Networks and CapacityA theme paper prepared for the ECDPM study ‘Capacity, Change and Performance’
This paper aims to contribute to the conceptual understanding of capacity and capacity development in networks and to explore implications for practice.
The paper responds to the following questions:
1. What distinguishes networks from other organizational forms?
2. What capabilities are needed to make them work effectively?
3. How do these capabilities develop over time?
4. What are some of the implications for addressing capacity issues in networks, including choices of intervention strategies?
The paper draws on in depth cases undertaken in the context of the ECDPM study on Capacity, Change and Performance and on the broader literature on networks that is grounded in development practice. A number of core capabilities that are needed to make networks work effectively are reviewed and supported with examples.
The ECDPM study was initiated at the behest of the chair of the Network on Governance and Capacity Development (GOVNET) of the OECD's Development Assistance Committee (DAC). In addition to the five theme papers, the study includes 18 cases from Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Pacific and the Caribbean – see the website for details. The other theme papers are on: the concept of capacity, systems thinking and its relevance to capacity development, legitimacy and capacity development and monitoring and evaluation of capacity development.