Accepted Paper:

"X people trained: so what?" Incentives and challenges in the measurement of international development training programmes  


Ella Haruna (University of Wolverhampton, Centre for International Development and Training)

Paper short abstract:

This paper problematizes donor demand for demonstration of results of international development training programmes alongside the near universal acceptance of capacity development activities; exploring challenges of assessing capacity strengthening outcomes from a practitioner perspective.

Paper long abstract:

The University Centre where the author works has for 45 years embraced the notion that Capacity Development (CD) lies at the heart of all sustainable International Development. In current development agendas almost every international development project claims to build, develop or strengthen capacity. At the same time, measuring and attributing the long-term impacts of short to medium-term CD activity and evidencing the return on investment pose a challenge for practitioners. This paper asks whether the combination of methodological challenges in CD evaluation and the universal championing of CD projects in ID undermines or enhances more effective capacity strengthening. It draws on the author's experience delivering capacity strengthening projects in multiple countries with multiple agencies, particularly an externally funded short-term training programme delivered across 19 countries in the Caribbean. This preliminary research explores the opportunities and constraints to measure and demonstrate results in training-focused capacity strengthening from a practitioner perspective and assesses how far donor attitudes towards CD influence the 'burden of proof' on investments in training.

Panel D3
How do we know it works? Exploring methods for evaluating the impact of capacity strengthening in international development