Jumat, 02 Juli 2010

Capacity Building and Vision for Achieving Good Governance

Concept, Strategies and Focus of Capacity Building Initiatives

In its research, GTZ (1999) mentioned that capacity building is not defined through the instruments used, but its goal to enhance the capability of people and institutions sustainability to improve their competence and problem-solving capacities. It means that instruments, tools, or methods are not the key factors in capacity building program. Instead, the process of individual and group capacity building by which an organization might be able to show the best performance is the most important part of capacity building program. Other definitions about capacity building below have similar meaning to that offered by GTZ.

  • In general terms, capacity building is a process or activity that improves the ability of a person or entity to carry out stated objectives. In practice, however, capacity building is often equated with strengthening the organizations and the people that enable services to be delivered effectively and continuously through the execution of different functions (Lisanne Brown, Anne LaFond, and Kate Mcintyre, 2001: 5).
  • Capacity development is the process by which individuals, groups, organizations, institutions and societies increase their abilities to: 1) perform core functions, solve problems, define and achieve objectives; and 2) understand and deal with their development needs in a broad context and in a sustainable manner (UNDP, 1997).
  • Capacity building refers to investment in people, institutions, and practices that will, together, enable countries in the region to achieve their development objectives (World Bank: 1997).

Basically, all definitions above highlighted at least in three aspects as follows: 1) capacity building is a process; 2) that process should be carried out at three different levels: individual, institutional/organizational, and system; and 3) that process is done to ensure organization sustainability through an objective achievement. It means that indicators functioned as a tool of measurement / assessment is completely needed.

As a process, Acosta (1991: 10) suggested that local government capacity building program should be focused on four components as follows:

  • Administrative system improvement, resulting in more flexible, responsive organizational structure, devolved resources, and efficient system and procedures.
  • Developing staff competencies, upgrading the knowledge and skills of managerial and technical manpower.
  • More effective goal-setting, creating an organizational culture that facilitates the interaction of various sectors in the community, the political leadership and the local bureaucracy in goal setting and attainment; and.
  • Internalizing public accountability, inculcating among the local political leadership and the bureaucracy the value of committed, competent, responsive, and responsible public service.

Concerning the second highlight, that is, the level of capacity building, UNDP (1998: 7) as well as MOHA and Bappenas (2001: 12-13) illustrated that capacity issues can be analyzed at three levels. Firstly, capacity issues are addressed at the individual level, then at the organizational or entity level, and finally at the system level. In the same way, Kimura (2001: 9-15) also mentioned those three critical aspects of capacity building.

Now what we need is capacity assessment or measurement. Measuring capacity at individual level, Gross’s concept (1968) might be well matched. He pointed out that government’s officer need to have the following capacities in order to function their tasks and responsibilities.

  • Knowledge, which includes general knowledge, technical knowledge, jobs and organization, administrative concept and methods, and self-knowledge.
  • Ability, which includes management, decision-making, communication, planning, actuating/organizing, evaluating/controlling, working with others, handling conflicts, intuitive thought, communication, and learning.
  • Interest, which includes action orientation, self-confidence, responsibility, and norms and ethics.

Correspondingly, as noted by UNDP (1998: 10), individual level is the most critical of capacity as a whole. This level addresses the individual’s capacity to function efficiently and effectively within the entity and within the broader system. Here, capacity assessment is designed according to the individual’s function and relationship to the entity: executive, management, supervisory, professional, and administrative. Besides, the dimensions of accountability, performance, values and ethics, incentives and securities are other important aspects in individual level capacity assessment.

In the context of Indonesian public servant, Kimura (2001: 10) proposes three activities to enlarge individual capacity, i.e. recruiting qualified persons, giving staffs more training opportunities, and providing sufficient OJT (On the Job Training).

On the other hand, at organizational level, Polidano’s (2000: 810) investigation could be the best appraisal for the public sector capacity. He proposed three important elements to measure the public sector capacity:

  • Policy capacity (the ability to structure the decision making process, coordinate it throughout government, and feed informed analysis into it).
  • Implementation authority (the ability to carry out decisions and enforce rules, within the public sector itself and the wider society).
  • Operational efficiency (the ability to deliver those services well, that is to say efficiently and at a reasonable level of quality).

Although there is a little bit diverse perspective, UNDP ‘s study also underline the way in which an organization may perform its tasks efficiently. Therefore, UNDP proposed seven dimensions of capacity at the entity level: [1]

  • Mission and strategy, include role, mandate, and definition of products / services, clients / customer served, interactions within the broader system and stakeholders, the measures of performance and success, and the presence of core strategic management capacities.
  • Culture / structure and competencies, include organization and management values, management style and standards, organizational structure and designs, and core competencies.
  • Processes, include planning, client management, relationship with other entities, research / policy development, monitoring and evaluation, and performance / quality management. Process can be both internal and external.
  • Human Resources.
  • Financial Resources.
  • Information Resources.
  • Infrastructure resources.

