Links I Liked

December 12, 2022

     By Duncan Green     

Harry Potter’s characters, if written by Dostoevsky ht Andrey Mir

Calling all social change leaders! Start your journey now by applying to the fully-funded Atlantic Fellows for Social and Economic Equity programme at LSE Inequalities Institute. Applications by 5pm GMT on 12 January 2023.

Unhinged and disturbing ad for roller skating, c/o Hayley Clarkin

Believing the risks of mismanagement, corruption, and theft in development are inherently greater with local partners is a prejudice that needs to be discarded, says Patrick Fine. (some very sensible suggestions in here too)

Brexit metaphor time: “I will not accept that it’s a highly dangerous road” From ITN archives. Ht Stephen R Jones

‘Germany clip, with English subtitles. It’s too good to be limited to a desi audience.’ ht Ansarim

December 12, 2022
Duncan Green


  1. The one capacity most local organisation lack is what is called is ” the capacity for survival and sustainability.” Building administrative and financial capacity of local organisations may mean little. All the professionals who benefit from these trainings would be the first to fly away with their greater market value now.Instead if you can focus on the long term survivalibility and sustainabilty of an organisation, the staff would find a reason to continue with the organisation. An organisation that retains staff and insttutional memory will be able leverage those competencies and grow. Administrative and financial capacities will be built as the organisation solves problems through its programmes giving the organisation and the staff opportunities to build their competencies. In a rare instance in 1989 USAID took this approach to capacity building of a local organisation(33) years ago in KP Pakistan. It grew into an organisation that worked with over 40 donors in over 80 projects. In 2001 DFID in a critical stage in the life of the organisation followed the same approach and it has paid rich dividends in terms of its achievent. Another critical factor often forgotten in the capacity building of organisations is the capacity of their boards. These comprise of volunteers. How can their interest be retained and how can individuals be found who will be willing to selflessly contribute. All these factors stress the need to distinguish between capacity building and building organisational capability. The latter is more than building technical competenies. Its the challenge of creating purposeful organisations

  2. A critical competency in the building local organisations is what is called ” the capacity for survival and sustainability.” Staff whose technical competencies are built are the first to leave an organisation with their new found competencies that gives them a greater market value. On the contrary in an organisation where this critical competence is present the staff have a reason to stay and the organisation retains institutional memory. Such organisations adopt an incremental approach to capacity building which comes through problem solving in the field. There are good examples from USAID and DFID and governement of Pakistan funding that has helped build capabilities of local organisations that have delivered programmes at huge scale in difficult enviroments for over 33 years. Another critical element forgotten is the roles of Boards in the oversight of these organisations. How do you find such volunteers and retain them to provide leadership. What is happening here is that its not just techical competence that is being built but the organisationalcapability to create a purposeful organisation is being focussed on. Unless this happens building local capacity is a distant dream

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