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CDIA Harmonizes Capacity Development Assistance Across City Interventions

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Part of CDIA’s support to cities under its project preparation studies (PPS) is the conduct of institutional assessments and the preparation of capacity development roadmaps that will enable them to implement, operate and maintain their infrastructure projects in a more efficient and sustainable manner.

To set the standard for these roadmaps, CDIA has prepared a set of guidelines for its urban development experts so they can identify appropriate capacity development measures.

“We adjust every PPS to city context and we do the same for our capacity development assistance,” says CDIA Capacity Development Specialist Kathleen Jovellanos. “By preparing the guidelines, we hope to harmonize our outputs and enhance the delivery of our services.”

In line with Strategy 2018-2022, CDIA has adopted a focused capacity development approach, whereby capacity building support is fully integrated into its infrastructure project preparation activities. Key to this approach is the mainstreaming of capacity development roadmaps designed to address issues that may affect the implementation and sustainability of projects.

CDIA takes a holistic approach in the preparation of the roadmaps by looking at the three dimensions of capacity development: individual, organizational and institutional aspects. At the individual level, CDIA  experts study the level of competency and skills of individuals who will implement, operate and maintain the proposed interventions. At the organizational level, they assess the capacity of implementing agencies and ensure the support of all other relevant agencies to the project. At the institutional level, experts look at the broader context to ensure that supporting and coherent regulatory frameworks are in place, and that the project is in sync with the city and the national government’s approach to development.

Based on this assessment, CDIA experts prepare capacity building and institutional roadmaps that detail the short, medium and long-term interventions to address the capacity needs across these dimensions.

“Where possible and appropriate, we [CDIA] help address the short-term needs of our partner cities during the PPS through topical training and city-to-city learning experiences,” explains Kathleen. “Downstream financiers, on the other hand, are expected to respond to the cities’ medium-term capacity development needs during project design and construction. Upon project turnover, cities are expected to undertake the long-term measures on their own or with universities and government learning institutions,” she adds.

Over the years, CDIA’s institutional capacity development roadmaps have been varied in terms of level of analysis, content and format. The development of guidelines is an important step to ensure a uniform approach and high standard for all capacity development roadmaps prepared by CDIA.

“Capacity development is such an important aspect of our PPS because we understand that no matter how sophisticated the infrastructure projects are, if the implementers lack the capacity and the enabling environment to make the projects work, they will only go to waste,” says Kathleen.

“The guidelines will ensure that the capacity development roadmaps we can leave with our city partners can truly help them effectively prepare, implement and maintain their infrastructure projects beyond our short-term assistance.”

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