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Capacity development for governance and decentralization

The Royal Tropical Institute (KIT) has published a dossier on capacity development for local governance and rural decentralization in the South.

In development cooperation and related literature, the term “capacity development” is alternately used to refer to an objective, approach, process, input or result. It remains a complex and elusive concept, but is relatively unanimously considered to be a “key issue” for development. It is seen as an important element to improving the processes of decision-making, institutional development and empowerment, recognising the various actors who contribute to that improvement.

Capacity development is an essential basis for decentralization and local governance. All types of decentralization assume the transfer of authority and responsibility from the central to the local (sub-national) levels of governance. Local levels of governance need to have sufficient capacity to absorb the transferred responsibilities and to perform the delegated functions efficiently and effectively. Improving the quality of public services and promoting local development requires effective local institutions that can formulate and implement policies, as well as manage public services in line with citizens’ aspirations.

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