Capacity Building for Democratic Local Governance - Advantages and Limitations

  • Increases local capacity building resources by qualifying local organisations and establishing facilitator teams who are able to provide sustainable advisory services on local governance issues.
  • Promotes a systemic approach by targeting the entire system of governance including: local self-governments, government players, civil society representatives, citizens and the media and improves the dynamics of development management by strengthening the capacities of the supply side of the service providers and improving upon the bargaining power on the demand side.
  • Applies a broad and flexible range of capacity building tools according to the needs of participants and the challenges posed by the governance environment.
  • Promotes gender equality by mainstreaming gender issues throughout  all programme interventions and by providing specific support e.g. to women in public office and women’s organisations.
  • Commences from the core responsibilities in development management, such as planning and implementation, financial management, bidding and procurement procedures.
  • Leads to tangible results in terms of improved quality in the delivery of public services.
  • The capacity of local NGOs, training and/or consultancy organisations to facilitate and moderate change processes in support of good local governance can be extremely limited, thereby requiring intensive supporting programme resources.
  • Institutionalisation of proven approaches often poses a particular  challenge and may require extensive efforts and resources.
  • Decision-makers often do not budget for hiring consultancy services, thus rendering the newly created services redundant.
  • Capacity building is a comprehensive instrument. Particularly in challenging environments with low development indicators whereby greater returns can only be expected on a longer-term perspective.
  • Fiscal reform processes are often inappropriate in terms of providing local self-governments with sufficient authority and resources, thereby carrying the risk that local self-governments cannot deliver without external support.
  • Limited commitment or even resistance of national and local powerbrokers can jeopardise capacity building efforts.
  • Its full impact is often constrained due to incompleteness, contradictions and/or continuous changes in the legal and regulatory framework.