In the context of Indonesia, GTZ as quoted by Kimura (2001: 10) points out four factors in building capacity at institutional level, i.e. establishing horizontal process for coordinating LGU (local government unit) sectors, establishing bottom-up planning process from the village level to district level, developing ways to manage vertical planning process, and strengthening functional linkages between planning and budgeting processes.

Finally, at the system level, capacity development can be measured by assessing five dimensions below:

  • Policy dimension includes purposes of policy, ability to meet certain needs of entities, and value, which govern the entities.
  • Legal / regulatory dimensions, includes the rules, laws, norms, standards which govern the system, and within which a capacity initiatives is to function.
  • Management and accountability dimension, defines who manages the system, which is responsible for potential design, coordination, monitoring and evaluation, and all other related capacities at the system level.
  • Resources dimension, everything that may be available within the system to develop and implement the program.
  • Process dimension, includes the inter relationship, interdependencies and interactions amongst the entities in terms of the flow of resources and information, formal and informal networks of people, and even supporting communications infrastructures. (UNDP, 1998: 7-8).

From a more empirical observation, Kimura (2001: 13) suggests that for building local government capability, the most important thing is to build the system of decentralization where local government’s staffs can manage the jobs by themselves. The essence of management is not to deal with staffs, capital and facilities; they are only tools of implementing policies. But according to Mr. Konosuke Matsushita, the founder of Matsushita Electric Corporation, the essence of management are: 1) vision of the future, 2) concrete measures for attaining the vision, and 3) making clear what to do this year, this month, this week, and today according to the measures. Once the system’s capability building framework is set, it can connect with institutional and individual capability building by giving individual members the individual vision.

Apart of that, inviting social organizations for planning is another pillar for the participatory way. Without having close coordination with social organization, Local Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Agricultural Cooperative, Association of Tourism, Journalist Association, University staffs and other specialists, local government units (LGUs) cannot have developmental local governance (Kimura, ibid.).

Unfortunately, it is quite apparent that capacity building at all levels has particularly connected to human aspect. Indeed, human resources development ought to be the first priority for the local authorities since human capital may encourage the construction of non-human capacity such as capital/financial capacities and information/infrastructure capacities. In other words, the total/aggregate capacity of a region is not reflected only from human capacity, but also from non-human capacities. Both human capacity and non-human capacity, at the same time will form an internal capacity of an organization (i.e. local government). Yet, a high internal capacity cannot be used to explain that government performance in aggregate is in optimal condition.

In this regard, external indicators that can be functioned as comparative factor or assessment tools for the internal capacity is absolutely needed. This idea derived from a fact that maximum internal capacity becomes precondition in creating maximum external capacity such as public welfare, level of socio-economic development, etc. It is illogical that external performance can easily be achieved with an inadequate internal capability. Empirically, when external capacity of a region shows positive indications, it is sound to depict an assumption that it has an excellent internal capacity.

Eventually, a high local internal capacity, which is verified by positive external indicators, will create a comprehensive or aggregate local government capacity. In this context, external capacity encompasses all results or outcomes reached apart from governmental structure. However, it can only be attained from every activity done by the government. This performance may reflect in a progressive improvement of people’s welfare (proved by macro economic indicators), high quality of environment; harmonize relation between the government and its community (proved by high level of public participation, good political legitimacy, low of public complains), etc.

Role of Capacity in Promoting Good Governance and Public Service Delivery.

Similar to the concept of decentralization, the terms "governance" and "good governance" are being increasingly used in development literature. And even though the meaning of governance widely varies from country to country and from expert to expert, it has close correspondence between each other.

According to UN ESCAP (2002), governance means the process of decision-making and the process by which decisions are implemented (or not implemented). Government is one of the actors in governance; other actors involved vary depending on the level of government. In rural areas, for example, other actors may include influential landlords, agricultural cooperatives, labor unions, NGOs, research institutes, local media, religious and other informal leaders, financial institutions, etc. The situation in urban areas as well as in national level is much more complex, which embraces media, lobbyist, international donors, multinational corporations, political parties, and the military as prominent actors.

From the “social-political” perspective, Kooiman (2002: 5) reveals that governance is all those interactive arrangements in which public as well as private actors participate aimed at solving societal problems, or creating societal opportunities, attending to the institutions within which these governance activities take place, and the stimulation of normative debates on the principle underlying all governance activities.

