Capacity Building Framework 2: UNPD (2008)

The second framework was designed mainly for development policies but as a tool it can be customized for concepts such as capacity assets and needs for policy and strategy formulation. Therefore, it is most useful to a whole approach to improve system capacity.

The UNDP capacity development framework has three mutually enforcing dimensions or levels of capacity (Figure 23):

  • Points of entry
  • Core issues
  • Technical and functional capacities

A distinction is made between three points of entry:

  • Enabling environment (societal or institutional level; regulatory and legislative environment in which organizations and individuals operate, including policies, rules, norms, values governing mandates, priorities, modes of operation, culture, game rules for interacting across sectors; national, local, sectoral level);
  • Organizations (operating across sectors, public or private agencies, central or decentralized government and ministerial agencies, civil society and community-based organizations, and networks of organizations);
  • Individuals (skills and knowledge of the people involved, job descriptions, training and staff development programmes).

Core issues refer to the domains encountered across sectors that drive capacity change:

  • Institutional arrangements (policies, procedures and processes to manage the execution of development, rule of law, measuring change and other functions of state)
  • Leadership (e.g. rally others around a common goal, create vision)
  • Knowledge (using information and expertise to develop effective solutions)
  • Accountability (rights holders and duty bearers deliver on their obligations)

Technical capacities (associated with particular areas of expertise and practice) and functional capacities encompass:

  • Capacity to engage stakeholders
    • Identify, motivate and mobilize stakeholders
    • Create partnerships and networks>
    • Promote engagement of civil society and private sector
    • Manage large group processes and open dialogue
    • Mediate divergent interests
    • Establish collaborative mechanisms
  • Capacity to assess a situation and create vision and mandate
    • Access, gather and disaggregate data and information
    • Analyse and synthesize data and information
    • Articulate capacity assets and needs
    • Translate information into a vision and/or a mandate
  • Capacity to formulate policies and strategies
    • Explore different perspectives
    • Set objectives
    • Elaborate sectoral and cross-sectoral policies
    • Manage priority-setting mechanisms
  • Capacity to budget management and implementation
    • Formulate, plan and manage projects and programmes, including the capacity to prepare a budget and to estimate capacity development costs
    • Manage human and financial resources and procurement
    • Set indicators for monitoring and monitor process
  • Capacity to evaluate
    • Measure results and collect feedback to adjust policies
    • Codify lessons and promote learning
    • Ensure accountability to all relevant stakeholders


Figure 23

Next: Capacity Assessment and Capacity Audit