IMPLEMENTATION STEP 3: Developing capacity of staff and partners
CBA is a relatively new area, and currently, the existing technical capacity in this field of work is fairly limited, particularly in developing countries. It is important that CBA projects undertake capacity development on climate change adaptation among project staff and partners. The anticipated increase in the frequency and severity of climatic and other related hazards also necessitates capacity development in disaster risk reduction; including emergency preparedness among stakeholders.
Partnerships with local institutions (governmental and non-governmental) should explicitly seek to develop their capacity to analyse vulnerability and facilitate community based adaptation. Where appropriate, they should be guided to incorporate climate change in their plans. The lead organisation should also take advantage of partnerships to build its own capacity on CBA where appropriate.
The CARE Partnership Manual
Among other things highlighted earlier, The CARE Partnership Manual also touches on issues of capacity assessment.
Implementation Step 3.1: Evaluate existing capacity of staff and partners†
The lead organisation together with partners should undertake an evaluation of existing capacity in CBA and project management among staff and partners. This includes experience with building resilient livelihoods, building capacity and empowering target communities and local organisations, reducing disaster risk, and addressing the underlying causes of vulnerability. The evaluation will help the project teams to identify existing strengths and capacity development needs.
Pages 72 to 76 of the CARE Partnership Manual take users through two capacity assessment tools namely: the organizational capacity self-assessment and the institutional analysis of strengths, opportunities, weaknesses and threats (SWOT). The application of these tools can help project teams effectively carry out this step.
Implementation Step 3.2: Identify priorities for capacity development†
From a long list of capacity development requirements, project team and partners would need to identify priority needs, and subsequently work towards addressing them. In addition to capacity development in the four key elements of CBA outlined in Step 3.1 above, it may be important for staff and partners to be trained in conflict resolution, gender and diversity and information & knowledge management (see Implementation Step 5).
Implementation Step 3.3: Develop capacity building strategy†
Based on the priorities for capacity development, the project team would need to formulate a capacity development strategy that documents priority capacity needs; identifies the technical expertise required to address identified needs; as well as sources of the required technical expertise; the financial and other resources required for capacity development; and timelines for specific capacity development activities. In addition, a system for monitoring the effectiveness of capacity building initiatives in the CBA project should be developed and documented. Indicators of the impacts of capacity building on the CBA project should be developed. It is important for the team to allocate the required resources for capacity development and source for the required technical expertise and other resources. Please note that different capacity development activities may need to be targeted at different groups. For example, the approach adopted for training on emergency preparedness targeted at the project team may differ from the one targeted at community groups.
The CBA project team and partners would subsequently undertake capacity development activities according to the strategy. Ideally, capacity development in CBA should be done through thematic training workshops e.g. on emergency preparedness, climate change vulnerability; analysis, interpretation and use of weather information for livelihood planning; effective adaptation, design, implementation and monitoring of CBA, and its integration into relevant policies and plans. In addition, continuous on-the-job training on all aspects of CBA should be supported and facilitated. Capacity development should foster an internal culture that encourages innovation, the airing of disparate views, and critical review.
Implementation Step 3.4: Monitor effectiveness of capacity development and adjust strategy accordingly†
The CBA project team, partners, target communities and if possible, the technical experts engaged in capacity development, should work together to monitor the impacts of capacity building on CBA projects. The lead organisation should spearhead monitoring by putting in place a performance management system for staff and partners.
All project implementers should identify and document changes in the projectís operations and target communities that can be attributed to capacity development. These should also be disseminated to facilitate shared learning.
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