Correspondingly, UNDP (1997: 9-10) elucidates that governance is defined as the exercise of political, economic and administrative authority to manage a nation’s affairs. It is the complex mechanisms, processes, relationships and institutions through which citizens and groups articulate their interests, exercise their rights and obligations and mediate their differences. Hence governance embraces all of the methods that societies use to distribute power and manage public resources and problems. Sound governance is therefore a subset of governance, in which public resources and problems are managed effectively, efficiently and in response to critical needs of society. Effective democratic forms of governance rely on public participation, accountability and transparency.

In this broad conceptualization, four types of governance are identified, which, to varying degrees, are all subject to the influence of civil society and the private sector (UNDP 1997: ibid).

  • Economic governance includes processes of decision-making that directly or indirectly affects a country’s economic activities or its relationships with other economies. UNDP recognizes that economic governance has a major influence on societal issues, such as equity, poverty and quality of life.
  • Political governance refers to decision-making and policy implementation of a legitimate and authoritative state. The state should consist of separate legislative, executive and judicial branches, represent the interests of a pluralist polity, and allow citizens to freely elect their representatives.
  • Administrative governance is a system of policy implementation carried out through an efficient, independent, accountable and open public sector.

Based on the above explanation of governance, it can be summarized that (good) governance both at national and local level is characterized by effective, efficient, economic, and entrepreneurial government in conducting and achieving both developmental programs and goals. It is also typified by accountable and transparent system of decision-making. Subsequently, in order to produce good governance, capacity of each actors of governance, institutionally and individually, needs to be strengthened. It is quite realistic, therefore, to say that capacity building constitutes the prerequisite or condition sine qua non of the local good governance.

In the framework of strengthening the capacity of governance system, enhancing public participation in the process of development and decision-making concerning the public interest, is really a strategic preference. The process of capacity building should not encompass only governmental units and staffs, but also business sectors as well as individual citizens and social groups. In this sense, Adam (2002: 7) points out that there is no good governance without the active involvement and participation of the community at large. Without an increased demand for good governance and for incorrupt practices in administering public services, the supply of both will not change. Therefore, permanent links should be established with all kinds of citizens and their organizations such as NGO’s and their network, citizen’s organization, mass organizations, local free media, etc. so that the public perception of governance is recorded and subsequently channeled to the target group.

In line with Adam’s view, Fiszbein (1997: 3) also alleges that partnership constitutes a strategy for capacity enhancement. He says that:

If the ultimate objective of a strategy of decentralization is achieving developmental impact (or effectiveness in the delivery of services) what matters is not just whether the local government will have the required capacity, but the degree to which local actors (public and private) have or can develop it. This brings up the role of partnerships between the state and the private sector (business, NGOs, community groups) as a tool to enhance local capacity.

Theoretically, public participation or public-private partnership is indeed a vital way to realize a more effective development through a more democratic mechanism. However, theoretical approach sometimes does not match with the reality. In this case, the actual operation of local government plan management is far more important. It means that development process should be good combination of the following planning cycle: analysis of present situation, creation of plan with priority setting, implementation, and evaluation. It is also important to always connect everyday activity with development plan, both in the long-term, middle term, and short-term.

The next issue concerning the efforts to realize local good governance, therefore, is the way or method of building people’s participation and strengthening partnership between public and private sectors. In this sense, Aliani (2002) has studied 8 countries’ experiences in promoting public involvement in the development processes, which can be summarized as follows:

·         Direct engagement in the cities through task specific non-governmental organizations concentrating on and fighting for certain developmental or remedial issues (India);
·         Less direct engagement through mechanisms such as media and letters to newspapers, posters and books (India);
·         Formal attempts at engagement through the ward system with members acting as public auditors of the development process (India);
·         The most practical way for local communities to engage is through the so called bottom up planning mechanism (Indonesia);
·         Symposiums or informal gatherings are held in each area, questionnaire surveys are undertaken and people are encouraged to voice their opinions and ideas (Japan);
·         Advisory community boards operate in New Zealand with dual roles. They provide a more approachable engagement for people daunted by large organizations. They also maintain, on behalf of the community, a watching brief on the performance of the local authority;
·         Direct participation takes the form of social consultation and dialogue; writing letters and visits to state organs; worker and staff congress (China);
·         Citizen petition, resident voting, resident request for audit and investigation, participation in committees, etc. (Korea);
·         An important feature of participation in the region is the referendum or similar form of direct democracy;
·         A court of governance where the conflicts between citizens and the state and their officials are settled. Parliamentary Ombudsman will be established to receive complaints and petitions. An independent anti-corruption commission will be also created by the parliament to conduct investigations (Thailand);
·         Direct participation is possible formally through referendums, polls, petitions, attendance at committee meetings informally through media, and community action groups (Australia).

