Smart, systemic and sustainable capacity development for effective national implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Who will own and lead the national implementation process of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)?

In line with development effectiveness principles, the proposal is to take a smart, systemic and sustainable capacity development (human and institutional) approach to enable transformative, country-driven and impactful implementation of the SDGs.

A smart and systemic capacity development approach interdependently strengthens:

  • individual capacities (e.g. knowledge, skills and competencies),
  • organizational and institutional capacities (e.g. performance of organizations, cross-sectoral multi-stakeholder coordination mechanisms) as well as
  • the systemic capacities (e.g. the enabling environment such as sound regulatory and policy frameworks, effective governance, institutional linkages, networks and enhanced political commitment and will).

Concretely, this means jointly with stakeholders:

(a) assessing capacity strengths, needs and priorities

(b) define and design contextualized capacity development interventions and

(c) define meaningful results and track progress.

Practical tools, methods, approaches and experiences are available by a variety of development actors, including the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

In sum, it will take “two-to-tango” for effective SDGs national level implementation- coherent and coordinated approach among development actors as well as capacities and commitment by developing countries.

A smart, systemic and sustainable  capacity development approach in line with development effectiveness principles can make a tangible and meaningful contribution towards this aim.

Disclaimer: This is a contribution to the United Nations Open Consultation on Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is a personal opinion with reference to institutional approaches on effective capacity development approach of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)


Measuring Capacity Development: What and How: Chapter 3 in “FAO’s Learning Module 2- Approaches to Capacity Development in Programming”

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), 2015, author 

How can human and institutional capacity development (CapDev) interventions be tracked more effectively?

Intended for policy makers and development practitioners, this chapter provides guidance with practical tools on how to

(a) track CapDev results using results-based management and alternative techniques

(b) define appropriate CapDev objectives, outcomes, outputs and indicators and

(c) monitor and evaluate CapDev results.

Note: Authors of the original chapter are Mariagrazia Rocchigiani (FAO) with the support of Mohan Dhamotaran (InWent).

Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships, Processes and Diplomacy at Global Policy Level- A study of the United Nations Working Group on Internet Governance

Diplo Foundation, Geneva, March 2007

This case study identifies universal lessons learned about multi-stakeholder partnerships, multi-stakeholder processes and multi-stakeholder diplomacy at the global policy level through a participatory methodology with expert interviews and an online electronic survey.

More specifically, the study aims to

• provide a detailed evaluation of the innovative, multi-stakeholder United Nations Working Group on Internet Governance (WGIG) aimed to contribute to a more inclusive Internet Governance regime and Information Society

• strengthen the understanding of multi-stakeholder partnerships and to the application of Information and Communication Technologies for Development, focusing on the enabling environment that facilitates universal and affordable access to the information society

• offer insights into modes of professional interaction between stakeholders through principles of “multi-stakeholder diplomacy”

• test a slightly contextualized multi-stakeholder partnerships methodology developed by the Overseas Development Institute