Institutional Capacity Building
This article has been extracted from the ENCORA Theme 10 stand-alone European Action Plan (EAP) on Capacity Building for ICZM.
Institutional Capacity Building is considered here as one of the main types of Capacity Building efforts, along with Human Capacity Building. Both are closely inter-related and complement each other.
Institutional Capacity Building addresses Capacity Building beyond the provision of education and training of professionals. It aims to enhance the capacity of governments, business, non-governmental groups and communities to plan and manage the coast efficiently and effectively. It also aims to improve institutional arrangements for coastal management. This implies addressing Capacity Building on a long-term, strategic level. Concepts such as leadership, awareness, and constituency building are part and parcel of institution building.
There are several dimensions regarding institutional development: one at the EU level, and the other at the national/regional/local level.
For the purposes of the EAP, the institutional dimension of Capacity Building is composed by the following major elements, namely:
- Provision of institutional support -National Capacity Building Resources Centres (Capacity BRiCs)
- Mechanisms for plan implementation: Partnerships and Networking arrangements
- Supporting elements: transfer of knowledge; sharing of experience & know-how; and dissemination of information
National Capacity Building Resource Centres (Capacity BRiCs)
Establishment of Capacity BRiCs will support institutions and create a focal point for training/education, professional development, awareness raising, research and information on matters related to Capacity Building on ICZM. In fact, the establishment of a network of National Capacity BRiCs may be considered as the key milestone that would mark the advancement of Capacity Building efforts in Europe.
Capacity BRiCs should support actions having a tangible, positive and measurable effect on providing additional capacity to individuals and institutions. As such, they should provide support and services - in terms of human capacity building; institutional capacity building; and information - to coastal planners and managers, related institutions and the public at large.
Networking and partnership arrangements
Complementarities and integration of Capacity Building initiatives themselves are of crucial importance. Since Capacity Building will be required at various administrative levels (trans-national, national, sub-national) and for different target populations (senior level, planning and implementation level and the public at large), the use of a variety of means (i.e. partnerships and networking arrangements) to support Capacity Development will be necessary. This may result in a large number of cost effective interventions which will avoid ‘fragmentation’ and ‘isolated’ approaches that lack sustainability.
Networking is aimed at reinforcing capacity and avoiding fragmentation of efforts by fostering collaboration, sharing of resources (human, technical, institutional), as well as the creation of a culture of discussion and communication among all affected parties. Networking requires cooperative mechanisms among education and training institutions, the public and private sector, as required.
Partnership arrangements aim at complementing efforts while matching the strengths and weaknesses of the partners. It is expected that major actors in these partnerships could involve universities, the private sector, government and local communities.
Transfer of Knowledge
Transfer of knowledge is a key activity to be done, using, among other means, training and/or education. It provides support to coastal managers/practitioners when facing new managerial challenges and at the same time could strengthen the required institutional and organizational capacity in ICZM.
Sharing/exchange of experience and know-how
Interventions that promote and enhance the sharing of experience and know-how, occupy a prominent role in CB. These interventions may be undertaken via regional or local meetings, round tables and task forces, electronic discussions, exchange of experts, study visits, and join activities among Capacity BRiCs and related partners.
Dissemination of information
It should be carried out by using existing information dissemination systems. Dissemination of information may include information and data on e.g. training and academic opportunities, directory of training centres, dissemination of best practices, case studies, reference material, models, training material, etc.
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