From such cross-country experiences, it can be implied that there are two sides of demands for participation. On one side there are arguments that citizens should participate in the affairs of state. Its importance is emphasized and promoted as a democratic right or, as in China, participation is the expression and essential character of the socialist democratic system. On the other side, as evidenced in Bangladesh, civil society groups are now coming forward to begin action and invite/encourage local governments to participate with them. This has been in response to the inaction or incapacity of local governments to develop innovative approaches to problems. Likewise, increased public participation in Japan has been a response of citizen action (Aliani, ibid.).

When the public participation has been well developed, in turn, the quality of public service provisions will automatically be much better. The case of Mexico shows that community committees manage rural investment in simple infrastructures such as small water supply systems, rural roads and bridges, and school building under the municipal fund project introduced in 1990. Studies have found that the cost of these projects is often one-half to two-thirds that of similar projects managed by state or federal agencies (Bardhan, 1997: 49). He also underscores that in any examples, decentralization with local accountability improves service in public facilities. Such decentralization may also help in resolving collective-action problem in the management of common property resources and avoiding the so-called tragedy of the commons.

Hence, it can be understood that decentralization policy followed by capacity building is expected to produce not only a betterment of people’s participation in the development but also an improvement of public service quality and public well-being. In other words, decentralization and capacity building can be deemed as a leveraging factor in encouraging the incidence of the democratic developmental regime.


Adam, Rainer, 2002, “Promoting Democracy and Good Governance by Supporting Administrative Accountability and the Prevention of Power Abuse in Indonesia – Capacity Building for Local Governance in Sumatra” in Friedrich Naumann Foundation Indonesia Programme, Capacity Building for Good Governance and Democracy, Jakarta. Available at http://www3.fnst.de/pdf/indonesien.pdf
Aliani, Ahmad Hameed, 2002, Local Government in Asia and the Pacific: A Comparative Analysis of Fifteen Countries, paper presented in the 2nd International Conference on Decentralization, Manila. Available at http://www.decentralization.ws/icd2/papers/local_gov_ap.htm
Bardhan, Pranab, 1997, The Role of Governance in Economic Development: A Political Economy Approach, Development Center of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, OECD, Paris.
BPS, BAPPENAS, and UNDP, 2001, Indonesian Human Development Report 2001: Towards A New Consensus, Democracy and Human Development in Indonesia, Jakarta.
Fiszbein, Ariel, 1997, Decentralization and Local Capacity: Some Thoughts on a Controversial Relationship, Documentation on Technical Consultation on Decentralization, Rome: Sustainable Development Department, FAO. Available at http://www.fao.org/SD/ROdirect/ROfo0012.htm  
Gross, Bertram M., 1968, Organizations and Their Managing, New York: Free Press.
Kimura, Hirotsune, 2001, “The Capacity Building for Democratic Developmental Local Governance”, in Kimura Hirotsune, Local Government Capacity Building and Poverty Alleviation: Policies Within the Framework of Decentralization, Cases of The Philippines and Indonesia, Research Report, GSID Nagoya University.
Kooiman, Jan, 2002, Governance: A Social-Political Perspective, available at the net: http://www.ifs.to-darmstadt.de/pg/heinelt/p_eu_2000-2002-kooiman.pdf
MOHA, BAPPENAS and GTZ, 2003, National Framework for Capacity Building to Support Decentralization, As signed by the Minister of Home Affairs and the State Minister for National Development Planning/Head of BAPPENAS on 6 November 2002. Available online at http://www.gtzsfdm.or.id/documents/cap_bld/reports/working_papers/FrameworkNov%202002_EnglishVersion_Final.pdf
Polidano, C., May 2000, “Measuring Public Sector Capacity”, in World Development, Vol. 28 Number 5.
UNDP, 1997, Reconceptualizing Governance, Discussion Paper No. 2. Management Development and Governance Division, Bureau for Policy and Programme Support. See at http://magnet.undp.org/Docs/!UN98-21.PDF/Recon.htm.
_______________, 1998, Capacity Assessment and Development In a System and Strategic Management Context, Technical Advisory Paper No. 3, Management Development and Governance Division, Bureau for Development Policy.
UN ESCAP (United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific), 2002, What Is Good Governance? Available online at http://www.unescap.org/huset/gg/governance.htm

This article is taken from a part of my Master Thesis, “Decentralization and Capacity Building in Indonesian Local Administration: A Long Journey for Discovering a Model of ‘Democratic Developmental Regime’ (Case Study of Bandung City Government)”, 2004, Graduate School of International Development, Nagoya University, Japan.

[1]     In this paper, capacity at the organizational / entity level is focused only on first three dimensions. These three dimensions actually reflect indirectly the capacity of human resources. The other three dimensions, i.e. financial, information and infrastructure are classified as internal non-human capacity.

Tidak ada komentar: