and Joe Bolger, ECDPM Discussion Paper 57e, January 2005

Papua New Guinea’s Health Sector – A review of Capacity, Change and Performance issues 
Angela Mandie-Filer, Joe Bolger and Volker Hauck, ECDPM Discussion Paper 57f, January 2005

Capacity building for decentralised education service delivery in Pakistan
David Watson and Adnan Qadir Khan, ECDPM Discussion Paper 57g, July 2005

Capacity building for decentralised education service delivery in Ethiopia
David Watson and Lisanne Yohannes, ECDPM Discussion Paper 57h, July 2005

Capacity building for decentralised education service delivery in Ethiopia and Pakistan – A comparative analysis
David Watson, ECDPM Discussion Paper 57i, June 2005

Organising for large-scale system change – The Environmental Action (ENACT) programme, Jamaica
Peter Morgan, ECDPM Discussion Paper 57j, May 2005

Building capabilities for performance – The Environment and Sustainable Development Unit (ESDU) of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS)
Peter Morgan, ECDPM Discussion Paper 57k, May 2005

Networking collaboratively – The Brazilian Observatório on Human Resources in Health
Francisco Eduardo Campos and Volker Hauck, ECDPM Discussion Paper 57l, September 2005

The growth of capacity in IUCN in Asia
Anne Rademacher, ECDPM Discussion Paper 57m, December 2005

The Philippines-Canada Local Government Support Programme – A case study of local government capacity development in the Philippines
Agriteam Canada Consulting Ltd., ECDPM Discussion Paper 57n, April 2006

Strategic Positioning and trade-related capacity development – The case of CTPL and Russia
Phil Rourke, ECDPM Discussion Paper 57O, April 2006

A note on capabilities that contribute to the success of non-governmental organisations
Niloy Banerjee, ECDPM Discussion Paper 57p, July 2006

Building the capacity for managing public service reform: The Tanzania experience
Peter Morgan and Heather Baser, ECDPM Discussion Paper 57q, January 2007

National Action Committee of the Western Cape: summary of the NACWC case (South Africa) (PDF)
Peter Morgan, 2004


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Reflection – thematic papers


A balanced approach to monitoring and evaluating capacity and performance: A proposal for a framework
Paul Engel, Niels Keijzer and Tony Land, ECDPM Discussion Paper 58E, December 2007

Capacity Development in Fragile States
Derrick Brinkerhoff, ECDPM Discussion Paper 58d, May 2007

Networks and Capacity
Suzanne Taschereau and Joe Bolger, ECDPM Discussion Paper 58c, February 2007

The Concept of Capacity – A contribution to the larger report, Capacity, Change and Performance
Peter Morgan, May 2006

Organisational Legitimacy, Capacity and Capacity Development
Derrick Brinkerhoff, ECDPM Discussion Paper 58a, June 2005

Monitoring and Evaluation of Capacity and Capacity Development
David Watson, ECDPM Discussion Paper 58b, April 2006 (version française)

The idea and practice of systems thinking and their relevance for capacity development
Peter Morgan, 2005


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Methodology


Methodology of the Capacity, Change and Performance study (PDF)
Peter Morgan, 2003


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Policy dialogue – workshops


Thematic workshops were organised on issues which have arisen out of the research.

LenCD forum: ‘Addressing the Paris Declaration: Collective Responsibility for Capacity Development: What Works and What Doesn’t’
3-5 October 2006, Nairobi
The Learning Network on Capacity Development (LenCD) sponsored this 2.5-day forum.
Download presentation (PDF)

Final workshop
15-17 May 2006, Maastricht
Download workshop report (PDF)

Workshop on Monitoring and Evaluation
1-3 March 2006, Maastricht
Download workshop report (PDF)

Networks meeting
20-21 September 2005, Maastricht
Download workshop report (PDF)

Workshop on Systems Thinking and Capacity Development
30 June 2005, Maastricht
Download workshop report (PDF)

Workshop on Systems Thinking and Capacity Development
16-17 March 2005, Maastricht
Download workshop report (PDF)

The (intermediary) results of the study were presented and discussed in several meetings.

LenCD forum: ‘Addressing the Paris Declaration: Collective Responsibility for Capacity Development: What Works and What Doesn’t’
3-5 October 2006, Nairobi
The Learning Network on Capacity Development (LenCD) sponsored this 2.5-day forum.
Download presentation (PDF)

Meeting of the Learning Network on Capacity development and the DAC Govnet
October 2005, Paris
Download presentation (PDF)

Meeting of the Learning Network on Programme Based Approaches
April 2005, Washington
Download presentation (PDF)

Meeting of the Learning Network on Capacity development and the DAC Govnet
26-28 January 2005, Paris
Download presentation (PDF)

Meeting of Learning Network on Capacity Development Based Approaches
2 November 2004, Bonn
Download presentation (PDF)

Meeting of the Network (Govnet) on Governance of the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the OECD
26-28 January 2004, Paris


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Complementary papers


Capacity Development and State Building – Issues, Evidence and Implications for DFID (PDF)
Graham Teskey, Department for International Development, 2005

What is Capacity? Going beyond Conventional (PDF)
Peter Morgan, Nordic Africa Wisdom Institute news, 2004


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Discussion papers in French – documents de réflexion en français


Résilience et haute performance au milieu des conflits, des épidémies et de l’extrême pauvreté – L’hôpital de Lacor dans le nord de l’Ouganda
Volker Hauck, Document de réflexion ECDPM 57a, octobre 2006

Développer les capacités d’une administration fiscale – L’Office rwandais des recettes
Tony Land, Document de réflexion ECDPM 57d, octobre 2006

Renforcement des capacités pour la fourniture décentralisée des services d’éducation en Éthiopie
David Watson et Lisanne Yohannes, Document de réflexion 57h, decembre 2006

Acquisition de compétences collectives pour la performance – L’unité environnement et développement durable (ESDU) de l’Organisation des États de la Caraïbe de l’Est (OECS)
Peter Morgan, Document de réflexion ECDPM 57k, octobre 2006

Constituer une capacité de gestion de la réforme du service public – L’expérience Tanzanienne
Peter Morgan and Heather Baser, Document de réflexion ECDPM 57q, février 2007

Le suivi et l’évaluation des capacités et du renforcement des capacités
Watson, D, Document de réflexion ECDPM 58b, octobre 2006


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ECDPM-Dossier-Financing-Development-Photo-by-Johngard-SXC-485x250

See also our dossier on capacity, change and performance.